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10 Braless (Yet Supportive) Outfit Ideas to Wear This Summer

10 Braless (Yet Supportive) Outfit Ideas to Wear This Summer

how-to-go-braless-summer

Publication: This article was published for InStyle 

Written by: Julia Guerra

Photo credit:  Jeremy Moeller/Getty Images

To bra or not to bra? That is the question weighing on many people’s minds as we re-enter society as social beings post-pandemic. For some, #vaxxedgirlsummer will involve breaking out every outfit that never got to see the light of day outside their (super sanitized) apartment in 2020, never making it to those rooftop bars or bottomless brunches. But others are on the fence. After all, how do you go from wireless to wire clad after almost a year and a half off the hook?

The short answer: if you don’t want to, you don’t have to.

Contrary to popular belief, wearing a bra (or any undergarment, for that matter) isn’t mandatory. Just like there are no actual “body type” fashion rules you need to be following, you don’t need to wear a bra (in public or otherwise). Bras support your breasts, provide coverage, and help your clothes fit better; they serve a purpose, and it’s nice to have the option to wear them. But whether or not you wear a bra is a personal choice, just like shaving your body hair.

If you’d feel more comfortable (and confident) going braless, there’s no time like the present to try it out. And, after the whirlwind year that was 2020, aka the year of comfort, you won’t be the only one saying goodbye to bras.

How to Go Braless

It sounds obvious, doesn’t it? If you want to go braless, just stop wearing a bra. But for most of us, it’s a sentiment easier said than done. If you’ve worn a bra almost every day since you were a teenager (maybe even younger), not wearing one might feel unnatural before it does liberating.

Celebrity stylist Cindy Conroy said it best: We may hate bras, but after years of a love-hate relationship, we’re accustomed to having that structure.

“We’re used to the support while we speed walk to meetings, stroll down the street as we window shop, or sprint to catch the subway before the doors slam shut,” she tells InStyle over email. “The feel of the wire under our bust has become normal, so when it’s gone, you’re going to feel a little weird.”

And that goes for any time you try something new: the first time is always the hardest. So for anyone ready to ditch their brasiers cold turkey, more power to you, but to those a little more hesitant, there are plenty of ways to ease into it. A great way to do this is to first take a look at your wardrobe and pick out pieces you can comfortably wear without a bra, like a tight-fitting black tank top or loose button-up blouse.

“A black tank top is great because it will stay opaque even as it stretches over your body and having it be a bit tight will help keep you supported,” Originally Lovely designer Kaitlin Barthold tells InStyle. “Wearing loose, button-up blouses is another great option. Just make sure they aren’t too sheer – unless that’s the style you are looking for.” She adds that silk, rayon, or light cotton blouses will likely feel most comfortable and look the most professional.

The next step is to start going braless in public settings. Start small with trips to the grocery store or on a morning walk, then ditch your bra on a date with your girlfriends.

“The key is to get to a point where you’re not thinking about it, fidgeting with your clothing, or compensating by inverting your shoulders or having bad posture,” says MIKADO personal stylist, Jordan Stolch. “Easing in is a great way to build confidence and have it feel natural.”

A Note on Going Braless for Bigger Busts

In case you were wondering, you can still go braless even if you’re well endowed. That being said, after going braless, you might find you prefer wearing one if for no reason other than the support a bra can offer. Jené Luciani Sena, an accredited stylist and fashion expert who specializes in bras, also adds that if you’re above a C-cup, reveals are other factors that might deter you from going braless.

“Multiple studies have shown that the constant bouncing of our breast tissue up and down over time will contribute to sagging and possibly cause pain and discomfort in the future. Our breasts are made up of ligaments and tissue that can stretch over time, and a properly supportive bra is essential,” Sena says – but reveals there is a workaround for bigger busts.

“That doesn’t mean it has to be a heavy foam bra with an underwire and a big contraption,” she adds quickly. “Often a simple wire-free style with soft cups is all that’s needed.”

Bottom line: It doesn’t matter if you’re an A cup or a G cup. Whether or not you wear a bra is still up to you. If you feel comfortable and confident sans bra, that’s fantastic. If not? Also fine. That being said, if you clicked on this article (and have come this far), you’re probably at least somewhat curious how other people are embracing the braless lifestyle.

Below, we’ve rounded up 10 tips from designers, stylists, and influencers on how to go braless in 2021.

Start with Bralettes and Bandeau Tops

If you’re still hesitant to go braless, Stolch says bralettes and bandeaus are a great starting point because they’re comfortable, wireless, and padding-free. Plus, bralettes and bandeaus offer light support, “something we’re accustomed to feeling from years of wearing conventional bras,” she says, adding they also “provide a sense of security that we’re conditioned to expect as we operate in the world.”

Wear Your Workout Tops Outside the Gym

Image consultant Christian Sismone says one of the easiest ways to go braless when you’re ‘blessed in the chest’ is to wear form-fitting workout tops.

“I love a great racerback workout top and it allowed me to get comfortable with the natural movement of my twins,” she tells InStyle.

Printed Tops Will Take Focus Off Your Chest

Busy prints distract the eye, so if you want to draw attention away from the fact that you aren’t wearing a bra, Stolch recommends opting for printed patterns around the bust area or extra embellishments, like ruffles or pockets.

Accessorize with Cardigans for Coverage

“I recently wore a spaghetti strapped dress that had a great deal of structure without a bra. I’m a 42H and it was amazing,” Sismone tells Instyle.

That being said, the image consultant admits wearing this sort of looser-fitting outfit does require a certain level of comfort. “Without a bra, you will have a bit more bounce,” Sismone says. “If you’re not good with that wearing a cardigan may help.”

Smocked Bodices Are Supportive

Because they’re fitted and well-tailored around the bust, San Diego-based personal stylist and fashion blogger, Vanessa Valiente tells InStyle that a smocked bodice can offer a nice amount of support, particularly for larger busts.

“Bustier women often have to size up to get a structured garment to fit their bust,” Valiente explains, but because these garments are flexible and can accommodate the extra width, wearing this style top or dress is easier and more convenient than having to take everything in at the waist.

Anything Denim

In addition to garments with smocked bodices, Valiente says denim dresses and jumpsuits or rompers are also awesome for not wearing a bra because the material is “dense yet stretchy; the perfect combination for bralessness of all sizes.”

V-Necks

In addition to garments with smocked bodices, Valiente says denim dresses and jumpsuits or rompers are also awesome for not wearing a bra because the material is “dense yet stretchy; the perfect combination for bralessness of all sizes.”

Add a Blazer

If you want to minimize the risk of awkward situations, blazers are Conroy’s go-to for a cool look that works double-time to cover the nipple. “Even if you wear a sheer blouse or linen T-shirt, your braless journey will be your little secret,” she says.

Fitted Bodysuits

Bodysuits are a two-for-one special garment that’s stretchy enough to be comfortable, but that’s tight enough to give you support in lieu of a bra, Conroy tells us.

“If you’re nervous that it’s not enough coverage,” she adds, “gravitate towards high neck bodysuits. While a scoop neck or deep V is alluring, it’s also the perfect recipe for spillage.”

A Corset Top, a la Bridgerton

Something that has a built-in bra style, such as a corset-top can be a great option for anyone looking to ease into the braless category, Sena tells InStyle, and thanks to runways and shows like Bridgerton, they’re also a huge trend this season.

“As a bonus, they are basically a bra,” Sena notes. “They cinch the waist and give boobs a boost!”

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The Ultimate Home Declutter Guide

Declutter Your Home: Room by Room Tips and Strategies To Organize Your Life

tips-for-decluttering

Original Publication: Military Home Search

Clutter creates problems in many ways. It causes feelings of anxiety and stress by creating the sensation that a room is busy or messy. Clutter makes cleaning harder and more time-consuming. It creates spaces where insects and rodents can hide, and gives them material they can use to create their nest.

Cluttered homes are harder to sell because buyers have a harder time seeing the potential in rooms that are obscured by too many things. Finding what you need in a mess of clutter can be difficult, and sometimes impossible. Clutter hides dust, which can exacerbate allergies. In a worst-case scenario, clutter is even dangerous. It is flammable, feeds house fires, and when a house fire occurs, it can block exits. In homes with older occupants, clutter can also be a falling or tripping hazard.

This is all to say that clutter is a problem, sometimes a big problem, and decluttering on a regular basis is important. Removing clutter can improve your quality of life while also increasing the value of your property. These room-by-room tips will walk you through the process of removing clutter from your home.

Benefits of Decluttering

The most obvious benefit of decluttering is that it makes your home look better. However, there are many benefits of decluttering that are less obvious (though maybe more important).

✔️Improves Concentration:

Clutter can be a constant reminder of things that must be done, and that can make it difficult to concentrate. Sometimes, clutter takes the form of stacks of bills to be paid; other times, clutter can be clothes that have never been organized, books that were meant to be shelved, or dishes that were never properly put away. Reducing clutter makes it easier for people who need to concentrate on their work, which can make them faster and more effective at whatever they’re doing.

✔️Reduces Stress and Anxiety: 

For many people, a lack of order and stability can create anxiety. Decluttering creates a sense of order and stability. This is especially important for people who suffer from anxiety disorders and depression.

Stress and anxiety can have a negative impact on a person’s mood. One study found that mothers living in messy homes had higher levels of cortisol, a hormone associated with stress. In this way, decluttering can instantly begin to lighten your mood and make you feel happy.

✔️Improves Sleep:

Some sleep experts say that our brains watch for external dangers while we sleep, an instinct that has been with us since our caveman days. In a room with a lot of stimuli, finding sleep and staying asleep can be more challenging. It could be that our brains interpret clutter as danger, or a hiding place for danger. Either way, our sleep suffers when we’re in a bedroom with too much going on. For people suffering from insomnia, experts recommend putting away or removing clutter to signal to the brain that the room is a place of rest.

✔️Find Lost Treasures: 

Decluttering is a process that involves going through old boxes, bags, the back of closets and so on. For many people, this becomes a way of finding lost treasures, missing pieces of jewelry, old photographs and things long forgotten.

Safety: The U.S. Fire Administration warns residents that clutter can prevent safe escape during a fire. Often, clutter becomes a fire hazard itself when it is kept close to heat sources. Clutter can get in the way of fire-fighting efforts, which can lead to loss of property and may even cost lives. Decluttering is healthy and promotes a safe environment in the home.

Decluttering Habits and Strategies

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Staying on top of clutter by keeping it organized or throwing it out when it becomes too much often means adopting new habits. If you live with others, you’ll also need to ask your housemates or family members to adopt the same habits.

If you don’t work together with other members of your household, your own organizing and de-cluttering efforts will likely be overshadowed by the accumulation of other’s clutter.

Look at it this way: decluttering isn’t just an activity, it’s a lifestyle. Only by maintaining an organized lifestyle can you keep clutter at bay. Some tips:

  • Establish a regular time to declutter, preferably once every week or two weeks.
  • Get rid of anything not used in the last year.
  • Throw away, recycle, or give away anything you don’t need (but focus on giving away and recycling).

✔️Change Your Perspective:

One of the reasons clutter is so difficult to deal with is because most people stop noticing it after a little while. After something has become disorganized and has stayed that way for a long time, most people become immune to the problem. Many even forget what that part of their home looked like before it became disorganized. Disorganization becomes a part of the natural environment.

To recognize the full extent of the problem, most people need an outsider’s perspective. Have a parent, sibling, trusted friend or neighbor look at every room of your home and offer advice. Examine every shelf, closet and storage space. When examining the clutter, ask questions of the person who is helping you. For example:

  • How would you organize this?
  • What would you throw away?
  • What’s the best organization system for this space?

These questions will help you get ideas for your decluttering efforts moving forward.

✔️Ask the Right Questions:

Even if you’re looking through your house on your own, it’s still important to ask yourself questions as you evaluate your clutter and decide on a plan moving forward.

DO I TRULY NEED IT?

Most people hang onto things they don’t need. There are many reasons they do this. People associate memories very closely with objects, and sometimes they keep objects because throwing those objects away would be almost like throwing away a memory. However, it’s important to realize that these objects are not memories. Memories remain even after objects are gone.

In addition, many people hang on to objects out of concern they will someday need those objects again. When decluttering, it’s useful to assume that if an object has not been used in a full calendar year, it is not needed anymore.

WOULD I TRADE INNER PEACE FOR THIS?

This is a very powerful question. Clutter takes away peace. Keeping clutter is tantamount to trading peace away. While decluttering, many people find it helpful to think about the relationship between clutter and peace by asking themselves this question.

✔️Creating a Routine: 

Decluttering routines should not be burdensome. Establish a daily decluttering habit and engage in deep-decluttering periodically throughout the year.

DAILY DECLUTTERING

Identify parts of the house that are easily cluttered (children’s toy areas, for example), and quickly clean those specific areas every day. Go through your mail every day. Keep what’s needed and recycle what isn’t.

QUARTERLY DECLUTTERING

Take time once every three months to deep clean a new part of the house. Parts that often need to be addressed during quarterly decluttering efforts include:

  • Garage
  • Attic
  • Basement
  • Closets
  • Storage areas
  • Spare rooms

Set a schedule at the beginning of the year to ensure that the worst parts of your house will be decluttered as needed. According to MiKADO, “If quarterly decluttering is not enough, increase these efforts to monthly, until the entire house has been cleaned and organized”.

✔️Making To Do Lists:

Once you’ve evaluated your home’s clutter, make a to-do list. Divide your home into sections, and make a list of tasks to perform in each section.

Next, decide how much time it will take you to complete each section, and when each one will be finished. Spread the to-do lists out over a full calendar year. At the end of the calendar year, each part of your home should be fully decluttered.

✔️Deal with Mail in One Setting:

Old mail can build up quickly. Make dealing with the mail a daily habit. Throw out or recycle what you don’t need as soon as it arrives. For those things you do need, establish a place to put the mail where it won’t become lost or forgotten. Buy a mail organizer and place the mail inside. The organizer you purchase should have different slots for different types of mail, including bills, coupons, flyers, and so on.

Clean out your mail slot at the end of the week. Teach your spouse and anyone else how to use the mail organizer. Label each slot for each different type of mail. If multiple people are using your organizer, train each of them to put mail away in the organizer. This is the only way to prevent it from becoming disorganized and less useful.

✔️Memorize Fast:

Memorize this useful acronym to help you stay organized and avoid clutter.

  • F: Fix a time. Establish a regular time each day and a quarterly schedule for eliminating clutter.
  • A: Anything not used in 12 months. Get rid of anything that hasn’t been used in a year or more.
  • S: Someone else’s stuff. Give back anything that you’ve borrowed from someone else.
  • T: Trash. Throw away or recycle anything that you don’t need.

The FAST acronym is excellent advice for anyone hoping to declutter their home, but also just good practice for anyone who has already decluttered their home and wants to keep it that way.

  • Mark your calendar or day planner with quarterly deep decluttering events.
  • When borrowing something from someone, like a book or a movie, mark your calendar or day planner with a reminder to return that item to the right person.

Recycle as much as you can when decluttering. You might be surprised to learn which items cannot be thrown away. Many community sanitation departments require residents to take paint and tires to a special processing center. Familiarize yourself with the rules for your local sanitation department. Schedule pickups or drop off items as needed.

✔️Fill One Trash Bag Per Day:

This deep-cleaning idea is useful for anyone who would like to remove or eliminate a lot of clutter very quickly: fill one trash bag per day. Begin each day by opening boxes, sifting through shelves, cleaning out the pantry and cleaning out closets. When one trash bag has been completely filled, then the decluttering is finished for the day.

Who should use this method? This short-term decluttering plan is a good way to clean out a house when a target date is quickly approaching. For someone who is expecting guests to come stay, or who will be soon putting their home up for sale, this method is fast and efficient without being overly burdensome.

Use this method if you have a lot of clutter that can be eliminated. This is the method for you if you have a garage, attic, basement or spare room that has been filled with years of waste. People who use this method have often been in the same home for a very long time, and have allowed the clutter to accumulate for many years.

✔️Toss or Give Away One Item Per Day:

During your decluttering time each day, identify one item to toss or give away. This method does not get rid of much clutter very quickly, but is a good way to avoid a buildup of clutter in the long run.

Who should use this method? People who use this method don’t have a major clutter problem, and don’t need to get rid of a lot of clutter very quickly. In fact, people who use this method are usually maintaining an already well de-cluttered home. Doing this can help prevent clutter from becoming a problem.

✔️Use the Four Box Method:

The “four box” method can be used to declutter any given space, like a shelf, closet, or even a bedroom. To get started, find four medium-sized boxes (or four large boxes, depending on the size of the space being decluttered). Label the boxes as follows:

  • Keep. In this box, place anything that you want to keep.
  • Not sure. This box will hold any item that you’re not sure if you want to keep, or what you would do with it.
  • Throw away. In this box, place anything that needs to be thrown out.
  • Give away. The “give away” box will hold anything that needs to be donated; this box can also be a miscellaneous box for shredding, recycling, and so on.

After labeling your four boxes, sort clutter in the designated space. When the boxes are filled, take time to put away anything in the “keep” box, throw away anything in the garbage box, and so on. Sort through the items in the “not sure” box. After seeing what you’ll be keeping and what you’ll be throwing away, it is sometimes easier to decide what to do with the “not sure” items.

✔️One Month Box Test:

This test is a gauge of which household items are needed, and which ones are not. This test is often used to declutter small spaces like wardrobes and drawers. Take everything out of the space, and place them in a cardboard box. As you use items from the cardboard box, put them back in the space. In one month, whatever you haven’t used is not fully necessary, and should be donated or given to friends.

This test can be repeated in other parts of the house with clothes, seasonal decorations, DVDs, and so on. Perform the test throughout the year on different areas of the home. At the end of a year, you should have eliminated a significant amount of clutter.

Room-by-Room Steps for Decluttering

Each room of the house is different, and is thus decluttered in a different way. However, the basic steps for removing clutter remain consistent no matter which part of the house you’re in:

  1. Empty the space completely.
  2. Find a spot for each item one-by-one.
  3. Get rid of each item that has no place in the home.

Removing clutter from the space before putting items back one at a time is important for two reasons.

First, it’s important to see what the bare space looks like. This puts into perspective just how much clutter has accumulated in the space, and gives you something to strive for when putting items back.

Second, it’s important to go through everything one at a time because it encourages you to analyse which items are needed, and which ones are not. As you follow this room-by-room guide, keep these basic steps in mind.

Items to look for during the room-by-room decluttering process include: scraps of paper, things that are broken, items that have not been used in a year or more, clothing that no longer fits, and so on. These objects are often not needed and can be eliminated.

✔️BATHROOM

Bathrooms are small rooms that are expected to hold a lot of things. Cleaning products, medicines, toilet paper, personal hygiene products and towels are just a few of the many items that can be found in a standard bathroom.

Many pieces found in bathrooms are small, and some are quite small. Everything from bobby pins to jewelry to nail clippers can be found in most bathrooms. Often, these little objects are left loose on the counter where they contribute to an overall sense of mess and disorganization. The biggest challenge for a homeowner trying to organize their bathroom is in finding a place where all of these small, often miscellaneous items can be stored. These tips can help.

REMOVE EXPIRED MEDICINES

Sort through all medicines (including bags of cough drops and vitamins) and get rid of anything past its expiration date. Avoid dumping medicines down the toilet, especially if you’re on a septic system. Call your sanitation department, pharmacy or doctor’s office for instructions. Often, doctor offices and pharmacies will know about medicine take-back facilities or programs, where medications can be safely deposited.

INSTALL CREATIVE ORGANIZERS

One of the frustrating things about most bathrooms is the lack of organizers and functional storage space. Medicine cabinets tend to be shallow and have no mechanism for holding loose items like bobby pins and nail clippers. In some bathrooms, a lack of shelving and drawers can also contribute to the mess. The following are suggestions that can increase storage space while getting the clutter out of the way.

  • Birdcage. Hang a bird cage from the ceiling to hold spare toilet paper rolls.
  • Shelf over door. Install a shelf over the bathroom door to give yourself somewhere new to put some organizing bins.
  • Office drawer organizer. Install an office drawer organizer in your vanity drawer, for sorting items like toothbrushes, hair brushes and combs.
  • Magnetic strip. Install a magnet on the inside of the medicine cabinet door to hold the nail clippers and bobby pins.
  • Tension rod. Install a tension rod or a clothes line in the cabinet under the sink, then hang cleaning bottles from it.
  • Spice rack. Install a spice rack near your sink; these small kitchen accessories make excellent shelves for small items like medicine bottles.

✔️BEDROOM

The bedroom is the home’s sanctuary, which means that it should be a place of relaxation and peace. In the bedroom, clutter can affect your ability to relax and sleep well. Decluttering can improve your ability to concentrate and find happiness while you’re there. As you declutter this room, clean off every horizontal surface and ask yourself one at a time, do I need this?

MAKE THE BED, CHANGE THE SHEETS

A messy bed can make the entire room look messy, which can contribute to an overall feeling that the job is impossible. Make your bed first, then move on to do more.

START SMALL

Bedrooms can look suspiciously tidy, even when they’re full of clutter. Don’t underestimate how long your decluttering efforts will take. Start small, working in one portion of the room, and then move on when that portion has been organized.

KEEP SMALL BINS FOR SMALL THINGS

Small things tend to accumulate in the bedroom, similar to the way they accumulate in the bathroom. Watches, jewelry, hair bands, chap sticks and other little personal items are often found in the bedroom.

Most people need these things in the bedroom for convenience. You can keep these items, but to make things look tidier, invest in some small ceramic dishes, baskets, trays or drawer organizers. Keep items sorted into bins with like items, so you know which container to reach for when you’re looking for something specific.

SORT THROUGH YOUR DRESSER

Most people assume if their clothes are in a dresser instead of on the floor that it doesn’t qualify as “clutter.” However, many people keep clothing items in their dressers that they really don’t need. Sort through your dresser drawer by drawer and make the conscious decision to keep (or not keep) each piece you find.

Once you’ve removed clothing pieces that you don’t need, sort clothes by category and put them away in drawers where they make sense, keeping like items together. Keeping your dressers organized and your clothes neatly folded will help you stay organized after your decluttering efforts are finished.

Put out-of-season clothes away in a storage area like the garage or in your basement, so the only clothes in your bedroom are the ones you’re likely to wear. Keep seasonal clothes together in their own drawer, so that when the time comes to switch out one season for another, all clothes are easy to find.

Finally, give dirty clothes a place to go if they don’t have a place already, by installing a hamper somewhere in your room. Put away any clothes on the floor at night either in the hamper or in the dresser before going to sleep.

✔️CLOSET

In most bedrooms, the most valuable storage asset is the closet. When you’re decluttering your bedroom, focus on your closet. Even small closets can be critical for bedroom storage.

ASSESS EACH CLOTHING ITEM

Closets can easily get too full. Often, people will save items of clothing for years and years, only wearing those items once or twice. To declutter your closet, assess each item one by one. Ask yourself a series of questions:

  • Do I wear this?
  • Do I love it?
  • Does it fit?
  • Is it comfortable?

If the answer to any one of these questions is no, then that item of clothing can be donated.

MAXIMIZE STORAGE SPACE

Most closets have a lot of unused space. Installing shelves on the walls, and bins to place on the shelves, can help you make more use of that space.

  • Install a pegboard on the wall to hold bags, hats, purses and hanging accessories.
  • Use modular organizers to fill all unused space.
  • Install a ladder to reach high shelves near the top.
  • Install shelves on the inside of the closet door.
  • Use a portable organizer on wheels to fill space, and wheel the organizer out of the closet when you need access to items behind it.

For walk-in closets, some people find it helpful to install a dresser or multiple dressers to keep clutter up off the floor.

Tips:

  • When your decluttering efforts are finished, keep your closet clean by donating one or two old pieces of clothing for every new piece of clothing you buy.
  • Leave yourself time; proper closet sorting may take several days, as closets can be full of many items.
  • Ask someone who is not familiar with your closet to help you dream up organization solutions; sometimes it helps to have a fresh perspective.

✔️ENTRYWAYS, MUDROOMS, + FOYERS

Entryways, mudrooms and foyers are often the first thing that people see when they enter your home. A cluttered entryway makes a poor impression on visitors, and can be a safety hazard, depending on the type of mess typically found there. Ideally, this part of the house will have little furniture and few personal possessions.

ENSURE EVERYTHING HAS A PURPOSE

Sort through each item in your foyer or mudroom one piece at a time. Typical items that can be found in this location include:

  • Shoes
  • Coats, jackets and sweaters
  • Hats, scarves and gloves
  • Keys
  • Boots
  • Umbrellas

Sort through each item one piece at a time and remove anything that does not need to be there. Stray items have a way of collecting in this part of the house. Extra shoes, in particular, are commonly found on the floor by the door or on the shoe rack. Establish a rule that limits the number of shoes that are allowed to be on the shoe rack at any given time, then ask people to remove extra pairs of shoes to keep the space tidy.

GET CREATIVE WITH ORGANIZERS

Foyers and mudrooms tend to be small, compact spaces. Organizers can help keep these spaces functional and attractive.

  • Install a shoe rack to keep shoes off the floor.
  • Place a bench with storage space near the shoe rack.
  • Clean any foyer or mudroom closets.
  • Attach hooks to the walls; assign one hook to each person in the house.

TIDY THE FOYER DAILY

Foyers and mudrooms can get messy quick. It is this space where people usually put down their bags when they enter the house; and sometimes items placed inside the door can be left there for a long time. Assign one person in the house to tidy this part of the house every night, to remove anything that may have been left there accidentally.

✔️KITCHEN

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Gadgets rule in the kitchen, which means that many kitchens are full to the brim of things that people only occasionally use. Contributing to the mess is non-perishable food that people buy but then don’t need.

Over time, pantries and cabinets can become so cluttered that finding things can become difficult. This can lead to a lot of waste and can even lead to pest infestations.

GET RID OF SPARES

Kitchens are often full of “spares.” Over holidays and birthdays, people accumulate extra mugs and silverware, multiple waffle makers and casserole dishes, and so on. These extra items may come in handy on rare occasions, but spend most of their time in the way.

Get rid of spares to free up valuable counter space, pantry space and cabinet space. Donate what you can’t bring yourself to throw away, or give your extra dishes to a relative or friend.

CONDENSE YOUR COOKBOOKS

Do you have a lot of cookbooks? Do you use all of them? Chances are, you have a few favorite books that you use regularly, and the rest of your cookbooks sit unused for the majority of the year. Donate cookbooks you use rarely, or use for only one or two recipes. Make copies of the recipes you want to keep, either by making a photocopy, taking a picture with your phone, or by copying the recipe onto a recipe card.

ELIMINATE EXPIRED FOODS

Sort through the dried foods in your cabinets. Check each expiration date, and toss any boxes of foods that are expired.

RE-THINK YOUR FOOD AND DISH STORAGE

Sorting through your kitchen gadgets, dishes and foods is likely to free up space, but is that space being used wisely? Evaluate each pantry, cabinet and shelf in your kitchen. Can you make spaces less cluttered by installing additional shelves or other storage solutions? Look for ways to personalize your storage.

BE CHOOSY ABOUT COUNTERTOP APPLIANCES

Small countertop appliances take up a lot of workspace. Evaluate each appliance that sits on your counters, from the toaster to the food processor.

How often do you use each appliance? Would you feel a hardship if you no longer had that appliance? Ask yourself, would you buy this appliance again today?

If an appliance is used at least once per week, then it likely belongs on your counters. If the appliance is only used once a month, it may belong in a closet or on a shelf. If an appliance is only used every quarter, it likely belongs in the donate bin.

✔️LIVING ROOM

Living rooms tend to be one of the hardest spaces to declutter because they’re used by many people in the house. Everyone has an opinion about what should and should not be in the living room. When decluttering your living room, work with other family members. Get buy-in from the people you live with to make this job easier.

REMOVE STACKS OF PAPERWORK

If you like to pay your bills in front of the television, or do homework in a central part of the house, there’s a good chance that your living room is home to many stacks of paper. These stacks of paper do not belong in your living room. Sort and recycle, or place in your home office as needed.

DONATE UNUSED COMFORTS

Many people like to fill their couches and recliners with comforts like afghan blankets and pillows. Unless you find all of these objects necessary for true comfort in your living room, they’re likely just taking up space and making your living room feel more cluttered. Downsize the number of creature comforts and donate what you don’t use.

SELL OR DONATE OLD DVDS AND VHS TAPES

A lot of people no longer watch DVDs or VHS tapes, but still have movies in their living room “just in case.” If you usually watch your movies on an Internet streaming service, it’s time to get rid of your massive DVD and VHS tape collection.

PUT CHILDREN TOYS BACK IN THEIR ROOM

Children should not leave their toys in the living room. Have your children remove toys from this space when they’re done playing at the end of the day. If some toys have come to stay in the living room permanently, work with your children to find a more suitable place to keep their toys, either in the toy room, your child’s bedroom or even in the family room.

DOWNSIZE KNICK-KNACKS

Sentimental items like decorations and knick-knacks take up a lot of space and make your living room feel smaller. Reduce or eliminate the knick-knacks in your living room to leave the space open and comfortable.

Mistakes to Avoid When Decluttering Your Home

how-to-declutter

Decluttering can be an overwhelming and frustrating task. It’s easy to become burned out by the process, or to make time-consuming mistakes that can set you behind schedule. You can avoid this problem by planning your decluttering in advance. Here’s what you need to know to ensure that your decluttering process goes smoothly.

✔️NOT ORGANIZING BEFORE YOU BUY

Buying items before you’ve organized your house can be a problem in several different ways. First, you’re more likely to buy something you already own, because you’re not sure what items can be found in the clutter in your home.

Second, when you get home with whatever you’ve bought, you won’t have anywhere to put them. As a result, you’ll put them somewhere that may not make sense. This can make your new stuff difficult to find.

Finally, buying items before you have somewhere to put them just makes it harder to become organized when the time comes.

Before you purchase new clothes, new books, a lot of food, and so on, have a place to put those items. Know how much you plan to buy, and whether that will fit in the space available.

✔️OVER DOING IT

Very few people have the ability to focus on organizing (or any other task) for more than eight hours each day. Break your decluttering and organizing down into manageable chunks. Limit time spent decluttering to no more than eight hours per day. Once you’ve hit eight hours, take a break. Lay on the couch, relax, and eat a healthy meal.

✔️NOT FOLLOWING THROUGH

It’s usually a mistake to stop your decluttering project midway through. You might plan to come back to your project in several weeks or months, but this is often impossible. More clutter will build up in the meantime, you’ll forget what you had planned to do with all the remaining clutter, and the room will become messy in the interval.

✔️EXPECTING PERFECTION

Don’t spend too much time trying to achieve perfection. All throughout the decluttering process, you’ll find that some items just don’t have a perfect spot, and not everything can be thrown away.

Some things will be left to decorate your shelves, coffee table, nightstand and countertops. You’ll find that having these items around may be comforting, especially when the rest of your horizontal surfaces start to look rather bare compared to the way they once were. Enjoy seeing these little touches of you scattered around your home.

The Psychology Behind Clutter

 As you try to eliminate clutter from your life, you’ll find it helps to understand where clutter comes from, why people collect clutter, and why letting go can be so important. Not all of these reasons will apply to you; in fact, you may have just one or two reasons for allowing clutter to gather in your life. Still, knowing the cause can help you devise a solution.

FEELINGS OF LOW SELF-WORTH

Sometimes people hang on to clutter because they feel they don’t deserve any better than to live with mess in their life. Other times, they hang on to clutter because they believe that the items in their possession give them more value.

FEELING TOO SENTIMENTAL

Many people attach personal feelings to their possessions. Their possessions become interchangeable with the memories associated with the possessions, and the idea of giving those things up becomes painful.

PROCRASTINATION

Decluttering is hard work, and eliminating clutter takes time. Many people allow clutter to build up simply because they don’t have the time or don’t want to take the time to clean things up.

CHAOTIC LIFESTYLE

Sometimes clutter is essentially a lifestyle choice. People who have poor organizational skills and who are prone to buying many things often find it difficult to declutter.

OVERWORKED

Because removing clutter takes time, people who are naturally overworked will find it more difficult to remove clutter than those that don’t. People who work multiple jobs or who spend more than 40 hours per week at their job may find it difficult to keep their home clean and clutter-free.

FEELINGS OF BEING OVERWHELMED

Clutter can be overwhelming and defeating. Some people allow clutter to build up in their lives because they’re just not sure where to start.

FAILURE TO SET BOUNDARIES FOR YOURSELF

Sometimes you have to say no, I don’t need this. Not knowing when or how to do that can be a contributing factor to the development of clutter in the home.

COLLECTIONS

Sometimes clutter builds up because of a personal collection at home. Personal hobbies can lead to development of lots of clutter over many years.

✔️UNDERSTAND YOUR CLUTTER PERSONALITY

If you have a habit of accumulating clutter, it’s very likely that this inclination is programmed into your personality. Recognizing and understanding this side of your personality can help you understand why you collect clutter. Knowing the why behind your clutter collecting can help you change the behavior.

PEOPLE WHO DON’T RECOGNIZE THEIR CLUTTER

By far, the largest group of people who allow clutter to accumulate in their home are the people who don’t recognize their own clutter.These people prefer not to have clutter in their home, but when faced with clutter day in and day out, they’ll stop noticing the clutter is there. When they clean their home, they’re very likely to clean around the clutter, looking past its presence.

People who don’t recognize their clutter often want to have a clean home, but because they don’t notice that the clutter is there, it’s very hard for them to clean their clutter up. Over time, the clutter can become very problematic indeed.

PEOPLE WHO CLEAR THEN RE-BUY

The second group of people are known to clear their clutter periodically. They recognize the clutter is there, and they want to get rid of it. After cleaning out the clutter, they’ll quickly start to buy more things that clutter up the home.

People who clear and then re-buy their clutter often like having many things around them. Although they want to have a clean and tidy home, they can’t seem to help themselves. When the chance to buy and keep more things in the home comes up, they will.

THE SUPER MAN OR SUPER WOMAN

The super man or super woman are those individuals who can’t or won’t acknowledge their own clutter because they feel pressure to be more organized. This third personality type spends a lot of time getting organized, but is generally made up of people who have too much to do and can’t spend any time fixing the problem in their life that resulted in the clutter in the first place. This personality type is doomed to deal with clutter forever, because they’re so busy and unable to reflect on the issues that can cause clutter to build up in the first place.

Stay on Top of Clutter

Clutter can be bad for your physical and psychological health. Clutter can make your home harder to sell and can even reduce your overall quality of life.

Decluttering and living as minimally as possible can add many benefits to your overall well-being. By making time to practice these tips a little bit each day, you’ll see an overall improvement in your life.

To improve your quality of life, manage your clutter now before it starts to pile up. The more often and earlier that you work on eliminating your clutter, the easier this task becomes.

Need help decluttering your closet?

(800) 982-1628

1249 S Grand Ave Suite 504 Los Angeles, CA 90015

5 Ways to Create Effortless Work From Home Outfits

5 Ways to Create Effortless Work From Home Outfits

effortless-work-from-home-style

Photo credit: Helena Lopes

Written by: Tess DiNapoli

Whether you love it or hate it, working from home has become the new normal for a lot of people across the globe. CEOs, receptionists, account managers, and a slew of other office employees have all migrated from the office to the kitchen table. But between the seemingly endless Zoom calls and everyday distractions, it’s important to give some thought to what you’re wearing.

Sure, the only one seeing your outfit in all its glory might be your cat, but that’s no reason to let your style slide. In fact, you’ll feel better about yourself and more prepared to take on all the day has to throw your way. Whether it’s elevating your sweats to a whole new level or even–dare I say it–putting on jeans, these effortless work from home outfits are just what you need to revitalize your fashion and style, all while staying comfortable.

1. Rock Some Comfortable Jeans

I know; jeans are so 2019, but not every pair is uncomfortable. You just have to get the right cut and fabric. A high-waisted, stretchy, wide-legged trouser made from cotton offers plenty of room for you to move around and keep comfortable. Whether you’ve made a yoga ball into your chair or you’re parked on the couch, these pants will have you feeling more put together.

Pair them with a stylish graphic t-shirt, and if you’re feeling extra motivated, opt for a belt to give you a pop of color.

2. Dress Up That Oversized Cardigan

This is one we’re all guilty of. Cardigan, tank top, and leggings. It’s essentially become a uniform at this point, but frankly, it’s not the height of fashion. There’s actually a lot you can do with a cardigan, however, and it starts with accessories. A chunky necklace and bold earring, for example, can go a long way in dressing up this bland look. Additionally, wearing a bright blouse underneath will provide a great contrast against the simple cardigan.

Plus, you can still pair it with leggings to keep comfy, cozy, and fashionable at home!

3. Ditch the Sweats for Some Joggers

Joggers are a great alternative to your sweatpants from college. Wearing sweats is great, but they often put us in a relaxed mood–not ideal for reaching deadlines and getting things done. Joggers are a happy medium. They’re not as fitted as jeans or leggings, but they certainly aren’t as baggy as sweats. With options in cotton, denim, and more, these bottoms are becoming the new chic look or loads of women in the office. Get a fitted pair that highlights your curves, and you can really style them to the max.

Wear your joggers with a flowy blouse and a cute pair of sneakers for an on-trend look that wraps function, fashion, and feeling good all in one.

4. Don’t Be Affriad to Dress it Up

Wearing your best office clothes may be low on your list of priorities, and it’s pretty low on ours as well. Instead of wearing your best blazer and dress pants, why not opt for a flowy dress or skirt? One of the perks of working from home is being able to wear (almost) whatever you want. So, if you feel like rocking your favorite sundress with an adorable boho jacket, no one’s stopping you! Or style a trendy jean skirt with a cute graphic t-shirt to showcase your unique personality.

Whether it’s a t-shirt dress or maxi skirt, you can rock these “dressy” looks any day of the week from your home office.

5. Go For It With a Jumpsuit

A jumpsuit doesn’t have to be constricting and uncomfortable. There are tons of flowy and effortless one-piece ensembles that will turn heads during virtual meetings and keep you comfortable all day. You can move with ease and look amazing from head to toe in a bold-print jumpsuit.

Style it with a cute sweater for some extra warmth, or keep it simple with some small stud earrings and delicate jewelry.

Working from home can be a drag, we get it, but that doesn’t have to translate into your wardrobe. It’s important to remember your style and maybe even revamp it while you’re working from home!

Looking for inspiration online or consulting a stylist is a great place to begin, so start today, and get your fashion back on track!

__________________

Tess DiNapoli is an artist, writer, and copy strategist who works with companies like Magnolia Boutique. She has a passion for yoga and often writes about health, wellness and travel, but also enjoys covering the fashion industry and getting insight on the latest trends.

Need help reorganizing your closet?

(800) 982-1628

1249 S Grand Ave Suite 504 Los Angeles, CA 90015

11 Tips for Buying Clothes on a Budget

11 Tips for Buying Clothes on a Budget in 2021

tips-buying-clothes-budget

Written by: Allan Givens

Original Publication: Finder

When I was younger I attempted to have “style”. While I, or rather my parents, weren’t buying name brands every month I certainly did when I could. It wasn’t until I went to college that I got more restrictive with my wallet and more relaxed with my style. It was less about look and more about affordability, quality and comfort. Funny enough when I stopped caring about my look is when I started getting more compliments on my style. Most people wore pajamas and sweats to campus so any effort above that.

I started using different methods to get the best deal with shopping for clothes. There were basic tactics like looking at on sale items and value racks but also, new age methods like abandoning carts online. While I don’t know how many there are exactly, some smaller online retail sites will email you a discount code if they see you have signed up and added something to your shopping cart but not checked out after a while. The highest discount I’ve personally seen with the abandoned cart method is 30% off. To get more insight on clothes shopping on a budget we spoke with finance and retail experts to share their tips. Here are 11 strategies to be frugal in fashion.

 

1. Avoid Clothes that Require Drycleaning

Stay away from clothes that need to be dry cleaned or hand-washed or that are so unique that people will notice when you wear a piece repeatedly. When choosing where to spend your clothing budget, keep in mind any unique requirements of your job and life-style like super-comfortable quality shoes if you are on your feet all day or a high-quality jacket if you work or play outside regularly. If you are budget-conscious, invest in clothes strategic to your job and life-style and save the creative flair for accessory pieces that are usually less expensive individually and can be updated seasonally to stay current.

– Stacy MastroliaAssociate Professor of Accounting at Bucknell University

2. Use Coupon Codes to Keep More Case

Clothing brands tend to offer coupon codes frequently throughout the year, but you might need to know where to look in order to maximize your savings. Check for coupon codes advertised on the brand’s website. Occasionally, brands will advertise a particular sale, free shipping deal or other offer on its website that requires a coupon code at checkout. This coupon code is usually provided with the details of the deal, but isn’t always automatically applied to your order. Double-check your cart before checking out that you’re getting the advertised discount. If not, you may need to manually enter the advertised coupon code.

Stack coupons if possible. Some online clothing stores allow you to use more than one coupon per order, so take advantage of this where possible. If you can only use one coupon, make sure you compare your options to maximize savings. For example, one coupon code might be automatically applied to your cart during a specific sale, but you may have another coupon with a higher value. If so, remove the auto-applied code and enter yours for better savings.

– Gabrielle PastrorekShopping publisher at Finder

3. Incorporate the 5% Income Rule and Sustainable Fashion

You might decide to allocate around 5% of your monthly income to spend on clothes, shoes, and accessories, but this is always going to differ per person and priorities. Sometimes a simple budget spreadsheet can help you here.

Naturally, we all have individual budgets and other financial demands, but it’s well worth making the investment in high-quality clothing. There are also environmental benefits associated with the avoidance of disposable fashion. Pieces of clothing with superior fabrics will last longer than some of the popular alternatives.

– Harpa GrétarsdóttirMarketing Representative at Icelandic fashion brand Icewear

4. Shop Out of Season Sales and Know Your Budget

Strictly shop out-of-season sales. This means shopping for summer clothes during end-of-summer sales, winter clothes during end-of-winter sales, etc. Be sure to purchase items you will still love the following year. For example, avoid purchasing a neon pink faux fur coat over a classic trench coat.

You know your budget and spending habits better than anyone. Set aside a fixed amount every month to put in your clothing fund. This does not mean spending that amount every month. It simply means that if you, for example, need a new winter coat, you can take the amount you’ve saved over the past few months and spend it on your new coat.

– Hailey Rizzo, Founder of Feeling Good As Hail

5. Spend on Quality, Save on Trends

You can save money by spending more on quality timeless pieces that will last you a long time and transition through various seasons and trends. For instance, a classic pair of black boots or a blazer will never go out of style so spending more on a top-rated brand that is made of high quality material means you won’t have to constantly replace it.

On the flip side, you should not spend a lot on trendy fashion pieces that will go out of style with every new fad. Instead, shop discount fashion sites like 6pm.com or Forever21 to get your trendy fashion for the cheap. You could also incorporate a trendy print or color with accessories to save. Just make sure to assess the cost per wear to determine the real value and if it’s a smart buy.

– Andrea Woroch, finance expert, writer and TV contributor

6. Don’t Get Duped by Deals

Don’t Look at Price Tags: Knowing the price of something in advance completely clouds your judgement, especially when it’s a sale price. The trap a lot of people fall into it seeing something that’s been reduced a handful of times. It was initially $500 and now it’s $50 and you feel like it’s too good of a deal to pass up. Retailers do this for a reason, and it’s called the Lure of the Bargain. Why do they do it? Because they know it works. You feel like you’re getting such a good deal that you subconsciously believe you like it more than you actually do. You’re focusing on how much you’re saving rather than how much you’re spending. Being a savvy shopper means getting the most out of your money while investing in things you love and use. So you’re always best to determine how much or how little you like something, before you know the price and get influenced by a discount.

– Jordan Stolch, Concierge Personal Shopper and Founder of MiKADO.

7. Make Sure it Fits Your Frame and Your Finances

Be strict with sizing. Shopping online is a great way to buy discounted clothes. But it’s also easy to buy the wrong size, convince yourself a piece is ok, and end up with an item you never wear. This is a huge waste if you have a tight budget.

If I’m not sure whether something I bought online fits properly, I always leave it a day or two before trying it on again. Only then do I make a final decision on whether to keep the item. If I don’t like it after this period, I send it back. This ensures I get the most from all my purchases.

– Duncan Elder, Founder of thebrdwlk.com

8. Consider Renting the Rack

First ask yourself why you need a piece of clothing. Is it a piece you plan to wear once for a special event or is it a staple you are looking to add to your closet? If it’s for a special event, renting is a wonderful and practical budget friendly option. If you are looking to add something more permanent, the most budget friendly option is to buy second handeither through your local vintage shops, second hand apps, or even buy-nothing Facebook groups, where trades are made in the community. Chances are, you’ll find something you’ll love.

– Kelly Wang, Founder of Rue Saint Paul

9. Invest in Fashion and Function

When it comes to investment pieces, you want to think about both fashion and function. For instance, nowadays most guys only wear a suit a couple times a year, for weddings, funerals and job interviews. The good news is that if you don’t wear a suit very often, it can last a long time. But the bad news is that if you opt for something super trendy and hip right now, then even if your suit is still in great condition five years from now, you may not want to wear it, and feel like you have to splurge on a new one.

– Dave Bowden, Founder of IrreverentGent.com

10. Select Your Style and Plan Your Purchase

Emphasize looks over labels. Brands may tempt you, but you can easily blow or overspend your budget if you only want brand name goods. Instead, do your research. Select one or two celebrities whose style you want to emulate and then shop their looks at stores that are kinder on your wallet. Who knows, you could even find some gems at thrift or consignment stores.

Be intentional, not spontaneous, in your purchases. Be a planner. Find some looks you want to shop and set aside the money or start saving for the look. Once you hit your goal, shop just for the essentials that you have picked out. If you have a little extra in your budget, then maybe pick up something else, but really try to avoid the spontaneous purchase; adding one or two items can really become expensive.

– Lisa Sanchez, Fashion Editor of The Nines

11. Thrift Responsibly

The best things to look for at op-shops are things that are made to be durable, so coats, jackets, vests, even boots. All of them are designed to last and you can find some in really good condition for fantastic prices. I’ve found things like Timberland hiking boots for as little as $20, and Levi’s denim jackets for $40, around 70-80% off retail and still in almost new condition.

This way you can get “expensive” clothing without the high price tag.

The other great thing to get at thrift shops is things people generally don’t wear every day – cocktail dresses, blazers etc. You can get these in almost perfect condition for absolute bargains.

– Brendan Lee, Accountant turned travel blogger from Bren on the Road

 

Original Founder article here.

Need help reorganizing your closet?

(800) 982-1628

1249 S Grand Ave Suite 504 Los Angeles, CA 90015

Authority Magazine: 5 Tips for Success in the Fashion Industry

5 Things You Need to Succeed in the Fashion Industry

fashion-industry

Written by: Kristin Marquet

Original Publication: Authority Magazine

 

As part of our series about the 5 things you need to succeed in the fashion industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jordan Stolch. Jordan is an Image Strategy expert, who is passionate about helping people transform the way they show up in the world.

She is the founder of MiKADO, a concierge personal styling firm, that focuses on eliminating the confusion and insecurities associated with determining how to dress. She’s spent the last decade studying the connection between confidence, self-perception, and impression, after recognizing the power of implementing actionable wardrobe techniques and strategic mindset shifts.

Her company has taught hundreds of men and women how to leverage a confident, put-together image, in order to open up abundant opportunities in both their personal and professional lives.

MiKADO trains entrepreneurs, business leaders and corporate executives in the foundations of “power dressing”, from some of the country’s preeminent companies, with the likes of Morgan Stanley, Deloitte, Berkshire Hathaway, E! Entertainment, Starbucks and Disney.

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

grew up in a relatively small city outside of Toronto, Canada — a place where a career in fashion was entirely unheard of. I’ve had a love of style and clothing for as long as I can remember, but in early life, it was only viewed as a hobby.

After university, I moved directly into sales, on a similar trajectory to most of the people I knew. In my early twenties, I visited Los Angeles for a business trip and was immediately enamored by the city and its world of endless possibilities.

Returning home, I couldn’t ignore the unsettled feelings I was experiencing, and my newfound desire to create more for my life. Looking to LA and the way people lived there, I determined that a career in fashion was not only what I was meant to pursue but also something that now felt attainable. Within a year I had packed up my life in Canada and moved to a new country to begin my next chapter.

I’ve had so many opportunities since then that I never would have dreamt possible earlier, and I often step back and look at my life with immense gratitude as I realize I’ve been able to turn my love of style into a career.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started?

Since starting my career in fashion, what’s interesting is that I’ve become less and less engaged in trends and what’s hot right now, and almost entirely immersed in what makes people tick. I’m so fascinated by mindset and personal narrative that I consider myself less of a stylist and more of a behavior analyst.

There are so many times that I feel very different from other people who work in my industry, but lately, I’ve come to lean into it. I know it’s what sets me apart and has provided me the space to grow my business into what it is.

After working with hundreds of men and women on their image and personal style, I’ve become obsessed with understanding the way people think and using clothing as a medium that helps them express their deepest traits and desires.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Yes of course! And there’s one that comes to mind immediately because it is so deeply ingrained in my memory.

Years ago, when I was first starting out, I had a client who was walking the red carpet at the Grammy’s. We had chosen his suit a few days in advance and sent it to the tailor for alterations. I had my assistant pick it up and deliver to the client at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills on the day of. And low and behold, the tailor accidentally put someone else’s suit in the bag by accident.

It was a mad rush through traffic, between myself and two other people on my team, to correct the mistake and get the proper suit to the hotel in time for him to get dressed and make it to the carpet before the show began. Luckily we were able to pull it off, but it created an atmosphere of stress for the client and everyone on his team for upwards of two hours. My worst nightmare come true.

What I learned through that experience, and what I instill in my team to this day, is to check every single touchpoint of the process and to never assume something is done correctly. Human error happens, it’s inevitable. But there is always an opportunity for us to intercept those mistakes if we’re paying attention and have the right systems in place.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

I believe we stand out as a company because we have such a strong conviction to provide unparalleled hospitality and life-changing experiences.

When building our services, we start by standing in the shoes of our clients — we envision their lives and forecast what it is that they’ll require to alleviate stress and meet their needs. Before being a fashion-company we are a service and experience company, so we ask ourselves, what would shopping and style look like if it were easy? What kind of experience would make this exciting and rewarding? How can we make the lives of the people we work with better and more fulfilling? We create audacious goals and then work backward, trying to find ways to implement them.

A great example of this is a recent client who happens to be a state senator. To say his schedule is hectic and crazy is an understatement, and we knew that creating a winning experience for him would require the process to be as seamless and simplified as possible.

We teamed up with his assistant to create a really personalized mini shopping boutique in his office, late on a Friday evening once all his meetings wrapped up. We brought in our tailor and three fantastic Stylists who kept things running smoothly and efficiently. We had all his favorite brands there, in his size, for him to shop from. We were able to completely overhaul his wardrobe in under two hours, prep the clothing and have it delivered to his home, all without him having to lift a finger. He felt phenomenal with his elevated style direction, but even more enthusiastic about the fact that we listened to his needs and catered our services to meet his lifestyle.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

The fashion industry is nowhere near as glamorous as people imagine it to be, so burnout and exhaustion can become very problematic if you don’t have the right systems in place.

It’s important to pay attention to what you don’t like doing, and to delegate those tasks to someone else on your team or to hire a VA to take care of them for you. The things you don’t like doing take far longer than the things you really enjoy and end up adding unnecessary time to your already very busy day. You’ll notice that your mind resists doing these things and before you know it, half of the day is gone and you’re now stressed about how to get everything done.

It is always worth the investment to pay someone else to handle these tasks so that you can focus on where you provide the most value, and not become overrun by things that don’t require your unique skillset.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

My hope is that the work we’re doing is bringing good into the lives of each and every person we work with. While we focus on clothing and creating phenomenal service experiences, my underlying goal in everything we do is to make reality more beautiful and liberating for our clients.

So many people carry stories around with them that they’ve developed throughout the course of their lives. Stories that say they’re not good enough, not young enough, not thin enough, not desirable enough. I’ve heard every story you can imagine, and I watch as they shape people’s lives.

Before we begin developing a client’s sense of style, we work with them to see past these stories and understand that there are freedom and abundance on the other side. As we continue to expand our business, I am more committed than ever to bring new possibilities and a better quality of life to every single person we work with.

Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that was relevant to you in your life?

Yes, and it’s actually a passage from one of my favorite books.

“Startup CEOs should not play the odds. When you are building a company, you must believe there is an answer and you cannot pay attention to your odds of finding it. You just have to find it. It matters not whether your chances are 9 in 10 or 1 in 1000; your task is the same,” — Ben Horowitz from “The Hard Thing About Hard Things”

Ben’s ideas throughout this book, and specifically as they pertain to this passage, have been so relevant to the development of our business.

It’s easy to get caught up in the odds of succeeding, especially when you feel like you’re behind the other people around you. I’ve learned to let go of knowing how something is going to happen and just trusting with full conviction that it will. When you set your mind to something, it always has a way of working itself out. But when you doubt and question the possibility of it coming true, you limit yourself and begin to self-sabotage.

Do you see any fascinating developments emerging over the next few years in the fashion industry that you are excited about? Can you tell us about that?

Yes, I’m seeing very exciting developments happening in fashion right now — especially in the retail space. Brands are paying attention to the way customers want to shop and are really catering their services to their unique needs. It’s not enough to just sell nice clothes anymore, you need to make the shopping experience as seamless and easy as possible.

I’m so excited to see the creative ways that retailers will make shopping even easier than we can imagine in the future. Amazon is undoubtedly paving the way for this shift, and clothing brands are paying attention. Even small offerings like a reserve in store or home delivery from a brick and mortar location can make all the difference to a busy customer. In the future, we’re going to see a lot more of this as retailers compete to stay on top.

What are your “Top 5 Things Needed to Succeed in the Fashion Industry”. Please share a story or example for each.

1. Don’t Pay Attention to What Other People are Doing

The fashion industry is extremely saturated with designers, clothing brands, retailers and stylists. Like any saturated market, in order to succeed you need to focus on your niche — what it is you bring to the table that’s unique and different.

When we were first building MiKADO, everyone said that our business model wouldn’t work. Box-subscriptions and membership services were really starting to become profitable at that time and the advice we regularly received was that we should follow suit.

I knew that wasn’t what our customers wanted or needed — most of the time they had already tried those other services and they didn’t provide the attention to detail or the personalized experience that they were after.

We’ve never looked at what other people are doing in our industry. There’s lots of other businesses that work in the space of personal styling — many in our home town of Los Angeles, but there is nobody else doing what we’re doing, at the level we’re doing it at, because we’re so committed to our unique offering and creating an experienced that cannot be replicated.

Because we’ve been so intentional about focusing on our niche, we’ve been able to grow rapidly — first throughout the US and now offering virtual services across the world. This would not have been possible if we tried to recreate other business models in our industry.

2. Commit Above All Else to Knowing Your Customer

To truly stand out and create a product or service that people will be loyal to, you have to understand the people you’re servicing. It matters much more what your customer wants than what you want, even if you think you know what’s right for them.

When a new client begins working with us, we get to know them on a deep and intimate level before we ever start shopping for them or looking at what’s in their closet. 9 times out of 10 they will make a statement about feeling like they’re in therapy, releasing all of their inner fears and narratives. It means we’re doing our jobs right if our customers feel like we know them this well.

It’s our goal to understand what makes our clients tick. What they want out of life, how they wish to be perceived, when they feel their best, and what makes them experience insecurity and self-doubt. Human beings are special and unique, which means a one-size-fits-one approach to service will never work. Especially when you’re dealing with something as personal as someone’s body and clothing.

Only when we truly get to know our clients can we effectively shop on their behalf.

3. Put Experience Ahead of Profit

Selling great products and services isn’t enough to succeed. Not in this day and age where customers drive the narrative, have a voice in your brand’s story, and can access all of your competitors with the click of a button. To truly stand out and be successful, you absolutely must focus on the experience. How can you create an impact on someone’s life that they will not forget? How do we demonstrate to our customers that their well-being is our utmost priority? Where can we tie in the human element that connects the service-provider with the end-user in a meaningful way? By focusing on the experience, profitability will always be exponentially higher and more sustainable, and our customers will be satisfied and forever our biggest fans.

At MiKADO we focus on the user experience at every possible touchpoint. This is most notable during our initial consultation process — the first time a client gets to interact with a human on our team.

In this preliminary introduction to our brand, we give our customers the space to talk about their challenges and express their goals. We focus the consultation entirely on them, where many other service providers would go straight in for a sale.

There’s no time limit and no cost involved for the session. We also don’t ask that anyone sign up for service during their meeting, because we want to create an environment that feels relaxed and comfortable. One where the entire focus is on finding hope and solutions.

In 2020 thus far, 98% of initial consultations have moved on to book their services and become on-going customers. If our primary focus was on selling and closing deals, I’m certain this success rate would be much lower. It is our ability to create a winning first experience that gives people the confidence to invest their money in our brand and put their trust in our team — they know what to expect from us moving forward!

4. Be Open to Change and Pivoting

In order to succeed in fashion, agility is essential in order to adjust to what’s happening in the industry. The way people shop for clothes, spend their money, find designers, and follow trends is constantly changing — much of which is driven by technology. It’s essential that you continuously keep your eye on what’s happening and learn to meet your customers where they’re at. Not where they used to be or where you wish they were.

This has never been more true for our business than in the 2020 reality of the coronavirus. Like many people in our industry, we were hit hard by the pandemic and government-enforced stay at home orders. Overnight we went from a three-month waitlist to an entirely new landscape where almost every one of our clients was working from home and living in sweat pants. With the blink of an eye, nobody needed clothing anymore and they most certainly didn’t want a Stylist in their home.

7 months into the pandemic and we can now see that 2020 has been the greatest blessing we’ve ever been given for our business. We were quickly able to pivot, recognizing that people all over the world were quite rapidly becoming comfortable working with service-providers online. This immediately opened up our client demographic — now we’re able to work with people outside of our state and even outside of our country.

In order to do so, we focused our attention on changing the narrative. We began educating people on the importance of dressing in regular clothing for work, its impact on productivity, and the integral role it plays in maintaining a routine. And after several months of living in sweats, people started seeing that there was a need for personal style even while working from home.

Being quick to pivot has kept us running during this time, and we now have a new virtual arm of our business — something I never would have imagined succeeding just a year ago.

5. Love What You Do

As I mentioned before, fashion is not the glamorous industry that many people make it out to be. It’s not playing with clothes all day and dressing up. If this is the path you’ve chosen for yourself then you absolutely must eat, sleep and breathe it — you must love it to your core.

There have been so many times throughout my career I felt tested. Pushed by my reality to see if this was truly the path for me. 16-hour days, 10 consecutive months without a day off, sacrificing my personal life in order to build my professional success. The thing that has always kept me going, even when I had no idea if my goals would ever come to fruition, is my passion and conviction for what I do. My ability to change peoples’ lives. It fills my soul, there’s nothing else like it in the world for me, and because of that, I’ve been fortunate enough to build my business into what it’s become today.

Every industry constantly evolves and seeks improvement. How do you think the fashion industry can improve itself? Can you give an example?

The fashion industry can and is improving itself by recognizing its economic footprint and its contribution to environmental waste.

Covid has really shown us what we need and doesn’t need; what we can live without. And that spotlight is shining brightly on the fashion industry.

I have always worked with my clients on investing money into things they actually love and use, not building an abundance of stuff just for the sake of shopping. I think that this kind of perspective-shift is happening right now in this industry and will continue to take shape even in a post-Covid era.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I’d love to start a movement that let go of our attachment towards age. Especially for women. I’d remind everyone that we all age, that none of us are immune, and that we should celebrate life to its fullest, no matter the decade we happen to be in.

So many of the women I work with are carrying around self-destructive narratives that say they’re no longer allowed to be beautiful or desirable because they’re past a certain cut-off. I hate that that’s a reality people feel they have to live with. What a waste of our precious time on this earth.

One of the first things we work on letting go of with our new clients is these types of limiting beliefs, and I’d love nothing more than to start a movement that helped other people change their thinking as well.

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