Why the “toss it if you haven’t worn it in a year” rule doesn’t work

When should you toss your clothes?
Photo via Pop Sugar

A common idea among for closet purging that I hear is the “if you haven’t worn it a year, then toss it” rule. While this philosophy can certainly help weed out things that aren’t worth keeping in the long run, it doesn’t always work.

Here’s why:

  • You may not have worn your wedding dress in the last year. But are you planning to toss that out? What about your grandpa’s hand knit sweater that was left to you? Make room for family heirlooms to stay. (They just don’t necessarily have to be taking up valuable real estate in the closet)
  • You may separate outfits or clusters of clothes that don’t function properly alone. If you know that the only time you wear a certain shirt is with a certain combination, hang onto it. Otherwise you’ll have nothing to wear with the rest of your outfit!

The unpleasant task of purging your closet is made more pleasant and illuminating when you hire an Image Consultant or Wardrobe Stylist to help you stay on task and give you a birds eye view of your wardrobe. I’d love to help you on your closet audit! While I’m based in the Seattle area, I offer virtual styling worldwide.


How do Dress from Work to Party

Recently I had a chance to style a segment for the zulily blog on how to take your daytime look to evening in a pinch by Claire Magruder, zulily’s in-house style expert. Here it is!

Ok ladies, November has arrived, and we all know what that means: Holiday parties, gift giving extravaganzas, piles and piles of cookies to bake, and all of this on top of your everyday workload!  All of the social events that come along with the holidays are such fun, but can seem a bit daunting when you think about your daily routine, and how to possibly fit it all in.  To make life a breeze from the office to a night out on the town, here are a few ways I stay organized day to night.

But first, the bag…

work to party bag

Make sure you have a designated tote bag with a simple makeup/hair kit, room for a great pair of heels, jewelry, dry shampoo, and a sparkly layer.  Carry this to work with you, or leave some of these little extras stashed in your desk.  You never know what events might pop up on the agenda at the last minute, and being able to do a simple prep to get party ready at the end of the work day makes life so much easier.

Rouge the night away

cherry red lip for going out

Cherry Red is the color of the season.  I’ve seen it all over the runways and in the pages of every magazine, and what I love about the color is that it’s easy to incorporate into your everyday routine. It can be as simple an addition to your work attire as a glossy red lip and red suede pumps.  Or,  try wearing a pretty red dress and blazer to work, then remove the jacket for night, add metallic heels and a clutch, throw your hair up in a casual French twist and you’re ready to hit the town!

It’s all in the details

work to party black pencil skirt

Most of us need to look polished, serious, and professional on the job, which often means basic black pencil skirts or A-line dresses and blazers.  If you don’t have much time to get ready for an after-work function, try something as simple as packing a pair of stockings that have some flair and detail to them.  My favorites right now are sheer black with a lace pattern, or anything with embellishments like little pearls or rhinestones.  I love how easy this makes dressing up… sometimes it’s just a little touch that really makes the outfit!

Smaller is better!

maroon skirt party outfit

Always pack a smaller purse to bring out at night.  I suggest a cross body bag that you can fit the essentials in… house keys, credit cards, phone, lipstick of course, and leave your work items at the office.  That way you’re not lugging a big bag around all night, and you can bring everything else home the next day.

Don’t forget to add eyeliner!

eyeliner for after work event

Nothing says party like a smoky eye, and what an easy update this is.  I don’t go overboard here, just a little extra liner to define the eyes do the trick.  Smudge it in a bit, add a shimmery highlight right below the brows, and you’re all set.

Add a little sparkle

sequined skirt party outfit

Sequins are my major holiday go-to because they’re such a seasonal fashion item.  I love sequined pencil skirts paired with a flowy blouse, or cozy lightweight crew neck sweater.  Again, stay simple with this trend and wear just one piece that incorporates sparkle.  I always try to balance the whole look, so that I’m on trend and look festive, but still approachable.

Channel your inner rocker with a moto jacket

moto jacket party look

Office holiday parties are always the hardest to dress for.  You want to look festive and pretty, but it’s important that you maintain a sense of professionalism… maybe save the mini skirt for girl’s night out?  My go-to are always black pants, with a bunch of sparkly bling.  Statement necklaces or chandelier earrings brighten up that basic, and a leather moto jacket is the perfect topper to stay warm while out and about.

Remember to have fun with it all and that the holidays only come once a year.  I try to revel in the business, and enjoy the hustle and bustle while it lasts… soon the festivities will die down, and we’ll all be back to our regular routine in the New Year.  Celebrate now with a little extra festive fashion thrown in for good measure and check out our work to party event from 11/10/2015 to 11/12/2015.

zulily Trend Expert- Claire Magruder

claire magruder

As zulily’s trend and fashion expert, Claire constantly has her eye on what’s next. Whether it’s the best new look for an upcoming event, that necklace you just have to have, or a bigger picture look at this season’s trends, Claire is our go-to for fashion and style advice.

Claire has a background in styling and design, with published work in the likes of Martha Stewart Living, Good Housekeeping, OK Magazine, Seattle Magazine, and more.  She has worked on such television series and feature films as Boardwalk Empire, The Big C, The Today Show, The Martha Stewart Show, Winter’s Tale, and more. Claire is the founder and author of the blog, That Pleasant Surprise, which focuses on finding the beauty in our everyday lives.

Claire lives in Seattle with her husband and Black Lab, “Scout”, and loves exploring the beautiful Northwest with weekend hikes, ski trips in the mountains, and boat rides on the Puget Sound.  Traveling to new places is a passion, and her favorite way to discover the newest and greatest next thing.  Sharing all of this, and life’s great experiences with friends and family is the icing on the cake!


Your Outfit is Your Calling Card


It happens a lot. People I meet tell me how much they love my outfit.

Your outfit is your calling card. Your vibe attracts your tribe!

A woman I recently met said that she could tell she wanted to hire me as her stylist based on my personal style alone. The way you choose to adorn yourself can attract more of your tribe to you. 

Let’s capitalize on this! Choose your image with intention and watch what flows into your life.

Fall Fashion Showcase: Tuesday 9/29 at New Tomorrow


Fall has arrived in Seattle and we couldn’t be more thrilled. If you’re itching to incorporate some fresh flavor into your fall ensemble, have we got the event for you!

Wardrobe Stylist Sarah Ward​ and Makeup Artist Mimi Banasik​ have teamed up to bring you an evening of fall style where you’ll get actionable tips on how to wear the latest looks from the runway. See Sarah’s top trends for fall and watch Mimi demonstrate the latest makeup looks! Plus, you’ll receive a goodie bag to take home with makeup samples to try. What’s not to love?

Grab your girlfriends and join us for champagne and style!

  • Tuesday, September 29th @ 7-9pm
  • New Tomorrow @ 10th Ave. S. &  E. Pike in Seattle
  • Tickets are free, bring a friend! Register at Eventbrite

When Trends Go Too Far: Oversize Wool Jacket


Sometimes fashion trends can go too far. We all know that wearing oversize clothes are all the rage right now — oversize plain white tees, boyfriend jeans, boyfriend blazers — but here’s an example of how a trend can swing too far in the wrong direction. It’s practically comical!

This Oversize Wool Jacket was selling for $2000+ at a popular local retailer.

When considering fashion trends, you don’t have to adopt all of them. Adopt the trends that work for you and leave the rest. And if you really like this look, I promise you it would be much cheaper to raid your dad’s closet!



KonMari Japanese Method of Tidying: Eliminating Clothes

konmari-magic-of-tidying-upRecently I have been reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo and have been enthralled with the KonMari Japanese method, particularly when it comes to clothing.

Eliminating clothing is the first area to tackle when tidying up and she encourages us to pull everything out of the drawers and closets and sort each item individually, asking:

“Does this bring me joy?”

And if it doesn’t, the item is discarded.

Next she suggests going vertical with folding your clothes. Rather than stacking items on top of one another she suggests turning folded items on their sides so each item is visible. It even takes up less space!

This week my husband and I took a day follow the KonMari method for eliminating clothes, identifying what clothes bring us joy, discarding the ones that don’t, and then sorting and folding the remaining items in a systematic way.

Fall is a perfect time of the year to pull everything out of your closets where you can see them and see what’s working and what’s not. Would you like help? With our “Wardrobe Evaluation” Closet Audit we come to your home and guide you through the evaluation and elimination process. It’s always more fun with company! Contact us if you’d like to explore a Closet Audit with us!

Closet Hacks You Need To Know

By Hannah West

An organized closet doesn’t just look nice. It saves you time as you get ready every day. Knowing exactly where that blue blouse or that green tie is makes for a lot less frustration, especially when you’re already pressed for time. Implement these strategies for a mess-free, eye-pleasing, and time-saving closet.

Don’t Confine Clothes to Your Closet

closet by modernize
Via Modernize

If you limit storage space for clothes and shoes to a dark, tiny hole in the wall, you’re probably dealing with a very stuffed, messy closet. But clothes aren’t something that you have to hide. In fact, you can have a stylish closet that’s an integral part of your bedroom. Use built-in shelving with racks and drawers to turn your crammed mess of clothes into an organized display. You can even turn that section of your room into a staging area with mirrors and a vanity.

Use Hooks to Hang Multiple Garments in One Spot

One of the most ingenious space saving techniques is to use S-hooks or chains to hang several hangers in the same spot, one under the other. This works best if you have a tall closet that’s not very wide. It takes up a bit more vertical space, but leaves so much more horizontal space up for grabs.

Keep Your Shoes Somewhere Else

Shoes are a real space hogger, especially when you take the trouble to keep them organized in boxes or on shelves. Instead of finding room for them in a small closet, store them on a sliding tray under the bed or on a decorative shoe ladder. There are plenty of DIY solutions for creative and attractive shoe storage if you’re willing to think outside the closet.

Organize by Color

organize by color
Via Modernize

For some people, organizing clothes by color may be a waste of time. But if you have a whole wardrobe of business clothes that are essentially the same except for variations in color and pattern, this is an easy way to throw together a coordinating look on the fly.

Hang Racks on the Back of the Door

The back of a closet door is useful space that often goes unused. It’s a great place for a basket that holds scarves or small purses or a hook that holds ties. You can even install shelves on the back of the door for serious extra storage space.

The Three Week Minimizing Rule

closet organization
Via Modernize

Getting rid of stuff is the most obvious but most painful solution to cramped closet woes. Sometimes there’s just no way around it. Narrow down what you keep to what you actually wear in a three week period, barring items that are out of season. To make it a little less tough to get rid of things you’ve invested in, choose a splurge item. If you’re a big shoe fan, come up with an organization system that allows you to keep all your shoes. If you are a purveyor of cute cocktail dresses, let that be your cheat item and keep all the ones you could see yourself wearing in the future. That small allowance will make it easier to stick to the rules on everything else.

For more ideas and inspiration, head to Modernize.com.

Shop Till You Drop

personal shopper seattle

Shop till you drop is a real thing.

This week my lovely and talented friend Alexandra drove to Seattle this week so we could get our shop on. This successful car journalist just landed a fabulous new gig recently so she was looking for a handful of pieces to add to her collection. We cleaned up at Forever 21​ and sent her back to Vancouver with a rack’s worth of new threads. Driving from Vancouver to Seattle, having a marathon shopping trip and driving back to Vancouver, all in one day? Shop till you drop indeed!

Alexandra’s favorite piece of clothing is the blazer and she wears them all the time — it’s part of her personal brand. We gushed about blazers over dinner and agreed that blazers were so fabulous because they:

  1. Help you hold people’s attention longer
  2. Balance your body type, especially for women with triangular body types that have fuller hips and narrower shoulders
  3. Elevate any outfit

Wearing a blazer is a great way to use your clothing as a resource to help you achieve your goals. Obviously Alexandra’s obsession with blazers is working out in her favor!

Forever21 had a phenomenal selection of blazers in gorgeous colors. Go see for yourself!

Let me take you shopping! We’ll have a blast while we hustle and find clothes that look like you!

How to Tie Your Scarf in a Bow


Are you looking for a new and creative way to tie your scarf? Why not tie it in a bow?

Recently I styled a Betsey Johnson accessories photo shoot and we had this glittery lipstick scarf to showcase. What better way to show off a piece with so much character than to tie it in a bow! Our adorable model totally embodied the Betsey spirit and we threw in a MAC Ruby Woo lipstick for good measure. (Photo: Will Bossen)

Here’s a quick scarf bow-tying tutorial from Hermes:

tie your scarf in a bow hermes

Style Icon Iris Apfel Is Selling Her Accessories!

Iris Apfel is a renown decorator, textile designer, and style icon extraordinaire. Her wardrobe is one of a kind, and if you want to own a part of it, you’re in luck. In an unprecedented move, Apfel has begun to sell furniture and jewelry from her private collection via One King’s Lane.

iris apfel new york times
Iris Apfel via the New York Times

When one thinks of Iris Apfel what likely comes to mind is the art of wearing accessories. Here are a few memorable quotes from Apfel about what accessories can do to elevate your wardrobe.

My mother knew if you bought a couple of really good architectural outfits and put your money into accessories, you could create a million different looks. She taught that to me, which I think was invaluable.

Invest in basics in your wardrobe, then use accessories to change your look.

iris apfel pem
Photo: PEM

I get more compliments on accessories than anything else. I think they’re kind of like herbs and spices. They give zest and zing to an outfit.

You can really make an outfit yours by how you accessorize.

Here are a few memorable pieces from her collection.

iris apfel jewelry collection.jpg

A / B / C / D / E / F / G

Check out her sale!