Today, you're in for a treat! I enlisted the expertise of Lindsay Ryan, a fellow San Diego Mom and style blogger, to chat about accessory trends. As per usual with the two of us, our one topic of conversation led to several insights on the corporate world, motherhood, and navigating life.
While shopping at one of my favorite consignment stores, La Femme Chic several months ago, I met Lindsay. I saw this really stylish woman trying on a pair of leopard pumps. I thought she looked a bit like a style blogger I had been following on Instagram. I got up the courage to ask if she was Lindsay from Affordable Accessorized--and she was! Since then, our chance encounter has developed into a wonderful friendship.
As you may have guessed, I was thrilled to interview my dear friend. You can learn more about Lindsay over on her blog, Affordably Accessorized.
Can you tell me a little bit about your background and what inspired you to start Affordably Accessorized?
I have always loved to write, launching various blogs over the past decade or so, and because I spend my 9-to-5 in a very male-dominated industry -- I was especially craving a "girly" creative outlet. When I applied on a whim to cover Fashion Week San Diego 2015 for NBC San Diego, and very graciously was granted this opportunity, it really accelerated my desire to develop and pour into my own little "corner of the web."
Who are your top 3 personal style icons and why?
If I could borrow anyone's closet (and let's be honest, tiny body), that honor would go to blogger Blair Eadie of Atlantic-Pacific. Her effortless skill at mixing prints and putting a whimsical spin on the classic, is #goals all over the place for me. Blake Lively is a close second, with her amazing, no-stylist-needed looks for both the sidewalk and red carpet. And while it may sound cheesy, I'm endlessly inspired by the style of my friends. From the way bohemian to perfectly preppy, I'm blessed to enjoy their wide sartorial range!
What is your favorite accessory at the moment?
I just can't get enough of beaded tassel earrings! My collection includes both colorful and metallic finds from Stein Mart, Charming Charlie (just spotted a pair of theirs on Hoda Kotb yesterday morning!), and Baublebar's Sugarfix line for Target.
What are your predictions for accessory trends for fall and winter 2017?
I'm so happy that accessories are enjoying a true moment in the spotlight right now. For an accessory enthusiast, there's no greater thrill than seeing an awards season spread devoted solely to the amazing jewelry and handbags worn *with* the gown. I think we're going to see accessories continue to push the envelope this season, whether it be through bold color, pop art-esque design or unique construction. More and more it appears people are turning to the accents to really set them apart and individualize their look.
Where are your three favorite places to shop?
Well, I am a mom with a heartbeat -- so Target, of course! There's also a Stein Mart on my way home, so I clock some quality time there as well. I am so inspired by the passion of small business owners, so I also try to actively support them. Some of my favorites are Big Imagination Design (leather feather earrings), Sundaze Originals (the best in beachy chic), Sweetly Striped and Reve Collective (affordable online boutiques for on-trend fashion).
If you had to choose to live with only one piece of jewelry to wear for the next year, which one would you choose?
Either my Kendra Scott rose gold druzy Elisa necklace, or stacked duo of dainty Love Tatum rings (I can't decide!). While I love my statement pieces, I live in these understated staples.
Can you tell me about a trend you're loving and then a trend you're completely over?
There might have been heart palpitations when I saw the September InStyle feature on maximalism. I'm totally digging wearing it ALL together -- leopard, florals, plaid, etc. As far as something I'm done with, maybe the 90s throwback? I feel like such a traitor to my generation saying this, but I'm ok with the chokers going back to high school. Crushed velvet can stay, though. I have a soft spot for crushed velvet.
Each time we've met up, you look amazing with great makeup and (of course) accessories. How do you manage to leave the house looking so great with three little ones?
I feel like I should be asking you this question! I'm always in awe of your put-togetherness. Oh gosh, mornings are the definition of "chaos." It really helps that Dad can take the kids to school on many days, giving me a few minutes after dressing everyone else, to actually think about a cute look. But when I'm winging it solo and everything hits the fan, an all-black uniform (3/4-length blouse and the Express Editor pants I'll die in) with killer accessories stashed in your purse, can fool most people. (And confession: I close my door at work and do my makeup! Shhh!)
What is the best advice you ever received?
I had called my mom when my oldest was about two, feeling anxious that I wasn't doing enough with my life to where she (my daughter) would be proud of me. My mom replied with, "Oh honey, she won't care about any of that. What she'll remember is that you took the time to have a tea party with her." I think it's easy to rush through our days, forgetting that this is the backdrop for memories our kids will have in 20 years (just as we do now with our own childhood experience). I'm no parenting superstar, but I try to make sure my kids know they are uniquely seen and unconditionally loved.
What else should people know about you?
I'm a proud native Houstonian (especially right now) and Baylor University alum, with a weakness for Chewy Chips Ahoy and severe need for God's Grace to get through each day.
Shop Fall Finds
Thank you again, Lindsay, for these thoughtful responses! I did a little shopping post-interview and rounded up a few amazing accessory finds that are all under $70. See links below.
Here in San Diego, white jeans are a wardrobe staple to be worn year round. Even if you're in a harsher climate, there are ways to style your favorite white jeans to work for fall and winter. Remember to switch out the open toe heels and sandals for booties or sturdy flats, if you'll be dealing with real weather.
Pair white jeans with soft, winter neutrals.
White is one of those colors that plays well with others. Pair your white jeans with light grey cardigans, tan coats, and beige vests. Layering these pale, soft neutrals will give your outfit a luxurious feel.
Wear your denim on top.
Pair a lighter tone chambray shirt or jean jacket with your white jeans for a casual, stylish vibe. Add tan, light brown, and gold accessories to create visual interest.
Go edgy with black, white, and red.
Not for the faint of heart, black and white can be an overpowering combination for some. On the right person with the right attitude (think Gwen Stefani), black and white can sing. I like to add a pop of red in the form of a statement blazer or leather jacket. Adding red stops a pure black and white combo from overpowering your features.
Embrace casual cute with a plaid shirt.
Here we have another black, white, and red combination. This time we've made it less edgy and more casual by pairing a plaid shirt with the white jeans. Look for a plaid shirt that has the same shade of white in it as your jeans. The easiest way to do this is to take the jeans with your when you go shopping so you can be sure they match.
Get girly in a pink sweater.
Similar to the other soft neutrals, a pastel pink looks cozy and luxurious next to white jeans. If girly glam style is your thing, add a statement necklace and nude heels to complete the look.
Shop My Picks
Get an Honest Friend to Help
Having been in many closets, I understand this is an emotionally charged, intimate place. Do not enter alone! You need to enlist a a warm, yet honest friend to help you determine what stays and goes in your wardrobe. You do not want your friend who thinks everything you do is amazing and every idea you've ever had is the best one ever. While she is a wonderful friend, you need the straight shooter who will tell you the truth. It should go without saying, but you also want this person to be someone whose taste level and style you respect. In the case that you don't have someone like this in your life, you can always enlist the help of a professional, like myself.
Ask 3 Questions
As you go through your closet, you will try on every item. As you try on these pieces, you need to ask yourself a few questions to determine if the piece has earned its right to valuable real estate in your closet. This is another reason it's helpful to have a friend involved during this process--it is incredibly easy to lie to ourselves. Yes, you love that sequined, black mini-dress, even if it doesn't fit and you bought it 12 years ago. Your honest friend will tell you that it's not worth keeping. To be honest about your wardrobe, you need to ask yourself three questions.
1. Would I purchase this garment today? If the answer is "No," you need to get rid of this item. Our style, personal taste, bodies, and lives evolves over time. There is no use in hanging on to the past with items that no longer speak to you.
2. Is it comfortable? There is no reason to be uncomfortable in your clothing. If the fabric is itchy or you can't walk more than 10 feet in those heels, they need to go.
3. Where am I going in this? Aside from fitting your body, your clothing needs to fit your lifestyle. If you can't think of three occasions where the garment would be appropriate, it needs to go. Perhaps you're hanging on to that sequined mini-dress because it reminds you of your College Party days, and now you're a high powered corporate executive with three kids? That dress is no longer appropriate for your lifestyle. Not to mention, with your current station in life, you could afford an even more fabulous, sexy dress.
Categorize and Organize
Try your clothing on by category. You'll need to try on all your pants, then all your skirts, then all your dresses, then all your tops, etc. After you've tried them all on, you will separate them into 3-5 categories. The first category is "Keepers", these items go back into your closet and do not need any alterations. The second category is "Alterations", these garments may need to be hemmed, taken in, or have a zipper fixed. The third category is "Donations", these items are going to be donated to a local charity, as they no longer serve you. The other two optional categories are "Dry Cleaning" and "Consign". If you have some pieces in your closet that are great, but need to be freshened up, separate them for a trip to the dry cleaner. In San Diego, I recommend La Jolla Cleaners in UTC. They are pricey, but one of the few places that will actually does a decent job of cleaning your clothing. If you are parting with current pieces in good condition, you may consider selling them at one of the many secondhand shops throughout the region, like My Sister's Closet, Buffalo Exchange, or La Femme Chic. You can find my guide to San Diego consignment shopping here.
To organize and separate these items, I recommend using a garment rack, clothing dividers, tags for tailor notes, as well as a few shopping totes.
Organize by Item Type and Color
To efficiently organize your closet, I recommend organizing your clothing by item type and color. This means you will hang all your skirts with all your other skirts, all your long sleeve tops with all the other long sleeve tops, all your dresses with all your other dresses, etc. I also like to organize the categories by color, so all the red tops are in one place and all the black skirts are in one place, for example. This method is aesthetically pleasing and ensures you know where to find any piece in your wardrobe. The only time I deviate from this system is when I'm planning outfits for the week ahead. In that case, I will hang my outfits for the week together in "outfit sets". I leave the rest of my closet organized by item type and color.
Plan Your Outfits for the Week Ahead
To save time in the mornings, I recommend planning your outfits for the week ahead. Take a look at your calendar and see what's happening this week. Do you have an important meeting on Wednesday? Are you hosting a family dinner on Sunday? Are you going out on a date? Take some time before the week begins and plan your outfits for these occasions. Try them on and take a photo so that you'll remember the combinations. If you can, hang them up as outfit sets in your closet, or on a separate garment rack, if space allows.
Create a Shopping List
Inevitably, after going through your closet, you will find yourself in need of some new pieces. Perhaps you have an edgy tunic that needs leather leggings or a navy top that would only look right with light wash jeans? You have the tunic and the navy top, yet you don't have the pieces needed to create a proper outfit around them. Create a list for these "missing" pieces and reference it the next time you're out shopping. This is what I mean by "shopping with intention"--you aren't mindlessly adopting the next trend, you're building a cohesive wardrobe that is unique to you.
I'm Jaquelyn Wahidi. I'm a personal fashion stylist, writer, and entrepreneur in San Diego. I help women organize their closets, define their style, and shop with intention. My style blog features practical style advice for women everywhere. I've been addicted to blazers since 2004.