Megan Kristel

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Meet Christine!

Hi Ladies!

It’s been entirely too long since we’ve been up and blogging.  Lots of fun and exciting news to report.  As many of you know, we’ve been trying to buy a new house for what seems like ages.  Finally, we found one we love, and we move in over July 4th weekend!  We are really excited and a bit stressed as we continue to balance life, careers, business, kids and packing 10 years worth of life up over the next 2 weeks.  After all of this is over I am never, ever moving again.

On the business front I am delighted to introduce the newest member of our team, Christine Reilly.  Christine will serve as Brand Manager and Lead Stylist for Kristel Closets, Inc.  Christine brings a wealth of knowledge and a down to earth perspective to our team. In addition to working 1:1 with our private clients, she will also oversee our team of stylists, manage our day to day business, and continue to build our brand throughout the region and within our industry.  

0132_retouched (1)I will continue to be deeply involved in Kristel Closets, however, I will not be taking additional private clients.  My role has changed significantly over the past few years, taking me across the country on an almost weekly basis consulting with companies and organization on the importance of executive presence, personal brand and authentic image for individuals and teams. This change will also allow me to focus on other things, including more consistent blogging and some product creation.

I learned many lessons over the last 6 months.  It became clear a few weeks ago that I had to take a big step back to regain my focus and map out our next steps.  In order to grow and continue to do my best, I had to ask for help.  As women, that can be really hard.  Once it dawned on me that I could not do it all myself, things became clear.  Christine is the perfect fit for our company and our clients are already thrilled with her work.

A heartfelt thank you to all of our clients and followers.  Whether you have been with us since the beginning or our new to our community.  Thank you so much for your support.

New posts are scheduled to start tomorrow!

Please join me in welcoming Christine and wish her the very best of luck.  I know she will be a tremendous success!

How to Wear: Two-Toned Flats

 

I can count on one hand how many clients we work with who want to be in sky high heels all day long.  Most, if not all of our clients, will eventually ask us if it’s okay to wear flats to work and/or with dresses.  The simple answer to both?  Absolutely!

Follow a few rules.  Keep the toe of the shoe elongated.  This extends your leg and looks more polished.  Avoid rounded toe flats when you are more formally dressed.  Rounded toe by nature will always translate to being casual.  It will also make your legs look short and stumpy.  No one wants that.

You could do a lot with these shoes.  A slim lined black trouser, distressed boyfriend jeans, maybe even a pair of shorts and white blazer.  I like it with a simple dress since it adds some classic character.  I would wear something like this to a business lunch or daytime event.  The wrap is optional.  As with all sleeveless dresses, if you’re seated under the air conditioner you have two options: wrap or freeze.  I tend to pick the latter which is stupid.  Instead, pick up a few of these in some neutrals and one pop of color.  You’ll be happy you have them.

 

Chic: Two-Toned Flats

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Ivanka Trump Luiz Open-Side Flats

$120.00

I use to fancy myself a high heels kind of girl. Over the years, however, I have fallen more and more in love with flats. I’m sure it has something to do with getting older, the crazy demands on my daily schedule and the sheer need to literally run from one thing to the next, the flat is essential to my daily life.

 

Some can be quite boring. I wear my Madewell Sidewalk Skimmers in animal print all the time. So much so, that I’m on my 3rd pair. I was looking for something different to bring some interest to my daily, almost all black wardrobe. The shoes above, by Ivanka Trump. Inspired by a classic spectator, these flats bring some seasonal spunk to a classic wardrobe.

Check back tomorrow to how to wear these in your own wardrobe.

 

 

 

 

How to Wear: Rope and Stone Necklace

 

Rope Necklace

Key Piece:  Sole Society Rope and Stone Necklace, $50.00, Earrings:  David Yurman Cable Wrap Black Onyx Earrings, $1750.00,  Bag:  Joie Biance Envelope Clutch, $248.00, Shoes: Jeffery Campbell Adelyn Pump, $155.00  Blouse:  W118 by Walter Baker Jacob Silk Blouse, $89.00  Jeans:  J Brand Luxe Sateen Mid Rise Skinny Jeans, $185.00

Few things excited me more than when a look comes together easily. This necklace is currently my everything. I can’t verbalize what it is about it, but I love, love, love it! The second I saw it, this is how I envisioned wearing it: simple, clean lines, with black and gold accessories. It is the quintessential date night outfit. Or, wear it to a casual cocktail party, if you do fun things like that.

We don’t. On the rare occasion that we do socialize with a group of adults, we tend to be related to them. I could show up in a hoodie and someone would tell me I looked “cute.” I have visions of going to house parties one day with sophisticated friends who dress up and drink cocktails on a veranda. (I wonder if they would be as much fun?) Right now, when we do socialize with other people our own age, our kids are in the adjacent playroom singing “Frozen” at the top of their lungs and we are drinking as much wine as possible before the next meltdown. (Don’t worry, we are in walking distance to our house.)

Back to the outfit at hand. Simple, is always better, especially when you are working with a bold accessory. A flowy, lightweight blouse works in this cool season. Let it float away from your body while still giving you your shape. A streamline pair of black jeans is a go-to. I’ve been dressing women for a long time (8 years exactly in September). In that time, I’ve never found a pair of inexpensive black jeans that work universally for clients. Every now and then, something will surface. There is something, however, about the design and fabric integrity of higher priced, designer jeans, that always win out. (Always happy to hear recommendations for better priced items in the comments below!)

This look is all about the accessories. Keeping the look to black and gold is bold and modern.In general, you do not have to match all of your metals. What you want is for your accessory metals to coordinate. For example, if your wedding ring is platinum, but you want to wear gold, go ahead and wear gold, just be sure that everything else is gold. If you have a belt or shoe with metal hardware, have all of your accessories should go with it. This will allow for a more cohesive and pulled together look.
I found some seriously gorgeous accessories to finish this look off. The earrings are also seriously expensive. Consider them inspiration. The bag is Joie and is under $250. With it’s classic lines you’ll be able to wear it for a good long time. These Jeffery Campbell heels are fashion forward and way out of my comfort zone. Every now and then I pick up “sitting down shoes.” Something impractical, frivolous, probably uncomfortable, and fabulous. They make me feel like I still know how to have fun.

Accessorize: Modern Nautical

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Sole Society Rope and Stone Necklace 

$49.95

 

 

 

One of the biggest “no-no’s” in getting dressed is creating an outfit based solely on an accessory. In the case of this necklace, go right ahead and break the rules. It’s nautical, it’s modern, and it’s under $50. The challenge I see with well priced accessories is that many of them are knock offs of better designers. I’m certainly a proponent of getting trendy items at better prices, but it’s nice to see some original thought at an accessible price.

I scooped this up the second I saw it. If your wardrobe is built on basics and modern lines (like mine) pick this up. A few big and bold accessories are important in adding visual interest and personality to your look.

I’m still out on the west coast wrapping up a work project.  Check back tomorrow to find out the best way to incorporate this accessory into your wardrobe.

 

 

 

 

Chic: Comfy Casual Wedge

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TOM’s Calyspo Canvas Wedge

$68.95

 

I’ve been on the West Coast since Wednesday.  We spent the holiday weekend in San Diego, one of my favorite cities in the country.  Maybe it was the massive lack of vitamin D over the winter, or the quality time with my kids, but the second I stepped off the plane I was happier than I have been in months.  There is something about the California sun that makes me feel like the world is a good place. The people here are kind, the service is attentive and everyone is in a great mood.  What’s not to be happy about?

I met a dear friend and colleague for dinner tonight who arrived with shopping bags and these on her feet, fresh out of Nordstroms. A simple, comfortable wedge, under $100 is ideal for so many of our clients.  She was raving about how comfortable they were.

They are perfect for outside graduations and casual parties.  Looking for something neutral?  Toms’ did a version in a grosgrain and they are beautiful.   If you are looking for something dressier, for weddings or showers,  I love these with some extra interest by LK Bennet.

 

 

 

 

Perfect Casual Dress for Under $20

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Merona Women’s Leisure Dress – $16.08

Lately, I feel like my threshold for pricing has reached an all time high.  It’s easy to get desensitized in my business.  Shoes for $700?  Well, their an investment.  A $650 dress?  Worth it if you wear it all the time!  A 4 digit designer bag?  You’ll have it forever.  In the real world, spending this kind of money for everything would have all of us bankrupt.

Sometimes I wonder who I think I am. While I am incredibly fortunate to have some pretty fantastic pieces, my day to day life – outside of work – is simple and practical. Most of my time at home is spent in workout gear bought at Marshall’s. If I’m feeling ambitious, a cotton day dress. That’s why I was so excited to find the dress above. I am okay having to spend cash on my work wardrobe since it’s my job, but my budget can only go so far. Similar style dresses at better department stores will run $100 – $200 and more.

What is the point of that?

This little number is just $16.00! It’s only showing available online in the black and white version. At the store, you can also pick it up in a Navy/Cherry Red (that’s what I bought). It felt big to me so I grabbed the X Small. I am, in reality, nowhere close to an extra small. I typically default between a small and medium. I’m pushing 5’10 and felt comfortable in the length hitting an inch above my knee.

Other options with equally fab price points include LOFT (where you can grab a petite size), and this look from Zara for under $20.

Trench Coat Alternative

e811666eb3a61c29376b9d9093acc746 H&M Trench $39.95

Size 2 – 14

 

If a traditional trench falls on the too conservative side of your radar, look no further.  Many of our clients would like a style a bit more updated, without the 3 digit (or more) cost.   I am loving this alternative to the classic trench.  It has less structure giving it a modern feel and an interesting collar.  It’s available in three easy to wear colors (the dark blue is my favorite).  Wear this with a flowy spring dress, slim lined pants or jeans.

Chic: White Bags

When I was little, my mom dressed me to the nines for Easter. Every year she put me in a fluffy dress, lace trimmed socks, a hat (usually with a giant flower on the brim) and finished the look with a tiny white bag and gloves. I was loving life and my mom, well, she was in her glory. It’s no wonder I become a bit of nostalgic every time I pass a shiny white bag sized for a little girl.

Now that I have girls of my own, I love to see what fills their own tiny bags. Their “must haves” include chap stick, extra bracelets, tiny bits of “important” paper and hair ties. Add a credit card and car keys and it’s not much different that what you’d find in my own bag.

For us big girls the perfect white bag is harder to find.  They often look cheap (even when they come with a hefty price tag), dingy or dated.   To keep the look crisp and modern, look for a bag with gold hardware, or in an interesting shape. This year, there are some options I love for myself and our clients. Take a look at my top 3 picks for white bags of the season.

White

1.  Aldo Gallington Clutch $19 (Also in Orange), 2.  J Crew Teddie Hobo, $238, 3.  Vince Camuto Edie Satchel $298

Looking for a crossbody bag?  Rebecca Minkoff makes a great one for under $200,  and Fossil has one that is clean and streamline for $130.

 

Accessorize: Gold Favorites

My style has always been the simple and classic version of whatever is trendy. Lately, I’ve been drawn more and more to clean, modern lines with architectural details. I love Pinterest personally and recommend our clients go on and create boards of the styles they like. It’s fun and interesting to scroll through a client’s board and see the consistent elements of their personal style. My own board has definitely evolved over the last few season.
One trend I see coming through in a big way is big gold accessories. Not “Mr. T” gold, rather, strategically placed accessories and accents (think bag hardware, shoe details, etc.) against a monochromatic, modern silhouette.

 

gold rush

1.  Ray Ban ‘Aviator’ Large ($235.00) – A classic that works with any style  2.  Maria Black Gold Diamond Ring ($825.00) – light and delicate an easy everyday option 3.  Adia Kibur Chain Necklace ($70.00) – a WOW piece!  4.  Roman Luxe Gold Chain Bangle ($63.00) – love this over a long sleeve silk blouse 5.  Kurt Geiger Bloom Clutch in Nude ($115) – a gorgeous combination of blush and gold.

 

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