It’s Beginning to Look a Lot like Christmas… in my closet!

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot like Christmas… in my closet!

I  love December! The lights, the music, the joy, the bubby that is at every party (that might have something to do with all the joy) and… the clothes! Ha! Really though, it’s a full month of holiday wear and it can be like a little daunting. No fear, I pulled some holiday-inspired clothes from my own closet to help you out. Most of these items I already owned, but a few are new pieces. I linked similar items to the clothes I purchased in previous years so you can buy the look now.

Psst…check out the sidebar. Now you can shop my looks straight from the blog! Also, you can follow me on the LiketoKnow.it app. Remember though… shop your closet first!

vest

This may not scream holiday, but I love the colors and it has some metallic thread that goes through it which makes it more festive. Vests for our southern fall/winter are perfect and while this is one I found last year (you ready for this… at Sams. Yes, the wholesale club!), I linked another one that would work. Ideally I would have worn this to go get our Christmas tree. Instead, I never changed after my workout and wore lululemon leggings and a white tee shirt!

flurryskirt

Anthropologie has my number. I’d pretty much buy anything in that store. I went in for this gorgeous Christmas plaid skirt, but it didn’t look quite right on me. I tried this snow flurry skirt on and loved it! Paired it with a red sweater (it is SO soft) and voila… looked like I was out of an 50’s holiday movie. Ok, maybe not, but I wore it the Nutcracker and may pull it out for some parties later in the season. I can see wearing this skirt all winter. with a white top. And the red sweater will make a repeat appearance in this post.

redsweater

Well, here it is again! I bought these velvet pants from Loft last year. I’ve linked similar ones they currently have in stock. How easy and classic is this outfit? I’m totally wearing this to one of my kid’s school parties. Here’s a tip when you wear red… if you are wearing red lipstick it needs to match exactly. If it doesn’t, opt for a pinky nude color. I learned this from Lauren at About Face in Mandeville. Miss that place!

fancyblouse

There was a time when I thought I would die before I wore faux leather leggings. Ha! Well, this is my second year owning these Spanx leather leggings and I adore them. I love pairing them with a pretty blouse for either a holiday happy hour or dinner. This banana republic shirt is from last year, but I linked one I had my eye on at Anthropologie. Pardon my door in the shot… I’m trying to get better at this!

madewellplaid

Christmas Plaid is my jam. I have Christmas plaid place mats, Christmas plaid ribbon for our tree and a Christmas plaid blouse! I bought this top from Madewell last year, but there is TONS of Christmas plaid out there this season. I’ve linked a few of my favorites! And… my velvet pants. These are going to show up a lot.

jcrewplaid

Did you think I was going to forget about my cropped Paige denim in the winter? No way! And look – more Christmas plaid! I bought this shirt several years ago from J Crew (remember y’all… shop your closet first!), and I still wear it. It’s flannel and so comfy. At some point we will take the kids to the Holiday Lights at Constellation Field and I plan on throwing this on to wear assuming it isn’t 80 degrees outside!

bomber

A sequined bomber. This is one my most favorite things I purchased when I worked at a darling boutique in Mandeville. Here I have paired with my black flares and some glitzy shoes, but it would just as cute with some skinny jeans and tennis shoes for a casual NYE celebration! I’ve linked a beautiful sequined blazer from Nordstrom so you can get the same look.

onearmtop

Ok. Now this is one of my all-time favorite tops! It’s Crosby by Mollie Burch. If you haven’t checked out this line, you should. It’s pricey, but for a few statement pieces, I think it’s worth it. There is something about a pretty black top. I’ve worn this top more times than I can count in the past year. For the holidays I paired it with my velvet pants, glitzy shoes and some shiny earrings. Also, funny story, every time I wear all black I think of Tiffany at We Five Kings (are you following her? you should!). She posted a funny meme about how she doesn’t usually wear all black so every time I do I think of her!

blazer

You didn’t think I’d leave this post without styling my favorite white tee for the holidays, did you? Really though this is all about the velvet blazer! I bought this last year at Nordstrom (linked a similar one!) and I wore it over my cocktail dresses to holiday parties and over white tees for a girls night out!

So, maybe you don’t have ALL of this in your closet, and you aren’t about to go spend a ton for an entire holiday wardrobe so what should you get? I’d vote for the velvet pants or velvet blazer. Both of these items can be worn in a casual or dressy setting and you can find both at a decent price point. If you are really feeling it also maybe get a Christmas plaid shirt. You’ll wear it year after year!

Next post… the two cocktail dresses I’ll be wearing to all my holiday parties!

Have a holly jolly day friends!

SarahSignature-Pink

p.s. Do you like the OFF can on my front porch in the first picture? ha! It’s obvious we live in Texas!

 

Lesson Learned: Don’t wait on Nordstrom Collaborations!

Lesson Learned: Don’t wait on Nordstrom Collaborations!

Well, I should have known better. I waited until after the kids were in bed before hammering out this blog post and my favorite sweater and skirt from Halogen x Atlantic Pacific collaboration are sold out. I’m so bummed. Not that I’m entirely sure where I’m wearing a black maxi tulle skirt, but man… it was so cute!

If you don’t know Atlantic Pacific, you should. It’s Blair Eadie’s fashion blog. She blogged before almost anyone else and she is a major influencer. Her style is self-described as east coast meets west coast. It’s very feminine, a little whimsical and totally fun. In my alternate reality – the one where I moved to New York, stay single and work in publishing – I would dress like Blair Eadie every day and traipse around New York in bows and heels. But I live in Sugar Land and really have no need for a black maxi tulle skirt (I can’t stop thinking about it!). I did find a few pieces that caught my eye that I think “every day” people could wear. I’ll keep my eye out for my favorite sweater. I can’t believe I missed it!!

tweeddress

blackpump
Classic Pump. With a bow! I love bows!

balloonsweater

bowjacket
More bows! I love dressy jackets!
gloves
Lavender Gloves, because why just wear black ones?
tieredtulle
I can’t justify this purchase, but it’s a PINK TULLE SKIRT! It’s basically me as a skirt!
widelegpant
Great black pants!
wraptop
I love faux wrap tops! And this print is a lot of fun!
strappyshoes
A black strappy shoe should be in every closet, don’t you think?

 

I really do love this collection! All of it. I would buy every piece if I could!

So, lesson learned: don’t take your time to shop these collaborations! I’ll be a little more on top of it next collection!

xoxo –

SarahSignature-Pink

What to Wear Wednesday: Navy

Yikes! It’s been a while since a blog post! I am still getting in my groove with the start of school, extracurriculars for the kids, and a new part time job for me. That’s right… there was no Friday Finds this week because I found a job! Side note: Friday Finds will be back this week!

I’m helping out the business development team at Rockland Insurance part time and so far, I love it! Great people, fun work, and I do most of my work from home which is great because I’m a busy mom. In my new role, I had to pick out a couple of shirts if and when I represent Rockland. I ordered a shirt in navy. A fellow Rockland employee, we will call her Tangie, mentioned that she always thought about ordering a navy shirt, but she wasn’t quite sure what to wear navy with, which spurred on this What to Wear Wednesday post.

I think of navy as a neutral. You can wear it with almost anything! Here are just a few of the combinations I quickly threw together using clothes already in my closet. Key word – quickly! Like in 15 minutes. At 7:30 pm. The light was gone so I took these on the floor in L’s room! I’m working on the photos. They’re going to get there, guys. Just keep hanging with me!

navywhitenavyolivegreennavyorangenavyrednavygreen

A few combos I would have liked to include, but didn’t have are navy and gray; navy and animal print; navy and a floral print! I am on a search for new gray jeans. Any recs? What’s your favorite way to wear navy?

All the jewelry featured in today’s post is Virtue Jewelry – my favorite line! Their web site just launced – virtuejewelry.com and you can use SOS20 to get 20% off your purchase. Do it! You won’t regret it!

And Tangie… order a navy shirt!

Want to Dress like Fall While it Still Feels Like Summer?

Want to Dress like Fall While it Still Feels Like Summer?

“September days are here with summer’s best of weather and autumn’s best of cheer.” – Helen Hunt Jackson

September is such a weird month for those of us in Houston. Summer is over. School is back in session. Fall Festivals, Halloween, and Oktoberfest are around the corner, but it can still feel like over 100 degrees with the heat index. People seem split on whether to embrace fall in September or to wait. I see some people on Instagram drinking a Pumpkin Spice Latte everyday and breaking out their fall decor. Others hold on to the last bit of summer for as long as they can. Me? I’m kind of in the middle. I put up my fall wreath yesterday, but am holding of on ingesting anything pumpkin until later in the month.

So what about clothes? How do you dress in September – especially if you are already toting around your PSL – but are sweating from door to door? My suggestions are finding fall colors and in “summer” silhouettes or fabrics. I look for warm autumn tones in sleeveless or short sleeve tops. When it gets cooler (like October) I’ll throw my moto jacket over it and get more wear out of it. I also look for dresses that are lightweight fabric. Below are some recent finds that I wanted to share and some older things from my closet that may give you ideas of how to put together items you may already have in your own closet.

This top from 1.State fits the bill. It is sleeveless and loose-fitting so it keeps you cool, but I love that the colors are burnt orange and deep purples. I paired it with my distressed cropped jeans (I really am liking Level 99 jeans lately) and my white mules. And I can’t forget my Virtue Jewelry bracelets I wear every day. No lie. Really I wear them every day.

1.state top.jpg
Top – 1.State Jeans – Level 99 Shoes – Marc Fisher Bracelets – Virtue Jewelry

This fabric on this H&M dress is so pretty! I’m wearing this with my white mules (again). The dress is light, too, so it is easy to wear now and when it’s cooler I’ll pair it with tall boots. It’s also the cheapest item on this list at $25!

H&MDress2.jpg
Dress – H&M Shoes – Marc Fisher

This outfit I pulled together from my own closet. The top is a Banana Republic find from earlier in the summer and these are my burnt orange jeans I’ve had for three years. Hey, burnt orange isn’t just for game day anymore! And I’m wearing these acrylic tortoise Virtue earrings a lot while I’m transitioning my wardrobe. They go with everything!

burntorangejeanswhitetop.jpg
Similar Jean (I’m LOVING these!): J Brand Similar Top: 1.State Similar Shoes: Marc Fisher

Are you an early adopter of fall fashion and decor or do you wait until it actually feels like fall? Either way – Happy September!

SarahSignature-Pink

 

 

Rainy Labor Day and 40% Off at Banana Republic

Rainy Labor Day and 40% Off at Banana Republic

Well, we aren’t spending the last day of summer in the sunshine or water. We are predicted to have thunderstorms all day. Sometimes I love thunderstorm days. It forces us to stay inside and be a little lazy. Well, if I’m honest I love one thunderstorm day. Anything beyond that and I get cabin fever. I won’t be out shopping today. We are headed home from the lake and I have laundry to do and lunches to pack to get ready for tomorrow, but I did find a good online sale!

My favorite “chain” store to shop at is Banana Republic. When I worked full-time in an office setting I wore BR almost every day. Their clothes are pretty classic so I  wear them multiple years. It’s a great place to get basic pieces and they always have good sales. Today, EVERYTHING is 40% off! Here are my top picks from their sale.

BRCAMEL
Camel Sweater – I love the color camel! This is a great basic piece to have in your closet this fall, but if camel isn’t your thing, they have LOTS of different colors.

BRCashmere
Cashmere Sweater – Washable Cashmere?! Sign me up! This top is perfect for our Houston “fall.”

BRMAxi
Maxi Dress – I have no idea where I’d wear this dress. I just like it!

BRUtility
Utility Shirt – I see wearing this with jeans to PTO meetings or a nicer lunch or church with slacks. I’ll probably jazz it up with some fun earrings. I’d also suggest getting the olive green color although blue is pretty classic. Get both! They are 40% off!

BRpants
Black Pants – The weather during Holiday party season in Texas can either be 70 degrees or 28 degrees! Last year, I was FREEZING when we went to J’s holiday party and I thought, I wish I had pants to wear. These are those pants. Pair these pants with a silky top and some glittery earrings for those cold holiday parties.

BRmidi
Tulle Midi Skirt – I’ve always wanted a tulle skirt. Maybe it’s the wannabe ballerina in me. Maybe I’ve watched too much Sex and the City, but here it is… a tulle skirt!

BRearrings
Earrings – I love this pop of green!

BRheartsweater
Heart Sweater – What a fun whimsical sweater! I’m wearing this with black jeans and my white mules!

 

BRhilo
Sleeveless Hi/lo Turtleneck – The PERFECT layering top!

Enjoy your day off!

SarahSignature-Pink

Friday Finds: Mid-Life, H&M Dresses and Freezer Meals!

Friday Finds: Mid-Life, H&M Dresses and Freezer Meals!

This week I took advantage of just having H home on Monday and Wednesday. We tried to go to the movies (the movie didn’t work!) and did go to the Art Museum. Today, J and I are taking him to a water park for his “last day of summer.” Lazy summer mornings are nice, but I am so looking forward to getting into a routine when “big kid” school starts on Monday.

Below are my Friday Finds!

Mid-Life Wellness Tune-Up Guide
I really enjoyed this New York Times article about a mid-life wellness tune-up. Am I middle-aged? I guess so. That thought was a little depressing, but then I realized… “Wow, I, hopefully, have a lot of years ahead of me. Let’s make the most out of it.”  I really liked the part about creating a mid-life mission statement. It seemed cheesy when I first read it, but you’re only going to live the kind of life you want by being intentional so you might as well it down and get to living.

Liz & Honey Top
I love this top. I’m a sucker for ribbons and bows. Wear it with black jeans and look instantly put together.

kaylatop

H&M Dress
Remember, when I made my fall wardrobe list? I had something floral on there, and this H&M dress fits the bill! It’s under $30 and I can easily wear this through our Houston fall to church, PTO meetings, lunch, dinner… it’s a good buy!

H&MDress

Healthy Homemade Snacks & Breakfasts
Next week marks the beginning of the school year for H! I’m excited for him (and who’s kidding… me, too), but the only thing I don’t love is that he has lunch at 10:30! That’s so early! He does have a snack later in the day though. Since it’s the beginning of the year and I think I can be super mom I plan on making his snack so he has something nutritious and filling. I’m making  Hidden Veggie Muffins and Homemade Granola Bars from the cookbook Against All Grain. I’ll probably throw a cheese stick in there, too. Ask me what I’m sending for his snack in April and my answer might be a bag of baked Cheetos. But hey… beginning of the school year mom is on top of it. I am also planning on making these scrambled egg muffins with cheese and bacon for a filling, fast breakfast. We are going to be struggling on Monday morning to get to school by 7:30!

Freezer Meals.
I am going to post my menu plan for the week tomorrow, but this weekend I’m also going to be making some freezer meals. These are the two recipes I’m making:
Cilantro Lime Grilled Chicken and One Pan Tuscan Chicken Pasta Bake. I’ve made the grilled cilantro lime chicken before, but the pasta bake will be new for me. I’m going to have to double the pasta bake since J likes to take leftovers for lunch.  It’s nice to have a couple of freezer meals on hand for when life gets busy or you don’t feel like cooking.

Just a reminder that the Theater District’s Open House is on Sunday. You should check it out if you are free!

Have a wonderful weekend!

SarahSignature-Pink

 

What to Wear Wednesday: Timid About Trends

What to Wear Wednesday: Timid About Trends

Question: So I’m generally kind of a late adopter of clothing trends. I wait to see what actually sticks around more than one season and then I’ll buy it. Let’s use skinny jeans as an example- I’ve finally gotten rid of all my boot cut, wide leg jeans and of course now they are becoming more trendy. So do you just get rid of all your skinny jeans at once or is it a slow transition? I feel like i have finally truly adopted the whole skinny jean thing and now it’s not so trendy

This is a good question! I understand being hesitant about new trends. I look back and think there are a couple of trends I probably should have skipped. I’m looking at you trucker hats in the early 2000s. You don’t want to spend money on something trendy that you are only going to wear for one season. The good news is that most trends do stick around for at least a couple of seasons. Let’s take jeans. Skinny jeans are not “out.” You’ll still see them being sold and worn, it is just that they aren’t as trendy as cropped denim. I wouldn’t suggest you throw out all your skinny jeans. Keep them. Wear them! They’re going to be here for a while. But, if you want to try a trendier denim – go get a pair of cropped flares. Buy a cheaper pair, like these from Old Navy, to see how you like them and if you wear them. Think of it as adding variety to your wardrobe instead of replacing something in your wardrobe. If you find you are wearing the new denim frequently, you might want to add another pair to your wardrobe in a different wash. Or try a different brand. Or get longer flares you can wear with booties and heels.

oncroppeddenim

Try the cropped denim trend for under $30 with these Old Navy Jeans!

Sometimes you need to be patient when buying a new trend. I saw denim skirts everywhere this spring and I wanted one, but couldn’t pull the trigger for various reasons. They didn’t fit right, and the ones that did were like $200. I kept a denim skirt in the back of my mind and guess what… I found one at Target for $20 last week. My patience finally paid off!

IMG-6164

(this picture is driving me crazy. I’m working on it y’all). Skirt: Universal Thread at Target / T Shirt: Marine Layer / Shoes: Ecco / Earrings and Bracelets: Virtue Jewelry (can be found at various boutiques)

Here are some more tips when trying out new trends:

  1. Know that you might to feel a little uncomfortable at first trying out a new trend. But it should make you feel good when you wear it. If all you are thinking about is how awkward you feel then maybe that is not the trend for you to follow. A little uncomfortable is OK. Totally awkward is not OK.
  2. Start small. Get one item. Don’t go “all in.” And don’t get rid of all your other clothes.
  3. As I mentioned before, try a less expensive version of whatever trend you want to try.
  4. Sometimes, I find it easier to follow trends when it comes to accessories. You look current without having to update your entire wardrobe. For example, acrylic earrings are hot this fall. I like these. There are some great, affordable purses at Nordstrom, too. Get one in a popular fall color (this one is a personal fave) and you’ll look on point in your skinny jeans and army green purse.
  5. Don’t feel like you have to follow every trend. Style is personal and unique. Maybe instead of trendy, you are more tailored and classic. That’s OK! Learn what looks good on you and what you feel comfortable wearing. Just stay away from the trucker hats!

Hope this helps!

xoxo –

SarahSignature-Pink

Your Fall Wardrobe Step 3: Making Purchases

Your Fall Wardrobe Step 3: Making Purchases

Did you know there are some people who don’t like to shop? Seriously, there are. I don’t understand these people, because I think I could shop all day, every day. So for me, step 3 of prepping your fall wardrobe – making purchases – is my favorite step of all, but for some people it’s daunting and not enjoyable. I’m going to try and lay out some guidelines to help make this step a little easier for those of you who don’t like to shop. Or, you know, you can just call me and I’ll go shopping for you.

  1. Take the pressure off. You don’t have to buy everything at once.
  2. Set a budget that makes sense for you and your family. Then decide what you are willing to spend more on. For me, that is denim. Good denim lasts. I have a nine-year old pair of Citizens of Humanity jeans that I still wear.
  3. Make it fun! Grab a girlfriend who will give you honest feedback and make a day of it!

We are going to continue using my list as an example. I’ve crossed out all the things I’ve found in my closet.

Cropped Denim
Floral
Polka Dots
Marigold color
White Shoes
Mules
Black/White
Lavendar/Pink
Stripes
Moto Jacket

When you look at your list, think about what makes the most sense for you to buy.  Don’t walk into a store and buy the first floral item that catches your eye. I really want a high-end floral dress like this one, but… I have no place to wear this dress and it doesn’t fit my lifestyle. Plus, slightly out of my price range. So, a floral top to wear with my cropped denim makes so much sense for my day to day life. Here is my first floral top pick.
floraltop

But, I’m not sure how this would fit in my overall budget, so this Old Navy top is a contender, too.
ONfloral

It’s kind of like a game of tetris. If I buy the white shoes, I’ll get the Old Navy top. If I decide I don’t really need the white shoes (spoiler alert – I already bought them!), then maybe I can get the $100 top.

Below are my other picks for the remaining items on my list.

Marigold Colormarigold
I love this sweater! It’s casual, comfy and such a great color!
Other picks: This Forever 21 Sweater looks like a great bargain buy!
F21sweater

White Shoes
white mules
This was a trend last year, but I was hesitant. This year, I’m all in. Get ready to see these shoes a lot!
Other picks: I’ve always had good luck with Sbicca shoes.
sbicca

Mules
bowmules
I’m a sucker for a bow. This blue color is great to use as a neutral, too!
Other picks: I like this mule for an edgier look!
studded mule

Lavender/Pink

I’m still on the hunt, for the perfect lavender piece, but I adore this pink sweater. It looks more like a fall pink to me
halogenruffle

 

Stripes

I’ve had my eye on this sweater for a while now. I might be putting it on my Christmas/Birthday list.
StripedSweaters
Other picks: This Loft sweater looks like a great, easy and affordable striped sweater to add to your wardrobe.
loftsweater

Moto Jacket 
motojacket

I am so excited about this moto jacket! I plan to wear it a lot when the weather gets cooler. Over white t-shirts (I wear white t-shirts a lot), over dresses, over everything!
Other picks: I guess I like BLANKNYC jackets! This suede moto jacket in the bank roll is really pretty.
suedemoto
Happy Shopping!

p.s. Next year we are going to go through this exercise BEFORE the big Nordstrom sale so you can take advantage of the sale prices for great fall items!

xoxo –

SarahSignature-Pink

Your Fall Wardrobe Step 2: Making a List & Shopping Your Closet

Your Fall Wardrobe Step 2: Making a List & Shopping Your Closet

Let me start off by saying that I have no credentials to tell you what to wear. I am obviously not a fashion editor or stylist. I am just a mom who likes clothes and wants to help other people like me feel good in the clothes they wear. I also believe that not every trend is right for every person. You aren’t in to polka dots… don’t wear them! Ok, disclaimer over. Wait, one more disclaimer – taking photos for a blog is so awkward. If anyone wants to be my model, please let me know!

One day in Louisiana at a playgroup date, we were talking about new fall trends. My friend, Erica, said “Oh, I need to put denim flares on my list.” I was so confused. I asked her what she meant and she told me every season she makes a list of what trends she wants to buy. This was genius to me. I love lists. I always have. This idea makes it easy to stay focused on what to buy for the season. Sometimes I get overwhelmed with the amount of stuff thrown at me through my Instagram feed.  A list helps me to be a bit more focused. So, without further delay, here my personal list for Fall.

Cropped Denim
Floral
Polka Dots
Marigold color
White Shoes
Mules
Stripes
Black/White
Lavendar/Pink
Stripes
Moto Jacket

It may seem long and you are thinking… geez, how would I afford to buy ALL that stuff for the fall? Guess what? You don’t have to! You probably have some of this stuff in your closet already! A friend of mine, who did have the credentials to tell people what to wear, would always remind her clients to “shop your closet first.” Last year, I was convinced I needed casual booties. Then I went and shopped my closet and found the Elaine Turner gray booties I received as a gift two years ago. I crossed casual booties off my list.  So, now that you’ve done step 1 of cleaning out your closet, go through your clothes with your list in hand and see what you can find.

For example, remember that eight-year old polka dotted Forever 21 top I showed y’all on Thursday? Here it is styled with black flares (that I already owned) and my moto jacket. Instant update. I’m wearing this on a date night or out with friends.

updatedf21

I also found another polka dot top in my closet that can be dressed up or down. Notice the cropped denim in the casual picture? These jeans didn’t come that way. They were long, but I cut them to exactly where I wanted them to be cropped. Then I sent them through the wash. Do you have a pair of jeans that fit you well that you could crop yourself?

dressypolka.jpg

casualpolka.jpg

Do you have a white t-shirt you can layer with a moto jacket? Or wear by itself with a pair of jeans and fun mules?

motowhitet

(I look like I belong in the Top Gun Sequel – ha!)

whitetshirtmules

Another easy “mom” look. This is my favorite t-shirt dress updated for fall. I threw on a denim jacket and voila… great for school drop offs on cool mornings (you know, when it’s below 70 degrees). Also, if you have a tank dress throw a moto jacket over it to edge it up a bit for a night out on the town.

tshirtdress.jpg

tankmoto

I hope you are seeing that you already have trendy fall outfits in your closet – you just have to shop your closet with fresh eyes. You may not have these exact pieces, but be creative and think outside the box. And feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions about how to style what is already in your closet. Send me an email (sarah@stateofsarah.com) with a photo and I’ll help you update that piece of clothing in a totally different way!

Step 3 coming later this week… how to make purchases from your list for fall! Enjoy shopping your closet!

SarahSignature-Pink

 

 

 

 

Your Fall Wardrobe Step 1: Girl, clean out your closet!

Your Fall Wardrobe Step 1:  Girl, clean out your closet!

School is about to start. Sweaters and booties are appearing in stores. Fall is coming. But, for us in Texas that means pretty much nothing. It will be hot through September. If we are lucky, we will have cool mornings in October, followed by warm afternoons. It’s hard to get excited about fall clothes when it is literally 100 degrees outside. I am here to help you get excited though! I want to show you how you can follow fall trends without spending tons of cash. I am not the blogger who is going to be showing you $500 booties. I love the $500 booties. I stare at the $500 booties. I pick them up and lust after them in the Nordstrom shoe section, but the $500 booties are not conducive to my lifestyle. Or my budget.  Or my marriage. I’m getting off track. Shoes will do that to me.

Before you start planning for your fall wardrobe, you need to clean our your closet! Not like “Ho-hum, I’m getting rid of a shirt or two,” I mean, go through EVERYTHING in your closet. This is a good habit to get into twice a year. You will be amazed at what you will find. For example, when I was cleaning out my closet I found this dress. I bought it in the fall of 1998 as a Homecoming dress. That was twenty years ago. And by the way,  I never even got asked to Homecoming that year. I’m not bitter about that at all. It was just my senior year homecoming… no big deal. This dress has never been worn. It is 20 years old and has been moved more times than I can count. Why do I have this dress? It doesn’t even fit me right anymore. This needs to go!

homecomingdress1

homecomingdress2

Another dress. This white dress was purchased in the summer of 1999 at Saks for rush at UT. Ugh… that is a story for another time! Anyway, the day of formal night (or whatever it is called – I’ve seriously blocked it from my memory) I got a call from an older friend who had gone through rush. She told me “I heard you have a white dress. Don’t wear a white dress. Go to Emeralds and find something else.” So I did. And this white dress sat in my closet for TEN years unworn. I finally had a chance to wear it to one of my bridal showers nine years ago. I haven’t worn it since. I’m probably not going to wear it again.  Why do I have this dress? It needs to go. (ps – can those of us who lived in Austin have a moment of silence for Emeralds? Miss that place!)

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(Can we also pause to talk about how I obviously don’t know what to do with my hands in these photos?) (Perhaps, we should also talk about how I use too many parantheses.)

Ok, one last “can you believe I found this in my closet?” story. My friend in Mandeville asked me to help her clean out her closet. We went through every piece of clothing and I kid you not she had this hat. A real-live Britney Spears wannabe hat. I think hers was corduroy though. We died laughing when it was unearthed. Why was she hanging on to this? She wasn’t about to put it on and head to the Mandeville PTA meeting! I told her to either put it in her costume bin and do a couples Halloween costume with her husband (Britney and JT forever!) or get rid of it!

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Do you see what I’m getting at? You have stuff in your closet that you haven’t worn in years and will never wear again. It’s taking up space in your closet and it’s hard to know what you have and how to put an outfit together when it is so cluttered. So how do you start making headway in your closet to prep for your fall wardrobe? Put on whatever music gets you going (I usually gravitate to 2000s hip hop) and just start pulling items out.  Take a look and ask yourself when the last time you wore it. Ask yourself where you would you wear it in the future. Be honest. Don’t hold on to something because you feel bad getting rid of it. My suggestion is to make four piles. A resale pile, a donation pile, a keep pile, and an unsure pile. Your resale pile can make you money! That’s a win! Keep in mind that resale stores really only like to buy clothes that are less than two years old. If you bought something in the past year and it didn’t fit quite right or it served it’s purpose, but you aren’t going to wear it again put it in the resale pile. The donation pile is anything you don’t want, but that is older than two years old. The keep pile and the unsure pile are self-explanatory.

Once you’ve sorted ALL your clothes (this will take a while), take the keep items and organize them into your closet. Different people like to organize their clothes in different ways. Some like to do it by color. I like to do it more by occasion. Casual shirts go together. Casual Dresses, Cocktail dresses, jeans – you get the idea. Once you have put all the keep items back and organized them, go through your unsure pile. You’ll have a better idea if you want to keep it or not once the clothes you know you are keeping are hanging in your closet. Also, take stock. Do you have four black maxi dresses? Maybe pare that down to two and don’t buy another black maxi for a while.

When you’re done I can guarantee you will feel lighter. Your closet will seem bigger. You will actually be able to see the clothes you own. Check out this photo of my friends closet before and after. So much better!closet

And sometimes, when you clean out your closet, you will find an eight-year-old $15 Forever 21 top that you think… yeah… I can make this work for fall. And that leads us to step two which will drop Monday. Until then… have fun cleaning out your closet!

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