Adulting 101: How To Take Care Of Your Clothes

Being able to take care of your wardrobe is just as important as adulting(ish) life skills like knowing what to wear to a wedding or how to do your makeup. It’s not only about not accidentally dying white socks pink, or motivating yourself to go to the dry cleaners—it’s about knowing proper garment care. Clothing you treat well lasts longer, especially if it is an investment piece. It also just looks better on you.

Every Garment Has A Cheat Sheet

If you learn ONE thing from this post, let this be it. If you have no idea how to a garment is supposed to be cleaned, there are instructions on every label. From couture to Forever21, I promise you it’s there unless you accidentally cut it out. If you are looking for more than ten seconds, don’t enlist a search party—just turn the item inside out.

Learn How To Do Your Own Laundry

I don’t care if you have a housekeeper. So do I. She doesn’t do my laundry. Not to sound like your mom, but red wine is an accident waiting to happen at all times. Even if you don’t do your laundry on the regular, at least know how to do it. What if your housekeeper gets into an accident on the way to your house? What if she quits because she hates your generic Windex? Are you going to wear dirty underwear until you can find a replacement? Learn how to throw some clothes into a machine, move them into another machine and fold them.

All of this being said—don’t ask me to clean my house. I suck at all forms of cleaning except for laundry. Also, I hope your housekeeper never gets into an accident on the way to your house.

Remove Stains ASAP

I try to carry around a Tide To Go Stain Pen in my pocket for quick stain removal when I’m out. If you’re clumsy like I am and tend to spill things on yourself almost constantly, it’s a good idea. When you get home, spray on a spot treatment ASAP. I like Shout.

Your Cycle Has Nothing To Do With That Time Of The Month

I know every washing machine is different, but most of the time you are going to wash your clothes in the Normal Or Regular Cycle. If you are washing gross linens (you have a pet or a crazy sex life), choose Heavy Duty.

The Deal With Water Temperature

If you are only washing white clothes—use hot.

If you are washing anything you want to clean and not fade—wash in warm and rise in cold.

Some people wash everything in cold and use special cold detergent because it’s cheaper than using hot water. Don’t be cheap. Your underwear will thank you. 

WTF Is Permanent Press?

I just learned this one myself. The Permanent Press cycle uses warm water and slows the spin cycle like someone who can’t stop looking at their phone in traffic. Choose this cycle for items that have a tendency to wrinkle.

The Gentle Cycle Is Your New BFF

I love the Gentle Cycle. I use it for things that aren’t even labeled for it because it helps keeps your clothes from wearing out. You know those cheap t-shirts you buy that last for a month? Want to make them last for a year? Use the gentle cycle.

I also use the Gentle Cycle for activewear. WHAT? WHAT? You read that correctly. This will change your life and make your activewear last much longer. If you don’t believe me, ask anyone who works at Sweaty Betty or Lululemon. They will tell you the same exact thing.

You Only Need Two Detergents

99% of the time, I use Tide Pods for my clothes. I prefer pods because liquid is heavy. Powdered detergent never dissolves and mostly offends me as a human being.

I know there are special detergents for activewear, but unless you have the world’s smallest washing machine, you probably aren’t going to wash your activewear alone. Use it if you like, but I personally think it’s unnecessary.

The only other detergent I use is Ecover, but mostly for hand washing lingerie and underwear. It also works in a pinch if I run out of Tide.

The Dryer Is Not Your Friend

I know it’s annoying to line dry your clothes because it is. But it literally takes three minutes to throw your stuff up on hangers over your bathtub. Unless you have a laundry room, but if you actually have a laundry room, you are probably better at adulting than I am and likely not reading this. Your clothing lasts so much longer if you line dry. You don’t have to do this for everything because line-drying socks is a nightmare. But, it’s a good rule of thumb for important(ish) things you wear outside.

If you have glass shower doors, invest in a pole. If you have a shower curtain, move it over and work with what you have. Throw a bathmat underneath to catch drips. If your bathroom has a fan, turn it on and keep the door open.

If line-dying sounds like too much work, at least use your dryer on a low setting so your clothing doesn’t get baked.

Also, use dryer sheets because they make everything soft. I know fabric softener exists, but this is easier and cheaper. I like Mrs. Meyers Clean Day dryer sheets because they smell good.

Find A Drycleaner You Like That’s Conveniently Located

A good drycleaner is your wardrobe’s best ally. These people will save your clothes, so they will save your life or close enough. If you stain something, take it in ASAP so the stain doesn’t have time to set.

Tailor Everything

Do you know why your pants always get gross on the bottom? Because they’re too long. Spend a few bucks on a hem and dryclean less often. Your clothes look better when they are tailored. It’s a good investment.  You will get more likes on Instagram.

Buy The Right Hangers

I went through this in my closet organization post. Be a grownup and toss your wire hangers. Velvet hangers keep your clothes in the best shape. You can buy inexpensive ones from Amazon. Replace ALL of your hangers at once.

But don’t toss all of your old hangers in the garbage. Keep some for line drying and see if you can donate the rest to a local thrift store or shelter.

Also invest in hangers with clips for skirts and pants, if necessary.

Style Inspired By The Late Zsa Zsa Gabor

Last week, Hollywood icon/actress/outspoken woman Zsa Zsa Gabor passed away. Perhaps her greatest accomplishment was being the first person that was famous for being famous. Before the days of Paris Hilton (Gabor was actually her great Aunt), Lindsay Lohan and all of the Kardashians, Gabor made headlines for her antics, jaw-dropping jewelry and unforgettable style.

So, take a lesson from Zsa Zsa and let her look influence yours. Here are some modern favorites inspired by Gabor’s old-world glamour. But unlike Zsa Zsa, you don’t need to marry a millionaire (nine times) to afford these looks.

“I am a marvelous housekeeper. Every time I leave a man I keep his house.”

-Zsa Zsa Gabor (Never Ask A Lady Her Age-2016)

Zsa Zsa always looked purr-fect in a leopard coat. Darling, you can look just as fabulous in your own from Michele ($68) or Hilfiger Denim ($179.99).

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With all the money you save on this ASOS dress ($38), Zsa Zsa would tell you that there is plenty of cash left over for diamonds. Or splurge guilt-free on this off the shoulder frock from  Nicole Miller ($440, right). Better yet, buy both!

Whether you prefer a knit dress like this one from ASOS on the left ($64) or a graphic t-shirt dress by Moschino on the right ($598), Zsa Zsa would say, they're both fabulous, darling! 

Zsa Zsa was all about putting a ring and a bow on it. Go for less of a bow with the Eliza J dress on the left ($98.90) or full-on fancy from DSquared ($2,260).

Zsa Zsa always made unforgettable statements and wore unforgettable statement necklaces. Make your own with Sterling Forever ($52).

F- It Fridays: Your Weekly Dose of Retail Therapy (Holiday Outfit Edition)

I know, it’s Friday and you can’t even. I totally get it. Me too. Welcome to F- It Fridays: Your Weekly Dose of Retail Therapy. This week, we’re looking at holiday outfits.

It’s only November 4th, but the holidays are just weeks away. This means two things are inevitable. You’re going to have to RSVP yes to lots of events and most of your shopping for the rest of the year is going to be for other people. So, start shopping for yourself now before the madness begins. You can’t wear the same thing you wore last year because Instagram and Facebook and your mom’s Flickr account. You absolutely must buy yourself something new. Here are some suggestions.

Jill Jill Stuart Velvet & Lace Shirtdress

 

This Jill Stuart dress is a smart alternative to a cocktail dress for causal events where only a very polished look will do. And by that I mean, it’s freezing and you want to wear long sleeves and boots.

Leith Bell Sleeve Sheath Dress

Simple, but so chic, the color of this Leith dress really stands out. It’s also reasonably priced. I dare you to click on the link and find out how affordable it really is. Accessorize with a new statement necklace you bought with all the money you didn’t spend on this dress.

Reformation Adeline Dress

If you want to stun everyone when you walk into a room, you might not find a more interesting choice than this dress from Reformation. Seriously, make sure there is a defibrillator at the party because someone might have a heart attack when they seen how amazing you look.

Mara Hoffman Cross Front Jumpsuit

If you can’t decide between a little black dress, a pantsuit, or going naked, this beautiful Mara Hoffman jumpsuit is your happy medium.

Trina Turk Gizela Dress

Do you hate red, green and pumpkin spice lattes? Then Trina Turk’s pink Gizela dress is a fashionable way to say “Bah humbug.” Also, if you’re anything like me and can’t get enough Trina Turk, check out my post from earlier this week, From Dresses To Décor

Dresses to Decor: Lilly Pulitzer Edition

Welcome to From Dresses to Décor! This is a new series exploring the home lines of my favorite designers. Today, I’m going to talk about Lilly Pulitzer.

Lilly Pulitzer famously said, “Being happy never goes out of style,” and that is exactly how I feel whenever I wear anything from this brand. I’ll never forget the moment I discovered the Lilly Pulitzer for the first time. I was at Bloomingdales on 59th street in New York with my mom when I laid my eyes on a on a pink palm tree skirt. I didn’t recognize the label because I was in middle school. As a lover of prints and bright colors, I was stopped in my tracks. I asked my mother who Lilly Pulitzer was and where this line had been for my entire life. Was she hiding it from me? She laughed and bought me a skirt (which I still have and yes, it still fits) and told me not to tell my father. Years later I’m still a Lilly lover.  It’s the label closest to my heart. And no, my father never found out about the skirt. 

My first Lilly Pulitzer skirt.

My first Lilly Pulitzer skirt.

If you didn't know, the late Lilly Pulitzer was a #GirlBoss before it was a thing. A Palm Beach socialite who opened up a juice stand, Lilly kept staining her dresses with juice, so she designed a print shift dress to hide to stains. It turned out more people wanted her dress than her juice. 

Lilly’s iconic prints translate perfectly from dresses to décor. We all know that adding a print to an outfit instantly changes the look from drab to fab. The same rule applies to decorating a room.  Adding a print can change the look and feel of an entire space. A few years ago, Lilly Pulitzer had furniture and bedding lines, but unfortunately, they’ve both been discontinued.

Currently, Lilly Pulitzer has a beautiful fabric collaboration with Lee Joffa. There are so many options and the possibilities are endless. You could have slipcovers made and revitalize a couch. Or you could do it yourself if you are crafty. (I’m not. Notice how there is no DIY whatsoever on this blog. It’s for a reason.) Or you could re-upholster a chair, which is probably an easier project. 

So many beautiful fabrics. How do you choose?
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    This  Eileen & Taylor  chair is so Palm Beach! 

This Eileen & Taylor chair is so Palm Beach! 

Lee Joffa also recently introduced thirteen Lilly wallpapers. I dream of having a beautiful dressing room with Lilly papered walls. Unfortunately, I currently rent and barely have a walk-in closet. One day...

Pillows are to couches what scarves are to outfits. If you aren’t ready to go full-on Lilly, these pillows let you incorporate just a touch of print into your space.

Even the smallest touch of Lilly can reminds me of drinking cocktails in Palm Beach, which is why I just adore these coasters. 

Speaking of cocktails, you could serve them on these lacquer trays. You can also use the trays on your coffee table to house your remotes and coasters. In the bedroom, they could make the perfect spot for perfume or pretty cosmetics.

You can bring Lilly outdoors with these cute beverage totes. They could also be kept outside as a flip-flop bucket. If you don’t have a backyard or patio, you could use one to hold magazines in your living room or bathroom. They also make a great housewarming gift

Who doesn't love candles in pretty holders? I recently learned an easy way to re-use the them. When the candle is finished burning, let it cool and then leave it in the freezer for a few minutes. The wax will spoon out easily. This is so eco-friendly and a great way to hold pens at your desk or makeup brushes at your vanity. 

 

Seasonal FOMO, Wardrobe Anxiety and Getting #OOTD Ready With My Favorite Jewelry From Sterling Forever

One thing I love about Los Angeles is that it’s warm and sunny all year round. This means I can sip coffee on my terrace almost every morning, hike on Thanksgiving, and sit out at the pool pretty much whenever I want. While I can’t say I don’t love the semi-eternal summer of this city, I have a little bit of FOMO when I see pictures of people in their Fall coats and boots. That’s just not going to happen for me, so transitioning to a seasonal wardrobe can be a bit of a challenge. While I’ll rarely look truly Fall, I do what I can by choosing darker clothes, rotating long sleeves back into my repertoire and incorporating new accessories into my ensembles.

One of my favorite accessory brands is Sterling Forever, which I recently discovered through my friend, Ali Levine, who is a celebrity stylist. She designs and curates her own collection for SF.  They have high quality, but affordable pieces (and bonus, there are always promo codes). The styles are always on trend for the season, but you’ll still want to wear them for years to come.

Great accessories do more than just complete an outfit. At least for me, they prevent me from overthinking what I’m wearing and changing approximately 400 times before I leave the house. All I need to do is coordinate an SF bracelet or necklace to the first (okay, maybe second) thing I put on and then I’m #OOTD ready.

Here are my four favorite SF pieces for fall along with how I incorporate them into my wardrobe.

I can’t get enough of this black Layered Bar Bracelet. One feature I love is the toggle clasp. Obviously, it’s beautiful, but it also makes it possible to put on the bracelet without having to ask for help. Have you ever screamed in frustration trying to put on a bracelet when there is no one around to assist? Okay, maybe that’s just me. The toggle makes the entire thing so not an ordeal and just a one-person operation. It also helps the bracelet stay secure, so you don’t have to experience that nagging anxiety about your jewelry falling off. This can be a huge problem among bracelet-wearers. I really think more bracelets in this world need toggle clasps. Designers, are you listening?

I love coordinating my bracelet with a casual dress like the one I’m wearing here or even jeans and a t-shirt. It would really compliment a pair of black leather boots or booties.

I am borderline obsessed with this gold and pink suede tassel necklace. Such a versatile piece, it’s like having at least three necklaces in one because there are so many ways to tie it. The rich-colored suede and gold are warm and sophisticated for fall. If you’re not a pink person, it’s also available in navy, aqua, cream, grey and black. I get so many compliments whenever I wear it, I might have to buy another color. Even my dog, Lulu insisted on borrowing it from me. Who wore it better?

And yes, I know I’m wearing a summer caftan in this picture, but I’m at a pool, are you expecting me to wear cashmere? Hey, at least it’s long sleeved.

Ali told me I had to get this Cobalt Mosaic Necklace. When a celeb stylist gives you advice, you listen. And I am glad I did. The epitome of a statement necklace, it really stands out. I usually wear it with a blue top, but it would also look fab with a freshly ironed white button-down shirt, making the ensemble a little more fun and slightly less conservative. 

I'm Saying It Now: Linen Pants Are The Sweatpants of Summer

I've been traveling around NYC and the Hamptons for the past two weeks. Two planes, four busses and many Uber rides later, I’m so happy to be home again. All of this schlepping has been quite exhausting and while comfort in fashion has never really been a priority for me, it was on this trip. I realized this when I was packing up the night before the final leg of my East Coast adventure, while I was choosing what to wear on the Hampton Luxury Liner back to the city. If you've never heard of the Luxury Liner and think it sounds like a fancy way to travel to Manhattan, let me clear things up. It's a slightly upgraded bus with wi-fi and leather seats. Their definition of luxury and mine (and probably yours) are slightly different. At the end of the day, luxury or not, busses generally aren't the most comfortable or chic way to travel, but that doesn't mean that what you wear can't be. 

A chronic over packer, I searched through my suitcase to find something I really wanted to wear. I have beautiful, blue linen pants I bought in Italy approximately 100 years ago. It’s embarrassing to say, I’ve brought them on so many trips and they never end up leaving my suitcase. Finally, my Italian linen pants were going to have their day. Salut! Paired with a long grey almost tunic-length cotton tank, I found the perfect travel outfit. Almost luxurious…

At least by Hampton Luxury Liner standards (as opposed to red carpet, hotel pool or lazy brunch standards), I felt really put together. I could live in linen pants. 

I so meme this!

I so meme this!

Just an FYI, after this borderline life-changing fashion revelation, a quick Google search showed I am not the first person to have this thought. I'm pretty sure (no pun intended) Hey Pretty Thing first had the idea in 2010. So, when you’re finished reading this and checking out my favorite linen pants  (and perhaps even treating yourself to a pair or two, just click on the images to shop), take a look at her site.

 

 
 

If You're Caftaning This Summer Don't Forget To Wear Sunscreen

Here is an embarrassing confession. I have something like 67 pink mostly semi-formal dresses in my closet, but just one caftan/cover up/long shirt thingie for the pool, beach, lake or wherever swimwear is worn. I bought it at the Ralph Lauren outlet at Woodbury Commons over eight years ago.

Since I've moved approximately 400 times since them, I'm shocked it hasn't been lost. (Sadly, I can't say the same for my favorite Dolce & Gabbana sunglasses, which I'm still hoping I will find sometime in the next day or so before I go to New York for two weeks. Please keep my sunglasses in your prayers.) Sadly, last time I wore said caftanamajigie, my husband gave me the bad news that it had a hole (or six) in the back. I think it's time for Ralphie to retire. Hopefully to Palm Beach...

This is a picture from the last time I wore it. I was on my honeymoon at the Bacara in Santa Barbara. And if you are wondering why I'm standing there with an owl, it's because the resort hires owls like Peepers to prevent seagulls from stealing the guests' lunch and drinking their strawberry daiquiris. Fun Fact (but please don't quote me on this one) seagulls love drinking strawberry daiquiris. Such a hoot. I know...

So, now it's time to be the head of HR for my own closet and find a replacement. Here are some of my top contenders. 

Style Secrets With Celeb Stylist Ali Levine

A lot of Hollywood stylists tell you that you need to follow the trends to dress well, intimidate you to buy things you can’t afford, or say your body needs to fit a certain size to be beautiful. But, not Ali Levine. This celebrity stylist, who you probably recognize from Vanderpump Rules, Star Magazine, Nightline or approximately a billion other places, has worked with everyone from Lisa Vanderpump to Holly Robinson Peete, Chelsea Kane, Kerri Walsh Jennings, Lisa Edelstein and too many other fabulous people to list, is also a jewelry designer, blogger, media personality and inspirational ray of sunshine. All about confidence, she believes inner beauty has a big influence on outer beauty. 

I recently sat down with Ali to discuss how she got started in the industry and expanding her brand. She also divulged some of her favorite style secrets. Read this people! Trust me, this is stuff you need to know!!!!

How did you become a stylist? 

To be honest, it sort of just happened. I was always into fashion. After working in retail for Target as an executive of softlines, designing and working in product development for Coach, Lactose, Fragments and Talbots, I started realizing I wanted something more fast paced, trending, and constantly moving. That was the entertainment industry. I started working as a production assistant to the great Oliver Stone and Costume Designer Ellen Mirojnick, assisting on the hot show Newly Weds and much more.

Before I knew it, I was assisting and shopping for major players in the industry and eventually started my own styling business, Ali Levine Design. I've been incredibly blessed to have many celebrities to style for red carpet, television and press events. 

Why do you love what you do? 

I love making people feel good in and out. The right look does that. Myself as a person, and brand, I am about positivity and I love to spread that to my clients.

Why do you think confidence is your best accessory? 

I believe confidence is the most important accessory to your look. When you look at someone, and they are owning what they wear, standing tall, smiling and feeling themselves- that’s their confidence. Someone could be wearing the most gorgeous couture designer, if they don't feel like themselves, than the garment won't hang well on them. Their posture may be off. There are plenty of things that can happen when confidence isn't there.

Whether it’s a red carpet or your best friend’s baby shower, you want to look and feel your best. As a stylist, that is my ultimate goal for my clients. 

What are some trends you are looking forward to for the upcoming season? 

I am really excited for the spring! There are so many great trends coming about from the runways. Some of my favorite are the mirror trends and the bright color and contrasts. I love bright colors and the idea of mixing and matching. I love all of the bright patchwork prints. 

You’ve branched out your brand from styling and blogging to designing a jewelry collection with Sterling Forever. What inspires your designs? 

I love being a part of Sterling forever! They have chic, on trend jewelry that’s affordable! As a stylist, I think its really important to have the red carpet looks I style on A-list celebrities be affordable to the every day fashionista. That’s what my collections are inspired off of. I am always looking at new trends, what people are loving, what’s on the blogs and in magazines, and some of them are just ideas I've had and fallen in love with. Sterling Forever allows me to be creative with designing new ideas for them and myself, as well as my curated collections.

What is your most important style secret? 

FIT is everything! You can wear something from Target or Dolce & Gabbana, if it doesn't fit right, no dice! On that note, the tailor is your best friend. You can take a discounted blazer, tailor it for $20 and make it look brand new and custom-made. It screams quality. Who wouldn’t want that?

Where do you see your career going in the future? 

I think there are endless possibilities with my styling. It has opened me up to many avenues and amazing networks of people. My blog has taken off and I am loving blogging and sharing my every day tips with my fans and followers. From my blog and styling, more and more, I've been asked to be on camera as an expert, which I have really been enjoying! So as my career grows, I would love to further get into hosting. 

I have started hosting on an amazingly fun fashion show this past year locally in Los Angeles, Orange County and Palm Springs called Fashionista Now Boarding on Channel 63. Producer Kathy Marino has really opened my eyes into the hosting world and we been having so much fun with it! I would love to host on E! and talk fashion every day, all day. That would be on the bucket list for sure.

For more info about Ali Levine, visit her website or follow her fabulous adventures on Instragram and Twitter