Sunday, October 19, 2014

Organize Your Bag, Change Your Life!


The contents of a woman's bag (and it's arrangement) can reveal a lot. 

A couple weeks ago, I was doing some online browsing of this season's handbags. A bag has to go with your life. It needs to help you. Improve you. Or else it really just ends up being, well, baggage. And who needs that?
So while considering the size bag I would need to weather my fabulously creative, everyday, adventurous, but hopelessly casual life, I went into my closet and got out the bag I've been using for the last 6 or so years (a Rebecca Minkoff MAB) and dumped out all the contents...
What originally began as a simple gauge of what type of bag to get next, ended up being a much needed emergency spontaneous bag makeover. The photo above is literally what is typically seen in my bag.



But..but I'm such an organized minimalist. 
What happened??

Fabric samples and measuring tape from daily fabric trips for clients, cards and cash here and there, tissues, dog treats and tic tacs scattered with loose parking change. Not to mention a random, clearly not meant for travel Nesquik bottle of syrup... But let me explain. 

Because I own with purpose (meaning I do not buy random stuff I don't need), all of this stuff, despite being in disarray, is necessary. For one reason or another. So instead of upgrading my bag just yet, I decided to upgrade my habits first. Meaning, I'm not going to buy another $500+ bag to open it up and have it look like the scene above okay? I will rather have it look like this breath of fresh air below:


Chocolate covered raisins from my favorite cafe/patisserie, Bottega Louis - instead of the Nesquik travesty. If I'm going to indulge, why not have something special? Blotting paper by Paul & Joe instead of the balled up tissue paper. Dog treats are now kept in a black cinch sac I found from an old pair of earrings. (yay! my mints won't taste like dog treats!) My samples are neatly safety-pinned and my cards and cash are pinned by a Cufflinks Inc. money clip (I hate wallets). Tic tacs are upgraded to mini Altoids in a tin and I splurged and bought some herby perfume scented deodorant by Acqua di Parma. Not shown are my keys, measuring tape, hand sanitizer and lady necessities which are all kept in pockets/compartments for easy use. Ahhhhhh.

With my cute little treats all classy and organized, I have a much better idea of what my next bag will be.
More on that later!

Monday, October 13, 2014

A Fall Bride

This week, I'll be celebrating my 2nd anniversary since that memorable, crazy day.

Since I married for life, I assumed one wedding would be all I'd get.  And that's kind of a crazy thought because there are

so many dresses to choose from!!

And if you've been following me for a long time, you might remember all my different picks.  And then some entirely different different picks.  As tantalizing as it was, envisioning myself in bows and lace and grand gowns, I realized at the end of the [big] day, I just want to be myself and feel like me and dress like me: a minimalist, modern mama!
dress: Max Mara / earrings: Nodri / nail color: Revlon "Vixen"

Yes, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, your style is YOURS 

and embracing it in everything you do is another way in honoring your unique self.  So as much as I had fun sifting through beautiful options that would have all worked out, I'm glad I stayed true to what I love.  I found this magically at a designer thrift shop just a block away from where I actually got married.  A Max Mara piece from Italy.

Plus in Tiny Closet style, I actually plan to hem this dress one day to wear in more casual settings like cocktail or dinner parties.  And to also have a conversation starter like,

"I love your dress!"
"Thanks, I wore it on my wedding day."


Anyway, the main reason I decided to put on this ol' thing (and it still fits!!!) is because I kinda missed out on posed wedding photos on the account of me being 2 hours late for the biggest day of my life.  I originally had a wash and go but for this shoot, with longer curls, I decided to do a fun and easy twist out.

For all you newly weds out there considering going natural on your wedding day, this is such an easy style (take a look at how I do it here!) and can be worn everyday or on the day.  Classic but also modern.  And fancy!  I also wore a deep contrasting nail color, wonderful for the season.

With all this memory lane fun, I began surfing around for other gorgeous dresses suitable for Fall that could be great for a wedding, Easter Sunday, date night, badda-bing badda boom!  Check out a few of my new picks:



Hope you all had a wonderful weekend and I'll see ya back here next Monday!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Styling with Plaid

When I think of plaid (and actually, I don't think of it much), I always think of school.  Maybe because I wore a school uniform during my entire childhood years, perhaps?  It's most likely because of that.  

And it also could be the same reason why I grew an aversion to plaid in my adulthood.  It's a loud print really.  Commands attention.  And wearing it day in and day out, while it did become comfortable, it definitely pigeon-holed itself in my memories as a "for school girls only" type of dress style.

But of course, whenever I have a strong aversion to a type of styling or fashion, it oddly enough inspires me to make it work.  I think because I love fashion and style so frickin' much, I believe one can like anything if it is worn a certain way.  It's a bold theory but it hasn't been wrong yet.  And that includes now.  With plaid.  

Exhibit A, ladies:


scarf: Michael Levine Fabric Store / top: The Tiny Closet Collection / skirt: Buffalo Exchange / oxfords: CMG 

I took the thing that I most identify as school-girl-plaid: a plaid skirt uniform for school.  Found it at a thrift shop and it (ugh) fit like a charm.  Though quite comfortable and roomy (as I remember them being), it was just so plaid, it wouldn't let anything else I was wearing just be.  Everything was just so upstaged by the skirt.

I finally decided to put the next big print I had right on top of it: jumbo striped oversized top.  Voila.  The plaid felt instantly more subdued.  Don't you think?


Anyway, feeling in the spirit of the schooldaze look, I felt the only appropriately ironic shoes to wear were my lil white oxfords *smile*.



Lately,  I've been really enjoying making scarves out of fabric from the fabric store.  I just pick out a cute color or print and cut 2 yards and done.  Fun scarf!  Easy and a fraction of the cost - besides, scarves tend to be so corny in the stores.  And if they're not corny, there literally hundreds of dollars.  Whatever.  I don't live in Vermont, all I need is an accent piece - not something to keep me, like, warm or something.  In this case, yellow always looks classic with navy.


And Exhibit B.  I absolutely adore this purple and blue plaid.  Yes, I know I don't particularly care plaids in general but I've always loved this one.  I bought it back in January from a fabric store to use as a scarf of course.  The colors go even better with this casual undergrad ensemble.

scarf: Michael Levine fabric store / tee: James Perse / jacket: American College / denim: All Saints / oxfords: CMG 

I had a lot of fun mixing and styling these two plaids.  I've always felt it was difficult to style plaid as it's such a statement itself.  But with some experimenting, I came out feeling triumphant - a plaid skirt or scarf can certainly be less stereotypical and more palatable with a little extra thought.  Hey, it can even be fashionable :)

Wishing you a wonderful beginning of Fall!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

What to Wear Out West

As September comes to a close, I tend to look back on Summer like it was a dream.  Especially this Summer.  

I've been wrapped up in the West Coast and everything about it.  Here I was convinced I was a misplaced East Coast lady but after this Summer, the West has my heart entirely.  The deserts, the beaches, all the mountains (not to mention the best Mexican food in the U.S.) to the ponchos, the prairie skirts and the coolest boots this side of the Mississippi - the ensemble below is one of my favorite outfits yet.  Perfect for any ol' day out West.


If you've been following me for any amount of time, you'll recognize this skirt (actually a dress folded down).  I have worn this every way possible, through every season, in tons of styles.  It was a thoughtful splurge I made a few years ago in preparation to vacation in the Philippines for the Winter.  Since then, it's been a constant surprise in versatility with the rest of the gems in my Tiny Closet.

Also, my dance style top is a dress as well. I do this a lot actually.  Having a Tiny Closet usually means utilizing your pieces in more ways than one.  Skirts as shirts, dresses as skirts, etc...  If done seamlessly, the alternative looks are natural and not to mention, comfy to wear!


Now the hat: I did exercise some frivolity while in the traveling mood.  The same liberty I took when, coincidentally in the Philippines when I bought a big glam sun hat for the beach.  Perhaps it's going to be a habit because I do plan on getting another hat for this A/W (ooo, I can't wait!).

I don't wear them much, but when I do, it's definitely with thought and design since they're an integral accessory for some of my outfits.

  hat: Santee Alley / top (normally a dress): American Apparel / skirt (normally a dress): All Saints / boots: Buffalo Exchange

So with the days very suddenly much cooler now, I am finally closing the chapter of Summer.

Moving on to October and the rest of Fall, you can get ready to see some newer looks and experimentations from my magical closet!  

And I want your input!

Have an idea for an ensemble or style you're dying to try but afraid it won't work?  
Got a new piece you love but can't seem to rock it with anything in your closet??  
Maybe I can help :)  

From my Tiny Closet to yours, this season, I'd love to hear some requests of what you'd like to see me style/wear/coordinate.  Let me be your guinea pig!  

If anything, maybe it'll give you some new ideas where you may be feeling stagnant or bored.  Let me know!

See ya back here next week!

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Colors of Fall

This month so far in Southern Cal has been hotter than all of Summer.  I definitely wasn't expecting a daily 100 degrees for the start of Fall when I planned this fitted turtleneck and floor length skirt duo. It's laughable to think of wearing right now.  I know it never really gets that cold here - still, this simple Fall ensemble was planned to be worn for relatively cool mornings on the Vespa, zipping around town to get coffee and a brisk stylish walk in the park.

Perhaps October will be more welcoming of my plans.


These two items (top and skirt) have replaced two older items from my [still] Tiny Closet that have since been donated.  About a year ago, I realized I'm very happy with the quantity (and quality) of clothing and accessories that I own.  I don't need anything more.

Does that mean I will never shop again?
No.  No it certainly doesn't.  Could you imagine?

It means, I've got all the options I need to keep me happy and creative throughout the year.  And when I see something I can't live without, I only purchase it if I can find an item in my closet that I can live without - and I simply replace it with the new.  

So even though I love to shop, I also know that it's easy for a fashion lover like myself to be perhaps too indulgent at times.  So this "system" I created for myself keeps me from dealing with a closet full of junk later.  

Replacing and not adding makes me enjoy my clothes more...

 and helps maintain my focus on the important stuff: being creative with personal style.

turtleneck: American Apparel / skirt: American Apparel / boots: Santee Alley / lip color: Milani "Black Cherry"

Yellow sunsets, brilliant jewel toned flowers, darkened fallen leaves - if only there was a nip in the air, this Fall would be perfect.


As you may be picking up already on my posting trend, with the relaunch of The Tiny Closet, you can look forward to reading and perusing a new post every Monday!  Additionally, I'll be sharing various products I've tried, believe in and love.  So keep your eyes peeled for those special posts as well.

Hope you enjoyed this new Monday post and I'll see ya back here next week for more!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Evening Wear In The Desert

I am a creature of habit  - one signature habit being keepin' it simple.  During a visit to Joshua Tree in the Mojave Desert, the stunning simplicity of the endless terrain was startling to me.  It inspired me beyond words and actually, also reinforced my beliefs of the magnitude of minimalism.

Bells and whistles can be oh so fun but when it comes down to it...
Less is always more, ladies.

While in the middle of nowhere, all I wanted to wear was...well, as little as possible.  Probably because the desert is so sexy!  So mysterious and romantic everything was.  I was inspired to dress the part.

bra top: Free People / skirt: Robert Rodriguez / booties: Jessica Simpson / scarf: street vendor

Lately, I've been having a lot of fun not putting attention to my hair when dressing and styling myself.  Pulled back in a sleek, low ponytail or bun, I am enjoying showing off scarves and hats instead.

Having such naturally huge hair as I do, it's very easy to forget (or feel left out of) the fun one can have with headwear.  This scarf I found on the island of Boracay in the Philippines a couple years ago.  I still adore it and it's the first time I've worn it on my head. 

Going from around my neck with a jean jacket and leggings to over my head with a lace bra top and full skirt - a simple printed scarf can literally be transformed!  Coyotes howled as I strutted through the sandy tundra haha :)

And speaking of strutting, these good ol' suede booties, I can't even count the times I've worn these trusty gals.  You can see up close here with a waterfall skirt, or with some upgraded athletic wear.  You can also check them out with one of last years holiday wear, or my amazing Bottega Veneta harem pants for a more casual styling.  

The list goes on.  The point is, these booties go with everything!  A Tiny Closet treasure.


 This exquisite skirt has sheer paneling all throughout the design, as you can probably see...  Normally, I wear a little black mini skirt underneath (you know I gotta keep it classy) but this time I let the skirt do what it was designed to do, you know?

This skirt is rather new and I've already had so much fun with it.  You can see it here with a tank, some flats and marley twists!  


Anyway, it's not usually apart of my signature style to wear head wraps or really anything on my head besides my hair but after adventuring through the desert, headwear was second nature.  And so artistic in the world of fashion and style.  I will keep this option more in mind when traveling or when I'm not into tackling my hair.  Or just as a hot accessory regardless of travel or hair problems!


Even though the days are still scorching where I live, the evenings are getting noticeably cool to cold.  This outfit is definitely "transitionable" to evening, as it is afterall, evening wear - but with the full skirt and scarf, one can bundle up nicely.  Of course it's even warmer when wearing your date's jacket.

Ah, the adventures of a Tiny Closet!  Come back this time next week for another trip through my lil wardrobe.  The possibilities are endless.