You’d think I’m a spokesperson for Topshop. Not really, just obsessed. Too bad you can’t even see what I had underneath and that’s the only thing I’ve condemned about winter. Chicagoans must be trained to dress from the top layer down while I seem to struggle in layering at all. It’s just not the same as pulling off a swim suit and throwing on a a cover-up.
One of the things we looked for when apartment hunting in Chicago was plenty of storage space. I like to think I’m a sweetheart but when it comes to closet real estate I’m ruthless. This started when we first moved in together in Florida. I’d store all my stuff and Elliott would use whatever space was left. Sorry, I’m a girl and an only child on top of that. Clearly I didn’t learn squat about the gift of sharing.
Now things have changed. Elliott has his own closet space: in the guest room. I used to feel guilty but only before I realized my father-in-law uses the guest bathroom (Justin, if you’re reading this, it’s too late for them but save yourself!) FYI, Justin is the other married man in the family. That’s right I’ll use this as an excuse: I’m carrying on the Robinson tradition alive.
This leaves me with two small walk-ins, the smallest is what I named my accessories closet (see my other closet makeover here) and as you can see, the space was being poorly used (not to mention I took shots before “walking” in there.) Boy, my judgment must have been impaired. So messy! I asked for a closet makeover for Christmas and that’s what I got. Ready to witness the process?
Shoes on the floor make me teary eyed. It’s so sad. To begin the revamp they had to be migrated into the living room in an orderly fashion. First I measured the wall where we planned on installing shelves and aligned them in a way that gave me an idea of how many shelves we’d need. I’m such a brilliant mathematician we ended up with two extra shelves. Fine with me.
After I’d decluttered the area, my handy man came down with strength to remove the pre-installed shelves. Because they were nailed in (not screwed) the walls, big, ugly holes were left all over the walls. Spackel and a lot of sanding helped smooth out the surface. Three coats of semi-gloss Martha Stewart Eggyolk paint later, the wall was ready to receive some wood shelves…
which I was painting in the other room. I probably shouldn’t have but skipped the primer. If it’s not absolutely necessary, who has patience to wait for that to dry off anyways! Three coats of latex semi-gloss white paint and two coats of polyurethane and bam! I had several white pieces of wood laying around in my living room. I had to torture myself and wait until the next day to go on with the project.
This part gets a bit more complicated and I wouldn’t know how to explain well since I had absolutely nothing to do with this, but lucky for me the pictures are pretty self explanatory.
Shelves are great for shoes, but what about belts, necklaces, sunglasses and earrings? All it took were a few frames, grey paint , wall hooks and a screw driver to create a storage solution for the other accessories. Don’t worry, detailed tutorials will follow.
And now, for the grand reveal, without further ado: my new accessories closet!
Since I had some shelf space left, I figured why not through in some books? “That Extra Half An Inch” and “I Love Your Style” among others. All fashion related, of course.
A few months back I shared a few tricks for packing efficiently but after a generous Christmas (a generous stocking one too) I felt the need to write “Strategic Packing Part II: Toiletries”. If both you and me share the same-sex (assuming you’re female) you know the crap I have to go through before leaving town. If it’s by car, the trunk can only fit so much, it’s by bus, who wants to lift heavy luggage, if it’s by plane, damn TSA throwing away all my this-actually-cost-money stuff, and if it’s by ship, I have no idea, my first cruise is long overdue. I guess what I’m trying to say is: packing toiletries is undeniably difficult because you always need a lot but have little space. To minimize that problem, here are a few key items I hope will breeze you in (they definitely do the trick for me).
I can downgrade all I want on beauty supplies but if the blow dryer takes up as much space as my bazooka (just kidding I don’t usually travel with my bazooka), I’m not doing myself any favors. Solution? When I bought my Babyliss Pro flat-iron kit it came with a mini blow dryer and a mini flat-iron both the size of my hand (and I have tiny hands). All for just an additional 10 dollars at folica.com. Bingo!
Next, hair and skin. I encourage everyone to take as many hotel samples home with you as possible. Think about it, you already paid for these guys when the hotel bill hit your account and if you don’t care for the contents just refill with your favorite products. They make awesome travel containers for shampoo, conditioner, moisturizer and so on.
Remember samples? Those you got with the beach tote after purchasing just about anything over $100 at Neiman Marcus? Or those your hair stylist stacks you up with after each visit? No? I’d ask for some next time. Hair spray, perfume, and facial care samples are all items that usually come is big containers but if you pack samples instead, you may be saving yourself of a meltdown after security mistakes your 10 oz hairspray can with an illicit substance.
I know I said perfume samples are great. And they are, just not as great as this atomizer from Sephora (top left). It comes with a small funnel for pouring my favorite scent. I also got an itty bitty, adorable Miss Dior but the top came off and poured perfume all over my zip lock bag. Safe to say Dior is staying home next time.
The make up part is tough. I’ve made a compromise: I’ll have to survive with this travel Mac duo-shadow set and report back. The reason why I love Sephora so much? They sell a mini brush set and mini Tweezerman (makes best tweezers ever) brow-set. And you’re thinking: say no more!
The no-nail-file-in-the-carry-on rule is lame and drives me insane but when I got this extremely small nail file matchbox, with multiple nail files I felt like screaming (equivalent to doing jumping-jacks in Lulu reaction) and before I could open my mouth, several Nail Polish Remover pads came to my acknowledgement and I was speechless. One is just enough to remove polish from both hands.
Now I’ll get a little personal and show the little things I absolutely can’t live without when I travel but aren’t necessarily everyone’s priority. A small lint roller (duh), at least one moist cleaning cloth from Solstice (handy for cleaning sunglass shades and iPad screens), one Colgate mini-brush to freshen up on the go and lastly, a mini sucralose sweetener imported from Brazil. I like my drinks sweet and aspartame free wherever I go.
Holy cow it’s cold out! That puts me in the mood (and need for) more boots. Anyone familiar with my closet would say I don’t need any more boots, shoes or anything else but I know I can make a case. These vintage cowboy-ish ones sold at US #1 (Wicker Park) are the perfect example. I’m not only confident these will make a good impact over tights but they’ll look great paired with a floral dress/jumper for spring. Look at me! Babbling about Spring when I condemned so many for doing the same. Well, at least I’m making an effort to acknowledge winter is here to stay till march.
If you’re into the western look or if you like to mix it up (cowgirl/urban chic) this a great stop for vintage Frye boots fans as you can see in the photo above. You walk in, and they’ll be right to your right. All, of course with a lower price tag than brand new. Yee-haw!
They also have a pretty large vintage fur rack. I’ve always thought vintage fur shopping is a less harmful alternative for those who don’t wanna let go their furry habit but can’t stand the thought of harming another animal. And some of these were really pretty too.
Boys get their own boot-wall. Uh, how fancy!
But if you’re looking for a real bargain, this is your girl right here: the back wall. You get the look without opening the wallet all the way. Yee-haw times five.
The verdict: This is pretty much a one-objective destination, which is finding the coolest vintage, cowboy-ish looking boots in the city of Chicago.
Where? 1460 N Milwaukee Ave (between a Evergreen Ave and Honore St) Chicago, IL 60622.
I’m wearing: burlington coat factory jacket, jcrew men’s shirt, echo scarf, seven for all mankind jeans, sorel boots, topshop mittens
Lucky for me, it snowed like crazayyy in Chicago this past weekend. Surely I can affirm to have never seen this much in my entire life. It was seriously beautiful (and freezing but who cares). Other than the fact that I almost smashed my face on the ice twice (can’t tell the difference between soft snow and slippery ice yet, but promise to pay more attention next time) we had a blast playing in and sampling the powdery snow. It wasn’t yellow though, and that I can tell.
People often ask me if I miss Florida. In all honesty? Not really, not yet. But I’m sure that will inevitably change. These photos were one of the “test-shoots” we (Elliott and I) did in downtown Orlando before I embraced fashion blogging for good. We had just received a new lens from his generous parents and were still figuring out the “blurry background” trick. As for the outfit, I apologize we didn’t capture the shoes (how amateur! Motorcycle boots, FYI). The chick seems so indecisive: sunglasses or headband? Turns out, they were both fine. What I’m not so sure about are the purple tights and the squishy dress. And the cropped jacket. Other than that though…
I love when retailers dive into inventive mode with their winter hat designs. There’s not much you can do if the main requirement is as demanding as preserving your body heat in place, but Topshop totally hit the right note with this cat-hat. See how it turns a lame winter ensemble into something more intriguing?