Fashion Consulting in DC for 7 Years!

Closet Caucus Turns Seven 

This Saturday, November 1st, marks the 7th year of my fashion consulting company, Closet Caucus.

When I first started this company I didn’t exactly know what the future had in store. All I wanted to do was work with individuals on clothing as a way to talk about positive body image. That’s it. It was an insane idea and I didn’t know how long I could keep it going. I’m completely blown away that I’ve been able to do this job for this long.

DC Fashion Consulting Company Closet CaucusAnd, it really is a dream job.

Many people think it is glamorous, but the day in and day out of fashion consulting isn’t glam. There is the technical part of putting an outfit together, of color theory, of shopping for body type and within budget. And, all of that can be taught and learned. But, a lot of my job is just listening and asking questions. I get to hear people’s stories – where they are from, what they like and dislike…and all of that digs down into a person’s history, which is essential to self expression through clothing.

I get to listen to people’s stories of who they are. Then we work on self-love using the medium of clothing. And, that’s what makes my job amazing.

What I’ve also learned – no man is an island when it comes to business. Keeping this thing going has been a gigantic effort, and it has stretched me in ways that have been amazing (and sometimes made me want to curl into a little ball on the floor). There’s no way I would have made it to 7 years without the help, encouragement, and love from these people:

-Gary and Taunya – for continued prayer, for holding your breath as I took this leap of faith, and for understanding that people can be called – even into a field as crazy and unexpected as fashion

-Carey and Sean – for listening ears and a solid no-nonsense approach to business. Bouncing ideas off of you two has made all the difference in setting my sails on course

-Stephanie B – for being a listening ear, a continual support system, and a beyond-loyal friend

-Christine B – for all-encompassing, all supporting enthusiasm that never wavers

-Kristen K – you pointed me in the direction of a freelance job when I was trying to get Closet Caucus off the ground. That job gave me breathing room so I could put down a business foundation. Your friendship and guidance was an answer to prayer.

-Carmel P – for loving prayers, support, and a sense of humor that has carried me through

-Lisa R – you would totally be the leader of the fashion gang. Couldn’t ask for a better partner in crime.

-McLean R – you wrote the first article about Closet Caucus and it completely changed my business. You may not realize it, but you were the catalyst that solidified my relationship with the press.

-Joel M – for being such an unexpected cheerleader! I’m so blessed by our friendship.

-Ben M – for giving me the idea for the podcast. It only took me 6 years to get it going. Also, for being game to listen to me chat about fashion news. Cause, I know it isn’t exactly your thing – that is friendship, dude.

-Stacey V – for the gorgeous pictures that got my website going. Your talent continually knocks me out.

-Shari W – for teaching me about branding, marketing, and emotional intelligence with co-workers. Those lessons still play a (big!) part in my daily life. Also, thanks for being a guinea pig when I was working out my styling system.

Last but not least -

To Navin, who was my best buddy before becoming my boyfriend and then my husband. You believed in Closet Caucus from the moment I said the idea out loud. I seriously wouldn’t be here without you – you literally and figuratively picked me up when I thought I couldn’t do this anymore because it was too hard. You are my rock, my technology guru, my cheerleader in a suit. Thank you for believing in me.

Advanced Style Documentary Recap

Fashion Film Opening Recap

This weekend I had the opportunity to moderate a panel for the DC premiere of the documentary Advanced Style.

It was a lovely day that started with a brunch in Georgetown.

Advanced Style Documentary DC Premiere

Brunch pic!

The brunch took place at the City Tavern Club, which is such a pretty spot for events. (I mean, check out that wallpaper!)

Advanced Style VIP Brunch

My husband, Navin, came along and was such a good sport! He hung in with hours of fashion and style talk. (Side note, my dress is from the 1950′s and was such a joy to wear. I purchased it at Beltway Vintage.)

Advanced Style Film Brunch Picture

After brunch we went to the premiere! If you get a chance, definitely catch the film. It’s a beautiful commentary on style and growing older. (If it isn’t coming to your town you can always rent it on iTunes.)

Advanced Style Film - Moderator Photo

After the film I was able to chat with the film director, Lina Plioplyte, and one of the stars, Debra Rapoport. They were both so warm and open about the film, its message, and style philosophy.

Advanced Style Star Debra Rapoport and Director, Lina Plioplyte

Advanced Style Star Debra Rapoport (left) and Director, Lina Plioplyte

It was a fantastic day, and I was very honored to be a part of it.

Advanced Style Film Brunch Picture

Me in my natural silly state

 

Advanced Style Opens in DC!

Advanced Style Documentary Opens in DC this Saturday! 

Do you guys know about Advanced Style? It is an ah-mazing blog that features stylish women who are 60+. It is one of my favorite sites because its philosophy rings true to my own – you can be stylish at any age at any budget, and clothing is a medium that can bring joy to life.

Well, they turned the blog into a beautiful documentary! It opens this Saturday in Georgetown. I’m especially excited because I’m moderating a discussion with director Lina Plioplyte and film star Debra Rapoport following the 3:00pm premiere!

Advanced Style Documentary

Some of “The Ladies” of the Advanced Style Documentary!

The October 25th screening is an exclusive one-day-only regional premiere and is the highlight of Fashion Art Design Georgetown.

You can get your ticket here.
Even better? Get 15% off with code WCPINSIDER at checkout!
Come on out and have some fun!

 

Jelly Shoes Grow Up

Adorable Smelly Shoes

In the 80′s my mini-fashionista self was all about jelly shoes. Remember them? Well, they are having a small moment in trendy fashion (and I must admit I own this pair). BUT, I found the jelly shoe’s older, more sophisticated sister.

On Trend - Jelly Shoes

Jelly flats! These guys are so comfortable and versatile. The best part? THEY SMELL LIKE STRAWBERRIES.

I don’t understand the magical manufacturing process that has inserted scent into a shoe, but there you have it. Apparently they smell better the longer you wear them.

I purchased them at Gossip on 23rd, an adorable women’s apparel store in Crystal City where everything is under $100. You can also purchase them on ModCloth here. If you are in the DC area, though, I would really encourage you to purchase them at Gossip in order to support a small business owner.

Did you own jelly shoes as a kid? Would you try them as an adult? Do tell!

Fall Fashion – Outfit Ideas

Dress Up a Sweatshirt 

An easy and comfortable outfit idea for the fall is to dress up a sweatshirt.

Fall Fashion Outfit IdeasThis cute one is from Ann Taylor Loft.

I wore a chambray shirt underneath. It’s a way to layer in case it gets warm. You can use any button up shirt (and you get cool points if it has some kind of funky design). For example, a polka dot shirt with a collar would go great under a gray sweatshirt.

I paired it with a tutu because I’m a crazy person. But, if you happen to have a sane person’s wardrobe you can wear it with jeans, a gray skirt, a black skirt, etc.

A word about this tutu – it’s really a pair of shorts. And, it is so, so comfortable. It’s like wearing pj bottoms. Clothes that feel like pi’s = my favorite category of clothing.

Have you ever dressed up a sweatshirt? Do tell!

 

Fall Fashion – Outfit Ideas

Outfit of the Day – Little Giraffes!

I love this dress because of the animal print.

Fall Fashion Outfit Ideas

 

They are little giraffes! This print is so much fun. Here’s a close up:

Fall Outfit Ideas

Little Red Giraffes!

I put a red cardigan over the dress in case the day got a bit cool.

And, I have to show you this:

Fall Fashion Outfit Ideas

I almost never have my nails done. This is an attempt at pretending I have my act together by documenting it with a picture. (Ha!)

The color is Sephora by OPI in Break a Leg-Warmer, and it’s such a great shade of grayish blue.

Do you have any fun animal prints in your closet? Do tell!

Fall Fashion – Outfit Ideas

Wear Your Dress as a Coat 

Do you know you can wear a dress as a coat?

Hear me out on this one – I know how it sounds. (i.e. crazycakes)

If you have a dress that buttons / zips all the way up in the front up you can layer it over another dress. It will look something like this:

Fall Fashion Outfit Idea

The khaki coat is actually a summer dress. During the fall I wear it over something and style it the same way I would style a long blazer. This trick works especially well if the “coat” is black, navy, or an earth tone.

It’s just another way to get more outfits out of your closet. It’s especially handy when the weather is cool in the mornings and warm by afternoon.

Another note – I was playing around with my scarf in this particular outfit. I wanted it in my hair, but also thought about it going down the front of the dress as a means to play with pattern. So, I wore it as a headband and then tucked it in my belt in the front on one side. If this is just a bridge too far for you that is perfectly okay! I like to experiment with simple elements as a means of playing around with style.

Here’s a better look at it from the side:

Fall Outfit Ideas

Playful scarf!

Another look at the different elements – “coat” dress / simple black dress / scarf / belt:

Fall Outfit Ideas

I am going to put this khaki dress in my coat closet for a couple of weeks. It might just inspire some other creative ideas!

It’s National Podcast Day!

Why I Podcast

Did you know it’s National Podcast Day?

National Podcast Day

Podcasts have been part of my life for a loooong time. I used to listen every now and then, but the tipping point came when I got an iPhone. I downloaded the podcasting app, loaded up my phone, and officially became an addict.

I’m constantly listening.

If you run into me anywhere in DC this is what I will look like:

Podcast Photo

Please tap me on the shoulder or wave your arms if you run into me in public. These are some really good headphones.

The headphones are always, always on. If they aren’t you can be assured that I’m having a mild panic attack.

Podcasting became a bigger part of my life this past year when I helped launch Pop Fashion podcast with the lovely Lisa Rowan of Beltway Vintage. 

We run the podcast out of a blanket fort in my house. (I’m a grown adult and I conduct professional work out of a blanket fort. I don’t know if I should curl up into a ball or if I am living The Dream.) It’s weekly, it’s amazing, it’s frustrating, it drives me crazy, and it is one of the most fulfilling things I’ve ever done in my career.

Podcasting in a Blanket Fort! This is what happens every week, ya'll!

Podcasting in a Blanket Fort! This is what happens every week, ya’ll!

Podcasting gives me a creative outlet and a voice. It’s therapy. It holds me accountable. It gives me a chance to talk to my awesome friend, Lisa, once a week. It inspires new ideas in my professional and personal life.

It has changed everything.

And I feel so, so encouraged that there are people out there listening and helping us think through some of the problems we are discussing.

You can go to iTunes and search for "Pop Fashion." This is our cover art!

Go to iTunes and search for “Pop Fashion.” This is our cover art!

Some of My Favorite Podcasts 

The Bugle Podcast

Hilarious podcast that covers world news by John Oliver (Daily Show / Last Week Tonight) and Andy Zaltzman.

WTF Podcast with Marc Maron

WTF is the 1st podcast that got me hooked!

The Fresh Rag Show with Dave Conrey

I became a Fresh Rag fangirl soon after the host, Dave Conrey, launched it. It is such a smart show for artists and creative entrepreneurs, and I continually gather courage and inspiration from Dave. THEN DAVE ASKED US TO BE ON THE SHOW!! I couldn’t believe it. I was a guest on one of my favorite podcasts! Hands down one of the best things that happened in 2014 (I’m calling it now.) Even better? Lisa and I became friends with Dave, and he is just as authentic, kind, and fun as he comes across in the podcast. (If you want to listen to our episode you can find it here. It’s called, “Entrepreneurship is Fashionable, but is it Easy?”)

How Did This Get Made?

How Did This Get Made reviews terrible movies. It’s laugh-out-loud-and-look-like-a-crazy-person-when-you-are-walking-down-the-street funny.

Other Favorites Include:

The Mental Illness Happy Hour

Call Your Girlfriend

You Big Dumb Idiot

Women of Uncertain Age

Filmspotting

Explore Your Enthusiasm

You Made it Weird

The Crabfeast

Ear Biscuits

I Seem Fun: The Diary of Jen Kirkman Podcast

The Accidental Creative

Girl on Guy

This Feels Terrible

Joy the Baker Podcast

The Read

The Dr. Joy Brown Show

How Was Your Week

Are you a podcast listener? Any that you want to recommend? Do tell! Or, better yet, go on social media and talk about your favorite and hashtag it #podcastday.

Warby Parker Fashion

Which Pair Do You Like? 

Warby Parker Fashion

Which pair is your fav?

And, do you know about Warby Parker?

It’s a company where you can try on glasses at home. They send you 5 pairs, you pick what you like, and send everything back.

It should be noted at this point that this isn’t a sponsored post / I’m not getting any payment. I just really need new glasses. That, and I had an awful experience getting contacts a couple of months ago. My doc was great, but the place where she works is just a disaster and I’m doing everything I can to avoid going back.

So, really, this post is about avoiding people.

But still getting glasses.

Which pair do you like best? Feel free to vote in the comments below!

Ben Affleck Fashion

Details Magazine Cover Awesomeness

The October issue of Details magazine just came out and the cover is hilarious.

Ben Affleck Details Magazine Cover October 2014

Ben Affleck Details Magazine Cover October 2014

Uhhmmmm….whatcha got going on there, Ben?

Are you about to flash us?

Give us flowers?

Dramatically open up your coat to reveal a Batman shirt?

And you look so, so serious looking while you are standing in the rain.

Details is one of my favorite magazines ever, and this cover makes me smile every time I see it. Ha!