Sanctuary (closet tour)

As I was posting outfits over the past couple months with all of the handbags in my collection, several of you (including Angie) have been asking me how I store my handbags. I felt a little sheepish, as in my head the question sounded to me a little like "OMG how the heck do you store THAT many handbags?" I know you all didn't mean it that way, but I know I have a bit of a handbag problem...LOL!

I haven't been that great about taking the best care of my huge wardrobe when things get busy and it has been kind of messy and bursting at the seams. So it inspired me to really try to tidy it up and do some editing. I went through and purged a bunch of pre-pregnancy jeans and printed skinnies that no longer fit (yes, I did torture myself by trying them all on), plus a few old clutches that were too small to be practical, and some pilling sweaters, etc. I wish I could be ruthless and get rid of more, but I really couldn't do a major purge because I still love and use most of it.

I think I need to go into a hug my closet phase, but without a total shopping ban because that just makes me want to shop more. I just own too much stuff, as evidenced by Handbag Month lasting for several months. I could also do Dress Month, and a Skirt Month too with a new one every day without running out of items! Don't ask me to count my items. I plead the fifth.

I am going to try to concentrate on being more selective about what enters my closet and limiting my purchases. I have been reading up on minimalism and getting uncluttered and Project 333, but the thought of trying to pick 33 items to wear for the next three months makes me break out into a cold sweat. I've never been good at capsules and mix and match, and I don't think I would enjoy being that restrictive about what I wear, especially given my penchant for matchy matchy and accessory sets. I think I would go stir crazy if I tried it! So I think I'm just going to have to focus on having the right size wardrobe for me.

Anyways, on to the tidying and a tour of my closet. In addition to this, I have a dresser in my bedroom with five drawers, with 1) socks, bras and underwear 2) T shirts and other knit shirts 3) shorts, jeans and printed pants 4) swim, sleep and loungewear and 5) workout gear. Also I have coats in a closet upstairs, and seasonal ski gear etc. in bags. And a few pairs of shoes and sneakers under a bench by the entry door.

I stuffed those air pillows that you get in Amazon packages into the purses so they would hold their shape better, and put fresh rolled up magazines in my tall boots to replace the paper towel tubes. I had to take over another shoe shelf to give more room to my satchels, and put my booties on the floor. I had to stack all my flats one on top of the other, and the totes are kind of stacked on top of one another too, which is not ideal, but that's all the space I had. Necklaces are in a jewelry organizer with earrings on the other side hanging on the closet door. Hats and bracelets in a divided box underneath my shirts. Clutches on a shelf above my dresses. Sweaters in a bin with some larger bags on top. Super fancy purses in their boxes on the floor under the skirts. I like rainbow and ombre effects so my bags and clothes are roughly ordered by color. White first, then rainbow, then black. Short sleeve shirts/tanks to the left, then long sleeve shirts in the middle, then jackets to the right. On the bottom, skirts on the left, then non-jeans pants (just a few) on the right. Scarves, belts, maxi skirts and dresses in another section with clutches on a divided shelf above them. My wedding dress and Christmas ornaments up on the very top shelf. DH's clothes are on the other side of the closet.

My favorite part is the seat next to the mirror. My closet hasn't been this clean for a while, but now that it is, I love sitting down and resting in there for a few minutes to get away from the chaos of the rest of my life! (Though the kids always find me and come in and try on my shoes and necklaces!) Hope you enjoyed the tour of my little sanctuary! Thanks for inspiring me to clean up so I could show it to you!

PS: I just found an old thread where I showed my closet five years ago:
nofollow http://goldenpig.lookfab.com/p.....ation-pics
The funniest quote?
"I joined YLF in July (after I started wardrobe shopping for the first time in 5 years since having kids) and now that six months have passed, I think I am finally done!"
Um, yeah, not so much! Rookie mistake.
I was complaining back then that I had too large of a wardrobe, but look at how sparse my closet looks five years ago compared to now! I still have a lot of items in those pictures. And where were all the handbags back then? Yikes!

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45 comments

WIW 1/13 #likeaboss: Boucle, leather and studs

I haven't been dressing up as much lately (see my workout gear post), but I still like to once in a while! Lots of compliments on the Valentino knockoff shoes. Love the matchy matchy-ness of the studs on the shoes and purse. Leather and studs too risqué for work? Not if you're the boss!

Laundry by Shelli Segal boucle dress
Sam Edelman Ollie pumps
Michael Kors satchel
Forever 21 bracelet
Apple Watch

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20 comments

WIW Workout Gear

Hi all! I haven't been around as much here lately because I started exercising two months ago. I've been living in comfy cardigans and workout wear and don't really have the time or effort to post outfits. But I thought you would like to see what I've been up to, even if it's just "gear".

I never really had to watch what I ate or exercise in the past (I was so busy with work and the kids and was pretty much nonstop nursing for the past eight years, so that was my "diet/exercise program"!). But I gained 15 lb over the last year after I stopped nursing and the 40's metabolism finally caught up with me. I was already an apple but my belly got even bigger. Five of my patients asked me if I was pregnant. That was the last straw! I resolved to get in shape. I signed up for a trial of The Dailey Method, which is a barre class, and went nearly every day for a month. The first few times were so tough--my thighs were shaking trying to do all those squats and leg lifts! But I slowly got stronger and now can do plank walks and full pushups! This past month I joined a gym called OrangeTheory Fitness, where you run on a treadmill, row and do other weight exercises and your heart rate is displayed on a monitor the whole time so you can see how hard you're working. You have to go in cycles from base pace to push pace and then run "all out" for 30 sec to 1 min. I'm going from 5 miles to 6.5 miles to 8 miles per hour and am dying at that point...I'm sure the others are looking at me because I'm breathing so hard! I really have to plan ahead to fit the exercise into my day, and rely on my husband and nanny to help out with the kids while I'm exercising. But I think it's worth it. OTF is a great cardio workout and Dailey Method is a great core/toning workout so I think I'll stick with a combination of both. I still go to Dailey Method with some other mom friends on Saturdays whenever we can--the kids get to play together at childcare at the studio and then we go to the park nearby afterward. A mommy exercise playdate!

I'm still working on the diet...trying to curb my candy/sweet tooth and cut carbs. It's tough though! I have lost about half of the weight I gained and hoping to continue to make progress. I am also starting to notice some taming of the "food baby". Still an apple for sure, but hoping not to be a puff pastry anymore!

I haven't bought much in the way of real clothes lately, but instead have amped up my workout wardrobe with some cool new gear. #1/2 is my fave because it looks like a real outfit with the zippered houndstooth leggings, but take off the cardigan and boots and I'm totally ready to work out! I also got an Apple Watch for Christmas and am having fun with the Activity Tracker function.

Thanks for looking and for your encouragement! This is hard but I'm trying to get healthier, both for me and for my family!

1-2. Zella leggings, Vince cardigan
3-4. Nike
5. Spyder
6. American Giant hoodie, Gama Go Ninja Kitty T, Zella leggings.
7-9. Dailey Method. Love the grippy socks that give you pep talks. I also like that they have childcare during some of the classes. 
10-11. OrangeTheory Fitness. 
12-14. Some progress pics.

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28 comments

My small but mighty boot collection

I saw all the gorgeous boots in this boot collection thread and I was inspired to join in. I don't have a huge boot collection compared to others, but I'm pretty happy with it.

Any glaring boot holes? I don't really have shooties or ankle boots because I have skinny ankles and suffer from flowerpot syndrome. My narrow calves also make boot shopping tricky. So when I find something that fits, I like to duplicate in brown and black so that I can wear them with all colors of outfits. Next on my list is a pair of snow boots for when we go skiing a few times a year--I've actually been using DH's old rain/snow boots from when he was a kid (10), but they're cracked and all the insulation has worn away, so I'd like to get some real snow boots to keep my feet warm

My favorite booties are the OTBT gold booties (so comfy). My overall favorites are the burgundy patent Aquatalia Vavoom rainboots and the black Frye Melissa lace-ups--they make me feel like a superhero! Don't you love how putting on a pair of tall boots automatically make you feel a little bad-@$$? ;)

Thanks for looking at my "small but mighty" boot collection!

1. My boot collection
2. Frye Melissa lace-ups in brown and black
3. Timberland Stratham Heights in cognac and La Canadienne Galaxy brown suede wedges
4. Aquatalia Vavoom burgundy patent rain boots (waterproof)
5. Nine West heeled black boots (pre-YLF)
6. OTBT (Off the Beaten Track) gold booties
7. Mia Nanette lace-up booties in brown and black
8. Reiker Annemarie slouchy booties in brown and black
9. pre-YLF gear--Lowa hiking boots and Ugg short brown boots
10. DH's old kiddie snow boots

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16 comments

Anyone else struggle with capsules? I just can't do it!

I always love Angie's and other YLFers' capsule posts, and the Redbook mix and match capsules. That was one of my first posts, talking about doing a Redbook capsule challenge...well I never got around to doing it! After reading Angie's fall capsule post, I was all excited to try it in my own closet. I wasn't able to come up with a cohesive set of items that all worked together and that all passed my "feels like me" test. I can come up with lots of outfits, but just one at a time. The outfits are all different and each one needs specific accessories to go with it. I think the problem is I love color and patterns, and I do some pattern mixing but not all colors and patterns can go with each other. And I'm more into matchy matchy than mix and matching. I like to evolve a "perfect" version of each outfit rather than mixing things up just for the sake of mixing. I get bored if I'm limited to just a few subtle neutrals. This is why I can't do Vivienne Files or other minimalist capsules. And this is why my closet is so huge and chaotic looking! Well, it's organized, but a big riot of color and pattern.

I thought when I got pregnant I would pare down and do a maternity capsule. Well, no, I just ended up using my old clothes and buying stretchy stuff and still didn't dress in capsules. The closest I've come to a real capsule is to buy a bunch of Tommy Bahama clothes in similar colors, that could serve as a travel capsule. I think that's the only time I really need to dress in capsules, because I can only bring so much stuff when I'm travelling.

I sure wish I could learn to think better in capsules--maybe it would help me get dressed faster in the morning! Any tips from you capsule masters? Or should I just let it go and chalk it up to personality differences and embrace my method?

32 comments

S/O lemming wear: Statement pieces--what are your unique signature items?

S/O of Una's lemming wear thread:
What are the statement items you own, which as far as you know, no other YLF'er has (yet!) and are a signature part of your style? Like if someone were to see that item they'd instantly think of you? Can't wait to see what you come up with--I'll be nodding my head in agreement and saying that's so you! And feel free to pipe up if you do have any of these items--I love discovering YLF twins!

Coats, shoes/boots, purses or patterned items tend to be the most memorable statement items. Mostly copied these pics from my style (r)evolution thread, so apologies for the repeats! 
1. Ms. Scarlet--Chanel red French Riviera purse
2. Aquatalia Vavoom burgundy patent zipper rain boots
2-3. Kate Spade Melissa black ruffle trench and Jillian black and white polka dot dress
4-5. Kate Spade Japanese floral print--I know some of you have the trench or the dress, but I don't think anyone has as many pieces as me (sheath dress, trench liner, satchel, sneakers, iPad and laptop cases) or is wearing three or more pieces at the same time, haha! ;)
6. Alberto Makali peacock print tunic
7. Kate Spade turquoise Shelley pumps (I think some of you got the cobalt), Kate Spade turquoise High Line Leica clutch and Anthro Liquid Acres skirt
8. Tory Burch cobalt and rust skirt and Chie Mihara rust sandals
9. Kate Spade orange slice purse
10. Betsey Johnson burgundy quilted hearts satchel
11. Banana Republic Mad Men green and navy dress and clutch

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16 comments

Spiegel lemmings roll call: Post your pics here!

Since everyone is getting their jackets now, I thought I would post a roll call to collect everyone's pics in one thread! Big fun!

And since the jacket is now down to $24, I ordered five in various sizes for my two sisters, my sister in law, mom, and teenage niece for Christmas presents. I used the HELLO15 code to get 15% off and Big Crumbs for an additional 4.2% off. That's about $20 each for a leather jacket. Wow! We are going to have fun being a biker chick gang this Christmas!

ETA: And feel free to post any leather jacket pic if you don't have the Spiegel--thanks lyn!

32 comments

I cleaned up my closet! (Share your pics too!)

I know there's a million other things I should be doing, but in the middle of the night a couple of nights ago I was up after feeding the baby and in a fit of energy, cleaned up my closet. Everything was all jumbled up and messy. I reorganized everything by type (SS shirts, LS shirts, skirts, jackets, pants, dresses) and color within each group, reorganized all my shoes, etc. Nice and tidy now! I also purged about 20 pieces of clothing & gave them to my sister, even some things I had just bought this year but weren't 10s. Like a green & white Anthro empire waist tunic (7) that I bought thinking I would use it during pregnancy--it didn't last long because it quickly got too short for my expanding tummy, and then postpartum the empire waist wasn't the most flattering b/c I still looked pregnant, plus with the back tie it makes it too hard to nurse in this top--I can't lift it up. So I let it go, because it's not practical for me. I purged some things a couple months ago too (my sister took most of it). So now my closet is back in shape and while I still have too many clothes (over 30 skirts and 30 dresses, yikes!), at least it's not super over-stuffed and messy anymore--I can see everything now and find things. I know I need to fix the boots--I used to have paper towel rolls in there but somehow they've disappeared, so I need to collect more or pony up for real boot trees.

Anyone else want to post closet pics too?

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25 comments

I got fitted but my bra size didn't change?! Advice?

Question for you bra experts. Pre-pregnancy I was fitted to be a 32DD. I have been wearing nursing bras (size M) since I delievered, but they're not as flattering because they are less supportive (no underwire) and the inner pad slides around and is difficult to keep in place. I also have an underwire nursing bra, but it doesn't feel like the right size (36C, so there's some extra unfilled volume in the cup up top). That was the best of the sizes they carry at Pea in the Pod, they don't have a lot of non-standard sizes. I find that I was not really using the nursing features of the bras anyways (I would just push it up instead of unclipping it), so I decided to go back to Nordstrom to find some regular bras at NAS. I had a fitting and she ended up putting me back into my pre-pregnancy size, 32DD. I tried a 34D and that was very similar fit in the cup and a little more comfy/stretchy, but she said the band was too loose (was on the middle instead of the last one) and that it would stretch out too much. I tried 32DDD but there was extra room in the cup. So I ended up buying the 32DD but am seriously scratching my head and wondering if I bought the wrong size. How can I be nursing yet be the same size as I was before? I feel like I'm bigger, and my old button down shirts are gaping more. So why did I end up with the same size? It would be more convenient for me so I could keep the bras after I stop nursing, but I'm wondering if I need to buy a bigger size. I wore the 32DD bra yesterday and found that I needed to unclip the bra at the back to pump, like it was too fitted to slide up and down. So should I go back for the 34D or stick with the 32DD? Confusing!

BTW, these are the two styles that fit the best on me at NAS:
Natori Hidden Glamour
Chantelle Intimates Basic Invisible Memory Foam T shirt bra
And these are the two nursing bra styles I have from Pea in the Pod:
Demi Underwire
Seamless Racerback

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16 comments

Faux pregnancy: draping makes all the difference! (apple pity party)

Ok, I have been debating whether or not to post these pics because they are so embarrassing, but then I figured we could all learn something from this, so here we go. As an apple, I have a love-hate (mostly hate) relationship with my belly. That all changed during my second and third trimester of pregnancy, when I was able to finally flaunt my belly and celebrate its sheer bigness! But now that I'm not pregnant anymore, I feel like I have to hide it again. I'm still about 8-10 lb over my pre-pregnancy weight, but I can fit back into most of my old clothes again. People are always commenting on how I don't look like I just had a baby 4 months ago, but they don't realize it's because of the way I dress. I've been working extra hard to hide it (although I'm too lazy/busy to work extra hard to get back into shape, LOL!).

I ordered this seahorse maxi dress for my upcoming party, but it was awful on me. I looked 4 months pregnant instead of 4 months postpartum (see #1 for the full faux preggo effect!). I would have loved to have worn this dress while I was pregnant. I kind of wish I was still pregnant so I could celebrate my belly instead of trying to conceal it all the time. Waah, I miss having an huge tummy. When I first got pregnant, I was so afraid of having to dress my bump, but now I feel like it was so much easier when I had a big one. Isn't that bizarre? Do any apples really love their belly and apple-ness or is it always something to minimize and "work with"? I'm not fat or body dysmorphic, I just have a (relatively compared to the rest of me) big tummy and now I don't have any excuse for it anymore.

Anyways, onto the lesson. I had posted something similar about draping for apples a year ago, using this dress as an example. I wore it today (#4), and yes, it still works very well for my shape even though I'm a few pounds up. What is the difference between the empire dress in 1-3 and the one in 4? They're very similar but the red one has a lot more draping and a side knot. Let me know if you can analyze the difference further, but as far as I can tell, cut and draping make all the difference between looking elegant and enceinte!

Thanks for your comments and for indulging me in my apple pity party. OK, back to chin up and carry on!

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