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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Starting Monday the 11th at midnight, I will be listing the first piece of my collection 

Want exclusive access to the opening??  Sign up by July 10th, Sunday at 11:59PM ET to receive your access password and shop and...
be the first to see the surprise!

From my Tiny Closet to yours, I am so excited to share with you!

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Red White & Blue

What's so fun about the 4th of July is it's so so so American.  Hot dogs, backyard barbecues, camping, cutoffs jeans, beer, and fireworks.  

And also, Independence Day marks the official kick off of Summer. 
This piece is by far the best maxi I've ever owned.  Maybe even better than my parachute go-to maxi.  Fabulous for the beach, dinner by the waterfront, a beautiful addition to my "resort" capsule that I've been working on for this Winter and...

Fabulous for celebrating!
 Feeling flossy in this silk-blend Tiny Closet design.   Interested in buying this dress?? Click here.

I also wore it for Thanksgiving last year.  But it's certainly more fitting now.  While it can't help but make a statement wherever it shall go (just add wind), I probably won't be wearing it for the holiday festivities today since I'll be throwing my macro-vegan ways to the wind and sitting down in a park with some Lays and Koolaid watching the sky light up.  

But...because it just looks so good...maybe I can get Theo to take me out for some oysters and a crisp rose before hand.  You know, for the dress's sake.

Happiest of Holiday Cheer to You
Happy 4th of July!
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Bohemian Colorful

Just before Summer started cooking' up everything over here, Boho Bags The Original contacted me inviting me to campaign one of their fun, leather bohemian bags.  I'm pretty picky when it comes to bags.  I mean, it's got to go with pretty much anything and everything I own.  Because I only have one.  And that has always been fine with me.  But when it comes to Summer time with all the festivals, fairs, beach days and farmers market sprees, I realize I prefer taking a more fun and casual bag rather than wear down my more elegant week-day bag.

So when I eyed this awesome, fringed, made-for-Summer boho bag (in white!!!) I knew it would fit perfectly in my Tiny Closet.  Especially with my Summer capsule wardrobe.
It also goes amazingly with my newest creation:
This cocoon robe.  The most colorful, amazing print I've ever worn.  And I just haaaad to wear it yesterday to take these photos on our lunch and sweaty walk.  

Meant to be a super light robe to wear over my classic white swimsuit and jeans, I was sorely mistaken when I popped this robe over because I was sweating in minutes!  Ugh, it was so pretty though - and I was so proud of my work that I suffered through the heat.  Not my most effortlessly, chic moment as I'd intended but I loved wearing it.  I know now that this beauty can only be worn in 75-degree weather or cooler.  Which is doable.  85 degrees - not doable.
Ah, but my boho bag did fabulously with my suit and jeans.  It'll be perfect for light trips to the beach and shopping for cool rings under the crowded tents at Melrose Market.  This bag is already the essence of my Summer 2016!
So check out Boho Bags The Original for a closer look.  They actually have a ton of colors but with all this sun, I felt white hot leather was in order.   And also, it goes so beautifully with my new robe!!

Enjoy the 4th of July weekend!
and speaking of Summer...

Have you subscribed yet to my upcoming online store??
The Tiny Closet Collection is almost ready but purchasing will be limited!
So get a head start and add yourself to my mailing list for early alerts and exclusive shopping!
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Summer Jewel Tones

Last week I did a little ad campaign on my social networks for my now favorite lingerie company, ThirdLove.  When they contacted me regarding their famously well-fitting tee shirt bra, I think what really grabbed me on top of the gorgeous color and added lace embellishments was one of their slogans,

"Put it on and forget you're wearing it."

...Something I've said time and time again about one's wardrobe - and truly Tiny words to live by.  So I was intrigued and then, after putting it on, I was sold.  So much that I decided to share more about it.
These photos are some that were used for the campaign and really inspired me to play with jewel tones with a Summer aesthetic.  

Deep tropical greens and blues and a brilliant, purple burgundy under a shaded canopy of palms.  Dress it with a rich pigmented lip color and the darkest green nail lacquer you can find!  A nice alternative to the usual bright hues of Summer.  Deep colors can come in the lightest, whispiest of fabrics and I intend to explore this!
 I stopped listing the brands and designers I wear here on the blog a long time ago.  At the end of the day, my photos, my words, this blog is only here to inspire one to live a simpler, more authentically stylish and realized life for themselves.  It's not about going out and buying what you see here really, it's about how you wear your clothes and how it makes you feel.  

But in this case, girl, I gotta tell you - get this bra.  

Mine is called the "24/7 Lace T shirt Bra" and I put it on and indeed, forget I'm wearing it.  It's comfortable, it's beautiful and it disappears seamlessly under nearly everything.  Plus, when you take it off, it doesn't look like some dingy old Band-Aid.  It looks like lingerie.  Lingerie for everyday.
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Can't Fit Your Clothes? A Tiny Solution

A few weeks ago, as I was slipping on my jeans one morning to take the dog for a walk, I noticed something.  Effort.  A lot of effort.  "What the heck?" I said out loud to myself as I yanked the last button closed on my 501s.  Since I succeeded with getting them on, I disregarded the effort as a fluke and moved on.  Wouldn't ya know, as soon as I leaned over to tie my shoes, this "fluke" turned into a 5-inch rip (and growing) down the side of my inseam...

With cautious optimism, I tried on another pair of jeans.  Nope. Couldn't even get them over my butt, which had apparently expanded overnight.  Anyway, I won't bore you with the details, we've all been there (right? RIGHT??).  And whatever size or shape you are, it's common to sometimes find your wardrobe fitting a bit loose or tight throughout the seasons.  Or in my case, fitting like a vice-like grip. 

No I am not with child.  I am with Klondike Bar.

I quickly grabbed some sweatpants, put on my shoes with comfort and ease and headed out the door.  I later slipped on a more appropriate pair of black leggings to have drinks with friends that night.  The thing is, I didn't want to wear leggings that night.  I didn't want to wear sweatpants on my 80-degree dog walk that morning.  How is a style-blogger like myself feeling defeated in leggings and sweatpants?  

I thought, while I don't currently have access to my usual go-to jeans and shorts, there's got to be something beautiful and stylish I can wear and feel great in in the meantime!  So I rummaged through my oh-so-Tiny Closet and found some answers.  I put together a few key elements of items that most women can access in their own Tiny Closets when their wardrobe has become, you know, like temporarily limited.

Can't quite get into your favorite tailored dress or high-waist skirt?
Wear a maxi dress instead:
With a plethora of heels, sandals, wedges, mules, booties and flats, maxi dresses can be a fabulous substitution for many different occasions.  I can wear this baby to the beach, to dinner, to lunch and also to the grocery store.  Jeans be damned!

Your cocktail dress too tight?
Wear a loose Summer dress instead:
 Summer dresses are usually of the linen and cotton family so they definitely tend to look on the casual, fun side.  But its transformation is all in the accessories.  I layered two long necklaces with this Summer dress and opted for simple black sandals to go to a dinner party.

Is the "Athleisure" look not your thing?  Wanna skip the leggings and sweatpants diet?
Wear dress pants and skirts with elastic waistbands:
 These silk pants with elastic ankle bands and an elastic waist band save me!  I can wear them with sky-high strappy sandals or I can pop on some Keds and go.  I chose to wear them casually in this post to show that they're a great alternative to leggings or yoga pants.  And make a great sub for jeans and fitted pants.
 And this chiffon skirt has an elastic waistband (yay!) so I can pull it on during those times I can't wear my denim mini or my favorite leather midi.  This does the trick in helping me look feminine and flattered even when I'm feeling neither of those things.  And with a slouchy loose jersey tee, good for hiding ones love for late-night Ben & Jerry's, I can tuck the tee in a bit and give it some extra style.
So!  I hope this was helpful to those out there finding themselves in the same situation.  What are you gonna do, go out and buy more clothes?  Save your money and put your Tiny Closet to more 
creative use.  Keep it simple, keep it light, keep it easy.  

I have been working so hard on my upcoming designs, I forgot to post!  Eek!  Sorry for the late post.  
Come back on Monday for all new stylings and designs :)
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The Other Maxi

Today marks the first official day of Summer


On our way out for a day of errands, instead of going to my go-to maxi, I've been more curious lately with the look of the quintessential, classic Summer dress:
I made this dress a couple months ago while experimenting with different dress lines.  This particular dress I did not design - for those of you who are curious what sewing pattern I used, it was a McCall's pattern, M7115.

Anyway, maybe it's the surge of 90s fashion coming back to haunt all us 30-somethings but I am loving the oversize fit of the classic loose Summer dress.  I believe it's usually a ditsy print that's used for this 80s/90s type of Summer dress but when I saw a bolt of arrow print Japanese cotton, I needed every excuse to buy it and transform it into a fun and more, shall I say modern(?) piece!  And voila...
A lowered waistline, super loose bodice and pleated knee-length skirting.  It's what I've been all about lately!  Pair with some Keds like I did to do some fun, impromptu roadside vintage shopping.  Or with some buttery cognac leather sandals.  Whatever you choose, you'll be comfortable in this novel alternative to a maxi.

Happy first day of Summer to you all!
Come back on Thursday for a fun and amusing chat ;)
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