I'm counting down the days to my Sarasota, Florida trip for Spring Break. I can't wait to shed this pasty, pale, blotchy pallor which had plagued me since December. I know it's un-p.c., but I love being tan. When I've got some color, I feel better in and about absolutely everything.
I'm also trying to come to terms with the way my body is changing with age. By changing, I mean reacting negatively to all the junk food I've ingested this spring. I'm noticing bulges and bumps in places that used to be smooth without effort. Damn you, nature! (Damn you, Keebler fudge stix!)
I wish I liked exercise.
Enough boo-hooing. My quick fix for this body dilemma was to try out a pair of high-waisted bikini bottoms. I searched high and low and didn't find anything cute until I landed on Modcloth. Isn't this bikini just darling? I love it. I placed my order right away because inventory at Modcloth is limited, and I didn't want to lose out on the cuteness.
Do you have any Spring Break plans? Have you found any cute suits this season?
Our cute collaborator, Nicole Cicak, is back with another adorable and free tech wallpaper for download here on meredithtabscott.com! WOOHOO! This month, we were inspired by men's and women's undergarments, which often get a bad rap for being tattered, ignored, and uncute, unlike these examples that Nicole dreamed up. Is it time to declutter and improve your own collection?
I guarantee that when you upgrade the unders, you'll put an immediate spring in your step. Here are some that I have my eye on for myself and the mister...
Oh, and btw--have you noticed the site's new name? Well, my old name. My real name? Introducing--da-ta-ta-tah.....meredithtabscott.com. That's me.
It made sense to name this site appropriately as my main focus is decluttering and styling services. What you'll now see are more "peaceful living through less clutter" posts, more "adventures in decluttering" client work, and more "real life interiors" posts. Are you as excited as I am?
Before I sign off, here are the other free wallpapers, still available for download:
I just scheduled my Instagram posts for the week, and as much as I tried, I couldn't break from styling lots of black and white looks. They're just so versatile and classy! So, like my last post which featured Garnet Hill, here's another easy look for cool summer nights. (That's assuming you're on vacation; Saint Louis temps are passing 90 degrees!)
Unless you literally have no closet at all in your bedroom. Which in that case, there are still solutions to explore before stealing a whole room from your house. (See Exhibit A below.)
When I saw this Domino feature in my Pinterest feed, I almost choked on my coffee. Why would you steal an entire room from your house just to store your clothing?
I do have empathy for apartment dwellers in teensy units in Paris or NYC, but chances are they don't have whole rooms to spare. Or maybe you're a princess or Kardashian; in that case, cool! Thanks for reading my blog.
But for the rest of us, when we're amassing so much stuff that we need bigger houses or bigger closets to deal with it, the problem ain't our stuff. It's us.
To summarize Marie Kondo, "We all have enough storage already, no matter where you live." She's right. Instead, let's look at what we're not using, get rid of it, and free up space and positive energy. Let's adapt to the storage we already have.
Before you judge me as an idealist who eats tofu and drinks beet juice, let me show you what I mean.
Let's imagine that these shots are of closets instead of rooms. Which one makes you happier? Which feels less stifling? Which would calm you?
Of course, Exhibit A. Don't roll your eyes at me yet. Keep reading and I'll explain.
Are you thinking, "Yeah, right. That is calmer and less stifling, Meredith, but let's get real. Having more clothes means more choice. More choice means more fabulousness. More fabulousness means that I feel good, look good, and have a spring in my step."
Perhaps that's true, but I doubt it. If you rolled your eyes, I challenge you to really think about what you wore last week, last month, and maybe even last year. Chances are very high that you only wore 20% of what you own. Even if you're outside the norm and wore, say, 50% of what you own, then imagine your closet's contents reduced by half with absolutely no angst on your part whatsoever. Would you be happier? What side-effects would it bring? Peace? Joy? A gratitude for these gifts you possess?
You bet. Plus more, I guarantee.
Let's look at each closet's pros and cons starting on the right with Example B:
Exhibit B Pros and Cons
- ample shelving
- nifty cubbies on bottom
- funky glass heads
- cute rug, desk and chair
- clean, bright-white paint
- too many choices
- clothes smashed together, getting wrinkled and hiding
- an unusable desk due to clutter
- If these are all the tops, where are the bottoms and shoes? Likely, on the other side of the room that looks like this, too. EEK!
Exhibit A Pros and Cons
- Your "What am I wearing today?" choice is easy because everything in front of you is what you actually wear.
- Clothes are hanging freely and breathing. You spent your hard-earned money on these pieces; you want them to last, and you treat them accordingly.
- The full length mirror is useful for that final check before leaving the house.
- Shoes are stored with the outfits instead of in a separate space.
- The cute stool is handy; you sit here to lace up your boots.
- Clean, bright-white paint and minimal-chic decor are both calming and pretty.
- The state of your closet mimics the state of your life: You are confident, calm, and stylish.
- You'd probably need two of these clothing racks and a dresser. Your underpinnings and workout wear have to go somewhere.
- You'll still need a spot to house your accessories like hats, handbags, and jewelry. I recommend some cute hooks and a tray on your dresser for your jewelry.
What does your closet look like? Here's a terrible photo of mine which I snapped from my phone. I'll take a better picture soon.
I store off-season shoes and handbags in the upper cabinet. My winter coats (see the red one?) are on the far left, hanging freely. My pants and dresses are hanging freely in the left-centerish space. My tops are on the upper-right, and shorts and skirts are in the bottom right. My nightgown, robe, and summer bags hang on the closet doors. My in-season shoes are on the floor, and the drawer houses my clutch and my travel-cosmetics bag.
Since this photo, I've sold about five pieces that I discovered I wasn't wearing. Also, I bought a new winter coat (because it was cute and I liked it), so I sold the red one.
I have a challenge for you--snap a photo of your closet and share it with any comments or questions on FaceBook . #letsgetreal I promise I won't judge you, as long as you promise not to judge me for liking tofu and beet juice.
What are your biggest closet or clothing issues? I'll fess up to mine: I love clothes, especially from Anthropologie. I love loving clothes. I can spend money like it grows on trees.
I have, but I don't anymore. I learned some super-important lessons which led to major changes in my behavior--which in turn, led to major changes in my life, which led me to doing what I do now: helping people declutter & up their style games.
But that's a post for another time.
Most of all, thank you for reading, friends.
I recently had the pleasure of working with my friend Courtney on a closet-decluttering, style-honing adventure. You can read about the entire process in this post and see how Courtney came to understand what she did and didn't need in her wardrobe. We decluttered her closet, discussed what to buy, and created a shopping list of new looks. (I was excited when Courtney called to tell me that she wore one of her new looks to work, and one of her university students told her she was "rocking her outfit today"!)
Courtney has a pear-shaped figure, so clothing that cinches at the waist is a great look for her. Also, because she has narrow shoulders, items with embellishments, ruffles or details on the bodice balance this feature. This dress from Banana Republic is a great example, and I love the graphite color which looks awesome with brown, cream, black, gold or silver accessories.
One of Courtney's "post-session" jobs was to upgrade her earring and necklace collections to include larger, statement pieces. (We found several pairs at World Market for $4.99!) These chandelier earrings from Nordstrom Rack are an excellent, versatile choice. Wearing larger earrings and tops that emphasize Courtney's best features help to draw the viewer's eye upward, thus deemphasizing less-favorable features.
To elongate and slim Courtney's legs, I styled the dress with a wedge espadrille from Ralph Lauren. I love those trendy sandals that have ankle straps, but they tend to visually cut the leg and draw the eye down. Because we want to draw the eye upward, it's better to go with this type of shoe. Plus, wedges are comfortable so, win-win.
The final elements on this board are the handbag and sunglasses. I love the Frye brand for shoes and handbags, but they're quite $$$$, so they're not for the faint of heart. (They're kind of like Subarus--they hold their value well and resell at decent prices--so you can upgrade down the line.) A less expensive brand that I like is Big Buddha; many of their bags are cute, funky or cool.
So there you have it! One of several looks the "newly styled" Courtney will be wearing. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section below. If you'd like to learn more about my decluttering and styling services, contact Meredith here. If you want to see new outfit posts daily, be sure to follow me on Instagram!
I had the privilege of helping my friend, Courtney, last week. She called to ask if I could spend some time helping her declutter her closet and up her style game. I was more than happy to put my skillz to the test, and since Courtney is fun to hang out with anyway, it was an absolute joy.
We agreed that our session would have three goals:
- Courtney wanted to declutter effectively and wondered what to toss and what to keep.
- She also wanted help understanding how to dress for her figure and how to combine certain pieces.
- We left #3 open to address any other issues that presented themselves, and they wound up being closet organization, clothing care, accessorizing, and shopping destinations.
Our In-Home Session
We started our session decluttering Courtney's closet. Like most of us, she had a plethora of items that had seen better days, and we were able to toss these easily. Thankfully, Courtney was familiar with this philosophy, and she discarded confidently and thoughtfully. There were a few pieces that she second-guessed, and I assured her that they had served their purposes and were ready to go. We amassed a big pile for donation on which her cat loafed and watched us diligently work.
After the decluttering was complete, Courtney modeled some of her favorite outfits for me including a few new Boden dresses. This led me to talking with Courtney about how to dress to emphasize her best features (her bust and shoulders) and deemphasize her least-favorite features (her tush). Raise your hand if your tush is your least-favorite feature, too. I know! We snapped pics on Courtney's phone of full ensembles in case she would forget how to accessorize something or which shoes to wear with which dress. She now has a quick and easy reference tool.
Courtney looks great in slim-fitting tops with interesting necklines like V-necks, boat-necks, or embellishments. We discarded some of her tees that had basic crew-necks or that were too blousy. She also looks great in dresses, long cardigans, and coats that cinch at the waist. Doing this emphasizes her tiny waistline and maximizes effect.
After we finalized her best looks and decided what to keep, we moved the cat and enlisted Courtney's husband to take the giant donation pile straight to the car. Courtney laughed that I initiated this like. right. now! She wondered if I was worried she'd rescue items from the pile after I left. Truth is, I just wanted her room to look uncluttered, and a giant pile in the middle of the floor ain't doin' it, if you know what I mean.
Now that we had an uncluttered space and Courtney's best, most loved outfits on the bed, we were able to arrange her closet for best use. We placed her "wear to weddings and funerals" dresses way off to one side. Then we placed her winter coats and activewear off to the other side. Finally, we organized her current season (summer) clothing in the center, arranging by outfit. I like to see my outfits hung together in front of me. (Not shirt over there and shorts far away.) I like to look in my closet and see exactly what I'm going to wear.
After we dropped off the items at Goodwill, Courtney went home to work on her closet. Her task was to find other places to store things she had parked in there. (Photo albums and her children's unsorted artwork were among the items.) I went home and got to work on the next few steps of our plan.
I created a secret Pinterest board for Courtney and I to share, and I spent some time browsing Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack, Banana Republic, LastCall, and the like. I selected pieces that we had designated as needs, and luckily, many of them were on sale. I also picked out some sale pieces that she could save for fall and winter. This part was probably the most fun for Courtney--the shopping trip! She promised to snap photos when things arrive. Yay! Here are a few of the items from our Pinterest board:
After getting Courtney started on her shopping spree, I got to work assembling my notes and composing a "style cheat-sheet." Once I mailed it to her, we chatted on the phone where she expressed how incredibly happy she was. I was over the moon listening to her beam, and I am grateful for the opportunity to work with her.
Want to see her "style cheat-sheet"?
And there you have it! What do you think? Do you and Courtney share any of the same clothing or closet issues? I'd love to hear from you in the comments section below. Thanks!
If you are interested in this service, please contact Meredith at firstname.lastname@example.org and let's chat!
Happy summer, friends! To celebrate the season, I have another cute tech giveaway from our talented and sassy pal, Nicole Cicak. How cute are these ladies, right? Look at them sporting their Jackie O. styled headscarves. Adorbs.
This tech wallpaper is available for free download! Use it however you wish--as a screen saver, as a free printable for framing, as wrapping paper, whatever! Enjoy!
Last month, I uploaded the spring shoe tech wallpaper into Spoonflower and had the cutest wrapping paper made. You could also upload the images to FinerWorks and create custom greeting cards. (I'm so doing this for birthday gifts.)
CLICK HERE to download your Lady Faces tech wallpaper.
Enjoy your summer, everybody!