Kickstart Your Spring Cleaning with Style by Deco

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A couple weeks ago the lovely ladies behind Style by Deco stopped by to help me kickoff my spring cleaning with a much-needed closet organizing session.

Of the challenges I face with my closet, the biggest one is its size. It is tiny!! Before I got married and moved into a one bedroom apartment with my husband, I was living in a two bedroom apartment with two of my very own, regular sized closets full of clothes and shoes. Before moving, I knew that we were going to be closet-challenged, so I got rid of at least half of my wardrobe. It was a really big deal for me to do that because I become attached to everything I own and have a difficult time parting with items I haven’t even worn in years!

So, when we moved into our current apartment, I was feeling pretty good about the amount of clothing I had and knew that I had really gotten rid of everything I didn’t need and was only holding onto the items I would use and that actually had any significant meaning/value to me.

About six months to a year into living in our one bedroom apartment, I started to purge a little more as I was realizing that the space was still too small for the amount of clothing I had…and, of course, there were some new purchases that brought in new pieces I needed to make room for. I probably filled about two Fashion Project bags worth of clothing during the first year of living here, which to me felt like it should have been more than enough! Again, I have trouble parting with anything and everything.

After about 16 months of living here, my closet was out of control and beyond dysfunctional. I couldn’t see everything I had as a lot of shoes, sweaters and dresses were hiding in the far back corners or under other items that were thrown on top of them because there was no where else for me to put them. I had part of my closet along a wall in our bedroom because it wouldn’t fit in the actual closet. Shoes were lined up in our living room. It was bad. Luckily my husband is extremely tolerant and put up with my disorganization, but that didn’t make it okay. It was time for a major change.

Enter Emily Simon and Debbie Kahn of Style by Deco. The two founders of the closet organizing and personal shopping company came over and totally re-hauled my chaotic closet. And they did it in just two hours!! Take a look at some of these before and after shots as well as tips from the clothing outfitters and closet organizers.

Full Closet Before

Closet Organizing BeforeAs you can see, things were a bit chaotic in my closet when they arrived. Emily and Debbie’s first recommendation was to fold all of my denim rather than have them hanging. “This is especially helpful in small closets,” explained Debbie.

They placed my folded denim on the top right rack of my closet and moved all the shoes in boxes that were originally in that place to the bottom of the closet and organized them by style. Flats, open toe sandals, pumps, booties and boots. Because of the lack of space again, and partly due to my personal preference as well, we kept all shoes in their shoe boxes. One day I will have my dream walk-in closet with enough space to display my lovely shoe collection. Emily and Debbie also recommend, IRIS Large, Clear Drop Front Shoe boxes for storing your shoes. “Clear shoe boxes make it easy to see your shoes and looks cleaner,” explained Emily.

Upper Shelf Before and After

Closet Organizing

In the image on the left, you can see where all the jeans were hanging and the mess of boxes stacked above them.

Closet Floor Before and After

Closet Floor Before and AfterThis was quite possibly the worst part of my closet and I can’t believe I let it get so bad! You can see that there is no organization going on with anything in the photo on the left. There are shoeboxes stacked unevenly with random boots, purse bags and handbags thrown on top of them.

With the way Style by Deco organized the floor of my closet (on the right), I am not only able see my shoes and everything stored down there, but I actually have extra space to properly place tall boots and can even store my everyday bag neatly on the floor of my closet rather than the kitchen table.

Full Closet After

Closet OrganizingWithout the help and guidance from Style by Deco, I would still be dealing with a closet that overflowed into our bedroom and living areas. Most of us are physically capable of rearranging our own closets, but the likelihood that we will actually take the time to do it from start to finish, without cutting corners or making excuses for why certain things are the way they are is very unlikely. And that is exactly what I found to be the most beneficial about Style by Deco. Not only are Emily and Debbie very talented and knowledgeable in the space, they’re going to make sure that the job gets done and that it gets done properly.

If I were to have attempted this on my own, I probably would have started and stopped multiple times and across several weeks, maybe or maybe not fully finishing the job. Having professionals like Emily and Debbie come into your house, not only guarantees that the job is going to get done, but that it is going to get done correctly. If I had had my sister or best friend over to help me, I would have been comfortable enough to make excuses for certain things and talk them out of doing what was really necessary to make my closet functional again.

I’ll be totally honest and tell you that this process completely put me out of my comfort zone and I was uneasy with every box they picked up or item they held out and asked, “do you still use this?” But I survived and could not be happier with the results!

Benefits of My Organized Closet

Now that my closet is organized and I can actually see everything I have, I am in the perfect position to identify even more items to can get rid of! My husband and I have another move coming up in a few months. While I plan to have more closet space in our next home, I don’t want to move extra clothing that I don’t need anymore. With my newly organized closet, I have easily identified items that I can sell and giveaway. Here are a few of Style by Deco’s and my recommendations for items you want to:

Style by Deco’s Top Closet Organizing Tips

  • Get a step stool!! This is Style by Deco’s #1 recommendation for every client.
  • If you are dealing with a smaller closet, fold your jeans instead of hanging them.
  • Find shelving units to utilize the space above your hanging bar. Especially when you have high ceilings.
  • Always throw away dry cleaning hangers and invest in huggable velvet hangers to keep small and large closets looking more organized and clean to see everything you have. Great prices at HomeGoods and Amazon!
  • Avoid wrinkled scarves by using a scarf hanger.
  • Style by Deco discourages clients from organizing their closets by outfits because it limits your ability to piece together looks into new ways. Instead, categorize pieces by style, sleeve length and color.

For more information on Style by Deco and to learn about all their services, visit their website here! You can also follow them on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Style by Deco Logo

Trend Tuesday: Ear Cuffs

Ear cuffs (aka ear crawlers, climber earrings, ear jackets, etc…) have slowly eased their way into my heart over the last year or so, but it wasn’t until this year’s red carpet season that I really began to fall in love.

Emma Stone SAG Awards 2015

via hollywoodreporter.com

Emma Stone wowed in a Dior menswear-inspired, sheer dress and Repossi ear cuff at the SAG Awards.

Keira Knightley SAG Awards 2015

via hollywoodreporter.com

Keira Knightley was glowing in a purple Erdem gown and a Serti Sur Vide pink, gold and diamond ear cuff at the SAG Awards.

Scarlett Johansson 87th Academy Awards

via eonline.com

Scarlett Johansson stunned in Atelier Versace with gold and emerald earrings and ear cuff at the 87th Acadamy Awards. (I found a similar one by Ben-Amun on sale below!)

To get the look yourself, I’ve perused one of my favorite fashion sites Shopbop.com for edgy ear cuffs at all price points:

Jules Smith Cluster Right Ear Crawler - Clear/GunmetalJules Smith Cluster Right Ear Crawler – $45

Rebecca Minkoff Crystal Ear Crawlers - Gold/ClearRebecca Minkoff Crystal Ear Crawler – $58

Noir Jewelry Ear Crawlers - Black/WhiteNoir Jewelry Ear Crawlers – $65

Ben-Amun Crystal Marquis Earrings - Gold/EmeraldBen-Amun Crystal Marquis Earrings – $160 $112 (on sale!)

Elizabeth And James Vida Ear Cuff Earrings - Black RutheniumElizabeth and James Vida Ear Cuff Earrings – $175

Shay Accessories Crystal Ear Cuffs - Gold/ClearShay Accessories Crystal Ear Cuffs – $265 $185.50 (on sale!)

Shay Accessories Crystal Clip On Ear Cuffs - JetShay Accessories Crystal Clip On Ear Cuffs – $200

Oscar De La Renta Navette Crystal Cuff Earrings - FuchsiaOscar de la Renta Navette Crystal Cuff Earrings – $225

Fallon Jewelry Shalom Pave Climber Earrings - Gold/ClearFallon Jewelry Shalom Pave Climber Earrings – $240

Ca & Lou Debutante Lobo Earrings - Crystal/GoldCa & Lou Debutante Lobo Earrings – $290

There are over 100 ear cuff styles on Shopbop.com right now, so go check them out here!

Will you try the trend?

Rocksbox Promo Code: Get Your First Month Free!

Rocksbox Promo Code chicagocatwalkxoxoGet your first month FREE when you use Rocksbox promo code chicagocatwalkxoxo

I’m a little hesitant when it comes to subscription-based styling services, which is why it took me so long to jump on the Rocksbox bandwagon. I found it hard to believe that someone who had never met me would really be able to identify pieces that align with my personal style.

I finally decided to try Rocksbox this month and could not be more impressed with how accurately they nailed my style. I completed their quick (and kind of fun) style survey and thought it could really go in any direction, but I absolutely love the pieces they sent to me (pictured above)! At first I wasn’t sure about the brass and crystal bracelet, but I tried it on with the outfit I was wearing the day it arrived and it was perfect! I love that I’m getting great pieces that match my personal style, as well as items that force me to try something new. It might not always workout as well as the brass bracelet did, but at least I’m getting the opportunity to explore!

Sign up by March 12 and get your first month FREE when you use Rocksbox promo code chicagocatwalkxoxo

Please come back and share your experience after you receive your first Rocksbox as I’d love to hear about it!

Cashmere Poncho and Wool Hat

Cashmere Poncho and Wool Hat

Rocksbox Necklace

Cashmere Poncho and Wool Hat

Cashmere Poncho and Wool Hat

Wool Hat

Rocksbox Bracelet

Cashmere Poncho and Wool Hat

Cashmere Poncho and Wool HatWool Hat: Rag & Bone // Cashmere Poncho: Christopher Fischer (similar hereon sale!) // Skinny Jeans: J Brand // Handbag: Prada // V-neck Necklace: Gorjana via Rocksbox // Tri-Geo Gold Ring: Wanderlust + Co via Rocksbox // Gold “X” Ring: Shop 857 // Brass Bracelet: Loren Hope via Rocksbox // Woven Bracelet: Tai (mine is from Fuschia in Glen Ellyn – similar styles here) // Watch: Nixon // Boots: Coach (similar here)

I wore this outfit to brunch last Sunday and just love how comfortable and effortless ponchos are. Especially for a Sunday morning when you don’t want to put a lot of energy into well, anything really. And I’m sure it goes without saying that the hat is the perfect coverup for bad hair days. I’ve also worn it a lot for travel. A stylish accessory that you can hide behind when your flight requires a 4 am wake up call is life-saving!

Also, I had just gotten my first Rocksbox right before I wore this outfit, so I was really excited to style the necklace, ring and brass bracelet that they sent me. I wasn’t sure how I felt about the brass bracelet at first, but it ended up working perfectly with this look and I love it! The v-neck necklace is so my style and something I can see myself wearing regularly. Rocksbox did such a great job styling a box with jewelry that totally fits my style and I cannot wait to see what they send to me next time around!

[UPDATE] Bonus: Use referral code chicagocatwalkxoxo now through March 12 to receive your FIRST MONTH FREE when you sign up for Rocksbox!

Valentine’s Day Look Featuring Kushyfoot

Valentine's Day Look Featuring Kushyfoot - Chicago CatWalk

Valentine's Day Look Featuring Kushyfoot - Chicago CatWalk

Valentine's Day Look Featuring Kushyfoot - Chicago CatWalk

Valentine's Day Look Featuring Kushyfoot - Chicago CatWalk

Valentine's Day Look Featuring Kushyfoot - Chicago CatWalk

Valentine's Day Look Featuring Kushyfoot - Chicago CatWalkOpaque Tights with Massaging Sole: c/o Kushyfoot // Flared-Hem Skirt: Parker (on sale here and here!) // Top: A.L.C. // Rectangle Clutch: Natasha Couture // Chandelier Earrings: Tildon // Crystal Spike Ring: Spring Street // Shoes: Christian Louboutin

Valentine’s Day is only six days away and I’ve styled another look for the most popular date night of the year! I love this Parker McKenna Houndstooth Flared-Hem Skirt, mostly for the fit and flare shape. However, because of the short hemline, tights are a must in this cold weather.

Fortunately, I recently received shapewear samples from Kushyfoot that included these opaque tights! Kushyfoot is known for their chic, well-made, yet affordable tights. All of their products feature a specially designed sole with a massaging sensation. The tights I’m wearing have a 3-dimensional padding in the sole that acts as a cushion between my bare feet and the hard insoles of my shoes. I actually notice the massaging soles more when I’m wearing flats than in heals, and they really are comfortable! However, what I love most about these Kushyfoot tights is how comfortable they feel on my legs (the fabric isn’t scratchy like other brands I’ve tried) and the fact that they don’t have that dark control top line on the thigh, which would show when wearing short skirts like my Parker one in this look.

Visit Kushyfoot.com and check out the more than 40 styles that Kushyfoot offers!

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Check out Chicago CatWalk’s Valentine’s Day Style & Beauty Guide for more Valentine’s Day looks and beauty tips, including:

Glamorous Waves: Valentine’s Day Hair

 

Glamorous Waves

When it comes to doing my own hair, I have mastered the round brush blowout (thank you, Ashley!) and can use old fashioned hot rollers like it’s no one’s business (thank you, Mom!). But when it comes to curling my hair with a curling iron, I am completely hopeless. It’s always been disappointing because I love the various looks you can achieve with a curling iron, which you can’t quite get with round brushes or even hot rollers.

So, when my sister got a curling wand and said that it was really easy to use, I got excited because she too is inexperienced with curling irons. I began thinking that this could be my hope for achieving glam waves or loose curls at home!

As I do with any hair conundrum I have, I turned to my trusty hair stylist, Ashley Young. Ashley invited me into Salon Buzz last week to show me how to use my sister’s curling wand (because I wanted to try it out before buying my own) to achieve glamorous waves for Valentine’s Day. Read on for simple steps and tips for achieving the look! Continue Reading

Mid-Length Skirt: Valentine’s Day Style

 

Mid-Length Skirt

Mid-Length Skirt

Mid-Length Skirt

Mid-Length Skirt

red glossy rectangle clutch

Lace Manolo Blahnik Pumps

Red Glossy Rectangle Clutch

Mid-Length SkirtCheckered Mid-Length Skirt: Marissa Webb // Crop Top: Nadia Tarr (old – similar here and here) // Rectangle Clutch: Natasha Couture // Chandelier Earrings: Tildon // Crystal Spike Ring: Spring Street // Pumps: Manolo Blahnik (similar here and here) // Fur Coat: Yves Salomon (similar here and here) // Nail Polish: Essie – Cocktail Bling // Lipstick: Mac – Brave Red

When I saw this Marissa Webb Checkered Mid-Length Skirt at Intermix, I immediately thought of Valentine’s Day. The thin organza fabric is very feminine and I love the way it sways when I walk. It also has a thin band that sits right on the waist and defines an hourglass figure.

This mid-length skirt looks great when paired with a fitted solid black crop top or a fitted solid white crop top. The Nadia Tarr crop top I’m wearing in the photos above is no longer available, however Alice + Olivia makes a great V Crop Top and Twist-Back Crop Top that would look great with it! I also have my eye on this Elizabeth and James Aisling Mia Crop Top in white and the Alice + Olivia Twist-Back Crop Top in white.

The glossy rectangle clutch from Nordstrom adds a great pop of red to any Valentine’s Day look. Attach the optional drop-in chain strap to wear it over your shoulder or leave it off and carry it as a clutch!

For more Valentine’s Day style and beauty tips and trends, check out my Valentine’s Day Style & Beauty Guide.

In-Home Beauty with Stylisted + 14% Off

In-home beauty services with Stylisted plus 14% off!

This Valentine’s Day, let beauty knock on your door with Stylisted! Stylisted is an online platform that allows you to book in-home hair styling and makeup appointments from a network of vetted beauty professionals in Chicago, New York and LA. And, for the month of February, Stylisted is offering a special 14% discount for Chicago CatWalk readers only! All you have to do is use the promotion code CATWALK14 when you check out and it will be applied to your final balance.

In-home beauty services with Stylisted plus 14% off!Use promo code CATWALK14 throughout the month of February to receive 14% off!

I just booked hair and makeup services using their mobile app and it was super easy! All I had to do was select the date and time, choose a service, find a stylist, enter my contact and billing info (along with my promo code: CATWALK14) and submit my request! Continue Reading

Gray and White

Gray and White

Gray and White

Gray and White

Gray and White

Gray and White

Gray and White

Gray and White

Gray and White

Gray and White

Gray and WhiteShredded Skinny Jeans: FRAME // Fringe Sweater: Exclusive for Intermix (sold out – similar here, here and here) // Handbag: Givenchy // Watch: Michele (on sale!) // Chain Rings: Vo Jewelry // Gold Ring: Shop 857 // Pave Crystal “X” Ring: Kzen Jewelry (similar here) // Bracelet: Tai (mine is from Fuschia in Glen Ellyn – similar styles here) // Booties: Rag & Bone // Necklace: Kendra Scott // Lip Gloss: c/o Beauty Babe By Sabrina – Nearly Nude // Nail Polish: Essie – Cocktail Bling

In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve really taken a liking to shredded denim…and everything gray. Shredded denim gives just enough edge to an otherwise classic look without going overboard, and gray is more fresh in the winter time amongst all the black most people are wearing. But I can’t say I’m not guilty of wearing head-to-toe black too.

The age-old rule against wearing white after labor day is long gone. And thank goodness, because I love brightening up my wardrobe during these dark winter months with white.

The gray fringe sweater from Intermix was a gift for Christmas (as was my Givenchy bag that I lusted after for months) and I can’t even count how many times I’ve worn it since then. It is really warm and a bit oversized, which makes it that much more comfortable. Unfortunately it is sold out, but there are similar styles here, here and here.

I’ve also had a lot of fun styling my white MICHELE Tahitian Jelly Bean watch this winter to brighten up many of my outfits. And it’s on sale!!

Photos by Sam Lee

Leather and Lace: Valentine’s Day Style

Leather and Lace

Valentine's Day Look

Leather and Lace

Valentine's Day Look

Leather and Lace

Valentine's Day LookFaux-Leather Skirt: Bailey 44 // Lace Crop Top: Topshop // V-Neck Crop Tank: Topshop // Box Clutch: Natasha Couture // Ring: Panacea // Shoes: Christian Louboutin // Nail Polish: Essie – Cocktail Bling // Lipstick: Mac – Brave Red

I love the edgy/romantic combination of leather and lace and Valentine’s Day is the perfect occasion to style the look!

Be sure to check out some of the beauty tips that Beauty Babe by Sabrina shared with me last week to complete your romantic look and stay tuned for more Valentine’s Day looks in the next couple of weeks!

Photos by Sam Lee