A Life of Leisure?

That's certainly what I'd like to think anyway...
Sure, my life of business to leisure is still about 80/20, but that doesn't mean my closet has to be.

On the days when I can show up for brunch, take an evening off for happy hour, sneak away for the weekend with friends, it's leisure bliss and my Tiny Closet is ready for it all.

But on most other days when I'm sewing until 3am or getting lost in fabric aisles with my calculator, or spending the day in the back of Ubers on the phone, I still want to feeeeel that life of leisure, baby! 
 Give me breezy.  Give me fabulous. Give me fancy free!
Oh and can you make that completely effortless?  Thanks. 
As much as simplicity is a life-long art, as a minimalist to my core, I gravitate toward it naturally.   And when I've found the simplest, easiest way to wear something while still getting my point across, that's when anything I'm wearing can feel like leisure wear.

And that's what I want my closet to say.  Elegance, simplicity and ease.  That's good for me!  So even on the most stressful of days, at least what I'm wearing could effortlessly say otherwise.
In this case, this particular ensemble truly is leisure wear.  But what if the pants were silk?  What if the top was beaded?  Even if the shoes were traded out for a pair of stilettos, it would still have an air of leisure.  And no matter what I'm doing, that's where I want to live, always.
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Mandarin & Mud Cloth

 I am living(!) in my Summer capsule!!  

Which is exactly the point.
This wrap dress is in my most favorite color of the moment (I call it sun-dried mandarin, mmm!).  And, paired with this clay white mud cloth duster coat, is all I wear these days.  You can check out this duster with some vintage 501s here.

Throughout this Summer, I'll be showing you how I coordinate my Tiny Summer capsule.  And so far...

every cafe and boutique in my 2-block radius has probably memorized this ensemble as it's all I wear.
But this is the first of many ensembles I'll be playing with in my Tiny Summer capsule, as that is the Tiny Closet way.  Also, L.A.'s Summers don't end until practically November so you'll be seeing a few more pieces added before I'm finished :)

With California weather, the temperature never wavers too far north or south so I'm sure I wont be tucking either of these pieces away completely.  I look forward to wearing this dress with a crisp black turtleneck and heeled booties.

Ah, but I'm getting ahead of myself.  Let's talk about Summer!

If you're interested in seeing this dress in more detail, visit The Tiny Closet Shop and peek around my new arrivals!
Have a blissful weekend guys :)
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The Tiny Closet Shop: Behind The Scenes

Well, it's a work in progress...  But isn't everything?

It's been about a month since I moved my design studio into the second room in our loft.  Moving meant going through all of my fabrics, swatches, tools, notions, patterns, and did I mention fabrics?  

All while conducting business!!
I have my family to thank for my shelving and machines.  The black boxes are also a sanity saver as they conceal all of my fabrics and samples.  
Blank walls and still some empty spaces, I haven't moved in completely just yet.  And I'm not in a rush.  I'll be installing more shelving, plants, artwork and an area for my jumbo collection of swatches.  Everything seen here is only the essentials so I can keep working.

So yes, there will be more progress posts, haha.
This chair is my first piece of fine furniture.  I got it specifically for the studio.  For me.  I cherish it!  Gifted brand new to a blogger to be used in a photo shoot, I don't think the chair was even sat on.  I took it off her hands merrily.  $1000 retail and I bought it new for $200.  Yasss!
I bought two banquet tables from Costco a long time ago that unfortunately I still need.  They're for drafting, cutting and desk work.  The studio space is a bit too tight to house real tables all the time, so I bought fold up tables to put away when not in use.  Not glamorous but it still works!

My old patterns to the left and my new patterns to the right.  Everything was drawn at first and now, thank goodness, all my patterns are digitized.

This big mama is my third machine and currently giving me some major grief.  Everything needs to be re-calibrated for my current collection so obviously, I'm procrastinating with that, ha.

Moving also meant the inevitable purging of things.  Things long forgotten, things hoarded and things less valuable than the prime real estate they were occupying.  

Loosely following the KonMari Method, I knew I had to be brutal with purging because unlike my own personal wardrobe which is super paired down, in my studio, I'd been saving absolutely everything I ever bought or made - including some of my first patterns ever made.  I actually kept those for nostalgia.  
Going down memory lane trying on my first designs, I got surprisingly inspired by the crappy drafted clothing I had made for myself with the different sewing tricks I experimented.  
I had completely forgotten about some of those old pieces but actually, they're giving me new fuel for upcoming seasons!  Here's a few I couldn't help trying on during the shoot.  The ensemble above I couldn't believe I had tucked away!  Why oh why was this hidden??  I should've finished this project and worn the heck out of it.

These paper bag pants were kind of a failure but the idea is still readable.  We'll see with those...

I made this back in 2013 I think.  A silk chiffon dream.  If I can find this print again, you better believe I'll be selling it in The Tiny Closet Shop.  It's exquisitely fabulous and looks good on everyone.

I was really into curry yellow years ago and now I'm seeing it all over S/S 17.  I should have spent more time with it but at the time, this ensemble looked a bit too ceremonial.  Now I feel like someone like Solange would pull it off without blinking.

I've been inundated with so many ideas lately.  And they all seem to come with obstacles.  My new space, more responsibilities, less time to plan etc... let's just say I'm overwhelmed.  

But after this shoot, it really brought me back to why I started all this in the first place.  It was pure joy shooting this blog post and I was reminded me of how happy I was first starting out.  And that makes me happy now and helps me to be excited about all this newness.  

Anyway, that's what's happening over here.  Now back to you!

Come back next week for new ensemble ideas for Summer!
And in the meantime, enjoy your weekend!!

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Shopping Tricks I Live By

[Plan to] Be Impulsive.
Impulse shopping is a slippery slope.  But let's face it, love happens when you least expect it.  Plan for it.

I was trying on sandals last weekend and passed by a pair of nude sky-high closed point-toe heels.  I have been looking for heels like these for about 2 years and nothing had impressed me.  But these were exactly what I wanted!  

So I bought them right then and there.  Even though I planned to buy sandals, I left with two new pairs of shoes.  Impulsive and yet, not really.  I'd been looking for those heels all along.

Keep A Visual Shopping List
If you shop online you may have Wish Lists all over the internet.  From Saks to Amazon to Asos, my wish list is one big shopping list packed into a Pinterest board.  It's always there and I manage it throughout the year, removing and adding items regularly.  

A visual list is best because it also helps plan your seasonal capsules.  Plus, you can always check on each item to see whenever it goes on sale or if it's almost sold out.  It forces me to either buy it or let it go.

Set a Year-Round Spending Limit
If you shop monthly, have a monthly budget.  If you shop a few times a season, have a capsule budget.  A budget can help you focus on the things you really love and keep you from buying the stuff you're okay living without.

Get real with yourself!
Much like coffee and alcohol, many people don't know how much money they spend on clothing throughout the year.  Don't set a budget based on your ideals, check your bank records over the last 6 months and set your budget accordingly.  You will still enjoy shopping but chances are you'll have a more thoughtfully curated closet.

Ah, a few things to think about at least when shopping this season! I'll have more tips and tricks later to share and in the meantime, I'll be updating you on my new design studio and new pieces in my Summer Capsule later this week and next!

*Happy Monday*
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My Summer Capsule... So Far

Ahhhhhh.  And what a wonderful Summer capsule it is!  Maybe because not only is my closet carefully curated by me, it's also well um, made by me too!  I'm laughing as I write this because it's a bit ridiculous, I think the only clothes in my closet that I haven't designed and sewn myself, including my base closet that I wear all year round, are my jeans.  I even sew my t-shirts!  Oh wait, and my coats and jackets.  Whew!  Talk about a custom closet.
Honestly, I sew my own clothing because all my money goes toward fabric for my clothing line and I don't have much left afterward for shopping.  So I save my money for the really cool stuff that I can't make, like shoes, jewelry and fun outerwear.  

But the thing is, you don't have to sew your own clothes to absolutely love the pieces in your closet.  No way.  I could have found all the items I was looking for in a myriad of places.  You just have to know what you want and have the patience to hunt for it.
Above is my mini capsule for Summer (and a bit of Spring) only.  If you'd like to peep my base closet of clothing I wear year round, click HERE.  

Here in Los Angeles, there's not too much of a difference from one end of the year to the other.  I mean last week, it was 90 degrees.  I live in a year-round warm to hot climate so my seasonal capsules do look a bit similar so instead of building capsules on weather and temperature, my capsules vary based on the "spirit" of the seasons.  Same goes for my shoes.

I only buy one or two pairs of shoes for a season capsule.  For summer, my new capsule shoe is a simple gold 2-strap flat sandal.  And it goes with everything.  I may buy another Summer shoe since the Summer zeitgeist in L.A. runs until October.
This railroad stripe jumpsuit above was made for Spring but it weaves in nicely with my Summer pieces so I included it.  If you'd like to see more of this one, I featured it in a recent blog post HERE.
And this marigold mama, my sexy maxi dress, came out last Fall and I loved it but I find it's best suited for Summer.  It also pairs much better with a Summer shoe.
I bought a pair of suede block-heeled mules last week but they are for my base closet.  I included them above because they actually go really well with my Summer items.

These black mules from my base closet also go very well with all my Summer items.  One item in particular that is fun to pair with is this frilly white Fame & Partners party dress that can be worn day or night.  I featured it in a blog post showcasing it's day-to-night behavior HERE.  It's the one thing I didn't make myself and it's more frou frou than I care to wear year-round but for a capsule, it's perfect!
I have also never worn aqua blue before and I don't intend to often but in this midi dress above, for my Summer Capsule, I love it.  
And that's the beauty of a capsule closet - you can experiment for a time, play something out and then put it away.  My experience with having everything together, all my clothing for the whole year in one space is chaos and it eventually leads to pieces being forgotten or undervalued.  My base closet is where I keep my basics, my staples.  My seasonal capsules are where I have more fun and where I can shop more in the moment.

And speaking of shopping, I'll be chatting about that on Monday!  Tips and tricks for the Summer months coming your way next week.

Oh!  And I hope you have an amazing Memorial Day weekend!!  
I'll be celebrating my birthday :)  
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The Start of My Summer Capsule

 Today is a big day actually :)

After weeks of drafts, samples and experimenting, I finally debuted my Summer capsule in The Tiny Closet Shop.  Today!

I so love the collection so far and I've been living in each piece so it's very personal.  But one piece in particular stands out quite a bit from the rest.  This dark mandarin wrap dress...  It's a minimalist's dream.  One piece, one statement.  Throw it on and go.
I had drafted this design numerous times before but couldn't find the right color or weight or drape or, or, or....  And then at the last minute it came together.  Guys, I couldn't get this dress on fast enough!  I was walking down the street with threads still hanging off of it because I literally couldn't wait to wear it as soon as I finished my first sample.
Anyway, I had planned to show you my Spring Capsule last month but time got away from me.  Grrrr.  But Summer is around the corner and I am going to walk ya through my Summer Capsule!  I'll recap on some really helpful shopping techniques to try out this season and I'll show you how to throw out and replace those pieces that make you go "meh".  I'll also revisit the art of impulse shopping.  Yes! Impulse shopping can help you build a fabulous closet/capsule when you know how to do it!

So I'll see ya on Thursday for the start of that.  And please stop by The Tiny Closet Shop to peak at my other lovely Summer pieces finally available now to shop!  I hope you love them and I hope you enjoyed this piece today.  It's my fave and I had to share.

Happiest of Mondays to youuuu!
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Day to Night w/ Fame & Partners

Transitioning into Summer slowly, I linked up with Fame & Partners again for their S/S collection of pieces.  This time exploring transitioning from casual, carefree days to sultry warm nights.  Summer can't get here fast enough.

And you know me, it is 'The Tiny Closet way' to be able to seamlessly go from day to night with the right carefully hand-picked pieces from my current capsule.  And this fresh white (hot) frock fit in nicely with pulling double duty.  Take a look-see:
 One of Fame & Partners' new arrivals, The Irina dress is so comfortable.  Fitting like a glove, I slipped this gal on, threw on my newest favorite mules and light trench and took her for a spin.

A little froufrou, a little chic.  A little girly, a little sexy.  I'm thinking brunch, cocktails, baby showers, basically anywhere a girlfriend will say when she sees you, "Oooo, I love this dress!"
 And I loved the bit of juxtaposition of rich brown leather accents, a tan classic shape of the trench with a pop of white and frilly peplum.  Effortless fancy.

As the sun goes down, I switched out my daily gold studs for jumbo pearls, replaced the mules with black strap sandals, put on some glossy red lips and used my guy's dinner coat as a topper.
Simple and makes an awesome night time makeover.
The Irina is a chic blank palette, which is great for me because I love styling.  And for my first evening look, I was easily able to go a bit "Havana Nights".  So obviously that was fun.
Such contrasting looks by just changing your coat and shoes!  And the fact that all the pieces at Fame & Partners are bespoke and custom made is very reassuring for me that retail is finally headed in a beautiful, ethical direction.  

What I mean is since every piece is made-to-order, there is no waste of excess inventory and pieces are meant to make a truly tailored wardrobe.  And this I'm all about because I too make clothing and find it awful and intimidating to maintain a business of a boutique clothing line as big fast-fashion stores sell poorly-made clothing for next to nothing.  It's flashy and thrifty but if you really think about it, no one really wins in the end with this concept; from the workers to the customer.

Anyway, I'm joining in on a fast-fashion fast over on Instagram.  If you want to know more and even join in yourself, come and visit @thetinycloset and see if you can stay off fast-fashion for 1, 2, 3 or even 12 months!
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