Crowded Closet

Treat yourself to something new by melissamenard
March 9, 2010, 9:46 pm
Filed under: Look of the day, We Can Help | Tags: ,

A little birdie told me I should share the secrets of how I shop. Thanks Toggles!

The truth is, I could shop anytime, anywhere, with anyone. It’s just too easy for me to buy buy buy. Eventually, I got tired of the GUILT. “They have my size!”, “They look so good on my feet!”, “It’s so comfortable!”, “But I’ve alwaaaaays wanted one!” Um. How many times have YOU heard ME say these things? I blame my shopping companions for allowing me to overbuy. Ok, fine it’s not their fault – there is no possible way to argue me out of buying something I love slash something that looks great. I blame my mother. She never argues with me over retail, in fact, she pushes me to buy: “Melissa listen to me, if you don’t get this black dress today you’ll regret it down the road”, “It fits you perfectly!”, “You kept saying you always wanted one.” How many times have YOU heard HER say these things? I rest my case.

Before Kim and I began Crowded Closet, my shopping process was based solely upon impulse and, ahem, trend. It had little to do with strategically expanding my wardrobe in a specific direction. Oh, how far we have come! Recently, Kim and I have been discussing the next item(s) we plan to purchase – we talk about it almost everyday. We see these discussions as a way to focus our shopping goals, if you will. Kim and I both live in fantastic cities and are forever surrounded by awesome merchandise But instead of filling up at HnM on my lunch break and ruining my entire budget on unneeded crap*, I take the necessary time to plan my next attack.

On a daily basis, I absorb fashion from various sources: on my walk to work (NYC street style is so inspiring), by way of e-blast (Refinery29), online lookbooks (Shopbop), sometimes I’ll flip through fashion magazines (Vogue, Glamour, Vanity Fair, Harper’s) and even our fellow bloggers’ sites (see blogroll). This helps me focus on 1. avoiding my impulses (so hard), 2. which trends are worth it, and 3. what my wallet can really handle. Then I hunt, I kill and I wear. Not literally, relax.

I’m totally a mini man in this outfit – my new patent/studded shoes, my boyfriend blazer and my wide leg pants – which makes me feel like I look like my mother, Linda, circa 1981.

blazer: thrifted, Jones of New York
pants: Filene’s
t-shirt: Zara
shoes: Sam Edelman “Kennedy” flats
belt: Bebe
shades: RayBan Wayfarers
song on my mix: Just Fine by Mary J. Blige
coffee drink: City Bakery Two Tone (yum!)

*I love HnM, but I’d rather buy better quality, longer lasting, less trendy, higher thread count, clothing.


My Uniformidazzle by melissamenard
December 2, 2009, 7:47 pm
Filed under: We Can Help | Tags:

No that’s not a word, I just made it up.

This is the way I view party outfits during the holidays:
1. You’re busy making holiday cookies and decorating, or not.
2. You’re broke from spending all your money on other people (yes, it’s about giving).
3. You have all sorts of festive parties, every.single.weekend. Normally with different groups of people.
4. And if you’re anything like me, you don’t have boat loads of sparkly-shiny, glittery-glammy, holiday-friendly outfits in your crowded closet. I mean, you can’t wear them everyday, right?

My holiday party outfit suggestion:
Spend some time, a little money (if you have to) and pick your holiday party uniform. Then wear the uniform to every party this season. It’ll save you time and money. And who will really know you’re a repeat offender? (Ok, well, maybe your camera and, well, everyone on Facebook.) But do you really care? You’ll be too tipsy to pose for pictures anyway. Make sure it’s a mix of timely and classic. Oh, and like my mom always says: wear more makeup. There. Done. Party on.
necklace: American Eagle
skirt: BCBG
shoes: Mixx from Purdy Girl

Dress for the Job you want by eat.sleep.wear.
November 24, 2009, 10:11 am
Filed under: We Can Help | Tags:

Q: I need some advice!!! Ok, so I’m finally about to start up this huge, career-making restaurant project and really want to make the right visual impression. So I need to wear an outfit that will:

A) Look professional. I’m young obviously so I need to dress in a way that encourages people to take me seriously and listen to what I have to say, but also…

B) Look creative, stylish, hip enough to be the designer of this hot spot restaurant (i.e. the banker-looking suits in my closet from my old office job just won’t do!) but at the same time still fit criteria A…

So you see my dilemma?! Yikes, I don’t even know where to start. The other piece of this is that it’s still sunny and in the mid/high 70’s during the day here, and all the ideas I’ve had so far are too winter.

 I’ve got the weekend to shop so let me know if you have any expert ideas? 

-Angela, FL

A: A Career woman. I LOVE that!

I think a lot of people struggle with this idea of having a sense of style and still being able to function in the corporate world. You want to have your own identity and I have a few tips on how to achieve this!

Since you are so lucky to live in Florida, I say embrace the skirt. A fitted pencil skirt is a SERIOUS must have for you. It can be so versatile and changed from a work piece to a play piece. I would pick a basic color so you can get more creative up top. (ex. Black, Brown, Grey …)

What do wear on top! Now being a lady, you have to make sure to “cover up your ladies.” So, I would say if you still want to keep it conservative, you could go with a fun patterned cardigan or a colored button up. Also, finding a more blousy top could also work for you. The contrast of the slim pencil cut could be complimented well with something bigger on top.

I think the key for you, will be to incorporate some color into your look, even if the clothes are more traditional. If not, focus on a statement piece of jewelry. That is a no miss way to spice up your look!

Inevitably, you need to find something that is YOU! Stay true to who you are and you will find the perfect outfit for your new job ventures!

Xoxo, Kim and Melissa

Here is a cute button up shirt from JCREW that rocks our world and is on sale! 

Q&A: How do you winterize? by melissamenard
November 13, 2009, 4:44 pm
Filed under: We Can Help

A follower of our blog has a question! We can help you dear blogger!  You winterize your cars, and your homes, and your… boats? So why not winterize that summer dress!

Q: I need some help. I’ve been trying to winterize this dress so I don’t have to wait 8 months to wear it. I know I need to wear tights but I’ve been debating on the color. Do I do a heather gray or a dark brown? Then maybe booties (I need some)? or a pair of boots?? I’m so tired of trying to figure it out and getting nowhere. Any thoughts?

A: Gray AND brown!! I see a blazer, dark gray tights with brown or black booties, or flat boots, working well with this. I also see this going in the nautical direction so any brown/navy/silver colors or hardware seem appropriate. Another way to winterize your summer dresses is to throw a form-fitting sweater or cardigan that hits at your waist, over the dress. Dark gray, navy or an accent color, like orange, will work best with this navy and white dress. And voila! It will make it look like a skirt. If the cardigan is too long, cinch it with a brown leather belt.

This is the summer dress…


This is how you should layer it…

Picture 10