Style and Glow

Last week I was so pleased to present my style tips at Weight Watchers in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn for a Style & Glow event. I first met three lovely members before the event and shopped with them at Nordstrom Rack so they could model their “after” looks in front of the other members.

We discussed their lifestyle, their favorite type of clothing, how they dress now and how they would like to dress. We searched the inventory at the store and spent about two hours each trying new looks and putting together outfits that included appropriate shape wear and bras. We found beautiful shoes and jewelry to complete their looks.

Here are Aurora, Mistie and Cynthia before:

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And here we all are the night of the event!

I was thrilled to present at the Style & Glow event at Weight Watchers in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn tonight! Check out these three gorgeous ladies whom I styled head to toe from Nordstrom Rack. They looked great but more importantly they felt wonderful. We are all on a journey and we deserve to shine at every stage. Right Oprah? I see you, girl. Can you tell we like patterns? @weightwatchers @oprah @nordstromrack

As you can see, each lady (I’m the short one all the way to the right in leopard print) embraced her curves and wasn’t afraid to stand out. Their “before” looks were frumpy and said, “Don’t look at me!” Now Cynthia (far left) can go dancing with her brother in her sassy wrap dress and one of the three purses I told her to buy. Mistie (middle) can rock out at an upcoming Blues concert with her husband. And Aurora (second from right) felt confident and put together at her friend’s fancy bridal shower. Not only do they look fantastic but they each said they feel wonderful!

Here are the style and shopping tips I offered to the attendees:

  • Have the right fitting bra and body shapers. Get fitted for a bra every 5-10 pounds you fluctuate.
  • Try on clothing! All designers cut differently. Calvin Klein and Laundry are generous with their cutting. Vince and Theory are not. If you feel better dressing at home, buy items and keep the tags on for easy return.
  • Play up your favorite parts of your body. Legs? Cleavage? Arms?
  • Invest in quality pieces that offer structure like jackets and pants. You can always have them tailored as you progress on your journey.
  • Trendy items can be less expensive. Old Navy and H&M are great for pieces that pair with more upscale items of clothing.
  • Find a great tailor.
  • Have FUN!

REVIEW, RENEW, REJOICE!

Sunglasses, dahling…


Sunglasses, dahling!

 

Sunglasses are a crowd favorite in all seasons, not just the super sunny windows of Summer and Spring. Sunglasses can change an entire attitude of an outfit. Sunglasses can draw people to you by adding mystery, they can contribute drama to your look or they can simply cover up some unfortunate situations like bloodshot eyes or hangdog dark circles.

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There are zillions of shapes, sizes and colors that will look great on you but not great on someone else. I have an oval shaped face and short hair. I can somehow, some miraculous way, pull off a large, round frame. See how happy they make me? But Aviators? The devil on my face, never gonna work. I don’t have a photo of those monsters, there is no evidence!

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Here’s a helpful slideshow from Miss Oprah herself to walk you through the best look for your shaped face. If you want to really see the feel and heft and curves of a pair of shades, try on a variety of options to test out what will coordinate well with your features. And here’s a quick guide below for shapes:

Sunglass shape guide

If you’re itching for an expensive pair of sunnies and but don’t want to hand over a suitcase of cash, check out online designer discount spots like Bluefly who offer up to 75% off the retail price or consignment (pre-owned) sites like 2nd Time Around. When I bought my first pair of high-end sunglasses, my good friend Kerri called them “face or case” – those suckers do not belong on the neckline of my t-shirt. They live in their protective case or on my damned face. I’ve never forgotten that and they are still in one beautiful piece today. Real Simple tells us three mistakes we’re making when it comes to the care of our sunglasses:

  1. Putting them on our head.
  2. Not getting them tweaked on a regular basis.
  3. Throwing them in our purse.

For the beach and other “rough housing” environments, I take a pair of sunglasses that are a lot less delicate and elegant so my princess shades can take the day off and remain sand and scratch-free at home. I learned that the hard way many years ago and like to take good care of the things that I value.

So find the sunglasses that make you look and feel like the down-to-earth diva that you are and have fun!

Review, renew, rejoice! You deserve it…

xo

Jeni

 

 

Bra Talk

Bra Talk

Extra! Extra! Real talk, bra talk right here!

The foundation for any great outfit is…proper foundation. Having your girls measured is the necessary first step for getting your bubbies up and at ’em. I recently decided it was time to go get fitted after my regular bras that I’d had for about two years were no longer making me look and feel so perky.

I live in Brooklyn and while Macy’s is taking their sweet time renovating the Fulton Mall location (they’ve eliminated their awesome bra department during construction), I took a quick walk over to Brooklyn Fox Lingerie on Court Street. What a cute little store! They carry sizes ranging in A-H cups. We’re all covered!

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I’ve been wearing a lot of tank tops this summer and decided I wanted a well-fitting new racerback bra. When I arrived, I was the only customer in the store and the lovely saleslady was very accommodating and offered to measure me right away. Perhaps this is TMI but my bras up until this point have been a size 36C. This measuring magician informed me that I’m currently a 34D. Cool! The saleswoman also told me that you should get measured after every 5-10 pounds of weight lost or gained. I’ve lost about 6 pounds since April so that’s why my old bras were no longer feeling so upbeat. I bought a beautiful, black Natori Feathers T-back lace racerback bra that fits like a dream. It’s sturdy but elegant. I love wearing it!

 

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Here are some other sweet bra-buying tips:

  1. When you buy a bra, make sure it fastens at the last possible hook. Bras stretch out so you will need to make it tighter and tighter as time goes on. Fastening it on the last hook means you’ll get two or three more hook’s worth of tightness as you go.
  2. Getting measured at a fancy store is free! Go to whatever store you like, get measured, and then, if you’re on a budget, go to somewhere like Nordstrom Rack for a name brand bra at half the price. Once you know your true size, you’ll have a buffet of bra options.
  3. Make sure the underwire sits right under your ta-tas. You will need to pick up and lift each breast to sit comfortably in the cup so that the bottom of the bra lays flat against your rib.
  4. If you find a bra you love, go ahead and buy two of them, one in a dark color, one in a light color. These workhorses will keep you going much longer if you alternate the wearings.

So whether your weight has stayed the same or you’ve had some change, it’s a good idea to update your bra selection. Your clothing will fit you better, your beauties will be more comfortable and you’ll just feel like the hot stuff you are.

Review, renew, rejoice! You deserve it!

Closet Editing and Summer Style Trends

Being both a home closet organizer and a personal shopper/stylist, I work both sides of the coin when it comes to wardrobe. I want my clients to spark new life into their  wardrobes but not at the cost of cramming their closets full to the brim.

Last week I was fortunate enough to chat about both parts of my business on fellow organizer James Lott, Jr.’s fantastic LA-based radio program: The Super Organizer Show. James and I spoke about our philosophies on organizing, my two pronged business as both organizer and stylist, tips on editing your closet easily and summer style.

My three questions to ask yourself while editing your closet:

  1. “Would I buy this piece of clothing today? In cash?”
  2. “Can I resale it?”
  3. “Does this piece have a purpose? Where am I wearing it?”

My three picks for sweet summer style are:

A hot platform wedge sandal.

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White jeans – fit is everything!

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A lightweight chambray (denim) button down shirt.

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Here’s the link to the broadcast, have a listen for more tips and talk!SOS Episode 18

Have a fab day!

Jeni

 

Bathing Suit Season

What more dreaded phrase is there than “bathing suit season?” As American women we are forced to pay attention to the horrific cycle that comes around every year like a smack in the face on a carousel ride. The shame runs deep and the demands for immediate and necessary self improvement from magazines, the diet industry and fashion designers can be crazy making. Staying home and watching Netflix on the couch could seem like the only viable solution for summer relaxation.

But thankfully there has been a wave of body positive sentiment in the air. Curvy girls are shaking their hips in magazines and TV shows telling us to embrace our perfectly human, perfectly beautiful shapes and sizes. Inspiring declarations of self love ring through the internet amidst the dirty noise of hateful criticism from nameless commenters. The website Volup2com rallies behind all body types but specifically rounder and plusher ladies. They offer great style picks and uplifting messages about positive body image. Search “curvy bathing suit” on Pinterest and there are hundreds of gorgeous options for flattering beach styles that do not include one single mumu tent dress.

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  • Most suits are not sized like other clothing. You probably have to go up one or two sizes to account for good coverage, kind of like bridesmaid dresses.
  • If you’re buying online, read what other shoppers have said about fit in the comment section.
  • Certain brands/manufacturers have weird sizing for swim wear. So don’t get hung up on the number on the tag. Those numbers are as irrelevant as the names real estate agents assign to “hot new” Brooklyn neighborhoods.

Just like any worthwhile, well made item, you might have to pay a little bit more for a great suit. You can dig online for deals but if you’re not in the mood for bargain hunting because you’re stressing a little bit about actually having to buy a bathing suit in the first place, listen to Donna from Parks and Recreation and treat yo self. This solid one-piece from Macy’s is really simple but offers a sexy neckline, flattering side ruching and fabric technology that provides structure and hold.

If you’re truly on a budget and are okay with buying a suit that might only take you through one or two seasons, check out this Old Navy two-piece.

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How cute does this mama look in her high waisted bikini with its supportive but very styling top? So cute! My friend bought this swim romper at Target and it is absolutely adorable. It offers coverage like a skirt suit but it’s more hip and retro with the support you need in the top.

Unless you’re part of Leonardo DiCaprio’s yacht crew, you only need three or four good suits for an active season. Find suits with fit, structure (not often found in a stringy triangle top, unfortunately) and a pop of color or print (or go for all black, you dramatic vixen, you). Pair it with a fabulous hat and some sexy wedge sandals and you have yourself a beach outfit.

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***My biggest tip for going bathing suit shopping is to TRY ON BATHING SUITS AT HOME.*** I’m yelling because I have seen too many deflated egos left to perish under horrific overhead lighting on the dressing room floor. Listen, go home, put on some Jill Scott, take out the two or three suits you bought (check with the store about their return policy at the register or just order your suits online) and have a little solo dance party.

  • Do you like how the suit feels?
  • Can you walk around without the bottom riding up?
  • Are your bubbies in place and not spilling out of the top?
  • Can you picture yourself reclining on a chaise lounge while listening to the calming rhythm of the ocean waves as you sip a cocktail?

Then grab it now! Slather on that sunscreen, grab your shades and go have some fun this summer.

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You deserve it, sister

xoxo

 

 

 

 

Fall Fashion Favorites

Fall is here! After the high-end fantasy whirlwind of Fashion Week (I gobbled up all the delicious couture photos from New York Fashion Week and other cities), Fall is the perfect time to indulge in all things comforting and down to earth. It’s leather jacket/sweater/hot chocolate/suede boot/layering season. I love seeing all of the creative Fall-inspired fashion in the city and in Brooklyn.

Neutrals are king. Mix light brown and heather gray, navy and olive green. Soft hues can all be layered and combined. Show off your outfit with a big open sweater instead of a jacket, if you like. Notice how the proportions of this outfit all work together with the voluminous layers on top and a long and lean jean and high heel boot on bottom:

L's whole look. Perfect for Fall @schneidyland

 

If you do crave a pop of color, go for red, pink or orange with a bright shoe or bag:

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Women and men alike savor this very brief window when they can wear their blazers a la carte before having to throw a warm down coat over it.

Style A game on the F train

Layer a plaid man-tailored shirt under a simple sweater and blazer like this:

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Stretch the seasonal longevity of your jean jacket by wearing it with a top and a skirt. This girl needs a cozy scarf like the one below:

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Scarves provide warmth and interest to your overall look. Don’t be afraid to go big and have the scarf be the main focus. I love this rich cranberry color connected by the jacket, scarf and bag.

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Wear a heel or a knee high boot without tights for as long as you can for a sexy, modern approach.

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Have fun and take full advantage of this wonderful layering season before we go straight to chilly town.

Visit my Pinterest page for more Fall outfit ideas: https://www.pinterest.com/jeniaron/fall-outfits/

Review, Renew, Rejoice! You deserve it…

xo Jeni

 

 

 

Look Up!

I am lucky enough to live in the most vibrant, most alive and saturated city in the world. New York is a dance floor filled with movement and energy with a beat that you can palpably feel on a daily basis. Fashion and style are a huge part of that energy and there is always something new to see in the streets, on the subway and in the stores if you’re looking up from your phone at the right time.

Yesterday I saw a 20-something African-American man walking down the street in Brooklyn near The Brooklyn Academy of Music wearing a black linen jumpsuit. He had painted a thick, tribal-looking white line right down the center of his face starting at his forehead and ending at the tip of his nose. He was striking. He was fierce. Are we still saying that? I hope so. He was using his body as art and it was beautiful and it was different. I felt inspired. No, I did not go home and mark my face with eyeliner but I mentally earmarked it.

You don’t have to live in NYC to find a new spark. Inspiration can be found wherever you live. You can look at thousands of boards on Pinterest and zillions of photos on Instagram. You can look at a stylish woman at your gym doing her hair in a funky and interesting way. You can look at fashion magazines in the supermarket check-out line and try a new combination of jeans and shoes that they recommend. Looking up, making an observation and taking a risk in your daily routine can lead you to take other risks in life that might have once seemed too scary.

What have you seen today that has encouraged you to make a change?

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Review, Renew, Rejoice! You deserve it…

xo

Nice To Meet You!

Hi there! My name is Jeni and this is my blog on my brand new website called Styled by Jeni! But I’m pretty sure you figured that out already considering the fact that you have working eyes, a brain thingy and a beautiful personality. I’m very excited to be taking my styling business to the next chapter with the birth of this site. I have been organizing homes as The Clutter Cowgirl since 2003 and within that time I’ve realized that closet editing is kind of my favorite thing ever (right after Diet Peach Snapple, my best friend and my sister — although technically those two ladies are not “things”).

My motto is “Review, Renew, Rejoice!” My client and I review what she already has, we renew her wardrobe with fresh pieces and then we rejoice over how fabulous she looks and feels. It’s a hell of a lot of fun.

Diving into someone’s wardrobe in the role of editor and stylist and figuring out what works and what doesn’t is a deeply intimate task and I’m honored to do it. People are confronted with ideas about their own bodies, their current life circumstances, their spending habits, their sexuality, their vitality and many other nuances that are projected through clothing. Women have babies and now their bodies are something new and unique. Men change careers and all of a sudden their clothing doesn’t represent who they are in the office anymore. Men and women are suddenly single after a divorce and have to make sense of their new life in the dating world. Clothing is a megaphone for what we want to say. Clothing shouts out to the world if we care about ourselves, if we have confidence, if we are even living in the current decade. Clothing tells others who we are every single day and it’s my job to help clients figure out what they want to say and how they want to say it.

For me, the best part about working with a client on her wardrobe is that I get to witness her reimagine herself in the course of one session. I’m not a therapist but things get real pretty fast. Most of the transformation I see comes after we’ve done the editing of a closet (which tells me her story) and now we’re knee deep in the shopping portion of our experience (creating a new story). I’ve already helped her say good-bye to clothing she’s been holding onto for years and the slate has been cleaned. As we shop in a store, I invite her to try on clothing she’d probably never even consider on her own. When she gives in and a fun piece scores, she lights up and feels energized. She feels more open, more in charge of her current self and she feels like she’s back in control of what she wants to say. What’s not to love about that?

I am truly excited by the work that I do and I can’t wait to share stories, ideas and inspirations with you and to hear about you in return!

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Review, Renew, Rejoice! You deserve it…

xo

Photography by Rue Boudoir