3 Fashion Blogger Secrets Worth Stealing

MappCraft | 3 Fashion Blogger Secrets Worth Stealing

MappCraft | 3 Fashion Blogger Secrets Worth Stealing

Blogger Secret #1: The Third Piece Rule

Recently I fished up an article on Pinterest with a totally click bait title that hooked me immediately: Fashion Blogger Secret: The Third Piece Rule.  

According to WhoWhatWear the secret to looking stylish is to add a third element (not including your jacket or shoes) to your outfit. Otherwise: Accessorize. Uh, thanks Captain Obvious. 

But maybe it's not so obvious?

Today's outfit delights me in many ways but it really does boil down to the impact of the third (and fourth and fifth) piece rule. Had I not applied that theory, the outfit would have looked like this:

MappCraft | 3 Fashion Blogger Secrets Worth Stealing - #1 The 3rd Piece Rule

MappCraft | 3 Fashion Blogger Secrets Worth Stealing - #1 The 3rd Piece Rule

Not horrible. But how about one more layer - an accent color to break up the grey, perhaps?

MappCraft | 3 Fashion Blogger Secrets Worth Stealing MappCraft | 3 Fashion Blogger Secrets Worth Stealing - #1 The 3rd Piece Rule

MappCraft | 3 Fashion Blogger Secrets Worth Stealing MappCraft | 3 Fashion Blogger Secrets Worth Stealing - #1 The 3rd Piece Rule

Now just a few more accessories, to make the look "pop."

MappCraft | 3 Fashion Blogger Secrets Worth Stealing - #1 The 3rd Piece Rule

MappCraft | 3 Fashion Blogger Secrets Worth Stealing - #1 The 3rd Piece Rule

Now you're ready to go - once you add a jacket, shoes and bag.

MappCraft | 3 Fashion Blogger Secrets Worth Stealing - #1 The 3rd Piece Rule

MappCraft | 3 Fashion Blogger Secrets Worth Stealing - #1 The 3rd Piece Rule

VOILA! So simple. Just add one more piece and you've performed outfit magic.

Okay, that's a lot of extra pieces but you see my point. It's the considered extras that add oomph to an outfit, which is exactly why I preach that you should maintain a well edited capsule wardrobe and flex your fashion fun in the accessory department. 

Blogger Secret #2: Power Palette 

MappCraft | 3 Blogger Secrets Worth Stealing, #2 Power Palette

MappCraft | 3 Blogger Secrets Worth Stealing, #2 Power Palette

It's easy to create a personal Power Palette. First start with 3 - 4 Neutral anchor colors (take a look at your shoe collection for inspiration). Now, think back to what were you wearing the last time someone said "that color looks amazing on you!" Bam! Accent color #1. Now add 3-4 additional colors to complement the color that complements you. Get creative. 

Blogger Secret #3: Layering

MappCraft | 3 Blogger Secrets Worth Stealing, #3 Layering

MappCraft | 3 Blogger Secrets Worth Stealing, #3 Layering

The last critical element of this style hack trifecta is my favorite technique -- layering. A sliver of the poppy red J.Crew silk cami sandwiched between the heather grey Market & Spruce hi-lo tee and the charcoal grey Banana Republic mini skirt makes all the difference. 

Sure the outfit would have worked without it, but that simple element illustrates the thesis of the Third Piece Rule:

“It adds nuance to an otherwise run-of-the-mill outfit, making you look put together, polished, more interesting and like you put a little effort into your look.”
— Cat Kollings for WhoWhatWear.com

Share Your Style Secrets!

What do you think? Do you employ any of these styling tactics to get dressed in the morning? Do you have styling secret formulas of your own? Show me! Share your pics and your feedback on the MappCraft | Tiny Closet Essential Survival Guide private Facebook group.

 

Be the Bright!

xoxo

Jenn

PS: If you like what I write, please click the heart. I'll be your best friend. 


The Only Capsule Wardrobe E-Book You Actually Need

If you appreciate the practical "how to put an outfit together" tips in this blog post you are going to LOVE my new e-book!

MappCraft | Tiny Closet Essential Survival Guide is the definitive source for creating a customized capsule wardrobe (full of color, texture and personality) and cementing your personal style in the process.

The 1 Scarf Styling Trick Guaranteed to Transform Your Capsule Wardrobe

THIS IS A VIDEO. WATCH IT!

Embrace the Scarf!

Capsule wardrobes thrive on versatility. The trick to creating an effective capsule wardrobe is to curate a collection of garments in which every item fits together like a puzzle. 

MappCraft: The 1 Scarf Styling Trick Guaranteed to Transform Your Capsule Wardrobe

MappCraft: The 1 Scarf Styling Trick Guaranteed to Transform Your Capsule Wardrobe

My Hermes silk twill scarf collection is the connective tissue that adheres my capsule wardrobe. My husband gave me my first Hermes scarf for my 30th birthday in 2007 but it wasn't until 2013 that I actually learned the one critical trick to tying the damn things. Inside that year's anniversary gift bag (above) I discovered a sweet little orange box marked "Cartes A Nouer - Knotting Cards." 

MappCraft: The 1 Scarf Styling Trick Guaranteed to Transform Your Capsule Wardrobe

MappCraft: The 1 Scarf Styling Trick Guaranteed to Transform Your Capsule Wardrobe

The Hermes Knotting Card deck taught me how to fashion scarves as belts, head wraps, neck ties, bows, bracelets - even halter tops -- but the foundation for all of those styles was the one simple little folding trick I share in the video above.

But I Can't Afford a $400 Scarf!

No problem, girl! Not every scarf needs to be Hermes. Check out the gallery below for a range of scarf options in a range of price points. Just know that silk twill folds more elegantly than other materials.

Still coveting an orange box? Put one on your wish list! Birthday, Christmas, Hanukkah, Valentines, Mother's Day, Anniversary - all fantastic opportunities to elevate your accessory collection via luxury gift getting. You just need to train the gift giver - here's my definitive guide on how to score an epic gift. 

Shop Silk Scarves

If you are serious about capsule wardrobing, you seriously need to embrace the art of the scarf because just one scarf can multiple your outfit possibilities in dozens of ways.

Enjoy! Show me how you wear your scarves in the Tiny Closet, Tons of Style® private FB group.

xoxo -- Jenn

PS: CLICK THE HEART BELOW! Tell your friends. Share the love. 

MappCraft | The 1 Scarf Styling Trick Guaranteed to Transform Your Capsule Wardrobe   Photo Credits: Erin Nicole Brown

MappCraft | The 1 Scarf Styling Trick Guaranteed to Transform Your Capsule Wardrobe

Photo Credits: Erin Nicole Brown

Capsule Packing Challenge: 3 Day Beach Weekend

3-day-beach-packing-list

It's finally warm, the sun is shining and your skin is begging you for a tan. Come on girl - let's get the eff out of Dodge! 

Crafting a kick ass weekend travel wardrobe is the ultimate capsule challenge. You must pack light but with purpose. You need options. You want every outfit to slay. You have only have so much luggage space. You are going to kill this. I am going to help you.

Here is my 1 carry on packing strategy for 3 days and 2 nights of adult quality fun in the sun. It includes only 8 core garments: 1 dress; 2 bottoms; 3 tops; 1 bathing suit and 1 sarong. To complement we have 2 pairs of shoes (flops don't count) and 7 accessories. Out of this you can create no less than 10 outfits.

The trick is to pick a harmonious pallet and include an appropriate mix of solids and prints. The links below reflect cute options on the market right now, but this equation is timeless. OK. Enough of the math, let's get visual.

PIN ME! PRINT ME! PIMP ME OUT!

PIN ME! PRINT ME! PIMP ME OUT!

Solid Swimsuit

Why solid? Because your suit will act as a top when paired with your fun print sarong and colorful wedges below. That my dear, is one outfit. Think pool bar, hotel lobby, casino floor. 

Print Sarong

The sarong is a critical beach weekend garment. A sarong can be a large wrap. Call it whatever you want but essentially this piece is a large rectangle of fabric that can (and will) act as a skirt, as a dress, as a wrap to keep your shoulders warm, as an inconspicuous cover for your girl to get changed behind (you) or to change a diaper (me). I am the MacGyver of sarongs. 

Solid Jersey Dress

A comfy/sexy summer weight, easy to pack, wrinkle resistant dress is a vacation (and summer time) must. Jersey or modal are great fabric choices because both are super soft yet look polished enough for dinner. Pop them over your suit for a lobby appropriate cover up, pair with flat sandals for shopping or dress it up with wedges at night. A soft dress is also an ideal travel day outfit. Because: Life is too short for pants.

White Jeans

Unless of course those pants are classic white jeans. Nothing reads vacay like white jeans. These are great for shopping or dinner and go with everything. Just remember to bring a stain wipe and avoid red wine if you are anything like me after 2 glasses. 

White Novelty Tee

You're on vacation - get cheeky. I honestly thought novelty t-shirts would be long uncool by now but I guess we all have something to get off our chest. I like the contrast of the graphic shirt against print shorts. 

Print shorts

Shorts are fun and casual, of course. Wear them with flats for shopping and lunch or amp up the sass factor and pair with your highest colorful wedges for night.

Solid Tank

Essential. Pick a bright color and pair with anything in your carry on. And then wear it to bed.

Chambray Shirt

Another versatile essential that screams summer. Wear your chambray unbuttoned over your bathing suit at the pool bar, over your dress to warm shoulders after the sun goes down or buttoned up with white jeans. A critical "3rd Piece" that is completely classic and makes an outfit. 

Gold Flat Sandals

Gold is a neutral - matches literally every color. Flats are essential. Done and done.  

Colorful Wedges

Wedge + bikini = Vegas outfit sorted. A colorful wedge is vacay all the way: perfect for day, perfect for night and on both occasions you'll look model tall and your feet will thank you.

Convertible Crossbody Clutch

One bag all weekend? Yassss girl. With the cross body strap attached your hands are free for shopping, eating, shell collecting - whatever. Once you unsnap it your going out look is complete and you don't even have to transfer the contents. 

Beach Bag

Your SPF 30 (at least); Star and Real Simple magazines, beach towel, bronzer, Cibu Knot So Knotty Detangler and wide tooth comb all deserve a home as cute as your suit. 

Jewelry

You don't need an entire jewelry roll for a 3 day weekend. A lively pair of statement earrings make one outfit; a statement necklace and classic studs make another. Sorted.

Fun Earrings

Classic Earrings

Statement Necklace

Wrinkle Protection

Yes, we love sun. But we are also responsible women with our skin to consider. The bigger the shades the smaller the crow's feet. Add a straw hat and your face will thank you for many summers to come.

Sunglasses

Sun hat

Hasta la vista baby! Have a wonderful time! Make sure you check in at the airport, by the pool, at the bar and on the beach and I'll totally double heart all your IG pics. You're going to look so cute! #blessed #vacay #freakinweekend #friyay

xoxo

Jenn

The Capsule Wardrobe Caveat No One Wants to Talk About (and 6 Reasons to Ignore It)

Photo credits: Erin Nicole Graf  

Photo credits: Erin Nicole Graf  

When I attempt to explain the concept for this blog - capsule wardrobing - I am met with equal parts intrigue and skepticism. Many assume I made this decision to either save money or save the planet. While both of those are noble considerations, neither was the driving force.

I started this journey when confronted with a storage issue. Research for organizational solutions unearthed Project 333 and Un-fancy.com - two undisputed pioneer women of the capsule wardrobe movement. After eagerly devouring their resources it was very clear that my problem wasn't storage, it was inconspicuous consumption. I also realized I was sick of being held captive by my closet. A year in, the process has improved my life in a myriad of ways. 

Top 6 Benefits of a Capsule Wardrobe

 

1 scarf, 1000 ways

1 scarf, 1000 ways

  1. Efficiency - As you grow in years and responsibility the time money continuum becomes painfully apparent. The mornings when I had an hour to try on various outfits are over. Now that my closet only contains garments that complement me and each other, no time is wasted getting dressed. 
  2. Cost savings - I do not buy disposable (read: cheap) clothes. This was true even before I committed to capsule wardrobing. Now that I only shop once a season, the money I thoughtlessly spent throughout the year is spent intentionally during a finite window, thus saving money on (expensive) items I didn't actually need or many times even wear. 
  3. Mindfulness - Capsuling saves money on clothes because you curb impulse shopping. Nice, right? It gets better. The very act of acting intentionally conditions your brain towards mindfulness, which in time can curb impulsivity in other areas of your life. My impulses include Pinot Noir, snapping at my husband and impatient parenting. Keep in mind, mindfulness is a skill. When I master it, I'll text you. Any day now.
  4. Creativity - As Steve Jobs aptly said: "Creativity is just connecting things." Inspired results come from the imaginative use of limited resources. When you've curated a wardrobe that works like a puzzle, every piece clicks together to paint a new stylish story daily. Plus you feel like a boss for working the ish out of your closet. 
  5. Confidence - If I leave the house in ill fitting clothes I am acutely aware of it ALL. DAY. LONG. I can't relax or concentrate or even listen to you. It's a problem. I have gone home in the middle of a work day to change out of bad outfits. Who has time for such pathos? Not me (See #1). Now I leave my house confident that every outfit slays and I can get back to obsessing over something productive.
  6. Control -  As a younger adult I was totally laid back. Chill #AF, if you will. But sometime between my career trajectory and raising small children I became a basket case when faced with elements out of my control (like small children). At my breaking point, my wardrobe was one of those elements. Today, when everything else is chaos, I find tremendous peace in my closet, the one corner of my world under my complete and relentless control.

The Critical Caveat No One Wants to Talk About

Now that we've had the good vibe tribe chat about all the wonderful, life changing side effects of a capsule wardrobe, here is the hard truth that no capsule wardrobe blogger wants to address:

You cannot commit to a capsule wardrobe until you've made peace with your pant size. 

If you have been telling yourself that you are going to lose 10, 20, 30 pounds and you are hanging onto clothing from the actual 1990s to prove it -- this isn't for you.

Or is it? How does it make you feel to look at those garments every morning? Confident or defeated? Inspired or disheartened? Ready to take on the world or ready to go back to bed? I will let you answer that for yourself.

Consider this: Perhaps it's time to release those old stories and embrace the right the fuck now.

Imagine waking up and only having to look at clothes that make you feel fantastic. How much fun would it be if your hardest daily fashion decision was choosing between accessories? What if your closet actually reinforced your undeniable confidence and style savvy? Something to think about. 

xoxo

Jenn

PS: If you enjoyed this post, please click on the heart below. Or comment! LOVES YA!

There are amazing clothes in every size. 

There are amazing clothes in every size. 

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9 Off The Shoulder Styles Under $100

All the sudden off the shoulder is ERY' where! Maybe it's a side effect of an overly chilly spring but even I'm intrigued by the allure of an exposed shoulder -- the vibe is so summer sunset. Plus, there is a romantic versatility to this look: Dress it down for weekend with denim and flat sandals or up for the office with a slim skirt and wedges.

Sold! I'm going to fill an open Summer '16 capsule spot with an off the shoulder top. 

Epically disciplined capsule wardrobe convert that I am, I refuse to fall for the the first gathered neckline that brushes by. Like all capsule additions, this will be a well considered purchase decision: <$100 spend. Because: trend.

Are you in the market with me? Check out the upper arm strength below.

Cold Shoulder Tops

My imagined off the shoulder look involves two warm weather staples already in my Summer '16 capsule: white J.Crew Matchstick jeans and gold Sergio Rossi flat sandals. To match (and cover tops of thighs) I am scoping a tunic length top in a fun bright color, like this MICHAEL blouse or the sea green option on the right. 

Brush It Off Dresses

Keep in mind, the shoulder craze doesn't stop at the waistline. While I don't have a need for a new summer dress, you might. These three frocks are easy on the wallet, so patriotic and totally scream for ice cream. 

Rompers with Shoulder Room

The ubiquitous onesie started trending last spring and was apparently renewed for a second season. IMO, a romper looks best on the long legged and butt free. I am petite and pack an ass. So - no. If the jumpsuit gives you the feels, this summer's shoulder crop options are more "good vibe tribe" and less Studio 54. Here are three looks in order of leg length and butt width appropriateness. 

So, are you sold? Oh! You've already bought one. Sweet. Share a snap of your cold shoulders on the MappCraft Facebook page!

xoxo Jenn

Like what you read? Do a sister a solid and click that little heart below. FO REAL DOH.

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Why You Need Purple. Now. S16 Outfit #6:

I was going to title this post "How to Dress Like May When It Feels Like March" because if you live on the East Coast you know that it's mid May and it feels like effing March. 

Rainy pattern in eastern US to persist until early June. Many people looking for an extended period of rain-free weather in the eastern United States will have to wait a few more weeks.
— Accuweather aka D. Downer

So why do you need to wear purple like, now? Well, how does this weather make you feel? Gloomy? Gray? Uninspired? Lethargic? OK. How does this purse make you feel?  

How does this purse make you feel?

How does this purse make you feel?

Exactly! Purple is a powerful color. Purple relates to the imagination and the need to escape the practicality of everyday life. Purple indicates creativity, inspiration and connection to the divine. Purple vibrates selfless and unconditional love. Purple is the color of artists, storytellers and magicians.

Don’t be fooled - purple transcends woo woo and dreamland. Purple fosters mental stability, harmonizes emotions and promotes peace of mind. Purple is the symbol of royalty, wealth, nobility and respect. Purple is the independent, the confident, the ambitious. Purple is a bad ass.

THIS WOULD MAKE A GREAT PIN. AMIRIGHT?

THIS WOULD MAKE A GREAT PIN. AMIRIGHT?

Surprisingly, my research revealed that purple isn’t for everyone. To those with a slumping temperament, purple is too dominant, too brazen, too ostentatious of a color. Some even find it depressing.

Yikes. Those people must really hate this weather.

For me though, purple is energizing. It wakes me up and reminds me that the sun will return and that there is inspiration even in rain. If purple isn’t your power color, put on a color that resonates with you. Because according to Accu-gloom, we’re all in this together until June. 

xoxo Jenn

PS: If you like what you read, click that little heart underneath the shop-able pop-able purple. YASSSS!

Pop Some Purple