Closet Clean-Out Challenge 2023: Step One

It’s a New Year.  How about a New You? With a year full of possibilities ahead, why not shake off that dead weight? I don’t know about you, cleaning out the old and bringing in the new feels like a great way to start the year.  That’s why I am doing a Closet Clean-Out Challenge.

Best yet, this year I am incentivizing you not only to START but also to FINISH this process by offering a $250 gift card to one lucky winner! To get entered to win this amazing prize, you will need to join the challenge. You can do that here: https://fashioncrossroadsinc.com/pages/closet-clean-out-challenge-2023. The sign up deadline is this Saturday, January 7, 2023. Next, you will need to watch all four videos, complete the steps and post pictures of your progress. That’s it!

Are you ready? Read on…

There is something about getting organized that is so refreshing.  Shedding clutter makes me feel lighter, what about you? One of the most important places to get organized is in your closet.  We all know the frustration of searching for an outfit in the morning and pulling out item after item that is worn out, too big, too small or out dated.  Ugh.

I have a four-step system that I use every year in my own closet that is very effective in weeding out the items that I don’t wear and identifying items that require a match or another item to make them work more efficiently in my wardrobe.  I also find that when I take the time to apply these four simple steps, when I am finished, I can clearly see what I have and what I need.  Suddenly, I see new outfit options that I hadn’t noticed before because everything is organized in a way that makes sense.

This blog post is the first in a series of four Closet Clean-Out tutorials that will take you through this process, and hopefully, have you feeling lighter and de-cluttered as well as excited about your closet and shopping opportunities again.  I’ll be recording a video of today’s blog post during my weekly Wednesday Night Wardrobing Live Video broadcast within our VIP Facebook Group, Fashion Crossroads Fashionistas. You can watch that video live or watch the replay here.

So let’s dig in.

First, do me and yourself a favor.  As you complete the following steps, if you come across an item that you KNOW you will never wear again, pull it out now.  Don’t get bogged down yet in trying to decide about those scared cows…you know, the things you just can’t seem to let go of even though you haven’t worn them in 3 years.  We will deal with those in our next video.

Now, down to business.  The first step is to organize your closet by type.  First, separate your tops from your bottoms.  Put dresses in a separate section.  Now, organize your tops by sleeve length – short, ¾ and long.  Next, separate your tops by type.  Within the sleeve length grouping, separate the collared blouses from the pull overs.  If you have more than one season in the same closet, also separate summer from winter within each of the groups.  When you are finished, you should have your sleeveless tops grouped together.  Next should come your short sleeve tops and then your long sleeved tops, summer together and winter together.

Now do the same thing with your bottoms. Start with shorts and move to capris, ankle pants and long pants.  Then, within each group, separate by fabric.  Put your denim together, cottons together, slacks together, etc.  Then tackle your skirts, and organize them from shortest to longest.

I bet you feel lighter already! One more step! Now, within each group, organize them by color using the acronym ROYGBIV.  This stands for red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet.  Group like colors together.  For example, your pink tops will go next to the reds and your turquoise tops will go next to green or blue, depending on what hue the turquoise is.  Put your black, white and brown at the end.  Group your ivory and cream after white.  Next come the tans and browns.  Last, put your greys after the blacks.

Now, go have a glass of wine! You did it!

You have a week to enjoy your newly organized closet.  Watch for my next blog post and video called Closet Clean Out Challenge Two: Renew and Refresh.  In these tutorials, we will take a look at what you have and figure out what you need to get rid of and what you need to keep.

To watch my weekly Wednesday Night Wardrobing live videos where I will explain in more detail each of the steps, join my Fashion Crossroads Fashionistas VIP group page on Facebook and tune in Wednesday night at 6 p.m. MST. 

Happy organizing!

Cozy Picks For Christmas Day

Whether your Christmas morning has you in jammies, a comfy sweat suit or jeans and a sweater, I think we can all agree that Christmas Eve is for dressing up, and Christmas Day is for being comfortable. In my Kyleen’s Picks Collection this week, I have chosen several items that fall into each of these categories to give you some Christmas Day outfit inspiration.

Benefits of wearing jeans and a sweater: If you have to drive to a relative’s house for Christmas Day, choosing stretchy and comfy jeans, can feel like you are wearing sweat pants but look a little less athleisure. Pairing a sweater (several holiday-ish items above) with those jeans allows you to layer and also adjust to different temperatures from outside to inside. As I write this blog, it is snowing and very, very cold (-14 degrees). With those kind of temperatures, your friends and family might have a fire in the fireplace and a sweater may be too warm for inside. You are most definitely going to want it outside, however, so layering makes sense. Jeans are also easy to pair with snow boots and are usually warmer than sweat pants.

Benefits of wearing a sweat suit: Whether you have to go to someone’s house or you are staying at yours, a sweat suit is a bridge between jeans and jammies. It is comfy and warm without being as casual as your pjs. Our FDJ sweatsuit in Teal (pictured above) is a matched hoodie and jogger that are made from Egyptian Cotton, some of the softest Cotton on the planet. I also like this sweatsuit because you don’t feel bulky in it at all. You can easily pair some fuzzy socks and slippers to keep your feet warm and cozy and add a cute puffy vest over the top for an added layer.

Benefits of wearing your pjs: My family always got up and headed straight to the tree to open presents, maybe stopping at the coffee pot on the way. As a result, Christmas mornings were spent in our pajamas. We usually changed into sweat suits after the packages were unwrapped. I love pjs for Christmas, but you want to be sure they are suitable to wear in front of others. I think you will love our Hello Mello pajamas because of the tees and comfy pants that are loose fitting, very comfy, and cute as a button. You can also add one of their cozy cardigans over the top to add an extra layer of warmth. I also love our Hello Mello pajamas because if you are travelling or having to spend the night somewhere, they pack into small little bags for easy transport.

No matter which casual look you choose or even if you like to dress up for Christmas, feeling confident in what you are wearing will help you enjoy the day more. For this reason, it is a good idea to lay out your outfit before Christmas day (only 4 more days!) to be sure you have everything you need. Every item pictured above is available on our online store. Should you need us, we are open from now until Christmas Eve at 3 p.m. (FCO) and 4 p.m. (FCR). We also have free shipping from now until 12/23, so you can have it delivered to your house in time for Christmas if you are here in Casper. You can also watch my Wednesday Wardrobing live video tonight to see these options in person. Watch that video here.

From all of us here at Fashion Crossroads and FC Outlet, we wish you a very Merry Christmas!

3 Tips To Rock Your Style For Thanksgiving

Everybody does Thanksgiving a little differently. Some eat early in the day, some eat mid day and some wait for dinner time. No matter how your family does it, chances are, you are going to be in your Thanksgiving day outfit for several hours at the minimum and, in some cases, all day. You want to look nice but also be comfortable. We all know the miserable feeling of having eaten a Thanksgiving meal in clothes that felt just fine before you ate and that you could hardly wait to get out of after you were finished!! It is sheer torture and really hinders your ability to enjoy your family and friends. As a result, carefully considering your outfit choice for Thanksgiving is a must. In this blog post, I will share three tips to making great outfit choice and, hopefully, give you some ideas for choosing the perfect look.

Layer It Up: There are several reasons why wearing layers for Thanksgiving makes a whole lot of sense. First, if you are going to someone else’s house, layers let you adjust your temperature accordingly – too cold, keep your layer on or too hot, take it off. Similarly, a vest or jacket can be very effective in hiding an expanded stomach after the meal is finished and help you feel more comfortable. Whether you choose a vest, a longer sweater cardigan or a jacket, layering adds dimension to your look that naturally dresses it up and has many practical applications as well.

Consider the looks above. In each outfit, (with the exception of the unlayered blouse and pant), the added layer levels up the style. Imagine the sweater without the vest of the tunic without the sweater cardigan, as an example, the outfit would seem less dressy and trendy. It may be that you spend some time outside having a drink expanding the space in the home, having the extra layer is perfect for moving from indoors to outdoors easily.

Wear Holiday Colors: Whether you choose holiday reds and greens or browns and rusts, wearing colors that go with the season is a great way to make your look feel special for this special day. Because rust is such a strong color this season, you should be able to find ample options out there that will match the traditional golds, browns, and orange in Thanksgiving decorations.

Take a look at the outfits I have highlighted at the top for examples. In the top row, starting from the left, the first look combines trendy rust denim pants with a lovely cable knit sweater and copper puffy vest. The second and third look, on the other hand, focuses more on Christmas colors with a lovely Christmas red blouse and a tunic with Christmas greens. On the bottom row, the look to the left combines vintage wash jeans with a white blouse that is layered with a faux suede vest. The next is the classic dressy blouse paired with a black slack, but I have chosen a rust blouse that coordinates perfectly with Thanksgiving colors. The last look combines a trendy plaid blouse with a faux wool jacket and distressed jeans. Each look offers differing levels of dressiness but all are great examples of perfect looks for the holiday.

Wear Comfy Pants: We’ve all seen the memes about getting your “fat pants” ready or setting your scales back 10 lbs. Make no mistake, Thanksgiving is a day for over-eating. More than any other part of your outfit, the pants you choose for the day are of utmost importance. Make sure they are stretchy and comfy and will expand as necessary!

I love leggings for Thanksgiving because I sell several brands that have tummy shapers in them, and if there is ever a day where I want some extra “shaping,” that is the day! Most of our jeans also have tummy panels in them as well to help, and in both bottoms, the fabric will stretch so you are comfortable sitting or standing.

Wearing the wrong outfit to your holiday dinner can ruin the event. When you are uncomfortable, it is hard to enjoy the delicious food or the company. Being in a hurry to leave because you can’t wait to get out of your clothes robs you off precious time with your loved ones. Taking some time to think through your outfit and the requirements of your day is well worth your time an energy. Watch my live Wednesday Wardrobing video tonight at 6 p.m. MST for more outfit ideas and discussion on this topic.

Also, if you see a look you like, you can find all of these items on our online store at www.fashioncrossroadsinc.com.

3 Ways To Style A Blazer

Have you ever found yourself in a style rut where you can’t seem to think outside of the box? We all have! I think this is especially true when a style that has been popular in the past has a resurgence. If you’ve worn it once before, you tend to style in your mind the way you wore it before.

I love blazers, and, as an 80’s girl, this is not my first go around with them, but what I am loving is the fresh new ways to wear them that change up the look and keep it trendy.

If you are in a blazer rut, these ideas may get you out:

  1. Style your blazer over a graphic tee: this is definitely a throw back style that is fresh and trendy again. Pair your favorite blazer over a graphic tee in a contrasting, but complimentary color or pair it over a graphic tee that compliments the colors in the blazer. For example, if you had a tweed blazer in browns, pair it over a light brown tee with gold foil lettering, or, for a splash, pair it over a mustard tee. Finish your look with jeans and tall leather boots.
  2. Style your blazer over a glitzy top. You can never go wrong with pairing opposites when you are looking for a trendy style. Try taking a sequined top or tank top and pair your blazer over the top. In the example above, take that same tweed blazer and pair it over a cream top with gold sequins. Finish your look with jeans and some brown leather shoe boots.
  3. Style your blazer under a vest and over a sweater. Layering is always a great way to style up a blazer. In this look, you treat your blazer almost as light weight outer wear. In the tweed example, pair the blazer over a light weight taupe sweater and then put a fun metallic copper puffy vest over the top. Wear some cream, brown or tan colored denim and a shoe boot to complete the look.

Of course, you also always have the traditional pairing of a blazer and a button up blouse or basic layering tank or turtle neck. These old school looks never wear out, but I hope I have inspired you to try some new looks to up your style game this fall and winter!!

To see examples of the pairings I have mentioned here, watch my live Wednesday Night Wardrobing Video for 11/2/22. Check out this and other blog posts on our website here. https://fashioncrossroadsinc.com/blogs/news/10-steps-to-being-a-smart-shopper

My 5 Top Productivity Hacks For Busy Women

If you are like me and trying to find some kind of balance between a busy career and a busy family, there are two things that you probably can’t live without – your planner/calendar and a glass of wine and hot bath. With two teenagers, one freshman and one senior, a husband with a busy career of his own, and two brick and motar stores and one online store, life can get pretty hectic. Being task oriented and a natural organizer, always feeling like I wasn’t able to get everything done that needed to get done started to wear me out. But, after three years of owning this business on my own, I have come to the conclusion that is just how I am going to feel. Every day is a choice between what is urgent (deadline driven) and what is important – needs to get done but doens’t have to be today. But, I don’t want my life to be about checking off tasks on a to do list either. There has to be balance. This is where my productivity strategies come into play and why I wanted to spend some time sharing my top 5 with you.

  1. Start with your goals and roles and let that drive your tasks. As an entrepreuner, it my job to set the vision and chart the course of where we are going as a company. As a small business owner, I am CEO, COO, CFO, CMO….you get the picture. I can become so embroiled in “to do” lists that I don’t give myself time to learn, to dream, to envision, and to plan. I am a huge fan of Franklin Covey, and one of the reasons I still carry an old fashioned paper planner is because of the Weekly Compas cards that are the cornerstone of the system. I fill out this card every Sunday when I do my weekly planning, and I do it BEFORE I make any task lists. The top of the card is all about me: what are my physical, emotional, mental and spiritual goals for the week. Then, the rest of the card is divided into roles, and I always put them in this order: Home; Wife/Mother; COO; CEO; CFO; CMO; Writer. The reason I do this is because it keeps me focused on home and family first. My career can consume me if I let it, but I still have bills to pay, a house to keep clean, laundry to wash, etc., and, more importantly, I have family members that need me to be present. Once I have focused on home and family, I move on to the different roles I have at work. As the COO, I ask myself what is the most important thing I can do as the one responsible for directing the ship. As the CEO, I ask myself what is the most important management task I have this week. As the CFO, I write down my financial tasks for the week. As the CMO, I consider what marketing tasks are essential. This way, I am controlling the task rather than letting the tasks control me.
  2. Prioritize your tasks. Have you ever checked your email, and two hours later, you are just getting to your first task on your list. Why is email such a black hole? I truly have a love/hate relationship with email because of this. One of my mentors says, “Email is just someone else’s priorities.” I think that is true, and I have noticed that if I let myself just float from task to task without a plan, I fall into email and many other wasted time black holes. Therefore, before I walk in the door or say hello to my first customer, I write out my tasks for the day, and I make sure there are not more than seven. Then, I prioritize them according to the Franklin Covey system. A is for deadline driven/urgent tasks, B is for the important/non deadline driven tasks. Each A task gets a number like A1, A2, A3 as do the B tasks. By taking the time to consider the order in which I want to accomplish my tasks, I do better at avoiding black holes.
  3. Set your intention for the day. I love The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod, and use it most days. I start with daily coaching that I get through an app on my phone called Fabulous. Then I get myself centered spiritually with a bible study. Next I listen to 10 minutes of a professional development book. Right now I am almost finished with Brendan Buchard’s High Performance Habbits. I then write down my thoughts and observations in my journal. Next I do a 10 minute meditatation, usually on mindset. Last, I visualize myself going through my day (and life) enjoying my staff and my customers and my day. I visualize myself tackling my to do list with peace in my heart and not with overwhelm. I also visualize myself accomplishing my life goals. This whole process takes about an hour, but I am more than happy to give myself this time to get centered in the morning before I start my day.
  4. Check off what you accomplish. I know this is a totally type A thing to do, but it really does help me when I know I did not get everything done that needed to be done that day. If I can look at all the things I DID accomplish, it makes me feel better about never really being able to feel totally finished. Sometimes I even write things down that I did that were not on my list too. If I was not able to complete a task, I use a forward arrow which lets me know I need to add it to tomorrow’s task list. This is also very helpful because it then becomes an A task for the next day. Sometimes, my day (or week) blows up with unexpected events, and I have a lot of arrows!!
  5. Put your phone away when you get home. I work hard all day. I am the first one to get there and the last to leave. Both myself and my family deserve for me to be fully present when I am home, and I am never fully present when my phone is around. I set it on the charger, and I don’t pick it up again until the next day. This may mean that I don’t always respond to emails, texts, and customer messages, but I need to give myself this time to avoid burnout.

A few other things that I do that really help is to always plan my week on Sundays, as I have mentioned previously. This allows us as a family to get our ducks in a row, so to speak, and avoid surprises during the week. Everyone knows what is going on and what to expect. If arrangements need to be made, I make them on Sunday so we are all set for the week.

These tips work for me, and I know there are so many productivity strategies available that I haven’t mentioned, so in this week’s Wednesday Wardrobing, I am going to share these as well as chat with my live viewers about what works for them as well. You can watch that video live at 6 p.m. MST today, 10/26/22. Watch live here: https://www.facebook.com/events/497432998949397

Fall and Winter Color Trends For 2022

Pantone: https://www.pantone.com/articles/fashion-color-trend-report/new-york-fashion-week-autumn-winter-2022-2023

Whenever I am ready to write my color report for the season, I always turn to Pantone. As a buyer, despite my concerted effort to not buy according to my own preferences but according to my customer’s wants and needs, my own color bias and regional biases are hard to overcome. As a mountain west girl, we tend to gravitate towards earthy colors and shy away from bold colors. Maybe it is because we like to blend into our landscape rather than stand out against it.

Whenever I am ready to write my color report for the season, I always turn to Pantone. As a buyer, despite my concerted effort to not buy according to my own preferences but according to my customer’s wants and needs, my own color bias and regional biases are hard to overcome. As a mountain west girl, we tend to gravitate towards earthy colors and shy away from bold colors. Maybe it is because we like to blend into our landscape rather than stand out against it.

According to Pantone, this season’s colors “support our need for nurturing and tactility, as well as a calm and restorative space, fulfilling our yearning for comfort. Concurrently, the colors also illustrate our need to break free of restraint and embrace the joy of being alive through super bright hues expressing energy boosting vitality and the celebration of life.” In other words, on the heels of pandemic and our lives being turned upside down, we are simultaneously seeking nurture and freedom. We need to be re-assured that calm is on the horizon while at the same time want to let all that pent up angst out.

While my experience of the pandemic in Wyoming is very different from that of readers from other places in the country and world, I can completely relate to this juxtaposition of desires. So many things have changed since the worst of the Covid pandemic hit the United States and world; we are still dealing with the ramifications in shortages, shipping delays, increased prices, and the like. We are adjusting to a new normal, and this somewhat chaotic experience makes us want colors that sooth our nerves. I see that

reflected the most in the core classic colors for the season. From soft and soothing cream, blush and grey and always stable black to earthy green, these key colors exude calm and predictability. They are easy to pair and soothing to the psyche. Grey works with burgundy, pink, blues, black, white, yellow, lavender, and many greens. Ivory is a great staple to pair with browns, rusts, earthy greens, black, and ocean blues. Blush and green are nurturing colors that feel soft and soothing.

But, not to be outdone, this season’s palate offers some bold colors that are meant to grab attention. Orange, mustard, pink and teal all add a punch of color to any look. Here in Wyoming, we might choose to use these colors in our accessories or mixed with other hues in prints.

My store has a plethora of the earthy rusts, reds and greens so popular this season. Again, these colors offer a boldness that still fits in with our evergreen trees and fall aspen leaves. I also love the mountain lake blues that are predominant and are so pretty paired with grey. It is easy to add a pop of mustard into this color palate as well while still not going overboard with color.

If you’d like to see some examples of these colors and how we interpret them here in Wyoming, you can watch my Wednesday Wardrobing video at 7 p.m. MST or catch the replay anytime in our VIP Facebook Group. You can watch that video here: https://www.facebook.com/events/579048177328422

Spring 2022 Color Palate

I always find it fascinating how the color palate for the season is a reflection of what is happening around us and how we are feeling about it emotionally. Keep in mind, that these spring colors were chosen by designers over a year ago when fabric teams and design teams began to imagine this season’s colors and styles.

Join me for a minute and think back to January of 2021. Do you remember what you were feeling? We had just finished 2020, and I remember hoping we were leaving Covid behind us, having just come out of a very difficult fall and winter with Covid infections and deaths. I felt shell shocked and yet hopeful, the way you leave a bad year behind and look forward to better times as the new year comes.

So it is out of this diverse state of needing comfort, familiarity and stability while at the same time needing to find hope and joy again that this season’s color palate and styles were born. This is how Leatrice Eisemen, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute, defines the season, “Colors for Spring 2022 bring together our competing desires for comforting familiarity and joyful adventure through a range of soothing and timeless colors, along with joyous hues that celebrate playfulness. As we enter this new landscape, one where fashion rules no longer apply, hues for Spring 2022 allow us to mix and marry as we please, encouraging the exploration of new chromatic realities, opening the door for personalized style and spontaneous color statements.” (https://www.pantone.com/articles/fashion-color-trend-report/new-york-fashion-week-spring-summer-2022)

Spring/Summer 2022 Color Palate, Pantone

As you look at this palate of colors, what feels familiar? Are there colors that you have seen before in previous seasons? What feels comforting or reminds you of a peaceful place? What feels playful? What brings you joy?

We all might answer these questions differently, but as for me, I’ve seen soft blues like Spun Sugar and pinks like Gossamer Pink for several seasons now, even in winter. Bright sunshine yellows life Daffodill as well as deeper mustards have also been consistent over the past several seasons. Denim blue is always foundational, so the Skydiver color feels familiar to me and grounding. Harbor Blue and Glacier Lake remind me of the ocean and a summer sky, so they make me feel comforted. Coca Mocha reminds me of my favorite latte and brings up images of holding a steaming cup of goodness. Dahlia, Innuendo and Poinciana are bright and playful colors, suggesting adventure and joy.

My pairing suggestions are to keep the softer, more pastel colors together as well as the bright colors together. The navy blue is your neutral, and every color in the palate besides the Cocoa Mocha will match well with it. Pair Cocoa Mocha with Gossamer Pink.

Spring/Summer Core Classic Colors for 2022, Pantone

This next grouping of colors are what we consider neutrals and foundational colors for the season. You can see that they are all easy to wear shades in soft flesh tones and greys. And then there is Basil. Does it seem out of place to you? Consider what green connotes – Pantone mentiones health and wellness, but green also symbolizes growth, newness, life, vitality, and change. Is it any wonder, coming out of 2020, that this color was included as a core color for the season? Pair Basil with any of these other neutrals for a delightful pop of color. The Poppy Seed will be a great grounding color for the brighter colors in the previous palate and the Northern Droplet will look beautiful for the softer, more pastel colors.

As you begin to shop for new items to add to your spring and summer wardrobe, you will likely be seeing these colors and versions of these colors in your favorite clothing lines. Pay attention to the emotional feeling they evoke for you. As a repesentation of our greatest hopes and desires, they are also a means to find healing. Look for colors that bring you comfort as well as those that inspire you to seek new adventure and find joy.

Watch my live video teaching series called Wednesday Wardrobing each Wednesday at 6 p.m. MST. I will be beginning my Seasonal Trends series tomorrow night and showing you examples of these colors and also how to pair them. Find out more about this series here and join to get messaged reminders of the videos. These classes are only broadcast in our VIP Facebook Group. You can join and watch live here: Fashion Crossroads Fashionistas.

Closet Clean Out Challenge One: Get Organized

pearsonphoto2018_102It’s a New Year.  How about a New You? With a year full of possibilities ahead, why not shake off that dead weight? I don’t know about you, cleaning out the old and bringing in the new feels like a great way to start the year.  That’s why I am doing a “New Year New You Closet Clean Out Challenge.” Want to know more? Read on…

There is something about getting organized that is so refreshing.  Shedding clutter makes me feel lighter, what about you? One of the most important places to get organized is in your closet.  We all know the frustration of searching for an outfit in the morning and pulling out item after item that is worn out, too big, too small or out dated.  Ugh.

I have a four-step system that I use every year in my own closet that is very effective in weeding out the items that I don’t wear and identifying items that require a match or another item to make them work more efficiently in my wardrobe.  I also find that when I take the time to apply these four simple steps, when I am finished, I can clearly see what I have and what I need.  Suddenly, I see new outfit options that I hadn’t noticed before because everything is organized in a way that makes sense.

This blog post is the first in a series of four New Year, New You, New Closet tutorials that will take you through this process, and hopefully, have you feeling lighter and de-cluttered as well as excited about your closet and shopping opportunities again.  I’ll be recording a video of today’s blog post during my weekly Wednesday Night Wardrobing Live Video broadcast within our VIP Facebook Group, Fashion Crossroads Fashionistas. Here’s a link to join the class: https://fb.me/e/2adC8R5Bm

So let’s dig in.

First, do me and yourself a favor.  As you complete the following steps, if you come across an item that you KNOW you will never wear again, pull it out now.  Don’t get bogged down yet in trying to decide about those scared cows…you know, the things you just can’t seem to let go of even though you haven’t worn them in 3 years.  We will deal with those in our next video.

Now, down to business.  The first step is to organize your closet by type.  First, separate your tops from your bottoms.  Put dresses in a separate section.  Now, organize your tops by sleeve length – short, ¾ and long.  Next, separate your tops by type.  Within the sleeve length grouping, separate the collared blouses from the pull overs.  If you have more than one season in the same closet, also separate summer from winter within each of the groups.  When you are finished, you should have your sleeveless tops grouped together.  Next should come your short sleeve tops and then your long sleeved tops, summer together and winter together.

Now do the same thing with your bottoms. Start with shorts and move to capris, ankle pants and long pants.  Then, within each group, separate by fabric.  Put your denim together, cottons together, slacks together, etc.  Then tackle your skirts, and organize them from shortest to longest.

I bet you feel lighter already! One more step! Now, within each group, organize them by color using the acronym ROYGBIV.  This stands for red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet.  Group like colors together.  For example, your pink tops will go next to the reds and your turquoise tops will go next to green or blue, depending on what hue the turquoise is.  Put your black, white and brown at the end.  Group your ivory and cream after white.  Next come the tans and browns.  Last, put your greys after the blacks.

Now, go have a glass of wine! You did it!

You have a week to enjoy your newly organized closet.  Watch for my next blog post and video called Closet Clean Out Challenge Two: Renew and Refresh.  In these tutorials, we will take a look at what you have and figure out what you need to get rid of and what you need to keep.

To watch my weekly Wednesday Night Wardrobing live videos where I will explain in more detail each of the steps, join my Fashion Crossroads Fashionistas VIP group page on Facebook and tune in Wednesday night at 6 p.m. MST.  I’ll be doing some fun giveaways at the end of the four part series which I will explain in this week’s video.

Happy organizing!

Closet Clean Out Step Three:

So here is where the rubber meets the road, so to speak, and this is why you have faithfully gone through Closet Clean Out Challenge Step One: Get Organized and Closet Clean Out Challenge Step Two: Refresh and Renew.  Now, you are truly ready to take advantage of your newly organized and cleaned out closet.  If you would like, you can join our VIP Facebook Group, Fashion Crossroads Fashionistas , and watch my videos explaining the process.  I will be airing Step 3 live tonight at 6 p.m

The goal for today’s time spent in your closet is to create a “Buying List” where you will record all the things you need to shop for in the future.  I recommend that you carry this list with you in your purse for those unplanned shopping days.  It will keep you on track to purchase the things you need, and, as a result, you will be a smarter shopper who avoids bringing items home that have to be eliminated in your next closet clean out!

Please grab a piece of paper and divide it into 3 Categories:

  1. Basics I Need
  2. Items that Need Matches
  3. Trends I Want To Buy
  4. My Best Colors

BASICS I NEED:

This section of your list should include all the core basics that are missing from your closet or need to be replaced.  Basics include solid neutrals such as grey, black, white, tan, navy, brown.  Take a moment to take stock of your sleeved and sleeveless tops, jackets, skirts and pants.  Are there any that you didn’t pull out but that are wearing out? If yes, write this down on your list.  Other items in this category might be classic prints and fabrics like Hounds-tooth,  tweed, some basic plaids, etc. Also consider your layering pieces.  Are there any jackets that need basic tops to complete them? Do you have any basic slacks that lack a coordinating blouse or top? Do you have a good white blouse? Do you have a basic black dress that can be dressed up or down? Do you have a nice pair of black work slacks? What about your shoes? Do any of these need to be replaced? This step should produce the biggest portion of your list because these are the core items in your closet that work back and forth with everything else.  These are the things that you should spend more money on and focus on getting quality that will last.

ITEMS THAT NEED MATCHES:

This section of your list is for all those printed items that need a match to make them work.  Is a there a jacket that you don’t wear enough because you don’t really like the top that goes with it? Write that down.  Is there a printed skirt that needs a top to match?  Maybe you eliminated a top that you always wore with that skirt in steps one or two of this 3 step process.  Now you need to replace that top.  Write it down on your list.  It is also helpful to take pictures of any printed items so when you get to the store you can remember what colors are in the print.  Better yet, however, is to set some time aside to go “match shopping” and bring all of your items with you so you can see not only how the colors work but also how fabric textures and styles work as well.  Try new items on with your old items and see how they work together before you buy them.

TRENDS I WANT TO BUY:

Make sure you leave some room in your closet for current trends that will keep your wardrobe updated.  Take some time to read trend reports (I’ll have one coming in the near future), and identify your favorite trends of the season.  Write these down so the next time you are shopping, you can pull out your list and remind yourself what you need to look for.  Trendy items can be less expensive because they are the most likely to come and go quickly and won’t need to stand the test of time.  Just keep in mind, the lighter the fabric, the more it will show your figure flaws.  Usually, the thicker (not stiffer) the fabric, the better the drape will be and the better job the item will do of disguising extra weight.

MY BEST COLORS:

If you have ever had the chance to have your colors done, you know how important it is to wear the right colors for your skin, but did you know that changing your hair color or going grey will change the colors you can wear? Your best colors do not stay static your entire life.  If you noticed that your closet is filled with a myriad of different warm and cool colors, that is an indication that you might not be sure what colors look best on you.  Honestly, this topic deserves a blog post all on its own, but let me summarize the steps to determining your best colors, according to the Color Me Beautiful method (Richmond, JoAnne.  Color Me Beautiful: 4 Seasons of Color, Makeup, and Style. Taylor Trade Publishing, 2008.)

  1. Are you warm (desert panorama) or cool (snowy mountain scene)? One clue you can use is your hair.  Warms usually have golden blonde, strawberry blonde, copper, red, or chestnut brown hair.  Cools usually have ash blonde, grey, silver, medium or dark brown, and jet black hair.
  2. If you identified yourself as a warm, you are either a Spring or Autumn.  Likewise, if you identified yourself as cool, you are either a Summer or Winter.
  3. Next, categorize yourself as a light or a dark based upon your hair color.  Lighter colors of hair like blonde, light brown, light red will be a considered a “light.” Conversely, darker colors of hair like brunette, dark red or black will be a “deep.”
  4. Putting all of this together then:
    1. Cool and Deep = Winter
    2. Cool and Light = Summer
    3. Warm and Deep = Autumn
    4. Warm and Light = Spring

I found a website that I think does a good job of giving great examples of this breakdown. Gabrielle Aruda breaks down this coloring system from Color Me Beautiful into more categories, as shown below. You can find some example color palates on her website.

So that’s it.  You’ve made it!  Wow! Great job! I’d love to hear your feedback on your biggest “ah ah” moments from going through this process.  And now…happy shopping!

Next week, I’ll be adding a bonus step focused on getting your jewelry, scarves, handbags and shoes organized too!

Closet Clean Out Challenge Step Two: Refresh and Renew

I hope you have enjoyed your newly organized closet! If you missed my Closet Clean Out Challenge Step One: Get Organized video, you can read my blog post for instructions on how to complete that step. Tonight, I will be recording Step Two: Refresh and Renew.

I performed step 1 on my own closet yesterday, and it felt good to get things organized. I totally enjoyed walking into my closet this morning and putting my outfit together. Everything looks so organized, and I can hardly wait for Step 4 when I get to organize my accessories! I eliminated about 20 items that I knew I would never wear again.  They were cluttering my closet, and having the extra space feels good! Heck, now I have the room to buy more…smile!

For those of you who are ready for step 2 in creating a closet that makes sense, this week’s step is called refresh and renew because we are going to take a hard look at what you kept.  I am guessing there were some items that you didn’t pull out because you just can’t bring yourself to get rid of them or because you rationalized their value in your wardrobe and the potential that you will…someday…wear them again.  I know you did this because I did the same thing.  This week, I have challenged myself to wear some of those “sacred cows,” as I call them.  If I can create an outfit that I like with them, they get to stay, but if not, they have to go.

As I have analyzed the top 10 rationalizations I used to determine which items to keep, I think they are probably some of the same ones you use too.  For me, these are the main arguments for hanging on:

  1. I might lose weight and be able to wear this again.
  2. If I would just take this to a tailor and get it altered I would wear it again.
  3. This is still fashionable, and I still love it, so how can I let it go?
  4. I wore this item for my anniversary with my husband so I should keep it for sentimental value.
  5. I might need this for a party, vacation, or special event some day.
  6. I wouldn’t be caught dead in this any more, but I could wear it around the house or when I go camping.
  7. I can’t have too many sweaters, vests and coats; I live in Wyoming!
  8. This is a classic that never goes out of style.
  9. I can’t fit in this anymore, but I will use it as “motivation” to lose weight.
  10. I just bought this item last year, so it is a waste of money to get rid of it.

Do any of these excuses seem familiar? Building from this, I think we can create a list of corresponding questions that will help you evaluate what you kept to determine if those items really do need to stay in your closet another year.  So, here is what I want you to do: go through your closet and gather up all your “sacred cows” (the items that you have probably considered letting loose before now but always talk yourself out of) and every other item you did not wear in 2022.  Take them out of your closet into another room and then, one by one, answer the following questions for each item:

  1. I might lose weight and be able to wear this again. Is this item either my current size, ONE size bigger,  or ONE size smaller than I wear today? If the answer is “no,” it goes.
  2. If I would just take this to a tailor and get it altered, I would wear it again. Can I take this item to a tailor in the next 10 days? If the answer is “yes,” put this date on your calendar and keep it.  If the answer is “no,” it goes.
  3. This is still fashionable, and I still love it, so how can I let it go?  If the item is still in fashion and you still love it but haven’t worn it in a year, you need to evaluate why.  Take a minute now and try it on.  Maybe there is just a fit issue that you don’t like.  Perhaps it clings too much in the wrong places.  Maybe it is itchy.  Maybe it drains the color out of your face.  If you discover any issue with the item that has been keeping you from wearing it, it goes.
  4. I wore this item for my anniversary with my husband so I should keep it for sentimental value. This one is tough.  We tend to attach sentimental value to items we wore for special events, and we hold on to them for that reason.  For me, the decision to keep these items is really about space.  Do you have the space to hold onto items that you will probably never wear again? If the answer is no, it goes.  Is there another place that you could store them, say perhaps a cedar chest? If the answer is yes, move it.
  5. I might need this for a party, vacation, or special event some day. So I am particularly bad about number 5.  I had dresses I hadn’t worn in more than a year (and that I didn’t wear on my last beach vacation) that I was saving for my next beach vacation.  I had a hard talk with myself and they ended up in the “donate” pile.  After all, part of the fun of a vacation is buying something new for it.  Do you know for sure that you are taking a vacation or having a special event in 2020 that you would wear the item to? If the answer is “no,” it goes.
  6. I wouldn’t be caught dead in this any more, but I could wear it around the house or when I go camping.  Do you already have enough “wear around the house” or “painting” or “cleaning” or “camping” items? (I’m guessing your answer will be “yes.”) Are any of those worn out? (probably yes again.) Consider adding these items to your comfy group after you have thrown some others out.
  7. I can’t have too many sweaters, vests and coats; I live in Wyoming! Yes, hoarding coats and sweaters when you live in a state that has 6 months of winter seems to make sense, however, how many coats do you really need? Let me help you out: 1 long dress coat, 1 3/4 length dress coat, 1 casual coat, 1 sport coat (like a skiing jacket), and 1 spring coat.  Okay, okay…maybe you can add 1 trendy coat, but I’m giving you that one, coat hoarder….I’m speaking to myself here.  Coats are especially needed by the poor and disadvantaged, so that is even more incentive to get rid of them.  As far as sweaters go, if you didn’t wear it last year….guess what….it goes.
  8. This is a classic that never goes out of style. Another particularly tempting rationalization for me is the “you should never get rid of a classic” argument.  Well, here’s what I know about clothing from having been in this business for over twenty years.  Even when manufacturers and designers bring back a classic like the blazer, they change it just enough to make the older ones seem out of date.  The changes are small things like length, number of buttons, collar style, sleeve length, etc., but they are just enough to cause your “classic” item to become “vintage.”  Here’s my rule for “classic pieces:” if you haven’t worn it in the last TWO years, it goes.  Oh, and just in case you need to know what items qualify as “classic,” here is a list: blazers; solid collared, button up blouses; layering pieces like tanks, turtle necks and light weight sweaters; suit skirts in neutral colors; slacks in neutral colors; basic black dresses.
  9. I can’t fit in this anymore, but I will use it as “motivation” to lose weight. Okay ladies, I’m going to be in your business a little here.  Pardon me.  I have your best interests at heart, I promise.  Our bodies change as we age.  At 48, I am going through this very thing myself.  There are certain aspects of my body that will never look the same as they did five or ten years ago.  I am a BIG advocate for staying active and healthy, however, I am also realizing that I need to let some expectations about my body go.  Size 4 may be gone for me…I don’t know.  I’m working on it to see.  But, I definitely know size 2 is out, and I don’t want to work that hard to get back there any way.  If it is too tight or too small for me to get into, it goes.
  10. I just bought this item last year, so it is a waste of money to get rid of it.  We ALL make buying mistakes.  Who knows why we do it? Maybe we were influenced by a shopping partner or we were in the mood for something new or out of the box that day.  Whatever it was that caused us to buy it, we have questioned that decision ever since.  As an example, I pulled a pair of floral wrap pants out of my closet during the first step of this process that I just bought last summer.  I wore them once and then passed them up the rest of the season.  Why? They really weren’t me.  If it’s new, but you keep passing it by for other things when you get dressed in the morning, it goes.

Okay, that’s it.  These are the top 10 rationalizations I have made (and I’m guessing you have made) and my answers for them.

If you want to watch my video explaining this process, watch my live video tonight. You can find that in our Fashion Crossroads Fashionistas Facebook Group

5 Tips For Choosing Your Christmas Eve Outfit

Well, it is official….Christmas Eve is just 10 days away!! Have you picked your holiday look yet?

Whether your Christmas Eve festivities are casual or dressy, it is important to feel great and be comfortable, so you can enjoy your family and friends during this important holiday. As you consider what to wear, here are my 5 tips for making the most of your holiday look:

Choose clothing that can transition between events easily: Christmas Eve often means travelling between venues. Whether it is church and home or friends and family member’s houses, you will likely be in and out and maybe even transitioning between dressy (church) and casual (home) events. Layers are your friend in this situation. Choose comfy bottoms and then dress them up by layering sweaters and vests, tunics or blouses and cardigans, or blouses and blazers. Keep your outer most layer dressy so you can remove it when the casual part of your evening arrives.

Consider the weather and your accessories and outerwear: Heels and snow don’t mix very well unless you enjoy cold feet! If you are in a cold weather climate, like here in Wyoming, you are likely not going to choose a dress unless it is with tights and boots. It is just too cold and messy outside. Comfy clothes like tunics and leggings, blazers and jeans, cardigans and stretchy pants are a great choice. Shoe boots and tall boots are a savior this time of year because you just never know when you are going to run into a un-shoveled sidewalk or icy walkway. Sensible shoes will keep you dry, warm and safe.

Likewise, if you are heading to a party, you may want to get some air and take a break outside. Make sure you think through your outer wear accordingly, and for goodness sake, don’t ruin your outfit with the wrong kind of coat!! If you’ve dressed up, don’t put a puffy coat over the top of your look unless it is a dressy version.

Don’t limit yourself to certain colors: There are a lot of looks that can work for Christmas Eve, and you don’t need to be wearing red or green to look festive. White and black are always classic, and you can dress up a simple outfit with some sparkly jewelry to make it look very appropriate for a holiday look. Gold and cream are also a classic combo that can work very well. Having just a splash of red or a print that includes red and green are also good options. I even like raspberry and pink for holiday looks. I’ll be featuring some I have chosen in my weekly Wednesday Wardrobing video tonight at 6 p.m. MST. Watch for some other ideas besides what I have pictured here.

Add some sparkle: Adding a sequin tank or top can totally change your style from everyday to holiday. Consider the cream cardigan and gold sequin top pictured above, as a great example of this. A dressier handbag like the snakeskin printed leather crossbody in the first picture or the dressy clutches in several of the other pictures also add an element of class and sparkle. And, of course, sparkly jewelry is a must! This is the time to pull out your Swarovski crystals and wear them with pride!

Focus on the reason for the season: While looking and feeling beautiful is a worthy endeavor, how you look is not the ultimate point of the season. Connecting with your loved ones, celebrating life and the joy of the season, being grateful for your blessings and remembering the gift of God this season are the true things that will make your night sparkle. Set an intention to feel great in how you look and then be present as you go though your evening. Notice the lights, the tastes and smells, and enjoy!

Any of these looks can be found in my Kyleen’s Picks Collection for this week on http://www.fashioncrossroadsinc.com or in our brick and mortar store, Fashion Crossroads, in downtown Casper, Wyoming.

5 Looks For A Christmas Party

Recently, I asked my staff members to choose a Christmas look to feature in my Wednesday Wardrobing Live Video series. I didn’t give them any direction other than they could choose the items from either of my stores (Fashion Crossroads or FC Outlet) and that I wanted them to accessorize their outfit choice.

When I came into work today, I saw all of their cute and stylish looks hanging in the back room and waiting for me. What surprised me the most is that, despite having no direction to do so, they all chose black and white or black and gold combinations. There wasn’t a single red or green look in the bunch!!

I think this just goes to show you that we really can think outside the box when it comes to holiday party looks. Let me talk about what each staff member chose.

Debbie: This Baby Boomer knocked it out of the park trend wise with her choice of black vegan leather leggings paired with a sheer and feminine, ruffled white blouse. She then added styled a cropped cardigan trimmed with silver lurex thread. She finished her look with a silver heart necklace, white snowflake earrings and a pearlized white leather clutch from HOBO.

Shop this look here: https://fashioncrossroadsinc.com/products/molly-bracken-knitted-cardigan

Christie M: This Generation Xer went classic 80’s with her choice of a vegan leather blazer in black paired over a classic collared white button up blouse. The blouse is tunic length, so it shows about an inch below the hemline of the blazer. On the bottom, she picked black leggings in a dressy and heavy weight ponte knit with a seam up the center of the leg. To finish the look, she chose a red tassel necklace with two tassels and natural beads. Last, she choose large red earrings trimmed in gold.

Liz R: Our youngest staff member stayed totally on trend with a black velvet big shirt, worn open and paired over a gold sequined, short sleeved top. On the bottom, she chose black vegan leather leggings. For accessories, Liz picked a long lava bead necklace and coordinated it with a black bracelet and earrings. She added a black leather clutch from HOBO with gold metal accents on the strap to accent the gold sequins on the top.

Chris S: Another baby boomer, this red headed staff member chose an all white look with black accents. On the top, she chose a faux velvet turtle neck top paired under a white vegan leather jacket. The leather jacket has fun zipper details highlighting the moto trend. On the bottom, she picked a lined, white dress slack. For accessories, she chose a black multi leather strap necklace with a glitter pendant and sparkly earrings.

Shop this look here: https://fashioncrossroadsinc.com/products/love-tree-faux-leather-zip-biker-jacket-in-white

Chris E: Our newest staff member and another baby boomer, Chris went classy and simple with her choice. On the top, she picked a solid black travel knit tunic with a cut out in the back. The style is an A-line cut which pairs well over the skinny legged bottoms she picked. For that bottom, Chris chose a black ankle jean with a slit in the back and an embellished, white pearl bow. Additionally, the hemline of the jean is lined in pearls and crystals. She accented the pearls on the jean with a pearl necklace with a clear crystal pendant and pearl earrings.

You can see all of these looks and vote on your favorite when you watch my live video.

Hat, Glove And Scarf Trends for Winter 2022

Old Man Winter is fully in swing here in Wyoming, and that cold wind does blow. It is most definitely hat, glove, and scarf weather. Just like you can ruin a stylish outfit with the wrong shoes or handbag, you can also ruin a stylish coat with outdated winter accessories. That’s why you’ll want to know the latest hat, glove and scarf trends so you can keep up to date.

Hat Trends:

  1. Beanies: By far the most popular hat trend is the beanie, but there are multiple types of beanies that you can choose from. Right now, you will find Pom Beanies like the one pictured above on the right that are distinguished by some type of pom on the top, slouchy beanies that have an oversized look that hangs off the top of your head, and pony tail beanies that have holes and allow for you to wear a hat with a pony tail. Whatever type you choose, make sure it coordinates with your coat, scarf and gloves. I really recommend buying your winter accessories at the same time to keep everything matched.
  2. Other popular styles of hats right now are bucket hats, wool berets, and fedoras. Bucket hats look like you are wearing a bucket upside down on your head. Berets are classically French and are usually worn to the side of your head, and fedoras are structured hats like the one pictured at the top on the left. You will also see newspaper boy hats this season which are characterized by a bill and usually a rounded top.

Glove Trends:

  1. Vegan Leather: just like the abundance of vegan leather jackets and vests that are popular this season, gloves are following suit with faux leather and suede verities. These are great because they are usually solid colors that are easy to pair with printed scarves and hats.
  2. Plaid: Similarly, the strength of plaid this season, especially in blouses and shackets, has carried over to gloves. You’ll find a variety of gloves adorned with plaid prints. Be careful, however, not to overdo the plaid as you can end up with a plaid hat, scarf and glove which might be too much unless they are designed to go together.
  3. Knits: Gloves are really following the sweater trends this season. The strongest knits in sweaters are hombre yarns, variegated yarns and cable knit styles. You’ll find knit gloves with these same elements that are essentially mini sweaters on your hands!

Scarf Trends:

  1. Cowl neck scarves: Half the sweaters in my store right now have Cowl Necks, and some even have removeable Cowl Necks, so it is no surprise that this type of a neck can also double as a great “scarf.” The best part is you don’t have to add a scarf because your sweater will do it for you.
  2. Cashmere: This style never goes out, but this season, you will see extra long cashmere scarves that you can wrap multiple times. Watch my Wednesday Wardrobing Live Video 11/30/22 to see some examples.
  3. Fringe Edged: Scarves with fringe on the edges is also popular. These can be large, oversized scarves, or smaller wool scarves.
  4. Plaid: As with gloves, plaids are very popular in scarves this season. Just remember to match a plaid to the color of your coat and don’t over do it with too many plaid elements.

That’s it…so many options to choose from. Being truly stylish means you pay attention to how everything works together not only in your outfit but in your accessories as well. Don’t ruin a great look with out of date or mismatched outerwear accessories, and don’t ruin a great coat with a hat, some gloves and a scarf that don’t look like they coordinate.

Stay warm and stylish my friends!

3 Ways To Style A Plaid Shirt

Continuing my “3 Ways To Style” series, this week’s blog post is focused on new ways to style a plaid blouse. The great thing about blouses is that they are so versatile. At a bare minimum, you can always style a basic button up blouse left out, tucked in, or tied in the front. The full style potential of a blouse is not realized, however, until you begin layering. Here are my top 3 ways to layer a plaid blouse.

  1. Layer over a graphic tee and under a vest: This is a fun style and is perfect for a cold day because this style adds the extra layer of a vest for warmth that can be worn by itself or under a coat. When you are matching a tee and a plaid shirt, just be sure the colors in the tee are also in the top. For example, if your plaid shirt has black, white and pink, choose a graphic tee that is in one of those colors.
  2. Layer over a striped tee and under a jacket: Mixing stripes and plaids is a fun way to pair patterns. The same principle applies as what I described with layering with a graphic tee. Match your stripes to the colors in your plaid shirt. In my example above, a black and white striped top would be a great choice. Then, choose a coordinating jacket in a solid color to go over the top. This style can be dressed up also and made to work with your work slacks when you choose a dressier jacket or even a blazer.
  3. Layer a plaid blouse under a sweater: Showing the plaid shirt collar and tail under a coordinating solid or printed sweater is another great way to layer your top. It adds dimension and character to the sweater and also an extra layer of warmth. Layering a vest or jacket over the sweater is also a great option.

In my weekly Wednesday Wardrobing Video this week, I demonstrated each of these ideas. Watch that video here: 3 Ways To Style A Plaid Shirt