I enjoyed my travel through Switzerland and Italy and even a trip to Chicago recently. I found many new homes along the way that I seriously considered buying. Those villas in Tuscany were number 1 on the list with the Swiss Alps a close second haha Any one want to go in on buying one with me??? WE CAN EACH HAVE A WING!
Whenever I am in Europe I am always just refreshed style wise as well as with their way of living. They really slow things down and put things first that need to be first unlike Americans. They value quality, a slower pace, and creativity. My kind of people. The men there wore dark wash denim with a button down and blazer on the regular and the women look oh so chic in their fashion sneakers with a side of denim or a flowing dress with a structured layering piece. Everything looks so effortless but is also functional. The way fashion should be.
You don't ever need to compromise comfort for style. You should feel at home in your clothes otherwise they won't match you or your style and you'll look as if you are living in someone else's house OR like you are wearing someone else's clothes. Like a son wearing his fathers sports coat or a little girl in her moms big heels. You aren't playing dress up any more. This is your life. Your clothes. Own them.
Often people tell me they feel they need to compromise comfort for style. That is never the case. Now when I am talking about comfort I am talking about materials, fit, not being in pain, or constrained when you are wearing clothing; the physical aspect. I am NOT however talking about trend or idea wise. We have never advanced ourselves in any area of our lives by being comfortable and not taking risks. So be sure you don't forget to take risks in what you wear too!
The biggest risk is not taking any risks. <3 Meg
<<< SOME PACKING FAVORITES
As I've been packing I have discovered missing pieces that I need for my trip and with limited time I have turned to online shopping! So what does this have to do with packing? Like with any trip you may be taking, there are plenty of things to do before you leave so often shopping is the last thing you have time for. So how do we accurately shop online to prepare of our trips?
And we should probably learn how to start getting better at online shopping now because retail stores are becoming a thing of the past!
SO WHERE DO WE START?
Find stores with easy return policies! This is the most important so that the top you bought that doesn't end up fitting when you get it in the mail doesn't turn into a thorn.
A few of my favorites:
-Nordstrom/ Nordstrom Rack- 45 day in store returns, I don't recommend if you don't live near one though
-Amazon surprisingly has amped up their clothing in an attempt to keep up with competition and take over the world. You know. You do need to filter well though or look for familiar brands/ There is a decent amount of crappy clothing on there. READ REVIEWS and remember you get what you pay for. If the price seems too good to be true it often is. The nice part about amazon though is that with prime you get free returns!
-Zappo's- they have clothes too! With a super lax 365 day return policy!! WHATTT
-DSW- For Shoes and accessories. MY FAVE.
If it doesn't look good on the model don't buy it. She has more often than not been photoshopped to death to try and get you to buy the clothing she has on so it's pretty safe to say if they can alter the clothing and her to try and get you to buy it and you still dont think it looks good. You won't like it in person.
FILTERS ARE FRIENDS:
Those filters are your friend!
Filter by size- Avoid the devastating moment when you find the perfect dress and they are out of your size. Trust me save yourself some tears.
Filter by price- Save you some time while scrolling through 45 pages of dresses
Filter by colors- If there are colors you don't like or one specific color you fell in love with on Pinterest just focus on that one! For example my spring/summer Pinterest looks like all I want to wear is white. ALL WHITE all the time.
SILHOUETTES & STYLES OH MY:
Think back to some of your favorite pieces in your closet. Are all the dresses you love an a-line? Or maybe a shift/straight fit? What about tops, think of necklines that you prefer. Stick to what you already know for a better online experience!
MAKE THAT PINTEREST COME ALIVE:
Don't know where to start but know you need a new coat or a new dress. Search on Pinterest and make a board and reference back to what colors, prints, necklines you tend to pin. I would avoid shopping through Pinterest personally as it can take you to some shady clothing websites... Not all the time but I would save yourself some time by sticking to the websites you know won't give you a headache to return to.
Ah the sun is shining, I'm drinking an iced coffee & wearing my floral dress. You know what that means?! It's time for some vacationizing. Yes thats a word.
Whether you are headed to the beach, back-packing through Europe or enjoying some sight-seeing, packing can be a love-hate relationship that hopefully you will lean more towards the love side after reading this!
In just a few weeks I will be on a plane to Italy. I've dreamed of going back ever since I lived there for a semester and miss it oh so much. The food, the culture, the beauty, the fashion, the pace of life. Did I mention the food?
So how do we conquer those dreaded suitcases and make sure we don't forget anything for basking in the sun or hiking through the mountains??? Read Below.
1. MAKE A LIST & A PLAN
LIST- I can't tell you how many times this has saved me from forgetting my toothbrush or a phone charger. I'm pretty sure those are the two most frequently left behind items when people are traveling because you use them both right before you head to the airport or pack up the car. And I mean crossing off a list is one of the most satisfying things. Am I right? And not just the list...
PLAN- A plan is really what makes a world of difference. Have an idea of what you'll be wearing and how for your trip so you have the best chance of packing light. The more you plan the better you'll pack. Also consider how you will mix n' match which pairs well with what for the next tip!
TIP: Invest in an extra of both so you don't forget them or be sure to put them on your packing list and check your list before you leave your house in the morning. Like Santa.
2. CAPSULATE THAT WARDROBE
If you are not usually a capsule wardrobe kind of person now is the time to become one! Mix n Match pieces that can be used in multiple ways is the key to not looking like those packing memes with 50 Louis Vuitton travel trunks. Focusing on a LBD or a chambray button up that can utilized by wearing over a basic tank or with your favorite skirt for a night out makes for the ideal piece to pack. Did you know that Americans are really the only people who don't wear the same outfit twice for a long time. Wear a piece twice on a trip in a different manner to make it work for you.
Going on a big trip in a few months? Plan a small weekend trip in the meantime to practice your skills. I know it sounds weird but the more you pack the better you get at it! No matter how long the trip is. When I studied abroad in college we would travel every weekend and by the end of that trip I had become a pro packer. I could fit 4-5 days in a carry-on with room to spare for souvenirs. Now the powdered makeup I packed they would often tell me was a liquid stopped me at security but besides that travel was a breeze!
4. BE A WEATHER FIEND
Knowing the weather will save your life while you are packing. Don't assume you know it'll be warm. My sister and I travelled to Vegas and it was supposed to be warm but at night and in the morning is was definitely nothing but COLD. Thankfully I packed a jacket but had I checked the weather better and remembered better what 60-70 degrees felt like I would have been better prepared to not freeze.
PRO TIP: Wear or carry the heaviest item you want to pack for added room. And if you live in the North like me, wearing or carrying that coat is not so strange.
Not just the prayer you say while you are on the airplane during take-off. Give yourself grace. We cannot accurately guess every possible thing you could ever need while you are traveling. Don't beat yourself up if you forget something, most likely the things we forget are not must-haves or needs. Remember you are there to make memories and experience and enjoy broadening your perspective by learning about a new place. No one will notice that you forgot to pack your favorite mascara. Only you. And forgetting things and still making it work builds creativity and grit.
AND REMEMBER: The less you pack the more you can bring back with you from your travels ;)
STAY TUNED FOR MORE PACKING TON O' FUN NEXT WEEK! <3 MK
This is me not in balance. Falling out of a chair during the most recent photo shoot. I told you I was clumsy. It turns out, that chairs that move are not ideal for taking fun photos on... Just in case you were wondering...
There we go! We added a stool to balance it out and Voila! You get a balanced photo on the left.
PROGRESS NOT PERFECTION
Balance. Progress not perfection. Don't get discouraged. I know I struggle to find that sweet spot in all aspects of life. My closet, working out, food. I want to go to one extreme or the other. I want to be perfect, but perfection doesn't exist in this world. Why do we strive for something that doesn't exist? All it creates is a life that is never at ease/ never at rest.
Constantly trying to obtain something that is obtainable? I believe that is the definition of insanity...
So how do we find that sweet middle spot? Focusing on PROGRESS and NOT PERFECTION. Continuing to strive for progress but remembering that we will never be perfect. And you know what?? Soon you will find that sweet balance.
Now don't get me wrong, Balance is HARD. That is why our world is often so out of balance. But if you want to have something you've never had you have to do something you've never done before... I may or may not have stolen that from Autumn Calabrese... Now that is the definition of insanity! Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results!
BALANCE IN YOUR CLOSET
Finding balance in your closet and style is just as important as in every other aspect of life. When something in your life is often out of balance it shows up in other ways. Your closet is the same way.
So how can we find the balance in our closets? Write down how many hours a week you spend at work in business casual vs. in casual clothes or work out clothes vs. date night attire. Do you feel those percentages match what your closet has in it? If they don't that means your closet is not in balance anymore. Have you changed jobs or had major life changes recently? That often means your closet is not in balance and is not working for you. YOU are working for it which is no bueno. Re-evaluate and make sure those percentages match up!
BALANCE IN STYLE
Did you make that style board from the previous Blog? Take a look at it and again look at the percentage of styles that are classic vs. edgy vs. boho vs. romantic etc. Do those match the percentage of romantic pieces in your closet? Which style is lacking in your closet? Move that style higher up on your list of pieces to buy next that are missing from your closet. REMEMBER the goal is to fill your closet with pieces and styles that make you feel awesome and ready to throw punches at perfection.
Direction is key- in a style and closet you love!
Your Partner in Style,
REAL LIFE: I am clumsy. This is me spilling coffee all over myself at the most recent Cut Chic photo shoot. Coffee stains should be the next trend.
UPDATE: I took some time off to get a grasp on healing and focusing on my health. Ever since I got my appendix out, my body has been struggling to maintain its balance again and it turns out that without your health you can't conquer much! I hope you will remember that too. You are very important so don't forget to take care of yourself in the midst of the whirlwind of life!
I've also been stressing over all the unknowns and goals I've set for myself but still missing the IMPORTANCE of the fact that everyone has different goals! Your goals most likely look completely different than mine and everyone else's so why do we compare ourselves? I don't need to compare myself to anyone. I have my own adventure and currently, that includes me spending more time on getting healthy and feeling like my myself again. Turns out it takes your body a very long time to get rid of inflammation when it has been fighting off to keep itself alive for SO long. Patience is bitter but it's fruit is sweet.
Time for me to thank it for all the hard work it has been doing! ::high five::
Feed it what it needs and strengthen it back up again so it can continue heal!
This actually leads me into my reason for this post though!!!
COMPARISON. The world we live in is so comparison oriented and its killing us figuratively and literally. COMPARISON IS THE THIEF OF JOY. I could talk about it for days but today I just wanted to focus on the sizing delusion. Did you know that every single company vanity sizes? What does this mean? They all have a model and an ideal of what they want their consumer to look like so a size 6 at one place could be a size 2 at another or a size 10 at a different company or even within the same company!!! Let me be the first to tell you right now that in my closet you will find SO many sizes because I refuse to be held hostage by a number or a letter.
So when you go into that fitting room or you need to size up one or a few ignore what the tag says. It's just a guideline.
Here is what you need to consider:
1. Does it fit awesomely?
2. Do you feel amazing in it?
3. Does it reflect your style?
4. Can you not wait to wear it tomorrow?
That is ALL. Ignore the tag. It is only a guideline when shopping.
YOU ARE MORE THAN A NUMBER OR A LETTER. I assure you.
Your true value and worth does not come from clothes they are just an extension of expressing your awesome self. <3
Over and Out,
Trying is brave. Trying is strong. You do everyone else around you a disservice by not trying. Whats the worst that could happen? Someone doesn't agree with it or you? Someone doesn't like you? It doesn't go as planned? People look at you? What if people giving you attention for what you are wearing is what they needed that day to inspire them to have the confidence to embrace their own style? What if you missed the chance to inspire them?
*******Often times people tell me that they wouldn't be able to pull something off and that is why they don't embrace their style. If you like it though I assure you, no one is more you than you. No one can pull it off better than YOU. God gave us different likes, desires and tastes for a reason!*********
STORY TIME: I remember feeling that I couldn't pull things off especially in grade school. I loved to be dressed up all the time, try all the fun new trends but in jr. high & high school that was not "cool". It made others uncomfortable that I did not want to conform. I know its strange but thats how my school was, it was suburbia ok not New York.
It made others feel underdressed which no one enjoys. So, I stuck to a hoody and jeans most days just like everyone else and saved my experimental fun style for outside of school, it was safer outside of school to express myself and have fun with what I wore since I didn't spend 40 hours with the majority of those people. Not to mention that it was -5 degrees in high school & school started at some way too early hour but I digress.
I did everyone around me at school a disservice by not showing them who I really was. Caring too much whether they accepted me or not. Most who didn't know me well would most likely be shocked that I ended up a fashion stylist and studying Fashion Merchandising but thats who I truly was who've I've always been and I'm sorry that they didn't get a chance to know the real me.
So remember, You leading an inspired life inspires those around you. If you don't do it for yourself do it for the people around you. You never know who you might inspire!
Yeah, I see you killing it with your style! Sometimes shopping is not a favorite task by many though. SO MANY CHOICES. Learn how to treat your clothing purchases as more of an investment than a task by considering these things before and during to have the most successful trips and turn that task into a talent!
Set mini goals- We make goals for everything else in life? Why do we ignore our wardrobe and drop the game plan before we walk into a store. For example, for those of you who meal plan you know what a lifesaver it is! You save time and money and don't end up overspending or buying a bunch of things you already have in your pantry or fridge when you get there. Think of your closet as a pantry or fridge, you don't want to buy things you already have. Beat that closet amnesia!
Don't rush it, take it slow & prioritize! Example: The first time I really did grocery shopping that was not in a college grocery store of like 5 things was abroad in Italy, I loved it because they have a more simplistic way of life there, just enough options but still a moderate sized grocery store. When I came home and moved into my apartment, one of the first stops of course was to Giant Eagle near by and you know what happened I walked in there for the first time in 6 months and left. SO OVERWHELMED. I quickly became an Aldi shopper due to its simplicity and less options!!! But this didn't mean I never went to GE anymore I just planned ahead before I went because that is what made the store so much smaller!
Clothes shopping is the same way! Decide what you want before you hit the shops! Life-changer! That huge department store just got a whole lot smaller! I get it though, it can be overwhelming looking for what you need not to mention frustrating when you cannot find it. Another great reason to find great stores that have online shopping and EASY FREE RETURNS. That is the key OR a local boutique with great employees that are helpful!
Postpone decisions if you can - I realize this is not realistic for most but if you can it is helpful! If you are still thinking about it the next day or a week later than it was probably a winner and you should order it online or run back to go get it.
Whats the deal with those little cubes in the store, often with weird lighting, different mirrors than you're used to, and never enough room for all the hangers. Why do we suck at fitting rooms so much? Because we suck at making decisions under pressure. You don't want to leave empty handed or deal with Betty on the way out giving you the death glare when you took 20 pieces in and none of them worked out. BUT we need to ignore Betty. Give yourself permission to come out empty handed! Ignore the judgy eyes, its not her money its yours! IGNORE THE PRESSURE. You don't need to leave with anything if you didn't love it the moment you tried it on. Don't settle.
Now go out and kill it!
Your Style should feel like home. You should feel at ease in it. Like a nice snuggly blanket engulfing you in love.
So how do we develop our style? Style is a mixture of past events, movies, people you've admired, friends etc. that you've taken bits and parts of what you've enjoyed and combined them into one cohesive look. YOUR STYLE IS NOT RANDOM. It's YOU.
There is a reason for it. It's an extension of you. Just like you decorate your house full of things you love, clothing decorates your body full of things you think are neat and cool and want to say about yourself whether you want them to or not.
Big baggy clothes often say you don't want to be noticed or you want to look like modern day Mary Kate & Ashley. People who love bold prints and colors often have those bold bubbly personalities to go with it! Our personality plays a huge roll in how we dress. The book "Wired that Way" talks about four different personality types. Sanguine, Choleric, Phlegmatic, & Melancholy. This often directly correlates with what we like in our clothes. For example I am a mix of sanguine & phlegmatic which means I like my clothes to be comfortable and not full of prints but I like a pop to each outfit. It correlates perfectly to my personality profile. Now this doesn't mean you can't mask certain personalities which you will learn in the book if or when you read it but often when you haven't discovered a style that you like or if you change it daily it often means that you first need to learn who you are.
SOME TIPS TO HELP YOU HONE IN ON YOUR STYLE
1. BABY STEPS- Start by setting aside time to flip through a variety of magazines and cut out pieces that you find appealing, it could be movies, outfits, places, influential people, things, It doesn't specifically need to be clothing! Other aspects can say a lot about what you enjoy, such as colors, textures, etc.
2. COMPILE- Glue them all to a board and just choose your favorites! OR if you're more the Pinterest person you can do it on Pinterest OR photoshop would be better with images from online. Then you can make the images you like best bigger than the others!
3. EXECUTE- Print it out or enjoy your glued board of gorgeous images and ask yourself some questions as you correlate it to your style! (Hey I have a pen that has glue on one side, theres beauty in the hands-on side of things haha You never know when you may need to glue something! haha)
4. TRANSLATE- Look at the color palette your board leads towards. Jewel tones? Pastels? Neutrals? Neutrals w/ a pop? etc. Write down which prints you liked. Are the outfits more fitted? Looser? Mixture?
5. NAME GAME- Name your style! It doesn't need to make sense. This is for you! And it's fun! When you name it, it's easier to decide while out shopping if a piece fits the theme of your closet.
If you need help feel free to send me pictures of your board and I can help you name it!
Since there are many new faces around here, I thought it'd be good to get back to the basics! Even if you aren't new it is always good to relearn the mission behind Cut Chic! Also for me to reintroduce myself to you!
I believe that everyone is cut out to be the chic'est/best version of themselves no matter what stage or point in your life you are in and thats how Cut Chic was developed. I believe you are fearfully and wonderfully made so why not embrace that everyday?! In turn, when you feel put together you will have the confidence to go out and conquer your own dreams/goals whether they are practical goals like surviving the day with your rambunctious kiddos or having the confidence to go for that promotion at work!
I have never wanted my fashion/style blog to be about me, hence why it is not full of pictures of me in outfits BUT I do want to help YOU on YOUR style journey because whether you want it to be a part of your life or not, you choose fashion everyday! That graphic tee and denim are still fashion! This being said I do realize that you do need to get to know me and see practical outfit ideas which is why you'll be seeing more of me on the blog and on Insta! The face behind Cut Chic and who I am so that we can be virtual or IRL Best Friends. I'm suriously serious.
I've always loved fashion, at a young age if I did not like the clothes my mom picked out for me wear I was not too pleasant. Thankfully she gave up on that and let me start choosing and expressing myself in any way I pleased through the way I dressed at a very young age. One time when I was 4 all my siblings were at school and I wanted to play my computer Barbie dress up game but my mom didn't know at the time how to turn it on so I did it myself and made it happen! (It's ok she's much more savvy now with the technology don't worry haha) As you can see I've always understood fashion & it's meshed with me. The perfect mix of creativity and analytics! Fast forward a few years... When I found out in high school that I could actually major in something so fun I was ecstatic. I ended up in the Fashion Merchandising program at Kent State and the rest is history. I studied fashion abroad all throughout Europe which changed my perspective on the industry and grew my love for it even more if that is possible?
I've never wanted to be a part of the high fashion world though even though I love and admire it dearly. I knew I went to school to HELP people through fashion/style, not judge them as many people remind me on the daily that they think that is what my job is all about. I promise thats not why I am here. But inspiring you IS why I am here. YOU. Not content full of models, Avant-Garde pieces or magazine layouts. Now don't get me wrong, I still drool over a pair of Manolo Blahnik's, an amazing runway show or a Birkin bag ANYDAY but those are the pieces that make up our everyday fashion as the styles/concepts trickle down.
Ever since I graduated I've dabbled in the high-end jewelry industry and cosmetology world doing inventory and being a part of the buying world. BUT I've always wanted to help people hands on and encourage and uplift them by the frustrations so many face getting dressed everyday or on a shopping trip. I now work for Stitch Fix as a stylist which goes hand in hand with my passion but I continue to desire to reach more people and have a more personal impact which has led me to create Cut Chic. So here's a few fun facts! If you're ever in the Cleveland area call me!
1. I like my dog ALOT. I know it's surprising. She's the best dog in the world. For reals.
2. I had two weddings an American & a Cambodian wedding complete with like 10 dress/hair/makeup changes. I looked like a mermaid!
3. I've been flipping the house I live in for about 2 years now and I DISLIKE it strongly. Yep real story. I did NOT miss my calling. I shall leave the flipping to gymnasts or Chip & Joanna.
4. When I'm not writing or styling you'll find me doing yoga, tennis, dancing the night away especially at the Dusty Armadillo or adventuring around CLE.
5. I get weird injuries/illnesses. I'm now part of the 1% of people who had chronic appendicitis and when I was younger I broke a bone in my knee playing soccer that they had never seen broken before! I'm just that talented somehow.
6. I love bitter things. As in drinks that is, not people. Dark Coffee, Red Wine, Lemons, Gin. According to the most recent Facebook video going around this makes me a psycho path... hmmm haha
7. I love having a good time, joking around, listening to comedians, doing rediculous things. JET SKIING, BOATING, LAKE ERIE. TRYING random new things. I'm up for any adventure!
Looking forward to getting to know all of you better! Feel free to introduce yourself if we haven't met yet!
1. Blanket Scarf- God's gift to the scarf world. I mean a blanket disguised as a scarf?!? What more could you want?
2. Cozy boots- not suede because seriously, I've never met a suede boot that survived the slushy ohio weather have you? Talk about wet cold feet. Leather, faux leather, rubber, really embrace a more athleisure flair this winter if possible!
3. Fleece Leggings- I KNOW! These actually exist and they are AMAZING. Just stop what your doing immediately and go find them.
4. Vests- LAYERS LAYERS LAYERS- I personally hate layers, but I do live in Cleveland, Ohio so I've had to do a ton of personal market research as to what kind of layering I do like! It's mostly vest related or tall boots layered over leggings. Don't be afraid to go to stores and try on EVERYTHING to find out what works for you. Just ignore those fitting room attendant death gazes.
5. Cozy Sweaters- I will also be the first person to tell you how much I hate sweaters. haha I know what you are thinking why are you writing this? Because actually I'm the perfect person to be writing this. If I can find comfortable ways to stay warm and stylish when I hate the majority of winter clothing you can too! If you find sweaters to be itchy and annoying, don't give up! Look for cotton sweaters or fabric blends on the tag! OR invest in some cuddle duds. They are just as great as they sound.
DISCLAIMER: When temps/windchill are Below 0. Let me be the first person to give you permission to just survive out there in the vicious wilderness, I mean trip to Target for survival essentials. No one will be looking at what you are wearing besides your 5 hats and 20 scarves you layered on :) WE ALL UNDERSTAND. Mutual fashion understanding and unwritten rules
Stay Warm Friends!