5 Tips on Organizing Your Wardrobe When you Share a Closet

Moving in, and buying a house with a special someone is a wonderful experience, but it is also about compromise. This is something I’ve been learning, and practicing the last few weeks. With a dresser and a standard size closet (luckily with closet organizers installed), it has been a challenge to comfortably and neatly organize our clothes in an effective way. I’ve worked with many clients on wardrobe organization, but when it comes to your own pieces, it isn’t as simple it seems. 🙂

As we’ve been working to integrate our wardrobes together, here are a few tips I’ve found helpful.

1.Invest in closet organizers: If your closet only has the standard hanging bar in it, organizing your wardrobe will be a challenge. This is because clothes take up far less space when they are folded. You can pick up closet organizers from places like Canadian Tire, Home Depot, or Ikea, which will all help to maximize the space in your closet. They can then be customized to match what your unique needs. Do you have a lot of suits and dresses? You will need the hanging room. Do you have more sweaters and t-shirts? You would benefit from some pullout drawers. These are just a few examples.

2.Learn an effective folding technique: How you fold your clothes will also impact the amount of space they take up. I recently read Marie Kondo’s book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” and she offers readers a wonderful example of how to fold anything. Check out the video below for more details.

3.Keep only what you wear: The fewer items you have to organize, the better when it comes to combining wardrobes. Take turns. Go through each person’s clothes one at a time, and create four piles: keep, donate/consign, toss and repair. The keep pile are clothes which you wear regularly and make you feel great. The donate/consign pile is for items that are not damaged in any way and could be enjoyed by someone else. The toss pile is for clothes which are beyond repair, and are ready to be taken to a fabric recycler (like The Kidney Foundation). The repair pile is for clothes that need to be fixed or taken to a tailor. With reduced wardrobes, it’s easier to fit clothes into a smaller wardrobe.

4.Group like items together. A great way to organize wardrobes is to group like items together e.g. blouses and dressy tops, or skirts, and dresses together, etc. Sharing space, we found grouping our like items together was the most effective way to organize our clothes. We put all of my dressy tops, with his, to share the hanging space, for example, and all of our t-shirts and sweaters in the dresser (in different drawers). We carried this over into other areas, putting all of our shoes in the same place, as well as accessories. This way, if you are looking for something specific, you always know where to go.

5. Use drawer organizers and other closet storage solutions to your advantage: A clean, organized closet is an effective closet that helps minimize the stress of getting ready in the morning. Some items, however, don’t fit nicely into a regular wardrobe like belts, ties, bags, scarves and more. Luckily, stores like HomeSense and Solutions have plenty of options to help in this way, which minimizes visual clutter. Another tip is to purchase wide bins which are short enough to fit under your bed. We use these to store our off-season items.

How did your experience merging closets go? Any advice for a newbie? Comment below.

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Dressing for Confidence at Any Stage of Motherhood

In this video/post, hosted by my favourite local fitness expert, Kim Holmes, we discuss how to dress your body through the different stages of motherhood. This post was originally shared on her blog over at MyFitCoach.ca. Kim’s fitness challenges, classes, and online training are all geared to help mom’s look and feel their best. Learn more.

Our Interview

Today I’m taking a break from the usual fitness/healthy mom thing to talk about something that ALL Mom’s can relate to…Your ever changing body and how to feel GREAT in it right now.

Let’s face it, your body changes a lot from the time you get pregnant to the time you’re done having kids. You own like 4 different wardrobes, not to mention bras. And while it can be a tad awkward and uncomfortable, I believe that its important to love, accept and basically ROCK the body you are in right now!

So I met up with the lovely Christina Proctor, a Certified Style Coach and owner of  “Wear Out There”. I had a lot of questions (of my own AND for you too) about how to dress your ever changing body as a Mom. I want YOU to take care of yourselves from the inside out and sometimes you just feel better about yourself when you take off your leggings (don’t worry there is still room for leggings!) and put on an outfit that makes you feel amazing.

You can check out my interview with Christina here and read on for some of her best style tips for busy mamas at 3 stages of motherhood:

Christina what style tips do you have for the Mom who has just had a baby but is sick of wearing stretchy pants? She’s ready to look and feel good but doesn’t know how to dress her new body.

When you just have a baby, of course your body has gone through some changes and that’s very exciting! While style is important, comfort is also key. Here are a few of the essentials I recommend:

  •  Wide neckline Tops (e.g. deep v’s) which still allow you access to breastfeed if you choose that, or simply move with ease, which is essential.

  • Flowy tops, which skim your silhouette over a camisole are good options as they will help disguise a tummy.

  • Wrap over shirts with some ruching over the tummy look great as well. Button up shirts are another great option. They are versatile, can be dressed up or down and are visually slimming.

  •  Draped cardigan, which is comfortable, of a decent quality and rather form fitting.

  •  Maternity jeans with an elastic side panel is also useful as they will likely fit your body so much better. 

  • Accessories also will be helpful in brightening up a basic outfit. Choose great stud earrings – nothing dangling for baby to pull, or a statement necklace with some weight to it. An oversized scarf is another great option. It can be used as a nursing cover, when needed, but really adds some style to any outfit.

So what about the Mom who’s trying to lose the baby weight? How can she dress her changing body without spending a fortune on clothing?

The most flattering way to dress after pregnancy is to make sure your clothes fit your body NOW. This will also help you love and accept your body just the way it is – which gives you confidence in any situation. It honestly can be so hard to focus on tasks, when you’re worried about your outfit.

Christina’s tips:

  • Straight leg or boot cut jeans are the best choice, worn with a belt so you can bend and move about with ease.

  • Outfits that are monochromatic on the outside can be super slimming. E.g. black pants, black jacket and a colourful top. All you see on the outside is the long slimming silhouette and then this pop of colour.

  • Invest in shape wear  for those form-fitting outfits can help you feel confident in anything.

  •  Find a really great tailor and have them help you adjust your current pieces. They can work wonders and keep your costs down as well.

  • Check out the consignment stores – there are so many in Waterloo Region and the quality of the garments are great. You could also consider taking your own clothes here that you no longer wear, and potentially get some money off of them. .

So what about Mom’s who are done having kids but feel like they’re body is totally different and they have no idea what’s in style after living in the Mom bubble?

Style is a form of self-expression and really is something that should be fun. I think sometimes it really is overcomplicated, but at it’s core, it’s about helping you feel good about your body. Creating a style that works for you is really about 4 things:

1) Knowing your body shape

I truly believe the best first step is to do a body shape analysis, with a professional, or take your own measurements at home. It is incredibly useful after you’ve gone through a change in your body, to determine which of the 5 body shapes you fall into. This helps give you guidance on which areas to play up on your figure and which to downplay. Each and every shape is unique and beautiful.

2) Knowing which colours work for you

It’s helpful to know what colours flatter your most and the ones that don’t. I offer a colour analysis service to help you find the best colours for you

3) Knowing your Style Personality

Get inspired. Pinterest is amazing for outfit inspiration. Start pinning looks you love and have fun re-creating them. You can look at street style photos, or look in magazines. Think of your style as a tool in your tool box to help support you in reaching your goals, and helping you feel great. Style is personal. Have fun with this new chapter.

4) Knowing your lifestyle and goals

When you’re going through your wardrobe really ask yourself, does this suit the person I am now? Life is constantly changing around us and we’re constantly changing as well. Regularly cleaning out your wardrobe is key to making sure you’re actually wearing everything you have in your closet.

Express Yourself: Using Clothing to Showcase your Unique Characteristics.

Since the earliest centuries, clothing has been used by people to characterize themselves. Textiles have represented our development as a society, reflecting which materials were available and the technologies mastered in each decade. This is as true today as it was in the past. Clothing even has a social significance suggesting characteristics of an individual’s lifestyle before ever starting a conversation.  For example, some occupations can be identified by their uniforms, celebrations by a guest’s attire, or ambitions by an employee’s chosen garments.

Moral of the story?

Express yourself. Who do you want to be? What do you want to become?

We are all individuals with unique facial features, body shapes, and lifestyles. We must dress to suit our own personalities. As such, it is important to study the self. Determine what suits you and what does not; find the colors that flatter and emphasize your uniqueness; and, when shopping, pay particular attention to the fit of your garments.

According to Christian Dior, “simplicity, good taste, and grooming are the three fundamentals of good dressing and these do not cost money.” It is possible to be elegant without spending a fortune on clothes if you choose items that suit your personality. The rules of fashion? There are no rules, only guidelines that aim to flatter your singularity.

So take charge lovelies. Wear what complements you. And do not be afraid to mix your mall finds with those pieces that are completely individual.

You have a story to tell. Share it with the world.

The Best of Fall Trends 2015

Are you ready for fall? My column in this month’s Community Cord talks about trends for the upcoming season.

Read below.

fall-2015-trends-report-feature

It may come as no surprise that fall fashion makes my heart skip a beat. With the return of layering, rich textures, and classic styling, there is no season more enjoyable to dress for. If you’re back to school, or simply coveting a fresh look, this year’s trends do not disappoint. Remember, style is much more important than fashion. Use trends as inspiration, and before you incorporate any into your wardrobe, consider the following: Do I like it? Does it suit me? Does it express my personality? While I may buy a new coat, bag or blouse, the essence of my style this season will remain the same.

What can you expect to see in our local boutiques? Here’s a look at fall trends.

Return of the 70’s: This decade returns year after year, in a slightly different way. Full flare hems, colourful suede, and crafty details like patch-work jackets are driving the looks for fall. If 70’s styling is your thing, pick up some genuine articles locally at vintage boutiques like Auburn Vintage.

Eclectic looks: Mix floral prints with edgier pieces, for a high-class meets bad girl look. This trend is all about making you stand out in crowd.

Suede and Fringe: Tweed is out and suede is in. These pieces take on every form from fitted equestrian-style pants to classic blazers. Adding fringe to a look will take it to the next level.

Romanticism: Embroidery, high collars, velvet and lace took the runways by storm. Dark, haunting romantic pieces, with gorgeous detailing are right on trend.

As is typical for fall footwear, it’s all about boots. This year’s crop consists of mid-calf, Sorel-style boots, snake-patterned knee-highs, and leather or suede over the knees. A structured tote bag is the most stylish accessory this season as well.

For colours, we’re seeing grey (pearl, charcoal, and dove shades), pink in all its forms, purple (iris, and amethyst), and pops of yellow taking centre stage. For a limited budget, but large style boost Fashionista.com suggests adding these 5 pieces to your wardrobe in a trendy form: wrap dress, turtleneck, pleated skirt, high-waisted pant, and midi dress.

Fashion is fun, but above all else, clothes should be used to enhance your personal style. When I look at trends, I view them as a source of ideas rather than a strict set of rules to follow. Not all trends work for every body type, which is perfectly okay. There is no benefit in wearing something trendy, if it makes you uncomfortable in your own skin. Highlighting your best assets is the goal of proper dressing.

You can be fashion-forward, and only incorporate an element of a trend into your wardrobe. For example, if you love florals, but don’t want to wear them head-to-toe as suggested, buy a bag, shoe, or blazer. Style is about knowing who you are first, and then dressing accordingly. For more details on fall trends, bookmark www.style.com, a fantastic source for the latest runway looks, fashion stories, and street style photos.

Photo via Stylecaster.com

Trip in Reflection – The City that Stole my Heart.

Bonjourno readers, I hope you’ve had a wonderful couple of weeks. While fashion may be my passion, I also love to travel and am excited to share a few photos from my recent vacation with you. My mother and I went on a 7-day Greek Island and Turkey cruise, followed by a stay in Rome – the city that stole my heart.

Check these out!

Island of Santorini – Oia, Greece.

The island of Santorini is completely picturesque. White-washed buildings with blue roofs dominant the landscape in Oia, a place you must add to your bucket list.

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Kusadasi, Turkey.

Ruins upon ruins awaited us in Kusadasi. In the morning, we visited the house of the Virgin Mary and collected holy water. In the afternoon we took in the sights at Ephesus, an ancient city built in the 10th century BC and visited the Basilica of St. John. We had the opportunity to watch a Turkish carpet-making demonstration, while sipping delicious apple tea. Each region in Turkey has its own style of carpets, which are absolutely stunning, although out of our price range.

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Bodrum, Turkey.

This gorgeous coastal town is much more laid back than Kusadasi. A visit to Bodrum Castle and a little shopping in the market is how we spent our day.

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Island of Crete – Chania and Georgioupolis, Greece.

Our tour took us to the ancient ruins of Aptera, a significant place in Greek mythology, before travelling through quaint, and charming towns to Chania. The pictures do not do this place justice, Chania was once known as the Venice of the east.

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Rome

What more can I say, I love Rome. The food is amazing, the sights impressive, and the shopping wonderful. The city comes alive in the evening, with floodlit lamps lighting up darkened alleys leading to bustling piazzas. We walked and explored, and drank wine and ate. We visited the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, the Vatican Museums and Ostia Antica (Rome’s ancient port). While Florence may be the heart of Italy’s leather production, you can find gorgeous pieces in Rome as well at reasonable prices.

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There is something truly magical about this city. It is romantic, lively, bustling, and peaceful all at the same time. It’s a place where you can feel completely alone, only to stumble into a piazza full of life. If you get the chance to travel to Rome, take it. You definitely will not be disappointed.

Do you have a favourite city? What are your favourite travel destinations readers?

Adventure is out there.