Closet Clean Out – Purging and Sorting

 

 

Closet Cleanout

 

Sometimes practicing what you preach is one of the hardest things to do. Day after day I help women and men get a fresh start with their wardrobes–cleaning their closets, purging and sorting, filling the gaps, and transforming their image. It seems I also try hard to avoid doing the same for myself. Not that my closet is a pigsty… But I do occasionally turn my head to the side and eye-roll when I walk past the door. It’s the cobbler’s children have no shoes mentality, right?

 

This past year I moved my clothing into my dream closet, and now I need to take time to make it the picture perfect room. For the next few weeks I will bring you all through my own closet facelift, and hopefully learn some new things along the way!

 

Closet Cleanout Purging and Sorting

When it comes to going through closets {which can really be a microcosm of your life}, the key is to remember this is a very personal job. Not only do clothes tell the story of someone’s personal tastes and treasures, sometimes they also hide the pain they might be feeling. Let’s face it {me included}, inventorying your wardrobe is a cleansing experience AND a process you must stride gingerly through.

Purging and Sorting consign repair donate

First things first: I have clients make three piles. Consign, Repair/Launder and Donate. Anything that is not a for sure “keeper” ends up in one of these piles. I suggest you repair items that are realistically repairable or gussied up by a fresh press at the professional dry cleaner asap. All other garments and accessories should be sent to a donation center of your choice or consigned for a new start. You can see some of the places I consign in my PREVIOUS BLOG. 

Purging and Sorting thread up

One of my favorite ways to consign is by using ThredUp. They send a kit to place your clothing in with FREE SHIPPING, you mail it back, and they do the rest! I love making money while I sleep. Wink.

Purging and Sorting shoes

Look for rough edges on shoes or worn out toe fronts.

 

Purging and Sorting discoloring

When items start looking furry and discolored..purge them. You are better than that!

 

Purging and Sorting pilling

Frayed edges mean Bye Bye.

Look for Pilling, Frayed Edges, and Shoe Wear and Tear: When it comes to what I look for with repair items vs. donate and consign…Though this is always up for debate, some of the more apparent problems I see are scuffs and rips on shoes, discoloration on clothing, and pilling on items like sweaters or pants. We all know them and we see them often, but saying goodbye to our cherished items often times is hard to do. If you struggle to know just when to let go…here is another post to help you ask seven simple questions to declutter your wardrobe. 

 

Purging and Sorting dogs

And though I am one who truly loves furry friends, it is always nice to make sure and arrange someone to watch them, or have a pen they can stay in during the process. And that goes for non-furry little friends too. When you purge and re-org–make this a sacred time for you and your closet. These decisions can be stressful… so give your self a kid free-pet free moment to deep dive into the challenge.

 

If you want to learn more on having your own fresh start with a closet clean out, email me: jen@foreverstyled.com or call me at 678-772-9975. You are worth it. Your closet will thank you and likely spur you on to lean out other parts of your life as well.

 

 

Stylishly ((and realistically)) Yours,

 

Jen Young

Lessons From 2017

 

I am not going to lie to you…I am really happy 2017 is in my rear view window.

 

You know—some years are better than others, but this last one I grew like a beanstalk, facing both the challenges of single motherhood and learning what it means to stand firm on my own two feet as an entrepreneur. That statement is code for—this girl needs a nap asap.

 

Please don’t hear me complain with a voice positioning myself as a victim. I love my life and all that God has revealed the last twelve months amidst uncharted waters. And thanks to my parents; I have slept in for seven days in a row at their home in Florida this week, so I am officially a well-rested camper.

 

But let’s all face it: Adulting. Is. Freaking. Hard.

 

Can I get an, “Amen??” And then wear this shirt if you agree…..

 

Can we also harmonize, in tandem to the mess and hardship we all face, this life holds so much beauty?

 

Let me expand a bit so perhaps all my imperfections and revelations from them will urge you on to something bigger and better than you ever thought possible for yourself. Taking an introspective look at myself has been a healthy exercise, so I pray you will garner some insight as you prepare your own clean slate for 2018.

 

When I got my initial footing in the fashion industry just four years ago thanks to my mentor and friend Lauren Lafevre {Edit By Lauren}, I had no idea how much the simple notion of “get your clothes on” {as stated in my tag line} would lead to profound personal truths that run deeper than just my wardrobe.

 

 “Fashion is not necessarily about labels. It’s not brands. It’s about something else that comes from within you.” Ralph Lauren

 

Here are the lessons I will take with me into the new year:

 

 

1.} Attitude is Everything: Choosing a positive attitude and self-concept is paramount to combat all the negative input that can potentially sabotage your daily routine. My personal commitment is to bring light to a dark world…and that happens to begin with a thoughtful outfit, an intentional smile, and lending a helping hand. I also like to keep in mind the popular phrase that became a mantra in Facebook’s hacker culture, done is better than perfect. Or even better, acknowledging Voltaire’s statement, “Perfect is the enemy of good.” Not to say giving something your all isn’t a worthy goal, but knowing when things need to take your time and when they don’t is also important.

 

My kids: Jackson (14}, Me {no age required}, Julia {11 going on 21}!

 

2.} My Children, Family, and Friends are my Greatest Resume: I think about the time I invest in my team members with Forever Styled {love you Shelby and Alex}, keeping my home organized and calendar oiled with kid/biz appointments, but nothing is more sacred than the moments I invest in my children, family, and friends–especially during technology free dinners chock-full of meaningful conversation. That means protecting this time is uber important. Who you surround yourself with on any given day also shapes who you become and the legacy you will ultimatley leave behind.

 

3.} I am NOT a Superhero: While I secretly wish I could clone myself, read the minds of my teenagers, or even be invisible for a day, I recognize I am not Wonder Woman or any other being that requires a cape. But knowing I cannot do it all, be all, for everyone liberates me. Becoming a master “time-blocker” of my calendar and recognizing my limitations as a person has saved me. Learning to say “NO” in order to give greater value to the things I say “yes” to has changed my life. Don’t be a slave to thinking you have to be a multiple plate spinner to be a success. Simplify your commitments and aspire for greatness at a few things. Invest in the philosophy that less is more. That includes the amount of stuff you have as well. To that point, stay tuned for a “full monty” view {kidding} of my own personal closet purge later this month.

 

My buddies: Shannon, Amy and I on a recent trip to San Fran.

4.} I Need Fun: Being an adult carries so much responsibility! I have learned that some of the my best original ideas for my business and personal goals have come out of weekend retreats with soul sisters or times when I just let loose and eat waffles with fried chicken. If you haven’t spent time laughing with your friends or at yourself for that matter…then get on it. You might uncover your greatest strengths by doing something out of the ordinary like saying yes to kayaking when you prefer to read a book at home. Staying stagnant is boring. Venture out and explore something new. You deserve a unique adventure that just might expand your territory.

 

5.} Health is so Important: As I have learned to take better care myself this year, by adjusting my workout routine {thank you Susan Stivers}, food and sleep plan, and getting more margin around my calendar, I am happier and wiser. I took baby steps toward life balance, but will keep pressing forward knowing this pursuit works. There are no medals for people who push themselves beyond human capacity warranting daily doses of Xanax. I am ready to be stronger and mentally clearer than ever this year.

You with me?

 

Blessings to each of you this New Year. What have you learned that you will take into 2018? Share the love….

 

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” – 2 Cor 12:9

 

 

With Strength and Dignity,

 

Jen

 

 

The Gift That Saves Time & Money

Gift That Saves

We are only two weeks away from Christmas which means sheer panic has set in. HA! If you are anything like me, there is not ONE gift under the tree to date, nor do you even have an idea of what you need to purchase.

 

Hopefully, you saw in my blog last week how local boutiques like Raven and Lily hold such a dear place in my heart and how finding brands that give back as a part of their mission helps your holiday shopping make an even larger impact.

 

Next week, we will reconvene for our boutique spotlight series and touch on the importance of recycling and re-homing fashion {as I call it} with a wonderful re-sell shop I adore, Haute Exchange. It’s like an adoption process but for clothes. This topic just makes me giddy—especially for my clients who struggle to let go of those items they have purchased but still have tags hanging on them. Or those still-so-fabulous items that no longer work for your body type.

 

Pardon my interruption, but this week, let’s unpack the theme of TIME.

 

TIME is of the essence and each year there seems to be less and less of it. TIME is a big thing I often help my clients with and a topic of interest I value. Though my services focus on bringing peace to the daily dressing routine and fine-tuning a person’s individual style, they are also geared to help you save time and minimize the clutter of your life.

Gift Closet

Working with me during a thorough closet assessment allows the opportunity to make educated choices on what you should and should NOT wear/keep, as well as make room for new things in your life. Like that fabulous pair of shoes you want for Christmas! Personally, my heart is set on these Valentino Studded beauties. What can I say ? This girl can dream.

I also help with the ins and outs of your everyday wardrobe through personal styling! And thanks to this amazing thing we call technology, I have recently added a virtual styling option to the mix. That is right my friends, you can inventory your closet online, and I can help you style, fill in gaps, and organize your clothing all over the world wide web. Woo hoo. It is a more affordable way to stay organized all the while keeping your fashion mojo intact.

Gift Shop

SHIRT | LEGGINGS | SLIPPERS | NIKES | NECKLACE | PERFUME

 

Although, best of all in my opinion, is that you can now save even more time and money by shopping my top monthly picks under the categories: For Her,  For Him,  Home Items, Things Under $100 all on my website! Never overthink what to purchase for you or a loved one ever again!

 

So long story LONNGG, as we continue with our month of shopping with a purpose, I would love to have the privilege to work with your special friend or someone this holiday season. Consider purchasing a gift card from Forever Styled as your thoughtful  way to bless those in your life with an experience way more creative than a spa treatment {although don’t get me wrong…. massages are also straight from heaven!}

 

Gift Card

I will be offering my Seasonal Closet Nip and Tuck for $375 (usually $495) or if you Prepay for a year of Virtual Styling I will give you a month for free – $600 value for $550. Both options make great gift card ideas!

 

 

Wishing you all a HAPPY HOLIDAY!

 

Jen Young

 

 

Holiday Highlight: Raven and Lily

Holiday Highlight Raven and Lily

Holiday Highlight Sign

Holiday Highlight Dresses

 

The holidays are indeed upon us… And getting back to my original plan this month, I am honored to feature amazing businesses in the coming weeks that deserve high praise for not only the “beauties” they sell but also to celebrate the mission behind their brand.

 

This Christmas has taken on a whole new meaning for me as a single mom, so I am excited to share about a thoughtful company that empowers the working woman to experience financial reward and personal freedom as a result of unique international partnerships.

 

Holiday Highlight

Kirsten Dickerson {the tall blond} alongside her beautiful artisan partners

 

It is a joy to talk with my dear friend Kirsten Dickerson, Co-Founder of Raven and Lily, for this post.
We have known each other for over 20 years from our Pi Beta Phi sorority days, so it a blessing to watch her business thrive as she changes lives everyday. Her vision to offer trend-forward fair trade fashion, accessories, and home furnishings to empower women on a global scale truly inspires me.

 

Here is a little Q and A with Kirsten.

 

J- What was your inspiration behind Raven and Lily?

 

K- My inspiration behind Raven + Lily is the value of women. I believe in dignity oriented opportunity for women, and I know that when women are empowered, they will invest in their families and communities. I created a lifestyle brand that would provide the Western women with products that reflect the beauty and culture of the women who made them. We think about the impact on people and the planet at every stage of production and follow fair trade standards. Our customers are part of the beautiful redemptive stories of hope unfolding in the lives of the women who make our designs.

 

Holiday Highlight Outfit

J- Can you explain your signature look / describe the brand behind Raven and Lily?

K- We are modern, yet organic. I love neutrals, texture, minimalism and a little bling. I believe in designing things for fashion and the home you can love for years and aren’t dictated by trends. All materials used in Raven + Lily designs are natural and sustainably sourced.

 

 

J- Could you tell us a bit about your heart for philanthropy and vision for sustainable fashion?

 

K– With every purchase, our customers are helping to provide fair trade employment for at risk women.  With every purchase, our customers are also helping to donate back to help provide micro loans for HIV+ women who have graduated from a business skills training program. At every stage of our production process, we think through the impact on people and the planet…as far back as the buttons and where cotton is sourced.  We want to know the story behind our designs so that our customer can be confident they are having a positive and not negative impact with their purchase.

Statistically, fashion is the second largest polluter, 1 in 6 people are employed in the industry, less than 3% earn a livable wage, and 80% are women. These stats are heart-breaking, but I’m in the business of breaking that negative impact and proving that it is possible to produce beautiful products that empower women and protect our beautiful world.

 

 

J- What tips would give others to keep in mind this holiday season when shopping?

 

K- Slow down, and look for opportunities to gift, dress, and decorate thoughtfully this holiday season. It takes time, but its possible to do this.  There are so many wonderful companies and products that do good in the world now. If you don’t know where to start, try this excellent of social good companies  http://www.thegoodtrade.com

 

Holiday Highlight Bag

 

J- What is your favorite piece in the store right now (if you had to choose one)? 

 

K- For fashion, I love the goat hair bucket bag and Simbi black dress with brass buckles. It’s the perfect LBD for year round wear.  For the home, I love the wool pom blankets and pillows from Morocco. They are on my master bed and look perfect for the holidays though I use them year round!

 

Holiday Highlight glamping

 

J- Talent runs in your family. Tell us a little about  your husbands movie premiere and background?

 

K- Well, my husband, Brandon Dickerson, is a film-maker and current director at Laity Lodge.  His most recent movie, “Amanda and Jack Go Glamping” was filmed at our former glamping retreat, Green Acres, outside Austin and was just released. You can download and watch it this week! Our son is also an aspiring film-maker and my daughter wants to be a culinary artist.  So I guess its safe to say we are a family of artists who really love movies and nature.

 

 

Learn More About Raven and Lily by visiting them ONLINE or on INSTAGRAM

 

I  hope your holidays are filled with happiness and peace. It always pays royally when you shop with purpose and with brands who gives back a hundred-fold like Raven + Lilly.

 

Blessings to You and Yours this Holiday Season.

Jen

Skip The Crazy This Black Friday

NATIONAL

     

 

LOCAL

 

 

 

Now, don’t let the title fool you, I know good and well most of us are doing some kind of shopping this Black Friday. However, I am trying to make it as easy and quick as possible so you can get back to laying on the couch with family and respecting your time to give thanks.

 

Above are tons of sales, both locally and nationally, and their links to guide you through your shopping experience. And to make things one step easier for you, I’ve added a SHOP tab to my site with easy to snag options for gifts under $100, for him, for you and for the family!

 

For those of you still needing to get out and face the crowds… Here are some tips on making your excursion a little less painful:

 

  1. Do all the ONLINE shopping you can first, before trying to get out and about. And don’t forget to take advantage of free shipping and gift wrapping, it is such a time saver in the long run!

 

  1. When going out to the stores make sure to prepare like a momma. Bring snacks and water to keep your pulse and blood sugar going with you!

 

  1. Don’t feel like you need to do it all. Splurge on a nanny for the kids so you can shop child free.

 

  1. Better yet, make it a girls day! Meet up with your friends and throw a relaxing lunch in between stores.

 

  1. Always remember to dress for trying on! This sounds silly, and though you might not be shopping for yourself, it is always something to keep in mind. Wear a regular bra, not a sports bra, and cami so you can easily slip on and off tops. Think comfortable shoes and make sure to have on bottoms (not a dress).

 

  1. Take advantage of curbside pickups at stores like Nordstrom’s. You can shop ahead of time and roll right up to snag your bags.

 

  1. Be willing to valet park (or prepare for walking). It is a good way to shed those newly added turkey pounds!

 

  1. Prioritize. Don’t think you will make it to every store on your list. Know the top things you want to score deals on and go for those first. Anything else is a bonus and a pat on your back!

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving to you all! And happy shopping to those brave souls out there.

 

 

  • Jen Young

Soul Care For My Soul Sisters

Soul Care

 

We started this month talking about empowering the working woman and celebrating just how awesome she is! As the weeks have progressed {what the heck— it is already the last week of October???} I’ve noticed how empowering her also means we need to “treat” her. Much like in a plane, you are no good if you don’t put on your oxygen mask first. Without some soul care you are bound to fall flat on all the everyday demands of both work and family.

 

Here are my top ten routines/tips to keep your heart and body healthy and happy… and none of them take too long so no excuses!

 

Soul Care Massage

1. Massage: Maybe it isn’t a full hour at a nice spa for your price conscious ladies? Maybe it is just a foot rub you bribed your kids to give you? Either way, having that moment to relax and breath means more than most could know. The power of physical touch and working out all the kinks in our bodies is so important as we press onward to our goal to change history with our lives.

 

Soul Care Lip Stick

ONE  | TWO  |  THREE  |  FOUR  |  FIVE

2. New Lip Color: Ever gotten a glance in the mirror around 4 pm and thought, “Yikes! Is that me??” A very simple way to combat this situation is by adding a new lipstick to your routine. Stop into a CVS or Walgreens for a quick fix. Or stop by the lip counter at your local Nordstrom or Sephora to test out the best shades for your pout.

 

Soul Care Flowers

3. Fresh Cut Flowers: You’re already at the store at least 3 times a week… Or is that just me?? Stop to smell the roses (literally) and bring a bundle home. I am convinced fresh flowers liven up a home and warm a heart. I shop Trader Joe’s for the most cost effective beauties, and love potted orchids which last up to three months with a simple ice cube to water each week and bright, indirect sunlight!

 

Soul Care Shoes

ONE  |  TWO  | THREE  |  FOUR  |  FIVE

4. Shoes That Fit: Some days we just need to walk on clouds. Every woman should have one pair of sneakers that are the “go-to” on days when your feet just can’t take it. I adore these leopard sneakers with skinny jeans and a denim top for an easy kick around solution.

 

Soul Care Food

5. Lunch Date: Take the time to meet a life-giving friend for lunch or coffee. Your soul, heart, body, etc. will thank you. Explore a new part of town or eat Dim Sum style. Your palette needs as much stretching as your wardrobe.

 

 


Soul Care Books
SO LONG INSECURITY  |  LIONESS ARISING  |  THE SILENT WIFE

6. A Great New Book: I am face planted in two books right now that are both convicting and inspiring me to do better and be a better women. Check out So Long Insecurity by Beth Moore and Lioness Arising by Lisa Bevere to spur you on to greatness. Get lost in a fiction book like The Silent Wife to escape “adulting” on a daily basis.

 

Soul Care Coffee

7. Warm Beverage: Perfect for the shift in the weather! A stop at Starbucks or your favorite local coffee/tea shop in the morning is a great way to take a second for yourself. Hold the cup between your hands and breathe in the sweet smell of a seasonal pumpkin spice latte or chai tea. The pleasant aroma might be all you need to stay inspired!

 

Soul Care Nails

ONE  |  TWO  | THREE  |  FOUR 

 

8. Mani / Pedi: This is a monthly “must do” activity if you ask me, and more importantly, one that relays the message of your first impression. Keeping up with your nails is not only a treat but necessary to suggest proper grooming is important to you—especially as a working professional.

 

Soul Care Icecream

9. Sweet Delight: Have 20 minutes between after school activities and meetings? Grab French fries or ice cream. And I dare you to not shame yourself for the treat afterwards! We are so hard on ourselves and the added pressure is just not needed. Be happy and eat those fries, ladies! Once a month won’t kill you.

 

Soul Care Running

10. Time Without the Phone: This is such a big one and maybe the most difficult. Try leaving your phone in the car during your yoga class or going on a short walk to take in nature uninterrupted. Give yourself some time to separate from the world; everything will still be there when you get back!

Finally, take a moment or two each morning to look in the mirror and remind yourself how great you truly are! Give yourself a compliment, we all know we deflect enough of them anyways. You matter. You are important. And you are created by a loving God who does not make junk!

 

Blessings and Style Peace,

Jen Young

TIME SAVING TIPS FOR THE WORKING WOMAN

 

As we continue our journey down the path of working women, let’s press pause for something I think every lady needs more of… SHOES {silent happy dance moment!}

 

#J.K.

 

Well, not kidding, but we are actually talking about something we all need more of—TIME. I wish I could tell you how Beyoncé does it, but I’ve yet to figure that out. Does she have a clone? So, until the secrets of Queen B are exposed, here are a few tips to make it feel like you actually have 48 hours in a day instead of 24 to get it all freaking done as a working professional, worker bee, mom, hat spinner,etc.:

 

Time Saving Tips - Outfits

1. Lay Out Your Outfits

It might seem like a feat to be proactive, but laying out your outfits beforehand {at night or the Sunday before your day/week begins} is always a good idea. Not only will you take away guessing each morning, but you will give yourself a little time to think of new and different ways to remix clothing in your closet.

 

Time Saving Tips - Handbag

  1. Pick One Handbag A Week

Before pre-planning outfits, pick one handbag to use all week. Make it something that works for all of your appointments. Keeping your handbag organized makes your life feel a little more tidy as well.  A weekly rotation keeps you on task to get rid of all the gum wrappers and receipts {and old banana peels or nasty junk that falls to the bottomless pit!}

 

 

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3. Keep A Day To Night Kit

You should always have a day-to-night kit in your car. A change of shoes, a different jacket or shrug, and make up for touchups. This helps with going straight from appointments to dinners or events.

 

Time Saving Tips - Laundry

4. Sort Out Your Laundry Beforehand

Think twice before throwing all your dirty laundry in one basket. Have a divider for whites, darks and colors so throwing loads into the wash are easy and simple to keep up with.

 

Time Saving Tips - Kids

5. Give The Kids Responsibility

Something I started doing last year that has saved my life and a bunch of hair pulling is offloading annoying tasks to my kids. When laundry is folded, it is their job to put it up. They each have a basket that is designated for them and it goes upstairs right away! I have to let go of control when it comes to making sure it is all put away in the perfect spots. Done is better than perfect my friends. Marie Kondo has some amazing folding techniques that my son does enjoy {my daughter on the other hand is a tazmanian devil for organization… God bless her}! Who doesn’t love a sushi rolled pair of socks?

 

Time Saving Tips - Lips

6. Love Your 5 Minute Makeup 

Do you know what the 5 Minute Makeup routine is?? If you don’t, I need to fill you in. The 5 Minute Makeup {love this one from Harper’s Bazaar} is a way to look full-faced without taking the time. Always make enough time to apply powder, blush, eyeliner, mascara and lips at minimum.

 

Time Saving Tips - Cleaners

7. Let Your Dry Cleaners Help

Did you know that you can bring your own non-wire hangers to the dry cleaners and they will reuse them for your clothes?? This sounds like a very simple thing, but not having to move over your clothes to a different hangers once your clothes are home helps save time, resources, and energy. Invest in a good hanger if you don’t already have one! W.I.R.E. is a four letter word as par as I am concerned!

 

Time Saving Tips - Clutch

8. Keep A Clutch In Your Purse

Running around all day and having to lug your larger work bag from place to place is honestly a daunting feeling all its own. Carry a clutch within your bigger bag holding your cards, a little lipstick and your phone. That way you are ready for night, or even a quick stop at the store.

What is your favorite time saving tip? Comment below!!

Stylishly yours,

Jen young

2017 Summer Beach Totes

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Hello  Sunshine!

Hope your local weather forecast, like the rain we’ve had in Austin, hasn’t brought you down in the dumps. Perhaps many of you can’t wait to head to the beach or simply seek out the warm summer sun instead?  I don’t know about you, but some serious Vitamin D is calling my name. I mean, have you seen my mayonnaise legs in the latest posts? Not even photoshop could make those babies bronzed.

So here is the great news, wether you are relaxing at your neighborhood pool or going to Cabo with the family, we have some trendy and stylish summer beach totes that will have you turning heads. Call it the next step to LAST WEEK’S blog!

I’ve picked some of my favorites totes from hot spots like Nordstrom, Everything But Water, Anthropologie, and my current obsession–Draper James. Reese Witherspoon, you are my southern, lady-friend hero. Is there nothing you can’t do?

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ONE // TWO // THREE // FOUR // FIVE // SIX // SEVEN // EIGHT // NINE // TEN // ELEVEN // TWELVE // THIRTEEN

As you can tell there are so many adorable choices out there! Pick one that best represents your personality and style.

1.}  Flamingo Straw Tote– A simple and tropical bag that gives any outfit or swimsuit a pop of color.

2.} Blush Straw Bag– I love the unique body style and handle on this bag! Its subtle color promotes a modern but natural flair.

3.} Milagro Circular Handbag– This bag really stood out to me because of its unexpected shape and the adorable touch of detail in the pompoms.

4.} Ague D’ Mar Tote– Now I know this is a bit of a wild choice, but it’s so quirky and fun! Big brother is watching. Just saying. Where are the built in cameras?

5.} Totes Y’all Vanderbilt Tote– You can never go wrong with a bold script canvas bag, especially one that features the signature Draper James magnolia-shaped hardware. Did I mention Reese Witherspoon is my southern sister from another mother?

6.} Mirabel Tote– This tote just screams beach party! I love its traditional shape that is woven with colorful cotton.

7.} Alice + Olivia Stace Face Straw Tote– This bag is a total girly-girl accessory. I love a dramatic bag with a whole lot of personality. I wish my eyelashes were that long!

8.} Watermelon Cool It Y’all Tote– Summertime warrants something covered in watermelons or pineapples–perfect for making a fashion statement and adding flair to your poolside attire.

9.}  Kayu Piñata Tote– What a dramatic and playful tote to carry on your arm! The striped texture of the tote is soft to the touch and is large enough to stuff a bunch of pool/beach toys inside.

10.} Fallon & Royce’s Tote– Another script canvas tote but its clever graphic statement, that makes me smile, is made out of sparkly beads!

11.} Mar y Sol ‘Ibiza’ Woven Tote– Now if this does scream, “I’m made for summer!”- I don’t know what does! This is definitely one of my favorites and is on my wish list.

12.} Tory Burch Gemini Link Tote– No woman can go wrong with a Tory Burch bag! I love this orange and navy color combo and pattern, and the fact that it is waterproof. This style of a tote can also easily transition from work to play.

13.} Lilly Pulitzer Bohemian Tote– This tote is on the smaller size, but it certainly makes a punch with its rich, bright tones!

Below are some more great finds. Take a look and shop for your summer go to tote!

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May Calgon take you away to your Dream Destination,

Jen Young

Strategic Packing for International Travel

Strategic Packing Made Perfect

 

Happy Monday!

Let’s address something we all likely struggle with… Strategic packing for International Travel! How many of you have loaded down four bags for a week-long trip only to arrive with nothing to wear? Even worse is when you pack just a carry on and then freeze/burn your booty off your entire trip because you were ill-prepared.

Packing can be TOUGH, this is no secret. But packing with purpose can give you peace of mind and zero stress when you are on your trip, but you must make a plan! For a few logistical packing strategies, here is a link to a blog I did several months ago.

Here are also some visual aids to make the physical aspect of packing easier: VIDEO ONE   |   VIDEO TWO

My goal for today’s post is to give you specific tips on actually WHAT TO PACK for a 7 day trip even up to a month’s worth of outfits {if you have access to a washing machine} with a few simple essentials from your wardrobe!

The inspiration for this post came from a recent client session who is taking a seven-day trip to Israel in October. My advice to her was simple, pack with sense and with items that make you already feel confident. Let me expand….

Pack with sense: I cannot stress enough how important paying attention to the weather and the culture is. Knowing the background on the places you plan to go is one of the most helpful things for not only packing right, but also feeling right in your temporary environment. Is it going to be cold? Pack a coat. Does it seem like the weather is warm or seasonably unpredictable? Still bring a light jacket or a simple sweater for layering.

Don’t overdo the shoes {even if you are a collector/addict like me} since they are your heaviest items; also avoid acting like it’s your time to wear everything in your closet. There is no shame in re-wearing outfits in a fresh way every day. This is  not only smart, but no one is going to be judging you in photos if they see a “repeater.” They will be too busy thinking how you were awesome enough to get everything in one bag without paying those overage fees. Keep in mind that there is a 50 pound weight limit even for international travel.

And when it comes to packing what makes you feel confident, do just that: Don’t leave home without your favorite jeans. On the flip side, don’t make your trip the time to “try out” that funky outfit you’ve been looking at for weeks and never actually pulled out of your closet. Packing for a trip is a time to play it safe, because that is what will help you play it smart!

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Let’s talk specifics on accessories: think minimalistic. You don’t need to pack every scarf and necklace you own, but you do need to pack your accessories with intention. Wear heavier items on the plane including jackets and shoes, and if you plan to pack a hat, wear it on the plane or pack upside down in the center of your bag. Stuff with knits. Bring a pashmina wrap which can also serve as a scarf later.

With re-used basics, and pops of jewelry we were able to make this trip one of stand-out outfits and save her major room for SHOPPING while in Israel.

Feel free to print out this list of essentials we came up with and share with friends.

 

Here is the gallery of examples of how we mixed and matched for the perfect outcome:

 

In case you need some items off our Packing List to complete your look:

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So as you start to get ready for your next trip, take time to make a plan, and then enjoy your time away as a result!

But if you start to fret, Contact me and we can tackle this packing thing together!

 

Bon Voyage,

 

Jen Young

 

A Touch Of Leopard

 

From shoes to shirts, and all that is in between… When it comes to leopard, I simply can’t get enough! As a stylist we all tend to lean towards a signature trend, mine just happens to be the newest form of neutral. Leopard is the perfect addition to a simple outfit, and a great way to add a little something extra to your wardrobe.

 

Leopard Shoes

 

Let’s kick off our animal print look from the bottom up. Heels are the perfect touch of tan and black spots. Kitten heels are great when paired with distressed jeans and a tee. You can also switch it up with a great leopard wedge. I love Toms tie up option, and they are comfortable for days full of walking or shopping!

 

Leopard Purse

 

Are you a little nervous to jump right in to a bold print? Starting with an accessory is the perfect way to dip your toe in the fashion pool! A smaller clutch looks amazing paired with a black color scheme, and keeps your outfit on point transitioning from season to season. You can also replicate this look in a bracelet or small scarf. Tie it tight around your neck and you’ve got this Springs latest accessory trend taken care of.

 

Leopard Dress

 

And for those of you looking to take my favorite color (dare I say it is a color) to the next level, dress it up! A literal dress, or top, is a fabulous way to add leopard into your wardrobe. This off-colored dress is a great way to neutralize a bold print, but keep the effect of its fun feeling. Paired with a leather jacket or cardigan during the spring months, also helps lower the impact. Then, for the moments when you feel like being bold, pull off your outer layer and let your leopard shine!!

 

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Fashionably Yours,

 

Jen Young