Continued from Color-Ful, a guide to practical color psychology.
Associations: Trust (true blue), wide expanses–ocean and sky, clarity, loyalty, wisdom.
Effects: Calming, helps sleep, cooling; helps with mental control, enhanced productivity, and heightened creativity.
Physical Effects: Lowers blood pressure and stimulates the pituitary gland, which regulates sleep patterns and can ease pain and suppress the appetite.
Uses: Seen in uniforms and international business branding. Glasgow and Japan have used blue in street lamps and railways, which have reduced crime and suicides.
When to Wear: Perfect for a job interview, social gathering, or any other situation where you would like to be perceived in the best possible light. Brighter blues are more memorable, whereas navy blue can be great for sophistication.
Applying to the Home: Bedrooms seeking to sooth, calm and protect provide the perfect environment for shades of blue. Blues are also a good palette for common living spaces to keep the peace.
When it comes to the art of the wardrobe, Darling knew just the two women to ask for advice. Cathleen Simmons and Mercedes Curran are stylists who know the tricks to defining personal style, as well as how to let go of unnecessary pieces. Receive from their wisdom below on the perfect way to clear out the clutter!
Every few months, my best friend comes whining to me about how her closet is exploding, and says she needs help cleaning it out. It’s not her fault that her job as a clothing sales representative continuously fills her life with free samples of some of the most beautiful clothes you’ll ever try on–so when she reaches out to get rid of it all, I know it’s serious. I also know it means fancy hand-me-downs, and I’m never too busy to graciously accept those.
The reason my friend asks me to come over is because like most of us, she sees clothes as being far more than just something we put on our bodies. They aren’t just cut pieces of fabric, they are memories and they make us feel good. Although it might sound crazy to some, clothes can hold sentimental value, so naturally, we need all the help we can get when it comes to letting precious items go.
So who’s in need of a master closet cleanse? I promise that once you experience the pleasure of getting rid of things you don’t need, you’ll feel the lightest you have in months. It takes a good friend and some strong will power to give up the graphic tees in the oven and the shoes in the living room bookshelf (you know who you are)!
In order to get the closet of your dreams, first set some time aside to get inspired. It’s not easy to just jump into it head on (unless of course, that’s your style), so browse the web for images that spark your interest in personal wardrobe taste. If you have even more time, print those images out and put them up to remind you of your goal.
To make this easy, here is a step-by-step guide to beginning. Remember, this is indeed a process, so the feeling of being overwhelmed is natural, but have fun with it! This is your chance to start fresh for spring—new trends and open space!
If your closet isn’t already organized by style (shorts, skirts, pants, tanks, tops, dresses…etc), take everything out and categorize.
Designate three piles before you dig in. The items you want to keep will obviously stay in your closet.
One for re-selling. Places like Crossroads, Buffalo Exchange and other small consignment stores give you money or store credit for bringing in and selling your old goods to them. It’s a score for both parties!
One for donating to a thrift store.
One for “dear friends.” Perhaps a friend always mentions how cute you look in that dress, or you know that shape will look great on your roommate. It’s always easier to give stuff away knowing it’s going to a good home.
Right off the bat, get rid of everything you know you don’t want to keep.
Things you’ve never worn; even if you thought you might wear that dress you found on sale at Nordstrom two years ago, you probably won’t.
Things that don’t fit; be realistic, if they haven’t fit since freshman year, toss it. They probably aren’t in style anyway.
Things that you’ve worn so many times, they have holes and deodorant stains (yikes).
This step is monumental. INVITE A TRUSTED FRIEND. This should be someone who you feel knows your style, will make wise decisions on trend, and can see what does or doesn’t fit right–and will say the right answer when you hold up the bridesmaid dress from 2004. We promise you don’t need it.
Important: Before you begin, keep in mind the inspiration that you pulled. The colors, textures, shapes and emotions of your motive will keep your closet clean and coordinated. If the garment does not match your style, let it go so that someone else may cultivate their own ideal wardrobe.
TRY ON ALL shorts, skirts and pants. Finding the foundation of bottoms in your closet will then tell you what tops will work and what you will need to add later. Seven tops per bottom is a good gage to follow.
Tip: When trying on clothes, make sure you are using a full-length mirror. Look at proportion and silhouette, and take a look at the front and the back. This is where your friend will come in handy letting you know that your jeans are definitely not supporting your bootie in the correct way.
For help with this you can also look to the Darling article Self Shaped.
Tops, sweaters and dresses are next; jackets, shoes and accessories are last. If there is any doubt at all about keeping something, that’s probably a good sign not to keep it. My rule has always been: if I don’t LOVE IT, then I LEAVE IT (even when I go shopping).
Once you have sorted through your entire closet, dresser, and secret spot in the console table, review everything you have left, and start to make simple outfits. You’ll quickly notice that there are things you’ll now need to complete your look. A black blazer here, a simple cardigan there…make a wish list of all the items you want to intentionally shop for and add them to your Svpply.com feed, (read the Darling article here about this), a visual shopping and inspiration list. We want to buy clothes that will be a strong addition to the rest of our wardrobe, something that is worth the purchase.
Optional Action (maybe just for the particularly wonderful type A’s): Add your cherished clothing items that you have now established to a closet-log app like Stylebook. Hang a white sheet over a curtain rod, or something the like, that you can hang a hanger on. Quickly photograph your items hanging in front of the sheet. The app allows you to take out the backgrounds and categorize by type. Then you can log outfits by occasion or season and even mark a calendar when you wore that new favorite item. This can help you to make wise decisions when next shopping–because you are aware that if you do make that purchase you must love it enough to take the time and effort to add it to your digital closet–and if it’s not, it’s probably not worth dishing out the cash for.
Take your sorted piles and load up that back seat. First take the items to the resale store. Once they have made their choices, look through the remaining pieces. Pull out anything else that you think your friends may just love (only love) and add the rest to the donation pile. Drive to the nearest Goodwill or Salvation Army and with a sigh of relief drop off that extra closet clutter that was weighing on your daily routine.
A few more helpful tips:
There is so much joy in sharing and giving. One great activity to do that provides for an opportunity to spend time together and find new treasures without spending your hard earned cash is to have a clothing swap. Contact those gals that you care about and maybe have had a time or two of “awe” at their new purchase, send them this article, and mark a date to bring those items that are no longer a treasure for you but may be for one of your girls to trade. You could even try out one of our new favorite recipes to share as the trading is taking place.
I would like to think that no one uses wire hangers anymore. These beasts are the most damaging kind of hanger out there. How many times did you ruin a top because it left massive dents? Now that your closet is clean, it is worth the investment to start collecting black velvet hangers. Nice and thin, they save space while helping items stay put with the sticky nature of velvet. No slipping off, brilliant!
Store out of season items like your jackets and coats in plastic containers to be kept out of sight either under your bed, or even better, in the garage until you need to use them.
Instead of forgetting about your new purchases because they immediately get lost between other clothes, designate an area in your closet where only new items go, that way you remember you have them and wear them first. My friends make fun of me, but once they try it, they love it! I wear the item a couple times, and then it goes back into its place with the rest of my clothes.
The more often this process takes place, the more comfortable it becomes to make decisions, not just with clothes, but in helping to eliminate decision anxiety on a daily basis. So as you place your best looks back into their new, more roomy home, give thanks for the privilege of having these tools that can so easily craft the impression you make on those around you.
Photo Credit: Ohjoy
Continued from Color-Ful, a guide to practical color psychology.
Associations: Nature, renewal, growth, monetary gain, good luck.
Effects: Soothes emotions and grounds you, helping to provide mental clarity to move forward in life.
Physical Effects: Helps to balance your equilibrium, creating relaxation. It can also help to improve your eyesight for reading.
Uses: “Green Rooms” for pre-show calming. Also used in organic as well as “green” product design.
When to Wear: When embarking on something new, or when teaching others to grow.
Applying to Your Home: Use in areas where you learn or read, or in places where calm and focus is needed. The best use is through living plants, which soothe the eyes and also add oxygen to your environment.
Photo Credit: www.atlantic-pacific.blogspot.com
Continued from Color-Ful, a guide to practical color psychology.
Associations: Intellectual thinking, confidence, laughter, youth and promise of better times to come.
Effects: Makes one more alert, decisive, and organized. Can help to make better choices as well as understand others points of view.
Physical Effects: Stimulates the brain, lymph system, and metabolism. Increases production of serotonin leading to a more optimistic outlook.
Uses: Legal note pads for focus. School buses for visibility and a passage to increased learning.
When to Wear: Wear when you would like to feel more cheerful and confident–when spending time with family or on a gloomy day.
Apply to Home: Use in rooms to increase learning as well as a positive environment encouraging constant growth and newness–such as a child’s room or library. Avoid acid or intensely bright yellow as the brightness can create jittery nerves; instead, use a soft or golden yellow that will bring a comforting feeling.
Photo Credit: www.theglamourai.com
Continued from: History of Fashion With Regards to the 20th Century
Key Silhouettes: Flapper–straight silhouette, drop waist, shorter hemlines, bob hair cuts, and cloche hats to match.
Details: Long pearl necklaces, feathers, sequins and beading.
Economic: Abundance of money circulating through the stock market–people became “all about the image” with furs and socially acceptable outfits.
Political: Prohibition–further underground digs found in speakeasies gave place for flashy fashions.
Social: Discovery of King Tut’s tomb brought about Egyptian influence seen in silhouette and fabrication.
Image Source: www.shorpy.com
In our previous article The Darling Holiday Guide, we discussed easy, fun food ideas for your holiday party. Now we are moving into dressing confidently for the evening.
Every occasion should be celebrated with just the right ensemble. Finding that “just right” combination should be formulated by combining what is appropriate for: the occasion, company, and your own personal comfort.
Holiday parties are thrown in all sorts of fashions, but they can usually be pinned to formal, semi-formal, and informal. Some are formal with sit down dinners, and others are very casual with friends and family around an outdoor fire pit. The questions always arises, what to wear?
For a Formal Party: these occasions call for dressy cocktail dresses, long evening gowns, and the finest accessories you can muster. Lace, silk, and velvet are wonderful fabrics to wear during the holiday season. Bringing in silver and gold with purses and shoes make your look glisten. Black, White, and Red are the most classic colors, but do not be afraid to wear a color you feel beautiful in. This is also your opportunity to wear those gloves and pull out your fancy clutch. Darling stands by the rule of making sure you study your look before leaving home, and consider removing an item if you seem too cluttered. Think 50’s/ 60’s glam seen on Audrey Hepburn in How to Steal A Million.
For Semi- Formal: Holiday parties that are semi-formal are the most common in our day and age and give you a lot of flexibility. The most important thing is dressing for the company and comfort of the actual event, which we will discuss later. But first, choose a dress or skirt to build off of. Yes, we recommend a dress (cocktail dresses are the most standard) or skirt for you ladies, however if that is just not an option, classic black slacks or trousers can be a good foundation. Once you have your key pieces you can build upon them. It’s ideal to have one statement piece that acts as inspiration for the rest of the outfit. Maybe your favorite purchase was a stand out head band with a lot of embellishment. Pull colors and textures from that as you choose what sweater, blouse, or shoes to wear. The same can be done with jewelry, shoes, a scarf, blouse, or purse.
For Informal: This is where you can feel free to wear whatever most suits your personality. When dressing informally for the holidays we always like to add a little joy or even humor. Fashion should never be taken too extremely serious. Since it is Christmas, try a fun unexpected combination of red and green; classic scottish plaids always remind others of Christmas carolers. For New Year’s, wear your sequined sparkle top with your jeans, sweater, and flats. If your feeling really fun wear a festive hat, they always remind us at Darling of the sweet old-fashioned days.
We are each from diverse backgrounds and exist is specific cultures; being aware of these dynamics is a mark of a lady. Aiming to be a delight to those that we spend time with involves many things, and our appearance is one of them. If you know that your company for the evening would be offended by the low back to your evening dress, try placing a cardigan or shawl over your shoulders. If others at the party inclined you to dress up, put on a skirt and heels instead of your jeans and boots for the evening. Making it not just about yourself or the way you think will ultimately leave you feeling better through out the whole holiday season.
Although you want to dress appropriately for the occasion and the company, wearing garments that are uncomfortable will leave you miserable, and no delight for others to enjoy a cup of eggnog next to the fire with. Carefully consider the activities of the evening. If it is a sit down dinner party, go ahead and wear those 4 inch heels that you were proud to purchase. However, if you know that you will be standing all evening, opt for wedges or classy flats. Consider the weather, remembering to bring a coat and scarf if it is going to be chilly. Modesty always provides for more comfort. If you cannot bend down to pick up crumbs you dropped from those delicious cookies without your top showing all, or your skirt rising too high, maybe reconsider the outfit–add some opaque tights, or a tank or bandeau to cover cleavage.
Usually, a wardrobe receives multiple visits throughout our day. My wardrobe is extremely familiar with me because I like to change for every occasion–not for vanity, but for physical and mental comfort. With clothing being a part of our everyday existence it should function as does the foundation of our homes, the engines of our cars, and the software on our computers–efficiently. It can be hard to distinguish what exactly we need, however some basic guidelines ring true for every woman. These fundamental pieces should be the building blocks for us to add our own personal touch to in our daily dressing. Each of these garments should be quality in fabrication, fit, and function.
Fabric:Look for better quality cotton, wools, and silks. When choosing synthetic fibers look for nicer rayons, polyester blends, and thicker nylons and lycra’s.
Fit: Seams should not be pulling. Sleeve and hem lengths should work to balance your body proportionally. Do not look at the labeled size, every company distinguishes its own size charts; simply evaluate what fits the beautiful lines of your current figure.
Function: We often love to collect those items in our closet that look, feel, or seem “oh so fabulous” but after being worn for more than an hour we feel they must be removed. These can be fun additions to our closet but they should not be the foundation. Every piece should be comfortable and fit the functions within our life. If you are running around town all day long the majority of your days, a slim fit pencil skirt and 4 inch stilettos will most likely not be part of your foundation.
Do not be tempted to have every variety of each garment. Find what is best for your body type, suits your personal style, and is constructed in colors that compliment and delight you. Utilize sales to find the best value, but do not settle if it does not pass the “Fabric, Fit, Function” evaluation. Darling will always present you with fashion affordable for the “normal” girl, however, you will notice the items below are a little more pricey. Here’s why: “staple pieces” should be of high quality and items you collect to keep for a lifetime. Be patient. Save up. And take care of your investments.
Most of your “go-to” basics should be individually selected, most complimentary colors for you. Some classic colors are: white, navy, tan, grey, or black.
Let’s take a look at some “functional necessities” that should grace your closet:
White Button Up
Wool or Cashmere Cardigan Sweater
Dark Denim Jeans
Knee Length Skirt
Solid Color Simple Dress
Nice Real Leather Purse
For more on what will enable you to look your personal best, read here: Self-Shaped
Photo Credit: houzz.com