i ♥ resale: twin cities new-to-you shopping guide – updated

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Source: NARTS: The Association of Resale Professionals

happy earth day!

Sunday, April 22, is Earth Day 2018. A couple of years ago, I marked the day with a resource guide for resale shops – mostly consignment – in the Twin Cities. We are fortunate to have so many choices of resale shops with high quality clothing being kept in the use stream!

“But the true gold mine is the constant savings resale shoppers realize every day, both in their personal budgets and in the reduction of waste by the recycling of gently-used good possessions.
~ NARTS: The Association of Resale Professionals

I’ve updated the guide this year to include more shops and provide current information about all of them. I’m so happy to add two consignment shops that carry plus-size clothing exclusively – Cake Plus-Size Resale in Minneapolis and Stacked Curvy Girl Consignment Boutique in Shakopee! Plus-size clothing has been under-represented in the consignment world, so it’s good to see that changing.

Elite Repeat is holding their annual fundraiser for Friends of the Parks and Trails this Sunday, where a portion of Earth Day sales goes towards planting trees in the community. Other shops are having sales to mark the day as well.

Enjoy!
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shopping new-to-you in the twin cities

women and men

Cake Plus-Size Resale (Minneapolis and online)  website

Clothing for all genders, sizes XL – 4XL+ | $ – $$ | Mall and online brands | Resale Process: cash outright | Independent shop

Cherie Consignment Boutique (Excelsior)  facebook page

Women’s sizes 0-14 | $$ – $$$ | High-level brands – Designer | Resale process: consignment | Independent shop

Clothes Mentor (multiple locations)   website

Women’s sizes 0-26 | $ – $$ | Mall brands – designer | Resale process: cash outright | Minnesota-based national franchise

Elite Repeat (St. Paul)   website

Women’s sizes 0-16 | $$ | High-level and designer brands | Resale process: consignment | Independent shop

Encore (St. Paul)   website

Women’s sizes 0-26 | $$ | High-level and designer brands | Resale process: consignment | Independent shop

Encore Designer Consignment Boutique (Eden Prairie)   website

Women’s sizes 0-3X | $$ – $$$ | High-level and designer brands | Resale process: consignment | Independent shop

Nu Look (Minneapolis)   website

Women’s sizes 0-16, Men’s, Children’s | $$ – $$$ | High-level and designer brands | Resale process: consignment | Independent shop

Second Début (St. Louis Park)   website

Women’s – all sizes, Men’s | $$ – $$$ | High-level and designer brands | Resale process: donated goods from Goodwill | Non-profit organization

Stacked Curvy Girl Consignment Boutique (new location in Shakopee opening April 28, 2018)  website

Women’s sizes 14 – 4X+ | $ -$$ | Mall and online brands | Resale process: consignment | Independent shop

Style Encore (multiple locations)   website

Women’s sizes 0-4X | $ – $$$ | Mall brands – designer | Resale process: cash outright | Minnesota-based national franchise

Turn Style (multiple locations)   website

Women’s – all sizes, Men’s, Children’s | $ – $$$ | Mall brands – designer | Resale process: consignment | National franchise

high-end/designer/couture

Fashion Avenue & Fashion Avenue 2 (Edina, Wayzata)   website

Women’s sizes 0-16, Men’s | $$ – $$$$ | High-level brands – Couture | Resale process: consignment | Independent shop

June (Minneapolis)   website

Women’s sizes XS – L | $$$ – $$$$ | Designer and couture | Resale process: cash outright | Independent shop

Mona Williams (Mall of America)   website

Women’s sizes 0-14 | $$$ – $$$$ | Designer vintage and couture | Resale process: consignment | Independent shop

Rodeo Drive (Minneapolis)   website

Women’s sizes 0-18 | $$ – $$$$ | High-level brands – couture | Resale process: consignment | Independent shop

eclectic/vintage

b.  (Minneapolis)   website

Women’s sizes 0-16, Men’s | $ – $$ | Streetwear and vintage | Resale process: cash outright or store credit | Independent shop

Buffalo Exchange (multiple locations)   website

Women’s sizes 0-16, Men’s | $ – $$ | Mall brands and vintage | Resale process: cash outright or store trade| National franchise

Everyday People (St. Paul)   website

Women’s 0-16, Men’s | $ – $$ | Funky and vintage | Resale process: cash outright | Independent shop

My Sister’s Closet (Minneapolis)   website

Women’s sizes 0-16 | $$ – $$$ | High-level brands, designer, vintage | Resale process: consignment | Independent shop

Rewind (Minneapolis)  website

Women’s sizes 0-16, Men’s | $ – $$ | Funky and vintage | Resale process: no walk-ins, appointments for large quantities or estates | Independent shop

teen/young adult

Gina+Will (Minneapolis)   website

Girl’s sizes 0-3X, Guy’s | $ | Mall brands | Resale process: donated goods from Goodwill | Non-profit organization

NTY Clothing Exchange (multiple locations)   website

Girl’s sizes 1-19, Guy’s | $ | Mall brands | Resale process: cash outright or store credit | Minnesota-based national franchise

Plato’s Closet (multiple locations)   website

Girl’s sizes 0-20, Guy’s | $ | Mall brands | Resale process: cash outright or store trade | Minnesota-based national franchise

children

(Children’s sizes only)
Children’s Orchard (multiple locations)   website

Baby – Kid’s size 16 | $ | Resale process: cash outright or store credit | Minnesota-based national franchise

Once Upon a Child (multiple locations)   website

Baby – Kid’s size 16 | $ | Resale process: cash outright | Minnesota-based national franchise

(Children’s sections)
Nu Look (Minneapolis)   website

Baby – Kid’s size 16 | $ – $$ | Resale process: consignment | Independent shop

Turn Style (multiple locations)   website

Kid’s sizes 2T – 16 | $ | Resale process: consignment | National franchise

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i ♥ resale: 5 items for spring

resale reboot

Shopping resale is a great way to add a few key on-trend pieces to your wardrobe to keep things fresh without breaking the bank (and it’s easier on the environment). I always say only embrace a trend if it resonates with you – these trends are all classic and enduring, which I love.

You never know what you will find at a resale shop – and remember, consignment is much more reliable than thrifting. Both are great, but are very different experiences. Consignment shops have already applied the quality control and current style filters for you.

When I shop resale (90% of my wardrobe), I shop with an item or style in mind, and I’m open regarding brand and variation. I may find the exact item I want, or come across something that is only within the category, but is perfect for me. I reliably find what I want. Sometimes, if I’m looking for something very specific, it may take more than one shopping time – to me it’s worth the wait, unless I need something for a particular event.

Here’s what I’ll be looking for this Spring.

Find all of these images and more inspiration for Spring on my Spring 2018 Pinterest board

1. military green utility jacket

Utility jackets have been in for a couple of years and show no signs of going out, because they are so functional and so fun. I recommend them constantly to clients, but have never gotten one for me – that will change this season! You can almost always find them in the consignment shops.

2. oversized plaid blazer or top

This trend started last Spring, and I love it. I love classic prints, and plaid is the ultimate. This one may take a little looking and patience to find the perfect one for me – I don’t mind though – more reason to scope the consignment shops! 🙂

3. sheer embroidered floral dress or duster

I LOVE the feminine combination of sheer fabric and a small print floral, especially embroidered. This is a style where I will use the chic runway look as inspiration, but am open to variation. It could be a dress, skirt, or duster, and I’ll know the right one for me when I see it.

4. bold print blouse

Bold geometric and graphic floral prints as well as mixed-print blouses are a beautiful way to add a little edge and interest to business wear or to dress up a jeans outfit. This category of blouse is reliably in stock at consignment shops. Choose a print that speaks to you.

5. oxfords/brogues

Lucky me – during the preparation of this blog post, I found the bottom-left oxford (unworn!) in black and white at Fashion Avenue in Edina. Love them, love them, love them! Now the rest of the snow just needs to melt…

and one for summer – comfort sandals

I typically wear more refined shoes – clunky footwear can throw off the balance of lines of an outfit. The comfort sandal is very on trend now though with stylish Birkenstocks and big, cushy-soled variations. And, they’re comfy! I’ll be looking for something comfortable for a lot of walking to wear with casual outfits this summer, and I like the idea of a bright color or something with a little edge to it. We’ll see what I find!

Think Spring!

 

 

spring break travel capsule

My best friend from high school, Meredith, and I both marked our 50th birthdays this past year. To celebrate, we’re going to HAWAII!!! It’s been a bucket list destination of mine, and we leave on Sunday for a week of stunning natural beauty, sunshine, beaches, and VOLCANOES. Can. Not. Wait.

Meredith and I in high school. Let’s just say some of my 80s fashion choices and my fascination with perms were unfortunate and leave it at that.

So, what to bring?

warm weather travel capsule for a carry-on

I like to travel light and not check bags. A travel capsule is the perfect solution.

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1. two swimsuits

At a beach destination, you definitely want two swimsuits. I prefer bikinis, and a lightweight cover-up shirt or a skirt with a tank makes transitions from beach to other activities easy. Flip-flops are a must!

2. sunscreen

Every single thing I’ve read about Hawaii emphasizes how important sunscreen is because the UV rays are so intense there. “A sunburn will wreck your trip.” I bought a 3-ounce bottle of waterproof sunscreen so I could put it in my carry-on and be ready to hit the beach right away. I’ll buy more sunscreen there.

Tip: look for sunscreen with no oxybenzone – an ingredient that stains fabrics and is harmful to coral reefs!

 3. water shoes

I plan to see a sea turtle up close and personal (again, bucket list), and water shoes allow you to scrabble around easily in the ocean when snorkeling.

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4./5. shorts and shirts

This is where I’m most using the capsule approach – I made sure that I can mix and match my shorts and shirts to make multiple outfits with them. One shirt is long-sleeved in case it is a cooler day or evening.

6. comfortable sandals

We’ll be doing a lot of exploring, so I’m bringing sandals that I know will be comfortable for walking.

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7. sturdy shoes for hiking and longer walking

When we hike the volcanoes and craters in Volcanoes National Park, we’ll need more structured shoes. These are super comfy and lightweight, so they’ll be good for other uses as well.

Tip: Wear your bulkiest shoes on travel days to make more space in your carry-on.

8. small backpack, weather gear, and camera

When a vacation includes outdoor adventures, I always bring my small backpack – it’s old, but works great for taking a water bottle, sunscreen, hat, camera, and other necessities to the beach or hiking. It rains almost every day in Hawaii (just a little most of the time!), so I’ve got an umbrella and lightweight rain jacket.

Tip: if your raincoat doesn’t have a built-in pocket pouch, zip it, fold longways, and roll it into the hood. (Learned this from my awesome outdoor gear expert nephew!)

9. athletic wear for hiking and active adventures

It’s hot in Hawaii (can’t wait to ditch the parka!), so cool clothing will be great for hiking.

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10. sundress and maxi-dress

We’ll enjoy the local restaurants, and maybe even go to a luau, so it’s nice to have a sundress or two.

11. lightweight sweater and shawl scarf

If the evenings get cool, I’ll wrap a lightweight sweater or scarf around my shoulders. This sweater can also be worn with shorts or thrown on over anything, if needed.

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12. utilize all the nooks and crannies of your carry-on

I pack as tightly as possible in my carry-on – filling in every little gap with socks, underwear, etc. And I use every pocket on the suitcase. The side zip-pocket has a pair of sandals in it! I’ll also bring a tote bag to carry my camera, books, purse, and travel sundries.

Visit my Facebook page next week for pics of Meredith and me on our grand adventure!

 Aloha!

yays in my closet

ndwc closet 1

See that sweet little step stool needlepointed by my grandmother 60 or so years ago? Yeah, I hadn’t seen it for months either. I’d forgotten how sweet it is because it’s been buried under a pile of sweaters since September.

I have a small closet. (Old houses = small closets.) Luckily, there is another closet in the hallway, and I rotate most of my cold and warm weather clothing with the season change. There had never been room in my closet for my sweaters, however, so they lived in the hall closet.

In front of that hall closet is a dog bed, upon which Max the 11-year-old dog is regularly perched. Plus it’s hairy. He’s a yellow Labrador Retriever. It’s really hairy. And a little smelly. I digress.

ndwc max

Our house was built in 1888 and has small rooms. The only place the dog bed will fit is in front of the closet. Believe me, I’ve tried elsewhere. So, to get into that closet on a daily basis is…unpleasant, shall we say. Max doesn’t like it. I don’t like it.

Thus the pile of sweaters on the sweet little step stool. And, I don’t know about you, but for me, once a pile is started, it’s really easy to just keep adding to it. The pile was becoming a mountain. It was past time for me to do another Wardrobe Consult.

keepin’ it real

You’d think since I’m a wardrobe consultant my closet would always be pristine. NOT. A common theme of my blog – my everything – is keepin’ it real. Because that’s who I am – just a regular gal with the same challenges, inner critic, procrastinating tendencies, struggles with body image, and crazy life as the next person.

I also have the knowledge of my own personal journey through all of this and the tools to address it. And, let me tell you, it’s so much easier – and fun – to help someone else through this process than to do it alone. Every time I do my own Wardrobe Consult, I whine to my family that I need a wardrobe consultant too. Having support makes all the difference in the world.

organize and purge

My primary goal this time around was to organize my closet and the hall closet in a different way so that my sweaters could be in my closet during the winter. Not only did I have a mountain of sweaters and other clothing on the step stool, I had workout clothes and pajamas on the high shelf in my closet that had gotten disorganized enough to be regularly falling on my head when I reached for something up there. (Again, keepin’ it real, people!)

I pulled all of that stuff down and it became immediately clear that I didn’t need a lot of it. Time to purge. I recycled jammies and workout tanks that were worn out. I donated things that were in good condition but I wasn’t wearing anymore. And I separated winter workout gear from summer so that some of it could go into the hall closet.

ndwc closet 2

Here’s the fun part: I moved a shoe shelf that had been on the floor of my closet with summer shoes on it (very necessary to have handy in the winter in Minnesota, right?) up to the top shelf. New space for sweaters! I can put them away! I can see them! Nothing will fall on my head! It’s the small things that bring me joy.

speaking of joy

Soo, the pile of sweaters was addressed. The abundance of workout gear and jammies was addressed. Now I had a big pile of shoes on the floor. Purge again.

While I don’t subscribe entirely to Marie Kondo’s method of organizing, there is something to be said for getting all of something out to look at it collectively. When you have a big pile of summer shoes all together, it’s easier to decide what should go. And her concept of “Does it spark joy?” is spot on. If an item of clothing doesn’t bring you joy when you wear it, why keep it?

Some shoes I recycled – NO ONE will wear my old running shoes – some I donated, and some I will consign. Then I took most of those summer shoes that I won’t be wearing until May (sigh) and put them into a storage box to go into the hall closet.

ndwc closet 3

That freed up the other shoe shelf and created more space on the floor of my closet. Woo hoo!

I had room to add in an old Ikea rack that was going unused in the basement. I put shoes that I wanted to have easier access to on that, and converted the other shoe shelf to a space – much smaller – for my workout gear and pajamas. Now I can reach these things easily, and they aren’t taking up so much real estate in my closet.

closet love

It’s amazing how doing this helps me to feel better. I’m actually excited to open my closet door now. I use the sweet little step stool to reach for a sweater if I need to. I found sweaters that I hadn’t been wearing because they were languishing in the hall closet behind the hairy dog puff.

I am a person whose mindset is impacted by too much clutter. I know this about myself, but sometimes it takes me a bit to address it. And when I do, I feel so. much. better. I feel like I’m taking care of myself, not just my closet. Yays all around!

Are you ready for some closet love?

Contact me today to schedule your Wardrobe Consult. Together, we can make it happen, and have some fun while we’re at it!

 

what the HYGGE?! [VIDEO]

Hyg-hey what now? Hige? Hig? How do you even say it, much less what is it? It’s awesome is what it is!

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Pronounced “heuoo-guh,” it is a Danish concept of coziness – spending time with friends and family, drinking hot drinks and sharing treats, and snuggling up in front a warm fire. It’s the perfect way to beat the winter blues, so no surprise that it is an integral part of Danish culture. Scandinavia is very dark and cold in the winter!

I practice hygge with a small group of neighbors – we gather monthly for a glass of wine or cup of tea or hot buttered rum, treats, knitting, and good conversation. It really does help the winter in Minnesota feel not so dreary and long.

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what the hygge-wear?

When the weather is cold and snowy (as I write this, we’ve gotten 8 inches of snow in the past 5 hours today, and it’s still coming down hard), it’s tempting to put on your old sweatshirt and sweatpants and park on the couch until May.

I hear you. I have to fight this urge all winter long.

Being intentional about what you are wearing, even if it is to binge-watch your favorite TV show, helps you feel better. So does hygge! Choose some comfy, cute lounge wear intentionally – it makes all the difference. You don’t have to be fancy, just intentional. Then grab a friend or loved one and settle in.

Watch this video I made with Missy at Elite Repeat for some ideas for intentional fun, comfy hygge-wear. Cozy up and enjoy!

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WATCH: [VIDEO] What the HYGGE?

 

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new year, same you – with intention

Happy 2018, everyone! Here’s to a new year – we need one.

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new year, new same you

Every New Year’s, the phrase “New Year, New You” gets thrown around. I know that it’s the perfect time for fresh starts, new beginnings, and resolutions – although I prefer goals, because humans so rarely keep resolutions. But the phrase “New Year, New You” bugs me, because here’s the thing – you aren’t going to be a new you. You are still the same person.

And that’s ok. Better than ok, even – because embracing yourself as you are is awesome! That doesn’t mean you can’t do things to improve and to feel better, but you will always be you. Why not love that person?

the ponytail

Which brings me to the ponytail. What do ponytails have to do with New Year’s? Glad you asked.

If you follow my blog, you know I’ve been grappling with my hair going grey for a while. This past year, I bit the bullet and stopped coloring my hair at all – no highlights, no lowlights, no nuthin’. Fortunately (?), I have so much grey/silver/white now that it blended fairly well with the blond highlights my fabulous stylist put in to ease the transition. So it grew, and I had about 5 inches of natural color at the top, and 5 inches of very, very blond hair at the bottom. Hmmm. Pretty.

Enter the ponytail. Here’s a little sample – I looked back at pictures of me the past few months – ponytail, ponytail, ponytail.

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50th Birthday Celebration ponytail (Outlander fans will understand this awesome cross-stitch made by my friend Kami!)

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Voting ponytail (It’s important to vote, no matter how bad your hair looks!)

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Elite Repeat Holiday Event ponytail (See how fancy it is?)

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Christmas Eve ponytail (Love my girl!)

It was time for a change – new year, new me, right? Nope.

same me, new hairstyle

I’m still grappling with going grey. I’m still not interested in a hairstyle that requires an enormous amount of styling. I’m still doing the work of maintaining positive body image and resisting the ugly messages sent to women in particular about how we look.

I am also being intentional about taking care of myself. Getting a new hairstyle helps me to feel better, because I’m being intentional about what’s going on with my hair. The ponytail just wasn’t doing that – it was hiding my hair and making me feel blah.

My fabulous stylist cut off almost all of the old color – what’s left is the GREY. And I love it!

Being intentional with my hair helped me feel more free. I’m free of the tangible reminder of the old color. I’m free of the blah old hairstyle. I’m free to feel good.

same you, new look

I’m kind of a broken record about dressing intentionally, because I feel so strongly about it. I know the powerful impact it can have on your life – to dress to represent your authentic, awesome self, to dress to feel good, to dress to show up for the world. When I began dressing intentionally, my life changed. For me, it was a demonstrative showing of true self-acceptance, self-love, and self-worth.

The January signup window for my signature service A Year of Style is open right now! It’s an amazing way to find or redefine your personal style, create the wardrobe that meets your needs, and feel great about how you look. A Year of Style allows you a whole year to work together with me to meet your needs with your wardrobe.

Ready to feel free of the clothes that bring you down? Ready to feel good? Learn more about A Year of Style, watch a video about client Roberta’s experience in her A Year of Style, and sign up for a free Initial Consult here.

2018, let’s get started!

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a holiday wish: hope-full

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Source

This has been quite a year. The turmoil of our political climate, the drastic cuts in our country’s safety net, the hatred some now feel emboldened to express, and the resistance efforts against all of it – some more successful than others (#metoo).

It is a time of reckoning. I know that I have days of hopelessness and despair at what is going on in the world. And I have to admit that sometimes it feels small and obtuse to be talking about clothes. Who cares about what we are wearing when it seems like our country is imploding around us?

but.

It does matter what we are wearing. Because, this I know – what you are wearing affects how you feel. And if you are feeling hopeless, dressing intentionally can help reduce that feeling. It can help you feel more ready to face the world.

What you are wearing can help you to summon the confidence and the courage to stand up for what you believe. It can help you feel better about yourself, which spreads to how you show up for the world and other people. It can help you be a better you – strong and authentic and bad-ass in whatever you are doing.

It isn’t frivolous, and it isn’t extravagant to take care of yourself. In times like these, it becomes more important than ever. This is a core value of my work.

my holiday wish

What’s happening these days is on my mind all the time – I imagine on your minds as well – and it’s important not to ignore it or pretend it isn’t happening. Here is my wish for the holidays:

Let’s find ways to be hope-full. Truly filled with hope. If we do that, we experience gratitude, which leads to peace. Even if things aren’t peaceful in the world, finding peace within yourself allows you to keep moving forward.

What brings me hope is true connection with others – going past the superficial to deeper understanding of each other. That keeps me going.

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in your words

I asked some readers, “Please take 1 minute TODAY to reply to me with one sentence about something happening in your life that makes you hope-full. Don’t think too hard about this – write what pops into your head right away.” Below are the messages they sent – as they came in over the course of the day, I got little bursts of hope with each new thought.

What makes me full of hope is the fact that every one of us has the ability to give hope any time of our day!
Antje
I am hopeful because I have a new grandbaby! I am hopeful because I am reconnecting with my emotional self. I am hopeful because the evil of the current political situation galvanizes people out of their passivity and clarifies the difficulties of the average person.
B
It may sound simple, but I’ve been full of hope lately when I see how much my son is flourishing in middle school. The group of teachers he has have been so supportive and creative with cross-curriculum teaching that his love for learning has come alive this year. It’s been really magical to see and fills me with hope for his future.
Cece
I am hopeful for more connections with family and being together for the holidays.
Ellen
The innocence of the kids I work with and how others in their class treat them. They show SO MUCH patience and empathy and as a result the kids have authentic and innocent friendships.
Julie
Despite the snarled traffic caused by ice and snow, when I see twinkling lights glittering over snow-covered lawns, I’m hopeful for a renewed appreciation for the simple beauty and joy of the holidays — and hopeful that our home can be a sanctuary of comfort and love amidst turmoil in the world.
Mai 

Antje even sent the link to this video – it’s a really beautiful message of how, as she said, we all can give hope.

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VIDEO: Noah and the Whale – Give a Little Love

Our families and loved ones, the beauty of the world around us, the potential of future generations, teachers!, simple acts of kindness, standing up for what is right, connectedness – these are the stuff of hope. Let’s spread it far and wide.

So now I ask you – take 1 minute to respond in the comments with one sentence about something happening in your life that makes you hope-full. Don’t think too hard about this – write what pops into your head right away. We can fill the day with messages of hope!

 

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the season of giving thanks – and supporting our local community

As we enter the holiday season with Thanksgiving next week, we’ll be thinking a lot about our loved ones, expressing our gratitude and love in the giving and receiving of gifts, and celebrating together.

So many people in our community are unable to practice these rituals because they don’t have everything to meet even their basic needs. A very meaningful way to give thanks is to practice generosity by supporting others. Generosity grows gratitude, and gratitude grows generosity!

purge and provide

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“Clearing the closet was remarkably freeing. I can open the door and look in there now and feel good. As we tried on and discarded items, Nancy was able to tell me how and why something no longer worked for me, and I could then see it too.” ~Sue, A Year of Style client

There are a variety of reasons why some may not have what they need – suffering homelessness, losing a job, escaping domestic violence, and arriving to the United States as a refugee or recent immigrant are just a few. One way we can support people facing these issues is to donate the clothing we are no longer wearing to organizations who can get that clothing into the hands of those who need it.

Sue, a client who recently completed A Year of Style with me, did a significant purging of her closet (see photo). As she said, it was extremely liberating for her to let go of the clothing that was going unworn and bogging her down. Not only did she take care of herself by addressing her wardrobe, she also helped many others by donating that clothing.

‘pay it forward’

In almost every community, there are small, local organizations that offer services and goods to specific groups of people in need. I published this list last year around this time, and I’m putting it out there again because they still need our help.

The following organizations meet the immediate clothing needs of their clients – interview and work wear for women and men developing job skills to enter the work force, a free-of-charge clothing shop for people who are homeless, winter outerwear for refugees who have been forced from their own countries. These organizations are vital to the well-being of so many of our fellow citizens right here in the Twin Cities.

Look online for local organizations in your community and consider a clothing or monetary donation to one of them. These are the groups making immediate, positive change for so many people. Your unworn clothing (and donation dollars) will be put to good use.

Generosity grows gratitude…gratitude grows generosity.

Dress for Success (national; local affiliate-St. Paul)

Professional clothing for women entering or re-entering the workforce.

International Institute of Minnesota (St. Paul)

Offers many services to new Americans, including winter outerwear for people who have recently arrived in Minnesota.

Joseph’s Coat (St. Paul)

Provides clothing and essential goods to individuals and families facing a variety of challenges, including homelessness.

Ready for Success (Minneapolis)

A program of Project for Pride in Living, Ready for Success offers business wear to low-income women and men entering the job force.

STEP-St. Louis Park Emergency Program (St. Louis Park)

Provides assistance and food and clothing to St. Louis Park residents in need.

Tubman – Harriet’s Closet (Minneapolis and Maplewood)

Harriet’s Closet offers clothing to women who are struggling with relationship violence, substance abuse, and mental health issues.

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signature style…or stuck in a rut?

#outthedoor

A couple of months ago I started a weekly series on my Facebook page called Out the Door – check it out. (And like my page while you’re there, if you haven’t already!) A sampling follows.ndwc_#outthedoor_boyfriend jeans gingham shirt fitted jacketIt’s a fun way to show folks what I’m wearing for outfit inspiration, how I put into practice what I talk about with my clients, and that you really can find fun things new-to-you at consignment stores (almost everything I wear is new-to-me).

ndwc_#outthedoor_boyfriend jeans long cardigan stripes and polka dots

Unexpectedly, it has also become a good exercise for me, because I have visual documentation of my patterns of dressing. Taking pictures of what I put on – or choosing not to – tells me a lot about my personal style, what outfits help me feel great, and ones that don’t really do that for me. It’s a great practice, and one I’m going to incorporate into my A Year of Style service to help clients hone their personal style and dress intentionally.

signature style

Something that has become really clear in Out the Door – I already knew this, but hadn’t thought about it in a broader way – is that wearing polished jeans outfits is my signature style. I wear jeans A LOT. I’m lucky that way – when you do wardrobe consulting, you can wear what you want.

ndwc_#outthedoor_statement jacket raw hemmed jeans

And what I want to wear is jeans. When I do wardrobe consults and personal shopping sessions, I’m moving constantly, managing clothing for my clients, sometimes down on the floor looking at hem length or shoe fit, and generally active for the entire session. So it’s important that I’m comfortable and can move quickly and with ease. No high heels, no super-narrow skirts, no fussy pieces that will get in the way.

ndwc_#outthedoor_white denim long duster black tee I do mix it up with collared shirts, tees, jackets, and sweaters. And I change out scarves, belts, jewelry, and shoes. That said, wearing the same outfit formula most days can feel at times more like being stuck in a rut than a signature style. Case in point – through taking photos for Out the Door, I realized just how much mileage my black tee got during the transition weather this fall!

I don’t intend to leave jeans outfits behind by any means – they indeed are my signature style. But let’s mix it up a little, shall we?

no more rut

This is what dressing intentionally is all about. Not being consumed by what you are wearing, but actually putting thought into it, so that your clothing reflects who you are and works for you rather than against you.

Huh? Yes, what you are wearing affects how you feel. Dressing with intention helps you to feel better, more confident, and ready to share your awesome self with the world.

So I went rummaging in my closet to intentionally create some non-jeans outfit ideas for the Fall. Here’s what I came up with:

ndwc_suede skirt turtleneck flatlay

I love this faux-suede skirt – it’s super comfortable, has an A-line cut so I can move easily, and will be fun with a fine-gauge fitted turtleneck and other sweaters. I mixed browns and charcoal gray here for a contemporary look.

ndwc_plaid pants leather jacket flatlay

Plaid is super on trend this Fall. And it’s a timeless classic, so you can’t go wrong. I paired these dress pants with a black cashmere sweater and oxblood leather jacket for a little edge. The caramel boots are comfortable, even with the higher heel. I am toying with getting the pants hemmed to go with lower heels so that I wear them more often – I like the idea of wearing them with loafers and low-heeled boots…

ndwc_plaid skirt denim shirt flatlay

Americana (think western-influenced clothing) is on trend this Fall as well, so I paired a denim shirt and cowboy boots with a plaid skirt for a little mash-up. It’s good to have a little fun, and my cowboy boots make me feel bad-ass!

ndwc_neutrals_culottes long sweater flatlay

Mixing neutrals is contemporary and elegant. Here I paired an oatmeal long belted sweater vest and culottes with the charcoal merino turtleneck and the brown booties. I added a geometric patterned silk scarf for polish.

ndwc_navy and black_dress denim jacket scarf flatlay

I love wearing navy and black together – like this knee-length knit black dress and navy bold-print scarf with a denim jacket. I hardly wore my tall black boots last fall and winter; instead I found myself choosing booties. I’m looking forward to bringing these classic boots back into rotation this year.

What you are wearing affects how you feel. Dressing with intention helps you to feel better, more confident, and ready to share your awesome self with the world.

what’s your fancy?

How will you stay out of a rut this season? What outfit ideas resonate with you most? Share your thoughts and other outfit ideas (pics too!) in the comments. We can inspire each other!