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Spring Cleaning Queen

By March 6, 2014 DIY, Guest Posts, Influencers, Trending, Uncategorized
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Fashion writer and two+seven guest blogger Morgan Gray offers her tips and tricks for the ultimate closet cleanup.

Boy, has it been a long winter, and am I looking forward to getting my spring rituals started. Usually I dread spring cleaning, but now that this winter is—hopefully!—coming to an end, I’m relishing every chance I can to shake it out of my closet. Together, I think we can come up with some great ways to revamp our wardrobes and shine in the spring sun!

1. Try everything on.

I know, I know. This is exhausting. But what I do every year as spring is starting to come around is take one afternoon and just get down to business. Cancel your appointments, treat yourself to a nice dinner afterward, and spend a few hours in your closet. As you go along, be harsh—it’s the only way to parse down your closet. Ask yourself, “Does this still really suit me?” “Do I still wear this color?” “How long have I had this?” I’ve read someplace that you should go with the two-year rule: if you’ve had something two years and haven’t worn it in that time, give it up—solid advice, though hopefully something hasn’t been hanging sadly in your closet that long! Appraise everything and know your own style, though it may have changed since you bought those bright pink strap wedges!

2. Sort, sort, sort.

I recently came across this cute closet organization checklist from RedEnvelope, which inspired me to develop a strategic method to my madness. As you go along, organize your clothes into different piles. I usually start with three piles: Keep, Donate, Discard. It’s pretty straightforward, but can be difficult! Easiest is the Discard pile; I only throw things in there that are utterly beyond repair. Deciding what to give away, though, is definitely harder. As you go along, be generous: are you really going to wear that again, or could somebody else enjoy it? Those baggy dresses that were so in a few years ago, for example, are going to be a few in my “Donate” pile—well, maybe I’ll keep one or two! Make notes of the things that you have that you can mix and match—it’s okay to be nerdy and write out your outfits!—and make a shopping list for items you still need. Looking into my closet now, I see a few cute cardigans I haven’t worn in a few months that could do with a nice orange or red tank top. I rarely go to the mall without a specific plan, and after months of hibernation I could stand to treat myself to a few essential outfit items!

3. Donate!

Finally, what you don’t keep, discard, or trade away to your friends (consider a clothing swap!), donate to a good cause. There are a lot of statistics about the tons and tons of wasted clothing rotting in landfills, so let’s not contribute to that. When you look at your Donate pile from your closet, sort it further: what needs to be washed? Repaired? Don’t give clothes that are dirty or broken—that’s just rude! Perform any small repairs yourself if you can, and hand in clothes as fresh as possible to your local Goodwill or Salvation Army. There are bound to be local shelters in your area that would be happy to take your clothes; I know there’s a women’s shelter near me that I regularly take my used clothing to, and I know they give them straight to the women they help. When you clean your closet, you can also clean your conscience!

With a method and a little patience, you can certainly spruce up your wardrobe and make room for that very-well-deserved summer dress!

More about Morgan: Morgan is a writer-at-heart from New York with a degree in Communications. She’s currently looking to devote more time to her own blog over at www.graygabbana.com, and to connect and share with online communities.

Image Credits: Rubbermaid Products on FlickrRachel A.K, LuckyMagazine, http://www.istockphoto.com, Rockettes.com

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Spring Cleaning: A How-To Without Hyperventilating

By April 23, 2013 DIY, Trending
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Spring cleaning is a pre-requisite to our seasonal shopping spree. Out with the old and in with the new, read: we don’t have a walk-in closet. Given the limited space in New York City, your viable options to make room for this season’s wardrobe are limited. You either rent a storage space that cost half your rent or say adieu to your neon neoprenes, wide-leg pants, gladiator sandals and other bad decisions from the last two years—I chose the latter, for obvious reasons. But spring cleaning poses some challenges, abd bidding farewell to your precious garments is not always as easy as it sounds. So I tested the waters for you, venturing into uncharted territories—searching beneath the bed and in the back of the wardrobe to become a closet hero.

Here is how my Saturday went:

9:15 am - Spring cleaning is like a workout, and with any good workout comes a killer playlist to keep me going. While contemplating what needed to get done, I pull up my Spotify account to create a mini-playlist composed of nineties alt rock, techno and even Reggaeton [no eye-rolling please].

9:30 am- Playlist completed. STRFKR’s cover of Girl’s Just Wanna Have Fun starts to play. I took a look at my closet, my entire room and assessed the situation. I looked under my bed and to my surprise, no cobwebs are present. But I did find the other pairs of my socks, my long lost Rayban Wayfarers, my 501 Levi’s Jeans that are two sizes smaller, and tons of other stuff. By stuff, I meant neon green chiffon blouses that would make a crossing guard blush, and generally, items that no longer fit my current style.

9:35 am- I put all of my blazers with pointy shoulders on my bed. Do I really need these? I ask myself. When exactly will I be having brunch with Lady Gaga where she would compliment me on how awesome my Valentino blazer is? So, I become brutally honest with myself about what I wear, what I don’t like to wear and if these clothes are just accumulating dust in my closet.

9:45 am - After laughing like a crazy person about my bad choices in clothes, shoes and jewelry, I create a mental list of what I will donate and throw away. Wooly sweaters on my throw away pile? Check! Vintage vests to donate? Check! Ladies, this is probably one of the most crucial part for spring-cleaning as this sets what stays and what leaves. After going through everything, I can say confidently that some hipster shopping at Salvation Army next will thank me. I know they will, I was that exact same girl a few years ago.

10:00 am - I resume the task at hand and organize my remaining clothing in my wardrobe by color to showcase the pieces that I love for maximum visibility and ease. It’s great. I’m sure my 8th grade art teacher would be proud of this gradation.

10:15 am - I’m getting the hang of this. My wardrobe aside, everything else still feels like a mess. I still have no idea where my Paul Smith perfume went but I’m sure it will turn up. I make more room for my things and create different zones as to where everything should be. Eventually, after 12 woven bins, I find my perfume and the remaining bits of my sanity. However there’s still more to do.

11:45 am - An hour of sorting and organizing has passed, I’m finally here: face to face with the top of my closet. Above my books are three white boxes with no labels. This curious cat decides to open it and to my surprise, I find a CD that dates back to 1999. I popped the CD into my laptop—a nostalgic gesture that is slowly disappearing from today’s zeitgeist. My spring cleaning playlist is put on pause. Then my speakers starts to speak to me in tongues, it goes *You are my fire. The one desire. Believe when I say. I want it that way.* Nostalgic sentiments starts to amplify. As I sing along with Nick Carter (followed by Justin Timberlake), I keep digging in these boxes of memorabilia. All reminding me of who I was, and what I wanted to be, triggering my memories, hopes, and dreams. I’m on the verge of having a Carrie Bradshaw moment and ask myself a rhetorical question but this is all very clear to me. I’ve put who I was and what I wanted to be in a box in the back of my closet, waiting for re-discovery to challenge what I’ve become.

Instagram: @babybangss

 

 

 

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No Sweat: Styling the Sporty Trend

By May 15, 2012 DIY, Trending
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Source: fashionising.com

If yesterday’s Sporty Trend post had you up on your fashion a-game, it’s time to take it to the next level with coordinating hair and makeup! Take a cue from Alexander Wang’s fashion shows and transform the wet look ‘do into a sporty-chic hairstyle sans the stiff looking hair. Just put a dab of Redken 06′s Sheer Straight on wet hair, scrunch it up a bit, and voila- an after shower look that’ll last all day!

Next step to this covetable look is having clear and dewy skin, smoky eyes, a neutral lip and a fresh clean scent.

Here’s the game plan:

  1. Pencil your eyebrows using a coffee or brown eyebrow pencil to create a strong and defined eyebrows.
  2. Apply coffee-toned eyeshadow on your lids and add a darker shade on the outside corners of your eyes.
  3. Curl your lashes and apply a volumizing mascara to accentuate your eyes.
  4. Define your eyes by applying a thin line of black liquid eyeliner on top of your eyelashes.
  5. Put a good primer on your face to give your skin a natural luminosity.
  6. Apply concealer underneath our eyes and any areas on our skin with discoloration.
  7. Put an ample amount of liquid foundation on your face and neck using a brush or your fingers.
  8. Define your your features by applying a highlighter on the temples of your forehead, above your cheekbone, underneath your eyebrows and above your lip (cupid’s bow).
  9. Apply a neutral and glossy lipstick on your lips
  10. Make this look last all day by applying a loose mineral finishing powder
  11. Spritz some fresh clean perfume on your wrists and the back of your ears.

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DIY: Nail Art

By February 22, 2012 DIY, Trending
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You get home from a long day of work, having barely made your 8 pm spinning class. The clock’s approaching 9 and you still have to eat. You throw together a random concoction of whatever you can scrounge up in your kitchen and as you catch up on Facebook posts you realize, you’re not quite ready for bed yet. Your nails are a mess, and as a self proclaimed manicure addict, you can’t possibly go to work with the chips you’re sporting.  So here’s a quick fix when you’re stuck in just such a predicament.

Butter London makes a fabulous base coat called Nail Foundation that acts how it sounds. It’s foundation for your nails (but far more sheer than RGB X Hipp: which happens to be another must-have collection).   It creates the perfect base for any manicure but is especially perfect for this one. The best part? It practically dries the second you are done.  Use three coats for the best coverage. Top it off with Butter London’s equally quick-drying Hardwear P.D. Quick Topcoat. You’re almost there!

Dust a layer of OPI’s Flurry Up! just above your cuticle line, covering the bottom half of your nail, and leaving the top clean.

Voila! Now you can start your day looking like you’re a lady of leisure who had time for a 2 hour mani with nail art. It’ll be our little secret.

 -Nancy Cuocci 

Nancy is a fashion publicist by day and self-proclaimed beauty addict by night (well, shopping addict in general). A secret not well masked by the shelves of nail polish lining her bathroom wall, the overflowing coat rack of bags, her crowded coat closet and carefully arranged stacks of shoe boxes.  Always plotting her next big splurge, the only thing she loves more than shopping is food.  So she couldn’t be in a better city than NY, where her shopping list is only matched by her ever-growing list of must-visit eateries.

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Block it Out: DIY Color-blocked Blouse

By November 30, 2011 DIY
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Source: VIP Closet

Source: VIP Closet

Color-blocking ensembles has brightened up our summer and fall. So, we pay homage to these bright hues and bold patterns and decided to make our very own color-blocked piece. All you really need is a bottle of DYE, a white blouse with multiple fabric textures, and a little bit of inspiration and creativity.

Calvin Klein Jeans: Single Pocket Shirt

Calvin Klein Jeans: Single Pocket Shirt

 

Our very own color blocked blouse

Our very own color blocked blouse

 

Directions:

1. Fill sink or bucket with enough hot water for the blouse to move freely

2. Use 1/2 bottle of liquid dye (We used RIT’s cherry red) and 1 gallon of hot water for each pound of fabric

3. Add  liquid to dye bath. Stir to mix

4. Add the blouse to the mixture

5. Stir constantly for 20 minutes

6. Rinse in warm water then gradually to cool water until water runs clear

7. Wash item with warm water and detergent and rinse thoroughly in cool water

8. Dry your color-blocked blouse

 

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DIY: Friends Forever

By September 20, 2011 DIY, Trending
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Nothing says friendship quite like an armful of eclectic handmade bracelets, right? Right! What our fellow blogger the Man Repeller lovingly refers to as ‘arm candy,’ these stackable, mix-and-matchable friendship bracelets are hotter than ever right now. And guess what? You can make them yourself! Don’t let the summer camp flashbacks deter you from crafting your own: it’s fun, easy, and beats dropping over a hundo for one of these.  Add some elegance, sophistication and maturity by mixing and matching metals with your pastel embroidery threads.

Check out some of our favorite renditions with a little DIY tutorial from one of our favorite blogs, Honestly WTF.

And if you’re feeling crafty, here’s our step-by-step rendition of this season’s hottest trend:

You will need:

chain link bracelet

embroidery thread or thin fabric ribbon

a little bit of patience!

DIY:

  1. Choose your colors and loop your thread so it is more than one strand. Choose your desired thickness– this also depends on the size of your chain links and how bold you want to go.
  2. Knot the top of your threads together at one end of your chain link bracelet
  3. Loop the threads (both colors together) through each link, going over top each time.
  4.  Knot the end, trim, and wear!

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To Dye For

By June 6, 2011 DIY
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It was uber dreadful a few weeks ago. Not a ray of sun was in sight. 27th street was practically flooded, I thought it was the Hudson River. So, of course I decided to stay in, stay warm and stay dry after ruining my favorite leather loafers from traversing the flooded streets. I found nothing to watch on my Netflix queue. I browsed the web for an hour then I had an epiphany after seeing an old scarf my aunt got me from the Philippines. It’s dye time. I had several bottles of RIT dye from god knows when, a hefty amount of old white shirts and it was about time I put them to good use. Check out this link (http://honstlywtf.com/diy/shibori-diy  )  for the down-low on shibori dyeing. I have all the colors of the rainbow for dyeing so please send me your suggestions on what else I should dye.

Written and Photographed by Chassey Reyes

 

 

 

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