Railroad Stripes

If you've been following me, even for a short period o f time, you know I love stripes.  A strong horizontal stripe on a big cozy top or dress is my thaang.  So I suppose it was only a matter of time that I fall in love with railroad stripes.  It's really the classic cotton/linen that is associated with railroad striping.  And the fact that I also adore linen and Japanese cotton, well why didn't it happen sooner??

But I actually didn't want to like it.   The strong, durable, breathable blue-collar fabric originally used in mens labor uniforms is now trending in high-price minimal clothing with words like "collective", "capsule" and "pop-up" used to sell them.  $500 for a railroad stripe dress?  Come on people, it's just manual labor cotton!

So as per usual, I had to make one myself.
Recognize the design?  It's actually a further adapted design from this dress.  And I love it.
Love it!!
What's great about this type of linen is that over time, it will turn slouchy and lived in.  Almost like denim.  Like a well-loved pair of jeans.  I already want to wear this everyday so it looks like it's going to part of my Fall capsule.  Here in L.A., it runs around 80 degrees until November so I'll be getting some good wear from this wear-and-tear-stable piece!
Currently experimenting with shoes and accessories with this dress.  
We shall see!

Happy, happy Monday!  
And speaking of Monday, this chic little "work" dress is perfect for my weekday grind.
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Summer Nights

I picked up this skirt in a little shop that is sadly not in business anymore.  I didn't really know what to do with it at the time - it was floor-length - but I saw potential in it and wanted to show support to my local indie retailer.  Much livelier than the rest of my wardrobe, I loved its Mexican vibe and anyway, y'all know how I absolutely love Southwest and South American style.  The colors, the designs...
So to make the skirt relevant for my Tiny Closet, I shortened it considerably, leaving only the bottom half decor.  I love it.  It's flashy, flirty, ethnic and one of a kind.  And it goes so well with my Tiny Closet design cropped tee!
Every month during the Summer, Chinatown holds an amazing event called Summer Nights.  Bands, DJs, confetti poppers, like 20 food trucks and tons of restaurants... After shortening this skirt and pairing it super simply with some flat sandals and a chic cropped tee, I know exactly what I'll be wearing for this weekends festivities.
This is also a fabulous duo for a date night or party with friends.  I mean, the more I think about it, where can't you wear a flirty lil mini skirt, sandals and a tee on a Summer evening?  

I can wear this little outfit anywhere.  So you know, that means this skirt's a keeper.
 Happy Thursday to you!
thanks for visiting!

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Have Fun

Amidst the busy hustle and bustle that seems to be a constant state for now, this weekend I just had to throw my hands up and laugh.  Laugh hard.  I feel like stress can only erupt 3 ways, tears, screaming or laughter.  I chose laughter.  I chose to have some fun.
Maybe that's why I found myself in this black silky jumpsuit and a 90s cropped top...  because I can't really think of any other reason why I would combine the two.  I mean it works but it doesn't really fit my style or current musings.  

It definitely fit my mood however, and isn't that just as important?  Clothing has a wonderful way of reflecting ones emotions.   
And a spectacular job at influencing them.
 I ended up having fun during what could've been an arduous task of shooting, then running off to one engagement and then another.  Also, I'm feeling relieved with my lighter closet.  Cleaning out my closet, I can now carry my entire wardrobe in my arms!!  Ah the freedom, ah the lightness of living a more minimal, streamlined life.  I have much to share about this new transformation so please keep visiting for more!

And it's Monday - Go out and have a ball!
Thanks for visiting!
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Earth Tone

I've been experimenting a lot in the studio lately with earth tones.  I have never cared for them.  I think there was one time I divulged and that was because I was living in Seattle at the time and Washington is such a green, deeply forested and "earthy" place, I thought, what the heck. I actually really liked the look I came up with - but browns, forest greens,  dark burgundies - not at all my colors...  

But perhaps that's why I love the tropics and the southwest so much!  Those earth tones?  Forget about it.  That's my color family.  Maybe you've come across the same issue?  One of my friends comes alive in the Spring - she is the queen of light airy pastels, while another friend of mine cannot wear black at all but does incredibly well in browns.  Interesting!
 I am extremely sensitive when it comes to wearing solid colors.  With prints, less so but with a solid color - it's got to be doing something for me - it can't just be there because I like the color.  I love a lot of colors but I practically don't wear any because of my pickiness.

So, I've been designing and working with the "other" palettes of earth tones: clay, sand, dark muted teal, cool burgundies, rust...  Ladies, I'm having a blast.
 Anyway, this a lighter clay color I came across while shopping through dyes.  It's very salmon-like but in person you can definitely see more orange and browns.  
I stepped outside this morning to snap a few shots of my new endeavors.  Guys, my closet is so small now!!  I don't really know what to wear on the blog anymore without making you roll your eyes from the repetitiveness of it all.  But that right there is a discussion worth having.  

Now that my closet is under 20 pieces, let's talk about it!  What it means for everyday life, inspiration, motivation, and love for fashion.  Keep visiting for more on all of this very soon!
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Everyday Elegance

I first designed this dress almost 2 years ago.  I wore it with harem pants and my favorite olive suede heels here. An then with boots and a trench here.  It has definitely been perfected over the years.  I'm very pleased with the fit, the shape - the ease of wear!   You've got to be able to move in your clothes.

Anyway, the elegance of this piece is understated.  And so effortless.  You'll be seeing this piece soon enough in my shop.  And if you're on my mailing list, even sooner!
I am as in love with this dress as I was when I first made it.  It is indeed, a Tiny Closet staple.  And part of my capsule wardrobe for the season, which I still need to share with you!!  One of these days soon.  I'm still (yes, still!) putting it together.
 I like a light heather gray for this piece.  It makes it even more approachable for everyday wear, which I want it to be.  And with an oversize wood bangle with leather and gold accents on the hands and feet, this baby is pure casual elegance.  Natural and effortless.  Did I say it was effortless?  Well it  is.  

And isn't that the point of all of this?  To find your self expression without screaming it?  I just want to say it softly and evenly, without effort.  I think I did that in this dress.

Keep your eyes peeled for it in The Tiny Closet Shop!

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Every Woman

About 3 weeks ago, I decided to start a small business.  A Tiny business I suppose, hehe.  After blogging about personal style for years, it's incredibly rewarding to see all kinds of women in my clothing.  
It's also keeping me very busy these days!  Thanks so much for visiting the blog and I will be back to blogging on my regular schedule on Thursday!

In the meantime, come over to The Tiny Closet Shop to check out my first collection so far, Indian Summer!

Happy Monday!

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Evening Statements

As I mentioned earlier, I've been putting more effort into accessorizing.  I'm a simple gal and I get claustrophobic even wearing more than 3 things on my body at a time, so jewelry has always been a frustrating afterthought.  But I love it so much!  It shouldn't be hard, it should be fun expression.

I've been focusing on expressing myself more through accessories and I've found that I prefer statement pieces.  Just one item of jewelry will do to satisfy my desires to accessorize while also maintaining my comfort levels in froufrou.

When Happiness Boutique, an online jewelry boutique, contacted me about their new jewelry items for the season, I was pretty impressed with the amount of options they had.  And they even had a fabulous category dedicated specifically to Statement Necklaces (!!)  Of course I had to take a peek.

And I found this gem...
I was so struck by this statement necklace, the Cream & Gold Belle Statement Necklace, that I obviously had to have it.  Mainly to wear it with another statement piece of mine...
This black Vogue pattern I whipped up last Spring was made for this necklace!  I mean the duo couldn't be any more perfect.  I put this simple outfit together for an early evening out.  Minimal, chic black linen with a romance-y, femmy necklace.
I so love my gift from Happiness Boutique and I wouldn't have joined their campaign if I wasn't going to be a returning customer.  Their selection of statement pieces is huge and so versatile! I'm excited to try something else to punch up another item in my Tiny Closet.  Stay tuned.

Aaaaand!  Happiness Boutique gave me a discount to share with you!   

Use this code at checkout when you shop at Happiness Boutique and receive a 10% discount for orders over $21.  Valid until August 24th!
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Dressing For Yourself

I was wearing these white flats the other day while shopping on Melrose with a friend.  I made a reference to my new shoes, to which she replied with simply a quiet smile.

...hm.  Ok.  :-/
"You don't like them, do you?" I said.
She giggled and shook her head.  The fact was, I hadn't gotten a single compliment on these shoes since I got them.

"Nobody likes these shoes!"  I exclaimed, and we both started laughing.  "They were $250 and no one likes them."

"Well," She said.  "You better wear those shoes then!  Who cares?  Wear them and get your moneys worth out of them!"

She was right.  Who cares?  I love them to bits and besides,  I'd been wearing them so much it was too late to take them back so I might as well get their worth.  I felt a bit silly for depending on compliments to convince me of my purchase but...
Being a style blogger, it's easy to get used to wearing and styling clothes for the show-and-tell of it all.  It's easy to lose myself in the "performance" of dressing - like wearing something I know everyone will love even if I don't love it as much... or not wearing something I adore because I know it won't rate too high with others.

Have you ever found the most perfect dress in the world only to find you never get a single compliment when you wear it?  It's a drag.  But does that mean it was a waste?  Have you ever bought something because it was totally on trend and people would love it on you even though you personally couldn't care much for it?  You don't have to be a style blogger to get sucked into the performance as well.  With social media, fashion forums, and just the height and broadness of the fashion industry nowadays, we all can get an applause now for an outfit well done.  And oh, how tantalizing that is!

But while dressing for others can certainly be useful (interviews, auditions, ex-boyfriends) it was nice to be reminded by my friend that at the end of the day, you've got to wear it so you better love it. 

Even if no one tells you they love it too.
The show-and-tell of it all is such fun but dressing in spite of it all, now that truly cultivates a strong personal style.  And an amazing, one of a kind wardrobe!

Happy Thursday to you all!
And to all you Tiny Closet Shop mailing listers, I've got new designs coming really soon so
keep your eyes on your inboxes!
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Summer Statements

When Summer hits, I love wearing big statement jewelry.  And since I'm pretty minimal with my style in general, I usually fancy single, oversize pieces like a long pendant necklace, a finger ring or a huge cuff.  

What is it about Summer time and my seasonal infatuation with big roomy statement pieces??  
No clue.  

It was Summer when I bought the biggest dress on the planet years ago and still wear it to this day, this parachute ikat maxi dream...
And this Summer, I was pleased to be asked to join a campaign for Larimar Bliss, a beautiful jewelry company specializing in statement pieces made of Larimar.  I happily accepted when I learned more about the Larimar gemstone and especially when I peeped their rings!
The blue colors that make up Larimar is the definition of Summer for me.  It reminds me of endless beaches and blue skies.  I decided to pair this particular statement dress with a wonderfully big statement ring and it all says "Summer!".  Leisure, blissful Summer!
 This ring, with the simplest design and sole focus on the stone, is my kind of presentation for a piece that makes a statement every day and adds to my Summer outfits.  

I'll be showing off some more Summer jewelry in the next weeks to come.  I don't really share that side of my closet enough.  Perhaps because I keep my accessorizing mainly to warm, sunny times of the year.  I love and accept my personal style (and that comes with never naturally turning to jewelry when dressing in the morning) but I've really been aspiring to up my game a little in the accessories department.  Exploring small, special boutiques like Larimar Bliss inspires me to be even more expressive and creatively feminine with my Tiny Closet so... more on that to come!

Happy, blissful Monday to you!

Oh!  The Tiny Closet Shop is now open to all!  Thank you so much to everyone who has subscribed to my mailing list.  There's some fun new items coming to the shop very soon so stay tuned!  

And a super special thank you to everyone that placed an order during my first week of opening!!  Thank You! 
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Hair Style & Maintenance Updates

It's been a while since I talked about my hair, what I'm doing with it now, what products I use and trials and tribulations...  
Let's get started!

So, remember when I got a Brazilian Blowout in Spring of 2015?  I sure do...  Oy.  

As much research as I did, the reality of how to maintain a BB with having such tight curls as I do was something that, in the end, needed to be experienced.  There was some good, some bad and then some mistakes.  Before I tell you why I did it, I'll run through with you what a Brazilian Blowout is.
**If you just want to read about the products I'm using, scroll all the way down**

First, a Brazilian Blowout is not a straightener.  
It's nothing like a relaxer.  A relaxer shocks the hair folical and causes it to lay straight.  It will never return to its natural state, the chemical is permanent.  A Brazilian Blowout is basically a de-frizz serum.  It makes your hair completely impenetrable to moisture in the air.  No frizz!  Anyone can get a BB and be completely resistant to humidity.  This is achieved by the technique in which they use to apply the serum throughout your hair.  And it lasts for about 3 months.  

Here's how they apply it:

All oils and remaining product are washed out of the hair before beginning
They wash out 100% of any product still in your hair when you arrive: conditioner, oils, etc - whatever is in your hair, they wash it out completely.  It takes about 4 washes with a clarifying shampoo or apple cider vinegar.  Not good for a Type 4 gal like me.  

The hair is blown dry.
And not just dry but bone dry.  No part of the hair can be even damp.  Eeek!  So after several drying washes, the hair is dried to the bone.  I could literally hear the stylist touching my hair.  It sounded like she was moving around hay. 

The BB is applied in sections
They apply the serum in sections until the entire head is complete.  

They use a flattening iron to seal in the serum
Immediately after the product is on, they use a flat iron and straighten your hair, sealing in the serum.  Lots of smoke!  It will make you feel like something is going terribly wrong.  It's not.  Is the serum organic and environmentally safe?  Not really.  But if your eyes begin to water or your nose stings just put a towel over your face.  It's similar to the toxicity of a roller perm.

They wash out excess serum with a conditioning shampoo and conditioner
Then comes the pampering!  Right when I thought this was starting to be a mistake, my hair is drenched in thick creamy moisturizing goodness.  The serum was flat-ironed into my hair completely coating the hair, shielding it from dirty air, moisture, radicals, sun exposure, etc.  Like a raincoat.  Then a moisturizing cleanser and conditioner is used to wash out the excess serum and further coat the hair.

Straighten it or wear it natural and that'll be $250 please
You have the option of having the stylist straighten your hair again before you leave and let me tell you if you do decide to have it straightened, you will gasp when you see your hair, feel it, style it - hunnnnyyyyyy  you will wonder what you were doing before a BB.  Or you can diffuse your newly coated head of curls and keep them popping.  Naturally.  And mine was $200.

So...Why did I do it?
I basically wanted to look like this photo any time I wanted.  Did you know getting my hair like that took 3 hours?  And guess how long it lasted?  1-2 days.  Sometimes, just a few hours.  Maddening, right?

I wanted to be able to wear my suuuuper curly hair straight sometimes.  I wanted to get up one day and say, "I think I'll straighten it today!" or "I think I'll sport some waves today."  and then go back to naturally curly goodness whenever I want.  A BB makes that completely possible.  Before, I couldn't just decide to straighten my hair, the 3 hours I needed for that had to be planned.  With a BB, it's one hour.

The products I used while I had the BB was mainly Redken.  Their All Soft line.  It was lighter than the curly-focused products I'd used on my natural hair.  But I still used Camille Rose naturals cleansers, the Clean Rinse and the Sweet Ginger Cleansing Rinse.  You can't use a harsh shampoo with a BB (it'll wash it out faster).

But here's where it went wrong...
After my BB, I had the stylist straighten it.  And I straightened it again the next day, and the next and the next.  I was straightening it so much that when I decided to finally rock the curls, they were nowhere to be found.  I didn't have curls.  The ends were fried, the curls looked like a tortured telephone cord.  I blamed it all on my Brazilian Blowout.  But really, I just shouldn't have straightened it so much.  Maybe a woman with looser curls than I could've gotten through that but I didn't.  The tighter your curl, the more fragile.  It also has to do with the type of hair you have - not just the curl pattern.  Fine or course?  Mine is fine.  Porous or non-porous?  Porous!  I waited for a few months but the hair never sprung back.

So I cut it all off.
I felt liberated.  I felt like me.  I was back to my roots (literally) and I never wanted to do a BB or any other chemical treatment again.  I was au natural and loved it!  Plus, since my hair was barely an inch long and I continued to have it shaved, I could divulge in all the hair products I could never use when my hair was longer and much higher maintenance.  Products that would kill my curls if they were longer.  It was so amazing.  I was using Aesop, R&Co, Bumble & Bumble, you name it I tried it.  I kept it shaved for several months.

Then I grew tired of the singular look I had.  I wanted to feel more feminine, I also knew my husband preferred me with long hair.  He loved how huge it used to be.  And I did too.  So I began growing it out.  Having gone full circle so many times at this point, I realized that I would end up in the same place as how I started: tired of maintaining an ever-growing eco-system on my head, loving the bigness, then hating it.  Loving the tight curls, then detesting the maintenance.  So I returned my focus to the Brazilian Blowout again...  Stop rolling your eyes and let me explain!

This time, I knew how it worked and more importantly, I knew how to manage my hair to make a BB work for me in a positive way.  Because at the end of the day, a Brazilian Blowout simply protects your hair and keeps it healthy.  Almost like a chemical protective style.  You just need to know its nature and how it works with your nature.  

So I got another BB in May of this year.  I straightened it a couple times and then I left it natural.  If you have hair like mine: fine, type-4, porous curls you can really only straighten your hair occasionally with a BB.  Or else the curls will not bounce back.  But when you do wear your hair straight, it'll be dynamite.
And also, you'll love rocking the curls!  A BB makes them so shiny, which I always had a hard time with before - getting my curls to shine.
 IMPORTANT:  The tightness of your curl will change!  Not necessarily true for Type 2-3 girls but definitely true for Type 4.  It's the nature of the beast, every strand of hair has protective "scales"  that cover it.  Humidity and moisture cause those scales to raise up, causing the hair to be and look "frizzy".  The BB serum locks those scales down permanently (well, for like 2-3 months because the serum does eventually wash out over time) so that even in high humidity, the hair will not become frizzy.  

My point is, this inadvertently loosens curls.  So that's why, if you notice, my curls are more of the Type 3 family now.  I am okay with that I suppose.  It's a small sacrifice I made to have easily transitioning hair.  But I miss my super tight coils.
 Anyway, I am STILL using Camille Rose Naturals!!!  Her products just can't be beat.  And I've tried to find other products to mess with since I get tired of the smell of CRN at times (I'm more of an herbal, woodsy scent loving gal - not a fan of the vanilla/coconut/brown sugar scene, bleh!)  but the quality of Camille Rose continues to be phenomenal.
Since my hair is still quite short, I don't do much to it.  I don't even put any styling products in it - mainly due to the fact that my Brazilian Blowout makes my hair look like it's already styled when I get out of shower.  I just lift and pull the hair up from the roots, mainly in the crown and back area, and then I'm done.  I let it air dry.

I use Camille Rose Naturals Sweet Ginger Cleansing Rinse.  I don't mind the scent of that shampoo.  It has a zing to it and doesn't dry my hair but also doesn't leave a residue.  It's a fabulous daily shampoo and I do use it daily since I wear a wash and go.

For conditioning, I use Camille Rose Naturals Coconut Water Leave-In Treatment.  I actually rinse this conditioner out even though it's a leave-in but it's absolutely amazing at detangling and making my curls silky smooth!  I ran out of the Coconut Water Leave-In last week so I immediately went to Camille Rose Naturals Almond Jai Twisting Butter.  It's really good at detangling and I use it as a conditioner when I'm in a pinch.  I used to swear by CRN Moisture Milk but with my looser curls and slightly different hair texture, the Moisture Milk is too heavy now.  I also don't use the CRN Curl Maker as I don't need to.  Having a Brazilian Blowout is pretty cool in the sense that it protects and sets the hair for you.  I don't really need a gel or style setter.  That being said, I most likely will need an assisting style product when my hair gets longer.
So there you have it!  My latest hair evolution and continuing understanding of our miraculous texture.  I hope my play-by-play of my Brazilian Blowout experience was helpful to you, incase you are finding yourself in a place of needing transition, ease, just something different.  BB is an interesting subject and everyone seems to have a differing opinion.  I tried to speak as objectively as possible.  And in the end, it's what you're comfortable with doing.

I regret cutting my hair.  Even though I felt that temporary bit of liberation and pride in getting back to me - no chemicals, no manipulation just natural curls.  That was a wonderful feeling.  But I love long full big hair and I'm going to try to work with that again the best way I can.  What's done is done and at the end of the day, it's just hair I suppose.

And on a completely different note....
The Tiny Closet Shop will be open to everyone Monday the 18th!! 
Wanna see a little preview though?

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