Sunday, January 30, 2011

Are shoes your 'thing'?

Shoes are certainly a passion for some women.

According to a survey by Harper’s Bazaar Magazine, one in two women owns more than 30 pairs! That’s a lot of shoes! The survey also suggests that 8% of women own over 100 pairs!

Hmm…this made me look into my own closet. I report in with only 27 pairs of shoes (sounds like I need to go shopping). I do LOVE shoes, but if I don't find a pair that are BOTH comfortable and cute (suit my particular needs and lifestyle) then it's no big deal. Other women I know have a 'thing' for shoes and their shoe collection is 50 pairs or more!

What about you? How many pairs do you own? How many of those do you wear all the time? Do you have a 'thing' for shoes?

Need suggestions for what to wear your pumps with? Read my recent facebook page to guide you:!/notes/missussmartypants/what-to-wear-with-a-pump-stiletto-shoe/185260121504672

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Great Closet Clean Out...

If you are like most women, your closet is way too full and you probably wear only 20% of what’s in there. It’s true, most women have their closets packed way too FULL--yet have nothing to wear!

What's the 80%? It’s mostly clutter taking up precious space. If you don’t love it and don’t wear it, it has to go! (Out of season or special occasion outfits should be moved to the back of the closet or better yet, another closet all together).

  • By only having clothes in your closet that you wear—you will have a lot more room and a sense of peace....
  • It's funny, when you remove the clutter and have LESS in your closet, you will actually find more to wear!!! Potential outfits are now revealed!
Ready to start your closet clean out? Start by making 3 piles…
The give away pile. These clothes are in still good condition but you aren’t wearing them. Ask yourself these questions as you examine at each item:
• Does it fit well? Signs of poor fit are buttons pulling open, horizontal creases and puckering. Either alter it or give it away.

• Does it look good on you? If it looks horrible on you--you have no intentions of ever wearing it. Don’t feel guilty about not wearing something that is not right for you.

• It was on sale and it seemed like a good deal—at the time. But you don’t like the color, style and it just doesn’t make you feel pretty. Again don’t let guilt overcome you because you bought something you have no idea why you bought it in the first place! You are better off letting go and give it to charity where it will do more good than give you guilt each morning!

FOLD your sweaters, don't hang 'em!

The throw away pile. Put clothes here that have seen better days. These items are too worn for anyone else to wear. Think about it: would you purchase these questionable items at a second-hand store yourself? If the answer is “No” then deep six ‘em.

• If it is pilled and faded in color. If the buttons are missing/cracked and stitching is coming undone. Also, if the fabric lacks body because it’s too worn out.

• Stained and dirty? If you are keeping 15 crewneck tees permanently stained (just in case you decide to wash the car by hand) forget about it! No one needs that many “junky” tees in their closet.

• This one is my pet peeve…perspiration stained tee-shirts. C’mon, no one wants these! Throw these in the trash. Realistically you may only be able to get one season out of most tees (especially the white ones).

The last pile is for alterations/dry clean/fix. These are clothes you would definitely wear with some minor alterations (some you may do yourself). Remember good FIT is essential to great style. Don’t skimp here! If you sleeves are too long or your pants are too short, you will look awkward and out of proportion.
• Buttons are loose and need reinforcing.

• Hemlines coming undone or minor underarm holes need repair.

• Shirts too long (most often the case). Have your shirt length raised if it is at the area that cuts your body visually in half. Your best shirt length is generally the top 1/3 of your body’s total length.

• Sleeves on shirts (and jackets) too long or too short. The proper length is at the wrist bone. When wearing a jacket the sleeve will peek out beyond the jacket sleeve.

Organize what’s left. How you organize is up to you. You may want to keep work clothes together and weekend-wear together. However, I prefer to organize my closet by item—then color. I find this way works best because I’ll try new combinations when it looks like a boutique.

For example, take all shirts and organize them by COLOR: creams, camel, browns, peach, pinks, reds, blues, purples and so on. Start the process with the long sleeve shirts, then short sleeves, then sleeveless.

Your shirts will begin to look like crayons with the many colors of the rainbow. By organizing by sleeve length and color you will begin to see if you have any duplicates! Do the same thing with your skirts, pants and dresses.

Bonus Tip: Your closet will really look like a "boutique" if you match all your hangers. Buy a dozen white (or other color) plastic tubular hangers each week. Purchase all the same color and get all your hangers facing the same direction.

This little bit of order will make getting dressed a breeze and finding new wearable combinations so much easier! "A place for everything and everything in its place" means you'll FLY when it comes to improving your style too!

Love, Leslie

Check out my Closet Purge for more closet organizing tips:

Thursday, January 20, 2011

How to Shop a Sale

The objective to attending a sale is to make off with some really great bargains for your wardrobe!

The problem is we get easily caught up in the frenzy of the word: SALE. We see racks and tables crammed full of merchandise with bright red signs exclaiming "drastically reduced". We just can't miss out on all the fabulous "bargains"!

The truth is anything you buy is ONLY a bargain if you wear it. There is no sense in buying clothes that are only $20 or $5 for that matter if you don't wear them. You won't wear clothes that don't match your personal coloring (skin, hair and eye color) or those that don't match your personal style or lifestyle or more importantly don't work for your body type.

But if you are looking to make out with a couple of bargains while the sales are's what to shop for at the end-of-the-season JANUARY sales:

It may be cold outside but the stores are full of red-hot bargains!

Boots. Gosh, is it possible to ever have too many? Now is the time to get the better quality leather boots at a more affordable price. Of course sizes might be limited but so worth a look!

Winter wraps, cap, hats, gloves and scarves. The stores need seasonal merchandise like this cleared out to make room for the new warm season merchandise. Go for COLOR and winter accessories that will perk up your winter jackets and coats.

Outerwear. Do you have what you really need? Or is your winter coat worn out and boring black? Look for something you really like...there are still several months of cool weather to enjoy your new coat! Go find one on sale now!

Seasonal red. Red sweaters, jackets and the like leftover from Christmas are all on sale now. A true RED looks good on most women. Go for it and wear this bold color or buy RED as a gift for VALENTINES DAY!

Lightweight wraps, tunics sweaters. These not only work now with a long sleeved tee...they'll work great with a sundress on a cool summer evening later.

A lightweight sweater makes a great sundress cover-up...

Wardrobe Basics. Top quality wardrobe basics made out of tropical wool, gabardine, poly blends in basic colors like black, brown and gray should always be on your list! These "go-to" garments are the GLUE to any stylish woman's wardrobe that are worn year round.
The "basics" aren't just for business like this...

Separate the "suited" pieces and make a variety of stylish outfits!

Denims. Look for these to be on sale at back-to-school time and in January. Since we live in denims and in a casual'll probably want to take a look.

Camis, tanks and t-shirts. Look for unique styles, beading, sequins, lace trim or anything that will give a new edge to your every day basics. These are all on sale in January but worn year-round.

Sequined and sexy. Just because you weren't invited out on New Year's doesn't mean you don't need a sequined and sexy top! At bargain prices you just might find a classy (yet sexy) sequined tank you can wear with dark denims and heels!

Special occasion dresses. Again, just because you didn't have some place to go on New Year's (am I referring to myself???) does not mean you won't need a special occasion dress later in the season. The sale racks are full of party dresses that never got invited if you have an upcoming prom, gala, awards dinner, cruise vacation or wedding (or need a dressy LBD) take a look this January.

Now that you know how to shop a sale, happy sale shopping. Remember, shop with a plan. Buy only what you love and what you need. 

Also shop MID WEEK (Wed. or Thursdays) when the stores are less busy...yet preparing for the upcoming weekend. You'll get just the right amount of "sales help" when you shop the sales in the middle of the week!

Love, Leslie

Saturday, January 15, 2011

How to make your bras last...

I love, love love your emails! Keep 'em coming....

Here's one about bras...and it's always good to start the year off with a new and more supportive bra!

Dear Leslie,

Thank you for helping me improve my style. I never knew what style was. I grew up missing a fashion gene or something, lol!
With your website I am now learning how to dress my shape and it makes such a difference! Not only do I get compliments at work, someone asked my opinion about a purse. I could not believe it! My life is changed for the better!
I have a question about bras as I am still learning these girl things. Last week on your BTR show you mentioned how wearing the proper size bra can make you look better in your clothes. I need to replace my bras, mine really are pitiful looking and I have put this off long enough.
Can you tell me how long bras last and how many bras should I have in the first place?
Thanks for this wonderful service! Donna
Dear Donna,
Your bras should last a full 12 months IF you do the following:
  • Purchase quality bras
  • Rotate at least four(4) bras so that each of them gets equal wear
  • Never wear a bra two days in a row. Let the elastic “rest” a day
  • Hand wash (w/ baby shampoo or lingerie wash) OR machine wash gentle. NO Woolite (this oil-based product ruins elastic) If your machine has an agitator (put bras in a laundry bag)
  • NEVER put your bras in the dryer!
  • Don’t use them for working out; wear sports bras
  • Store them neatly to preserve the molded shape of the cups
Purchasing quality bras can get expensive, so make your investment last. One of the best ways to do that is by washing your bras in lingerie bag on a gentle cycle. This bag keeps them from twisting up in the wash. 

Your silhouette will look a lot slimmer when you are wearing the correct size (8 out of 10 women are not wearing the right size) so if it has been awhile since you have purchased a new bra ask the sales associate for professional fitting--don’t guess on your size!
Love, Leslie MSP

Friday, January 7, 2011

When to Toss the Makeup

Is your makeup drawer crammed full of too many cosmetics? Most of it you don’t use--but keep “just in case”. It’s time to let go of the clutter and have only what you need.
This week let's pitch the old makeup!
This week toss out any old makeup you haven’t worn this last year and start 2011 with a clean and organized makeup drawer.
Beauty products have a limited shelf life, so chances are most of it has long expired. TIP: use a permanant marker and DATE your new makeup when you add it to your drawer.
Eleven makeup products & how long they last:
1. Concealers. Up to 12 months. 
2. Powders. 2 years. 
3. Cream & gel cleansers. 1 year. 
4. Pencil eye liner . Up to 3 years. 
5. Eye shadow. Lasts up to 3 years. TIP: dark eye shadow can double as an eyeliner. You'll need an fine eyeliner brush for this. Get the brush a little damp w/ water and dab into the eye shadow (dark gray, brown or deep jewel-tones work great). Work the brush into your lash line focusing on the space between your lashes, and then sweep the eye shadow just above your lash line. 
6. Brushes. Wash them every 2 months in a mild soap 
7. Sponges .Wash weekly and throw out monthly 
8. Foundations. Water-based foundations will last up to 12 months, oil-based will last up to 18 months. 
9. Lipstick. 1-2 years. However, if it smells rancid, throw it out. 

10. Mascara. This product doesn't have a long shelf life. Throw it out after 3 months. Don't risk an eye infection by keeping too long. Also don't pump the wand in and out because you will  expose the mascara to the air and dry it out faster.

11. Nail Polish. Lasts up to 12 months, depending on the quality. TIP: when brand-new rub a little vaseline on the inner rim to keep it clean and easy to seal.
  1. Love, Leslie aka MissusSmartyPants  

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

More on Skirt Length...

Your skirt length (dress, capri or pant length for that matter) makes a HUGE impact on your overall appearance. Below is yet another sweet woman questioning the quandary about skirt length. 

(See previous post about skirt length if needed:

"I'm not so sure about this. I have always felt that skirts that hit my knees look awful. As my legs have gotten more muscular and much thicker due to my career I find that the only skirts that look decent on me are ankle length, because they don't chop my already short legs in half"

Well, one thing I can agree on is...DON'T "chop up your already short legs in half"...just the thought of this sounds icky!!! Nothing you wear should CHOP you in half! (I know it sounds funny, but really I'm not joking here)

So instead of explaining the skirt length measuring theory yet again...I thought a visual is in order:

What looks best to you?



YOU the jury still out on this? Yes or no?

Do the first 2 skirts look better OR the last one? 

What's your opinion? Leave a comment about finding YOUR best length.

Monday, January 3, 2011

My Style Resolutions

It's the New Year and it's my first birthday of blogging! 
Happy Birthday to me...tee hee!

I didn't quite make January 1st in time to post 
my New Year's Style Resolutions...but here they are:

  • Wear more color. I've certainly got lots of basics in black. This year I'm hoping to add more color by adding/replacing basics in COLORS

  • Wear unusual color combinations.  I just did this yesterday and if I do say so myself it came off fabulously!!! Yesterday I wore a dark gray long-sleeved v-neck tee, a deep raspberry fly-away cardigan and a burnt amber necklace w/ my mid-toned bootcut jeans and boots! I need more of this interesting color mixing...don't you?
  • Purge my closet! Yes, even I get out of control! A organized closet shows us much more style possibilities because it's not so chaotic! Leslie, get cleaning and purging ASAP!

  • Change up my purse more often. Same 'ol, same 'ol is well, boring! Change it up Leslie (and anyone else whose acting lazy out there!)
  • Re-arrange my jewelry. This is a biggie for me. I'm way too blessed with gobs of jewelry from my former jewelry business (I LOVE accessories & jewelry still). I have drawers full of jewelry. Each drawer: one for necklaces, one for bracelets, etc... Then I have a BIG jewelry box with my earrings and more (smaller) necklaces inside! What I need is a better way to SEE it all! Not sure HOW I'm going to re-arrange my jewelry---but it would help because I could dress/accessorize quicker!

  • Take more/share more of my style photos. Take more photos of my daily outfits. I come up with some cool outfits...but then don't take any pictures (like yesterday's creation). A MUST DO! 

  • A triathon? Okay, not really a 'style resolution' but something on my list...perhaps that's a bucket list, LOL! I came close to making this a reality last maybe this year is THE year! I'm also BIG on mountain more of that too!

So, what's on your list of STYLE resolutions/improvements for this year? 

PLEASE SHARE! I'd love to hear from YOU!

4 Steps to Chic

1. Start with a feminine top 2. Pair with classy slacks 3. Ground with bold shoes 4. Finish with statement earrings ...