Category Archives: Style

Stack, Scramble and Roll

I sing this song every January: it’s time to clean out, throw away, and straighten up my closet. A well-organized wardrobe is a joy forever — or at least for a couple of months until it becomes an unholy mess again.

Part of the exercise is deciding how best to arrange what’s left.  There are several schools of thought on this scintillating topic.

STACK

IMG-1698

This works best for shelves, so you can see what color shirts or sweaters you have. I find it less useful in drawers because I always have to dig through to find what I want — inevitably it’s on the bottom.

SCRAMBLE

When you hang everything, it can easily become a jumble of colors, lengths, and items.  One school of thought is to organize everything by color, a system in which all black items — jackets, pants, skirts, tops — would be grouped together.

It seems to me that it would be harder to find something specific; have you tried this approach?  My compromise is to hang similar items together, arranged by color.

ROLL

Although I often pack this way when traveling, it never occurred to me to roll things at home. Miraculously, items DO take up less space in the drawer, and now I can see what I have.  Works wonders for socks, underwear, t-shirts and jeans.

CODA

As a native New Yorker, it’s no surprise that most of my clothes are black, grey, and navy regardless of where I live, with a few pieces in the offwhite/tan/khaki range tossed in. This probably explains why my occasional wild foray outside the neutral zone is often unsuccessful. Note to self: do not buy bright colors, however appealing. You’ll always reach for something else.

Keeping things neat is a constant work in progress. How about you?  Is your closet beautifully organized, a hot mess, or somewhere in between?

 

 

 

 

 

Good News Monday: Sustainable Shopping Made Easy

News to me, at least: mega e-tailer Net-a-Porter is highlighting beauty and fashion products created with a sustainable future in mind.

From natural skincare to organically sourced materials, items in the NET SUSTAIN collection meet at least one of eight key attributes that align with the fashion and beauty industries’ goals for positive impact on human, animal, and environmental welfare.

Of course, not shopping — or shopping vintage and pre-owned items — would be even better, but sometimes the heart just wants what it wants.

woman holding card while operating silver laptop

Photo by bruce mars on Pexels.com

 

Regifting: Taboo or To Do?

“‘Tis the day after Christmas, and all through the land,

Folks are regifting the gifts they can’t stand…”

tabby cat lying under christmas tree with gifts

Photo by Jenna Hamra on Pexels.com

An article in the Wall Street Journal argues that regifting is a perfectly acceptable practice and preferable to throwing away something the giftee doesn’t want or need.

(Reprinted here because the link forces you to subscribe in order to read the whole piece. I hate that.)

From the Wall Street Journal

A recipient wants items A and B (say, a hat and gloves) yet receives items C and D (say, a scarf and mittens). Another recipient wants C and D, yet receives A and B. The solution seems simple: The two recipients can simply pass along the gifts they received to each other.

The psychology, however, is more complex. People in a study published in the Journal of Consumer Behaviour, for instance, used such words as guilty, lazy, thoughtless and disrespectful in describing their feelings about regifting. Popular culture casts it as taboo, as well. An entire episode of “Seinfeld” highlights the stigma attached to giving away presents meant for ourselves.

Getting stuck with gifts we do not want is no small problem. Consider that the National Retail Federation calculated that the average holiday-season shopper in the U.S. last year spent more than $1,000 on gifts. In a survey across 14 countries in Europe, meanwhile, 1 in 7 said they were unhappy with what they received for Christmas, yet more than half simply kept the gifts.

Why can’t more gifts be passed along to people who appreciate them?

Our research with Francis J. Flynn, a professor of organizational behavior at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, suggests the shame associated with regifting is largely unwarranted. Indeed, our research consistently tells us that people overestimate the negative consequences.

Next, we tried to shed light on just how serious the perceived offense is. We asked two groups—again, givers and regifters—to compare regifting a hypothetical wristwatch with throwing it in the trash. For the original givers, regifting the watch was a much less offensive act than trashing it. The regifters, however, wrongly assumed that the givers would find both equally offensive. The results were the same when regifting presents that the recipients didn’t like much.

Finally, given that the feared offense looks more imagined than real, we turned our attention to how people might be encouraged to break this taboo.

For this part of our research, we invited to our lab at Stanford people who had recently received presents, and divided the people into two groups. When we gave the first group an opportunity to regift that present, 9% did so.

When we gave the second group the same opportunity, we added that it was “National Regifting Day,” a real event that happens each year on the Thursday before Christmas. It wasn’t really National Regifting Day, but the group didn’t know that: 30% of them agreed to regift.

Everyone has received bad gifts in their lives, and we generally accept that we will receive more in the future. Yet for some (mathematically impossible) reason, we believe that we give only good gifts.

Our research offers a simple solution to the problem of unwanted gifts. This holiday season, consider regifting, and encourage recipients of your gifts to do the same if what you gave them isn’t quite what they hoped for.

Dr. Adams is an assistant professor at the University of Virginia. Dr. Norton is a professor at Harvard Business School. Email them at reports@wsj.com.

 

Style: What to Avoid When Flying

window view of an airplane

Photo by Alex Powell on Pexels.com

‘Tis the season to be traveling. If your plans involve air travel — commercial, that is; you private plane people can wear whatever the hell you want — this timely advice (adapted from a post on WhoWhatWear) should come in handy. Click here for the full piece.

Tight Clothes

You want to avoid cramping and swelling caused by too-tight clothing and inactivity. Problems can range from the serious (DVTs) to uncomfortable bloating. An elastic waistband is your friend, and with a nice top layer no one needs to know you’re channeling Edith Bunker.

Anything Flammable

One more reason to choose natural fabrics! And cover your arms, legs and feet in case the unforeseen happens and you have to go down the emergency slide. A long-sleeved cotton t-shirt is breathable as well as protective.

High Heels, Backless Sandals, Flipflops

They make it difficult to quickly evacuate the aircraft, and could hurt others if they go flying off.  Heels could puncture the evacuation slide and they’ll sure make it a lot harder to run to another gate if necessary.

Meanwhile, that tiny airplane bathroom is even nastier if something on the floor gets on your toes. ‘Nuff said.  Opt for closed shoes such as sneakers, low heels or flats, or boots.

Studs, buckles, zippers, belts can set off metal detectors and slow you down. The same is true for bold jewely. And it’s better not to put your valuables on the conveyor belt; just store them securely in a small case in your purse or carry on until you’ve gone through security.
Not Enough Layers

Airplane cabins can be frigid, so wearing layers makes sense.  You can always remove a sweater or cashmere shawl if you get too warm.

Pack a change of outfit in your carryon if possible, too — fresh socks, a tee and underwear at a minimum. It makes life much more pleasant if you’re stuck on the tarmac in an emergency, or your checked luggage is delayed or lost.

Safe travels,

xoxo Alisa

Gift Ideas When Money Is No Object

While you’ve been agonizing over finding the perfect gifts, this post is sure to inspire a giggle or two.  It kinda gives new meaning to the phrase “insanely rich”.  Enjoy!

abundance bank banking banknotes

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

Good News Monday: Saving While Shopping

I should undoubtedly shop less and spend less, but sometimes there is simply something I want to acquire.  And I don’t want to pay a penny more than necessary.

That’s where ShopTagr comes in.

Having recently discovered this app, I find it an easy way to track an item I’m interested in to see if/when it’s going on sale or coming back in stock.

Once you’ve downloaded the ShopTagr app, their icon will also automatically pop on when you’re shopping — whether or not it’s on your saved list — showing coupons you can use.

Overall reviews for the app are good, although the above link shows some negative feedback from a Safari user.  I use Chrome as my browser and have not had any issues so far, knock wood… (hmmm, possibly a new myrtlewood salad set?)

banking business checklist commerce

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Is Your Style Dragging You Down?

TGIF! This piece from WhoWhatWear is a good reminder.

While appearance may not be our #1 priority in our personal lives, looking older* can be a problem in the workplace, leading us to be unfairly marginalized. Your bosses and colleagues might not even know why they think you aren’t “current”, but what you wear influences their perceptions on a deep subliminal level.

*NOTE: Being perceived as too young can also hurt your career. Dress professionally, and leave the sneakers, baseball shirts etc. at home.

3 Things That Are Secretly Aging You, According to a Celeb Stylist

You often hear the phrase age is but a number. Yet, if you ask a room of adults if they’d like to know how to look younger, we bet most would raise their hands. If you’re among the set that would have their arm up high (myself included), this post is for you. If you could care less, we’ve got a ton of other great content—may we direct you to some winter outfit ideas or a piece on bag trends?

We’re not aiming to cast aging in a negative light (hey, it’s literally part of being a human), but there are simply some style habits that can make you look older and some that can make you look more youthful. Do with this information what you will, but to make sure it’s the best intel we could gather, we tapped a most excellent expert. Read on for the wisdom of Dani Michelle, one of the most in-demand celebrity stylists who works with a range of ages.

 

1. Worn shoes and bags.

PHOTO: THE STYLE STALKER

 

“When your accessories look tired, so do you. Make sure your best pieces are well cared for by taking them to a repair shop or doing some DIY care at home with shoe and bag polish. Accessories can really polish and demolish an outfit.” — Dani Michelle

 

2. Wearing retro pieces without modern styling.

PHOTO: THE STYLE STALKER

 

“I’m a huge fan of vintage pieces and incorporating them into everyday outfits. That being said, don’t be afraid to alter, chop, or re-invent pieces so they are relevant and reference current trends and you aren’t just in old looks.” — Dani Michelle

 

3. Your style has been the same… forever.

 

“You aren’t the same throughout your life, so why should your style stay stagnant? There’s a difference between re-buying your aesthetic season after season and evolving it with current trends. It’s certainly important to dress for your body type, but in turn, don’t be afraid to try new styles that work on you. You’ll feel like yourself and still be in style.” — Dani Michelle