5 Tips for a Fabulous Fall Wardrobe

I was recently asked by Women 2 Women Michigan magazine to write an editorial on my tips for a fabulous fall wardrobe. And while there may be hundreds of subjective tips on how to shop for an amazing wardrobe, these are tips I personally follow and resonate with me. What tips would you add?

Check out the full issue online and my piece on page 37. And thank you to Women 2 Women Michigan for giving me the opportunity to contribute!


FashionSpeak 2015 Recap

I'm a big fan of fashion events. I'm a really big fan of fashion events that include furthering my education in the field. The type of events where you can not only network with other industry insiders, but also learn from the industry's experts.

FashionSpeak is just that type of event. The one day conference is the only conference that brings together all of the area's style experts and fashion connoisseurs. Comprised of 5 panel presentations on 5 separate topics, there's something for everyone, whether you're a student (shoutout to the 45 Central Michigan University fashion students who attended) or a longtime business owner. There's also a lot of really amazing fashion eye candy.

After last year's stellar turnout and thoughtful lineup of speakers, my expectations were high. I was especially excited to see Roslyn of Detroit is the New Black (I'm admittedly a huge fan of both Roslyn and the brand and own this, this, and this from her shop). She shared her story from intern to buyer to shop keeper and had everyone taking notes. Designer Kevan Hall - who has dressed everyone from red carpet celebrities to Michelle Obama - also gave a phenomenal interview. Honest, bold, and full of wisdom (check my Twitter feed for some of my favorite quotes of his), he inspired the entire room to be persistent and tenacious and start knocking doors down to achieve your dreams.

Check out all the details from the day below and be sure to attend next year's event!


Some of the best dressed guests: Bruna of Style Mile, C'erra of Anthony Neil Brand, Lex of That Chic Lex, and a CMU student

CMU students. I definitely did not dress this well in college.

Thanks Bruna for snapping pics of me during the event!

top: j.crew (similar)
pants: shopbop
sleeveless coat: ann taylor (similar)
shoes: nordstrom (similar)
watch: shinola


Does Your Closet Spark Joy?

I'm a Type A neat freak. Because of this, I am a person who is effected by my environment.  When my personal space is cluttered and disorganized, I feel cluttered and disorganized. When my closet is a mess, I feel a mess.

It's because of this, I had the cult favorite book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, on my must-read list for months. By now you're probably familiar with this book. People all over the world have tackled the challenge of organizing their closets and homes, and raved about the outcome of following Marie Kondo's process.

There's a lot of inspiring information in the book and I definitely recommend you check it out (especially all you fellow/aspiring organizational nerds), but there were two ideas in particular that I believe to be genius, especially when tackling one's closet.

1. Focus on the positive. When decluttering, instead of focusing on how much you have to get rid of (negative), focus on what you truly want to keep (positive). When we think of spring cleaning or organizing, we all tend to center that around getting rid of stuff. Yes, that is the ultimate outcome, but who gets motivated from focusing on items you don't like? Try focusing on the pieces that make you feel special. The pieces you feel amazing in. The pieces you love.

2. Ask yourself of each item, "does this spark joy?" If the answer is no, get rid of it. I know this may sound extreme, but the final product will be worth it. Sometimes we keep things because of the utility of the item (think a basic nude t-shirt bra), and that's fine. But even those necessities should make you feel positive. Does that t-shirt bra support you in the proper way? Does it fit correctly? Maybe it brings joy in that it seamlessly helps the rest of your wardrobe fit better. Even our basics should fit and spark joy. If it doesn't have some useful purpose and doesn't make you feel great, why keep it?

I'll tell you why. More often than not, we keep things out of guilt.

It was a gift, I feel guilty getting rid of it. 

I spent a lot of money on it, I feel guilty not wearing it.

I wore those when I was 2 sizes smaller, I feel guilty for no longer being that size.

We hang on to things because we feel guilty letting things go. Letting go is hard.

But you know what else is hard? Staring at a full closet of clothes that no longer suit you. Wouldn't you rather have a streamlined wardrobe where every single piece in your closet fits and makes you look and feel great? Where you have the confidence to open your closet, get dressed, and head out the door with zero stress? In order to do that, I truly believe that most of us need less (usually, a lot less), not more. And we are being distracted by pieces that no longer suit us. We are distracted by the clutter.

We are distracted by guilt.

I've started doing an exercise with some of my clients to make the letting go part easier. As I sort through their closets, we go through every single piece of clothing they own. I have them create 3 piles.

The first pile is for items they truly love. Pieces they gravitate towards. Clothes that they wear over and over again. These are pieces you don't hesitate about whether or not you want to keep them. It's a gut reaction. You know.

The second pile is for pieces they like, but haven't figured out how to wear yet. Maybe it has a neckline you're not sure works or a print you can never find the right item to pair with it. These are the items I will help assess during our style session to see if it truly fits in with your current (and future) wardrobe.

The third pile is the get rid of pile. These are pieces you are ready to let go of. Pieces that don't fit, are too worn, or no longer represent you and your style.

At the end of this process, I have the clients really pay attention to the first pile - the love pile. This is the pile that sparks joy. This is the pile that makes them feel amazing.

Wouldn't it be amazing if our entire closet was made up of pile one? Wouldn't it be magical if our entire closet sparked joy?


Ready to find the joy in your own closet? I can help


Fall Fun

I effing love fall. Everything about it. The leaves, the smells, the colors. Bonfires, football, cider. I love all of it.

This past weekend I had the most quintessential, clich├ęd, fabulous fall weekend ever. My husband, puppy and I rented a lake house, complete with vibrant changing leaves. I canoed. I sat by the fire. I picked apples. I checked out giant pumpkins. I drank cider. I wore wool and plaid, cozy sweaters and leather boots.

It was perfect. No pumpkin spice latte necessary.

sweater: old (similar)
vest: c/o south moon under
denim: c/o south moon under (currently 20% off!)
boots: j.crew (old, similar)
sunglasses: ray-ban


How to Wear Flares

Remember when skinny jeans became all the rage? We were all wearing bootcut jeans and suddenly skinny jeans were the "it' denim to own. Remember for a crazy minute everyone thought you had to actually be skinny to rock your skinnies?

Well our newest denim challenge is the flare. With a 70s vibe dominating the retail scene right now, flared denim is back with a vengeance. And with the flare trend in full force, I've had an overwhelming number of friends, family, and clients tell me they are too short/too curvy/too whatever to wear them. Just like with our favorite skinny jeans, there's a huge misconception about who can wear this denim style.

So when South Moon Under asked me to team up and style a pair of denim for their Denim Event, I knew I wanted to focus on flares and talk about how versatile and easy they can really be.

Without further ado, here are my tips for wearing flares:
1. To elongate your legs, go for a higher rise and higher shoe. Unless you already have long legs, flare pants just look better with heels (look how tall this 5'0 blogger looks in her flares). 
2. Keep the hem grazing the floor or barely off of it - unless you want to be bold and try out the new cropped flares (so not my jam), in which case, be intentional with it.
3. Keep the "flare" under control. We are not headed to studio 54 in our bell bottoms. Don't let the diameter of the flare overwhelm you and go too far into costume mode. 
4. If you have curves, stick to a more fitted top to show off your shape. If you do decide to go for a looser top, tuck it it to define your waist (like I did in this post). Got hips? A bit of a flare actually helps to balance your proportions (loving the example from this blogger). 
And finally,
5. Be confident and own your look!

Who's loving the trend this season? Tag me (@closetconfessional) in your pics and show me how you're rocking your flares! And if you're hoping to invest in a new pair of flares (or other jeans), check out South Moon Under's Denim Event and get 20% off all full price denim until October 25th!

denim: c/o south moon under
vest: old (similar)
clutch: pitaya (similar)
necklace: stella and dot
sunglasses: ray-ban


Everybody Vs. Cancer

I'm going to get serious for a minute (if you follow me on Instagram, you probably already know why).

This past week has been extremely emotional and difficult for me. Two weeks ago I began experiencing constant pressure in my chest and shortness of breath. All too familiar symptoms. Cancer symptoms.

On Monday, I met with my radiologist to discuss a possible relapse. On Tuesday. I got poked and prodded and scanned. On Wednesday, I waited. I waited the longest 22 hours and 52 minutes of my life. I waited as each passing second felt like an eternity. As anyone who has had cancer and has then relapsed from cancer can attest, every single second feels like a torturous lifetime.

I was lucky. After spending my time in limbo panicking (because getting cancer for the third time in as many years does not typically yield positive outcomes) and attempting to not completely lose it, my scans came back clean. Three days before my 3rd year of clean scans.

So on October 3rd, I took a deep breath and celebrated making it to 3 years.

I'm not totally in the clear yet (medically, I'm not "cancer free" until year 5). Because of previous cancer treatments, I am still dealing with health issues every day. My thyroid remains out of control. My body doesn't properly absorb nutrients, meaning I am severely deficient in most of my vitamins regardless of how  much green juice I consume. My digestive system is in full on dysfunction mode. The pressure in my chest still needs to be addressed.

But all of that? I can deal with. Because all of that? Is not fucking cancer.

Life is crazy and unpredictable, so take a moment and appreciate it. And I promise on Wednesday, I'll be back to our regularly scheduled program, appreciating clothing and shoes and accessories.

skirt: zara (similar here)
shoes: zara (similar here)