2.22.2018

Fancy, Feminine Loungewear

I have a way of making virtually any article of clothing I come across sleep-able.  Because why would you wear it if it's not so damn comfy you could sleep in it?  I know it's not what most women consider when shopping but that's certainly one of my core guidelines.
Everything I wear has an air of leisure.  I want to look polished and feminine always but I don't think I should try too hard at it.  And boy do I need to be comfortable to be confident in whatever I wear.  
So why not sporty loungewear?  That's certainly comfortable.  And I did try my best to hop aboard the Oprah-endorsed "Athleisure" train but... you can't sashay into Bottega Louis for a $25 salad and a glass of rosé in Nikes and a hoodie no matter how tailored it is.  It's just not the same.
Ha, but for those interested in getting more acquainted with a higher-end loungewear look, I usually follow these guidelines:
  • Instead of leggings, I opt for peg-leg pants or harem pants.
  • Skip the sweat pants and go for chambray or linen joggers.
  • Palazzos, gauchos, loose mid-length pants?  All great options for loungewear.  And can be paired with any top.
  • Instead of a tee shirt, slip on a camisole or a tee made of linen, crepe or silk. 
  • Skip the sweatshirt and grab an oversize thin cardigan sweater (preferably in cotton or wool)
  • Pair a flat mule with any linen or cotton dress
And forget the rest.  

It's simple, effortless and feminine - and when you get home, you don't have to tear it off in the doorway with a dramatic relieved sigh.

Happy Thursday to you :)  Thanks for visiting!
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2.14.2018

Romantic Minimalism

I almost forgot... about Valentines Day! 

If you've been following me for a while, you may know that I LOVE this day.  A day of love?  What could be better?
A day to show those who are close to you that they're loved.  By you!  Lovers, friends, family, and secret crushes - Valentines Day is hands down, my favorite holiday.  

 It's also a fave because I love chocolate.  And though candy is the cornier side to this day, like Halloween, the chocolate runeth over - and can be easily attained for free at front desks and lobbies.  Mmmm.
Anyway, I think I love this day so much because I have such fond memories of it from childhood.  My mom would give me a goofy sweet card with homemade cookies or she'd bake a cake.  And my dad would send a dozen roses to my school addressed to me from a "secret admirer" - love dad.

Now in my 30s, those fun Valentines traditions are long gone.  But they've left me with rose-colored glasses when looking at this day each year.  

Still, I celebrate love daily and every time Theo and I go out on a date, I feel like we're still dating.  As a Christmas present, my mother got me a simply stunning bag from Strathberry.  I had mentioned to her that I wanted a tiny little bag for my date nights.  Instead of the beauteous lugs I have for work.  It's not very romantic shuffling through fabric swatches and invoices when reapplying my lipstick at dinner.
So she surprised me and let me pick the color of my new MC Nano shoulder bag.  In the spirit of date night, I of course chose ruby red.
And it's perfect.
 And I also thought it'd be perfect to debut today.  

That being said, this brilliant red is also a fabulous statement color for everyday.  And you know me, my wardrobe isn't a museum - I want to live in my clothes!  Sure this bag will be special for special occasions buuuuut, say for instance a fun day out where I'll only need my phone, Visa, and lipstick?  This MC Nano mama will go with just about everything I own.  Boom! 
 And speaking of going with everything - my Tourist Tunic in white (from The Tiny Closet Shop) is pretty much the coolest thing I own besides my hopeful collection of vintage Levis.  In a place like L.A., it's a seasonless statement piece and considered a basic.  White tees don't have to look like white tees.  I love putting a statement  spin on trusted everyday pieces like a t-shirt and jeans.
I don't have any plans for today.  Not only is my husband half a planet away, my overwhelming workload has left me isolated and draaaaaaiiind.  Last year, I celebrated my love for my work and my professional partnership with Theo - but this year, I find myself needing a vacation from this "devotion" to my business.

I hope you're enjoying your week, and if you're not (like me) treat yo'self to a special Valentines treat, just for you.  Or share it if that makes the treat even better.

Thanks so much for visiting!  And happy Valentines Day to you :)
See ya next Thursday!





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2.08.2018

A Moment In Leather

Like most Los Angelites, the moments it gets cold in this desert city, we delight in joining in wearing more season appropriate styles like the rest of you... like wearing jackets and coats for instance.
I LOVE this Muubaa leather jacket but I probably wear it twice a year.  It's just too hot to wear it more often than that.  *sigh*  So when we had couple days of high 50s weather, I popped this lover on over one of my newest Winter pieces from The Tiny Closet Shop (The Shopper midi dress) and completed a cool city look with some black sneakers.
This dress is a knockout in heels but I'll leave that to my fabulous customers to rock.  For me, sneakers are the reality.  Even for this lil shoot, I couldn't be bothered with heels!  Maybe because I'm all work and no play these days.  Easy operation is key.
I am resonating with waves lately instead of my fun tiny spiral curls.  It's hard to part with them but I have a rule: when you look in the mirror and you're not totally feeling yourself (vain, I know - but that's the ABCs of me, what can I say...) change it!  A change will do you good.
 The Shopper is still available in my Winter collection!  This is a classic piece and I think it'll be showing up in my Fall and Spring capsule wardrobes.  You can wear this midi dress everywhere!  But I guess the same thing goes for a lot of the clothes I wear...

You guys, it's February!!  Which means I am bursting at the seams in anticipation for Spriiiing!  But until then,

Come back next Thursday for another warm-Winter look!
Thanks for visiting :)
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2.01.2018

How to Wear...Resort Wear

I have been wanting to make myself a little collection of resort wear for the longest time!

I rarely take grand vacations as I realize I spend a lot of my leisure time in and around downtown.  And even though I do go to the Philippines to visit family, I rarely get to rock a clear and present resort look.  So...

I decided to incorporate a "Resort look" into my own Tiny Closet.
Using rich brilliant colors, statement jewelry and an accompanying white anything - I found this type of minor tweaking can really transform any capsule wardrobe!  Now, when I say capsule, I want to iterate that I do not have a capsule closet.  What I have, and what my blog prescribes is 3-4 seasonal capsule wardrobes.  

To briefly describe this (as I will definitely revisit this in more detail in a future post), instead of having 28-32 pieces to wear the entire year with no additions or seasonal changes, I have a "foundation" closet of basics and then each season, I add a few special festive pieces to wear with that base closet.  As each season passes, I store away those seasonal collections for next year and move on to the next season.

Why do I do this?
Well, it certainly didn't use to be this way.  I originally had one wardrobe that took me through the entire year with no additions.  I personally think everyone should try this once - puts a lot of things into perspective.  And the reason I started this blog.  

But now, I have seasonal wardrobes...Because I love to design clothing!  And though I am fundamentally a minimalist, I'm always coming up with something new to wear, both for myself and my shop.  I also choose to have seasonal wardrobes because I adore shopping(!!) but I treat it as a very special privileged event that I save to do for myself a few times a year (like for example, each season).
Earrings: Amarilo Jewelry / Ring: Soko / All clothing by The Tiny Closet Shop

So anyway, once I realized what I could do to create my own resort looks, I flew with that and began creating a fun Spring line reflecting my recent need these days for a bit of glamour and theatrics.  

Because what is Resort Wear if it isn't dramatic?  
I mean it's so themed!  Always reflecting adventure and escape in sunny, far-off tropical or exotic places.

So yes, this Spring, while I'm ubering around in L.A., I'll be dressing like I'm on a camel in Morocco. Because it's actually pretty easy.  Try it yourself:


Resort Wear: A Tiny Guide

Take your existing fabulous closet and ...

1.  Find a white skirt, dress or pair of pants

2.  Add a Fall-hued top (not too bright or you'll look like you couldn't wait for Summer)

3.  Pick a sling-back, mule or strapped sandal (preferably close-toed - again, this isn't Summer!)

4.  Find gold or silver statement jewelry.  Jumbo pearls also work (nothing small - go big!)

5.  Keep hair styling clean and chic.  And... don't be afraid to wear bronzer!  A resort look is all about looking sun kissed.


I hope you enjoyed this little d.i.y. :)
Of course there are a plethora of routes you can take from these few steps so have fun!  

Aaaaand come back next Thursday as I kick off the month of February with something festive...  Thanks for reading!
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1.25.2018

Silk & Denim

Have you ever had that strange, sparkly feeling that the beginning of something wonderful is happening?  Like, not just something wonderful but something fated.

Okay, before this gets too cryptic, Theo, Finn (our dog) and I were taking a long walk around the city and came across a new shopping center.  I was wearing one of my favorite outfits: The Studio top by The Tiny Closet Shop, a pair of vintage jeans from Virgo, where I buy all my vintage jeans and Chucks.
So we were walking... And the stores in this brand new indie-owned high end shopping center were gorgeous.  And as I passed by an empty store that hadn't yet been moved into, I got a strange and yes,  sparkly feeling that something here was meant for me. 

Actually, the only other time I felt this was a year before I met my husband.  This weird, exciting feeling that I was fatefully walking towards him already.

And then, there he appeared.  
I don't usually share like this - and we weren't intending on taking photos - but there we were, walking by these artful shops and I felt like there was some serious foreshadowing going on.  

Life is so interesting and everyday really is full of possibilities.  I've always flown by the seat of my pants with very little planning and a whole lot of heart and curiosity buuuuut

Lately, it's been nice walking in a more finite direction.  With more intention.  Anyway, our walk that day solidified my current feelings.  About my shop, my clothing line, and realizing that my hobbyist nature has grown up a bit and decided to commit to something!  Yasss honeys - I did not come to play!
 So this is a random post this week - I had planned to discuss something slightly different but I shoot from the hip and old habits do die hard.  A favorite of my posts comes to mind that may be helpful to read (if you haven't already).  It discusses one of my Tiny Closet truths in dressing to improve your life and if this post was too random - check this one out and I hope it inspires.

Thanks for reading!
Join me next Thursday as I begin to glamorize my closet and my life for the new year :)
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1.18.2018

The Art of Living (& Dressing) Luxuriously

 
What is it about luxury that makes it so elusive?  Surely, we can identify it once we see it.  But to achieve the look ourselves, to embody it in our own way tends to be a feat.  Magazines, television, department stores, they're all virtually prodding us endlessly to try to achieve this "look of luxury" by buying a product.  As if it comes in physical form.  And after sampling whats offered, for most of us, whatever we buy never quite pulls it off.  And if it does, you better maintain it by buying more!  

Yes, luxury, it seems, is for those who can afford it...  
Naaah, I don't buy it.
Maybe luxury is so elusive because its active ingredient is a feeling exuded.  Not a look.  
And true luxury is not to be confused with glamour.
No - today, I'm discussing "Luxury"!  
What is it made up of fundamentally?  
How can you make it apart of your daily lifestyle?
Ok, so take away the Gucci bags, the expensive shades, the Louboutin heels, etc - I've seen women in jeans and a tee, without a stitch of makeup looking gloriously luxurious.  What gives?

What do they possess that everyone else is trying to copy?  
I've studied this concept of luxury probably longer than I've been aware.  And then I'm reminded of my upbringing:  My parents!

My parents always had champagne tastes and an incredible work ethic to buy that champagne.  But it's not about the money.  I realize they never did much traveling or extravagant vacations.  They decided to spend their energy and interests at home in their daily lifestyle.

My friends would always say my parents were so fancy.  But really... they just took more pride in the quality of their daily life, their personal time, and their daily leisure.  

And that right there embodies true luxury.
So going forward with this theory, let us do some dissecting, shall we?  Luxury is simply the art of maintaining:

QUALITY  -  TIME  -  LEISURE

These 3 components actually umbrella many aspects of life.  

  • Quality of the things you buy and the clothes you wear.  The life you lead and the friends you surround yourself with.
  • Time management for yourself to exercise, therapize, and learn new things.  Time to dedicate to others.  
  • Leisure to chill the fuck out.  Grab a coffee, go to the beach, have a 3-hour brunch with friends.  Because life is hectic and work can be intrusive of our space.
So basically, luxury is just a more mindful, self-possessed life?  
Ok, that's cool.  Wah wah.  Buuuuut since this like, a personal style blog, let's talk about how this relates to our closets!  
My theory as to how luxury pertains to personal style is this:

The key to looking and dressing luxuriously is simply mixing comfort with taste.
I guess that explains why you can't really buy it.

But knowing that just might make you a better shopper.  After lots of thought and fun research on this theory, I narrowed down looking like a million bucks to 5 Keys:

5 Essential Keys to Making Your Closet 
Look Like a Million Bucks:

1. Wear well-fitting clothes
Wear quality, well-made clothing.  Get it altered to fit you perfectly.  Fit is everything.

2.  Never Show Effort
Anything that looks hard to wear or time consuming probably is.  This includes makeup.  Effort is the baine of luxury!

3.  Be Comfortable Always
Why shouldn't you?  And when you're uncomfortable, it shows! And makes others around feel uncomfortable for you.  Comfort is luxury.  Never wear anything that makes you feel otherwise.

4.  Avoid Unecessary Layering
Layers can easily look bulky and messy.  And that is burdensome.  Avoid wearing more than 3 articles of clothing at a time.  Dress in the spirit of how you'd look stepping off a yacht.

5.  Dress Timeless  
Your outfit shouldn't have more than one trendy item.  A timeless style sets you apart from the trend chasers and makes you look self-possessed and confident.
Dressing and feeling like luxury is one of my goals for this year.  I just don't believe that luxury and leisure is for the weekend or worse, a couple times a year!

I didn't take much time off last year.  I did close out the first year of my business in 2017 so that would explain my lack of free time.  But when I did go on vacation, I was miserable the entire time.  Who wants to go on vacation only to feel stressed with work-separation anxiety?

You gotta learn to be leisure in your daily life - so that it's not completely foreign and shocking when you do engage in leisure, quality time.  I'm dedicating working on this for 2018.  And I've started with my wardrobe.  Because for me, clothing sets the tone.  My wardrobe, my Tiny Closet inspires my direction and mood.  And my direction is pampering!  And my mood is... you guessed it, luxury.

Thanks so much for visiting and reading!
Come back next Thursday for an all-new look and more ideas on living a better life in your clothes. 
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1.11.2018

Sexy, Luminous Skin: A Tiny Guide

Well, admittedly it's not that "Tiny".  But it's also not typical, so it's worth sharing!
If anything, this routine guarantees clean skin aaand...

Sexy, luminous skin is CLEAN skin!
Natural beauty is huge to me.  And even though I have a secret obsession with watching crazy awesome makeup tutorials (wow, such art!) and an even more secret obsession with beauty in general (vanity, thy name is Natalie, eek!), I definitely do not wear a lot of makeup and try my best to show my most natural, sexy, beautiful self.  Ok, well maybe we can skip 2017 (yeesh).  But in general, for better or for worse, I take beauty very seriously.  And what I've noticed is a hands-down show stopper?  Not highlighter, or lash extensions or full brows - it's Sexy, bright, youthful skin.  ...but I'll take those other things too please!

Anyway, without further ado, I'm going to jump right into my current routine in getting that show stopping skin/complexion and then I'll embellish on my own personal skincare experiences after.

 Fact: a lot of us are not fully cleaning our skin!  Giving us mysteriously dry, dull complexions.  Even if my routine aint your cup of tea, these steps should at least help in the quality-control department of your own skincare routine.

Morning & Night
Step 1.
With clean hands, take about a quarter-size amount of virgin coconut oil and massage it all over your face for a minute or so.  At night, do this even with all your makeup on.

Step 2.
Take a fresh dry face towel and drench it in very hot water.  Not luke warm or even warm - I'm saying Korean spa-grade hot water.
Fold it in half so you have a good thermal layer and press it firmly on your face.  Hold until it cools.  Then drench it again in hot water and repeat on another section of your face.  Do this like 4 times until all the oil is removed.  At night, yes, do this even with a full face of makeup on.


Step 3.
Wash face with a light exfoliating face soap (I use Obagi 360 Exfoliating Cleanser).

Step 4.
Rinse your face, splashing it about 30 times with very hot water.  Clean skin, people!!  This is where the luminosity happens.

Step 5.
Use another clean dry face towel to pat-dry your face.  No rubbing!  (I buy 24 white face towels from Costco)
Step 6.
Use a cotton ball/pad to apply toner (I use Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Stress Control Toner).  The cotton should not have any dirt on it after wiping your face.

Step 7.
Apply 3-4 drops of an anti-aging serum or brightening serum directly on your face and massage in.  (I use Dr. Roebuck's Boost & Tighten Serum. It's liquid gold and is a huge boost in my skincare routine!  Talk about glowing, dewy skin.)
Step 8.
Smooth on half a pea size to a full pea size amount of exfoliating face moisturizer - depending on weather: more in cold weather, less in warm/hot weather  (I use Obagi -C Exfoliating Day Lotion). Wait a couple minutes to apply any light makeup.
Skincare has always been important to me.  Mainly because of my mother.  She set me on a rigorous routine at a very young age and I've been conscious of its importance ever since.  Fortunately, I will say I've never had a lot of issues with maintaining good skin and a good complexion - even throughout middle school and high school.  But I did notice when I moved to L.A. that my skin got pretty stinkin' nightmarish.

It took years to figure out, only because I was so used to having pretty low maintenance skin.  But I did finally solve the problem:

#1.  Dairy.  Turns out I was pretty allergic to it and didn't even know it.  It gave me incessant tiny rash-like bumps all over my face.  They weren't acne and no matter what I tried, they weren't going away.  Until I stopped consuming dairy.

#2.  Dirty, Moist Skin.   I found out my skin was super dirty.  I just wasn't cleaning it thoroughly enough.  And I was living in a very dirty, hot congested city so I was also sweating all the time.  Even light sweat can cause irritation on dirty skin.  My skin was dirty, sweaty and creating a lot of dead skin that wasn't getting properly exfoliated.

1. Nuetrogena Oil-Free Acne Stress Control Toner   2. Trader Joe's Organic Virgin Coconut Oil  3. Obagi-C Rx System C-Exfoliating Day Lotion  4. Lush Dream Cream Hand & Body Lotion  5. Obagi 360 Exfoliating Cleanser  6. Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Extra Strength Daily Peel

Surprisingly it was a relatively fast turnaround to get back to a dewy bright complexion - about 2 months!  And I used the above products to get me started.  Most I still use daily.  Others I use from time to time.

I explained most of the products shown but the two I haven't talked about yet are still pretty important.  Just not a necessity for daily use.  

Dream Cream (#4) is a phenomenal product and made up of mainly oils, butters and oat milk.  It is for hand and body buuuut since it's made for sensitive skin, I found it's great at being a rich nighttime face cream as it's not heavy or aggressive.

Dr. Dennis Gross Daily Peel (#6) was amazing at safely removing months (yes, months) of dead skin that had accumulated from poor washing.  Wowza, it literally looked like a light was shining on me after using it once.  It's a 2-step daily peel that truly does what it says: exfoliates, smooths, firms and lifts.  Please and thank you!

I only use a pinch of the Dream Cream at night since my skin is very hydrated and naturally oily.  For super cold weather, I make sure to use it as a barrier.  And I only use Dr Gross Peel pads when I've been naughty and I've gone to bed with makeup on or I haven't pampered my skin in a while.


So there you have it, ladies, my slightly obsessive guide to sexy, luminous skin!  I used to go to the spa once a week for a good scrub, steam and pampering.  I stuck to it pretty well until I became busy with other important things.  But I often forget that how I look has a large affect on how I feel.  Perhaps you feel the same.

This year, I plan to focus a lot more on my personal pampering time and take it more seriously.  I think it will have a huge effect on my work and candidly speaking, my self esteem as well.  Anyway, I'll be sharing what comes of it!

As always, thanks so much for visiting and reading :)  See ya next Thursday where I discuss the art of living luxuriously, no matter your budget.
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1.04.2018

Coffee & Contemplation... & Shoes

A new day, a new year, a new leaf.

And a new post :)

I was away from the blog for a little while as the holidays approached.  It's still just me running things at the shop, which I actually prefer... but like anything you put your mind and heart to, it inevitably grows.  So I will be expanding my Tiny business and hopefully freeing up some of my own time.

Anyway, November and December were banner months for The Tiny Closet Shop.  And 2017 ended up leaving me proud with renewed excitement for the coming year.  And after the extreme retail sport that is the holidays, I thought I could finally celebrate the New Year by dressing up and going out (yay!) but come 10pm, Theo was quite literally pulling me away from my swatches and design notes and begging me to go out with him like I'd promised.  I thew on some Chucks, a pair of jeans and a tee, no time for makeup, and headed out.  *sigh* that wasn't the plan...
And that was pretty much the theme, last year.  Plans for special outings, special outfits, special moments, never going to plan.

I had bought shoes (yes, the shoes you see above that I'm wearing for the first time in bed) for that evening a couple months before hand, intent on having a glamorous New Year's Eve.  And even though I did have a nice time that night ringing in 2018 with my Theo and friends, I realized...

I need a new plan.
I need to get my groove back.
When was the last time I had a manicure?  When was the last time I wore my hair the way I wanted?  Or dressed up and taken myself out?  Took a bubble bath?  Or even a long shower?  2017 was a great one - I made fantastic strides forward but man, if it had a theme, it would definitely NOT have been any of the following: fun, leisure or me-time.  And I accept that.  Some years have a singular focus.  But this year...
Your girl's gonna get her groove back!

I want to feel fabulous again!  On the outside!  And I know I talk about feeling good on the inside and how integral it is to feeling fabulous on the outside and how it can bring out personal style and blah blah blah.  Let's talk surface.  

Glossy nails, brilliant lip colors, sexy shoes, short dresses, lash extensions, tight jeans, big hair - yaaasss bitch.

I've exercised  I've meditated, I've eaten well, I've gotten 8 hours of sleep, I've drank 6 glasses of water, I've read and mantra'd and prayed.  Now I just wanna play with makeup, dress up, stunt on my husband and buy that fancy lotion I've been eyeing that has mica in it.
Ok, ok, this is still The Tiny Closet.  Where everything has a place, no extra fluff and stuff and clean open space to maintain an absolutely beautiful and highly curated (by you!) closet.  And I am excited take on this life-concept with fresh perspective.  And share the adventure with you!

I am after all, a minimalist to.the.core.. But I'm going to get a little dressier, this year.  A little sexier and more indulgent in the pieces that I choose to make up my seasonal capsules.  Instead of using my lifestyle to influence my clothing choices completely.  This year, I'm going to let the clothing I love influence my lifestyle as well.  Just a bit.  
Still sticking with 15-20 pieces per season, let's turn it up a notch and get dreamier with our clothing!   Less pedestrian, more opulence!  Less utility, more extravagance!  The Tiny way :)

Follow along with me as I indulge in getting back to the fun, feminine, lavish side of clothing, style and maintaining a closet you love.
Thank you for visiting and reading.  Come back next Thursday for more!
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