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


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

Keira Knightley SAG Awards 2015


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


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 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 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!

Merry Christmas

Cheers to a fashionable Christmas!

Fashionable Christmas

{Must Shop} 14th Annual One of a Kind Show and Sale Chicago

One of a Kind Show

‘Tis the season for giving and what better place is there to knock out some of the most important items on your holiday shopping list than the 14th annual One of a Kind Show and Sale® Chicago? The fashion, the jewelry, the art…did I mention the fashion?

With more than 600 talented artists from across the nation, you are sure to find the perfect one-of-a-kind gift for everyone on your list! I had the opportunity to speak with both Lisa Simonian, Vice President of Marketing for the One of a Kind Show and Sale® Chicago AND returning artist, Meg Musick-Makely earlier this week. Read my interviews with Lisa and Meg for the inside scoop on this year’s show and one-of-a-kind fashion to look forward to when you attend!

The One of a Kind Show and Sale® Chicago starts tomorrow at The Merchandise Mart and goes through the weekend:

Thursday, December 4     11am-8pm
Friday, December 5         11am-8pm
Saturday, December 6     10am-7pm
Sunday, December 7       10am-5pm

And be sure to check out some of the fashion shows while you’re there too:

Friday, 1pm and 6pm
Saturday, 1pm
Sunday, 1pm

headerdatesWhat are you most looking forward to at the show this year? Tell us in the comments!

Saks Fifth Avenue Thanksgiving Day Sale!

ONLINE ONLY! THANKSGIVING SALE! We’ve Taken Up To 60% OFF Select Styles. Shop Now! Online ONLY 11/27. Offer Valid on Select Merchandise.

Saks Fifth Avenue is having a one day Thanksgiving Sale online only! Get 60% off on some of your favorite styles. Here are a few that I have my eye on:

Rag & Bone Binx Two-Tone Halter Dress

Alice + Olivia Yve Cutout Sheath Dress

Bailey 44 Faux Leather-Ribbed Stretch Jersey Top

Rag & Bone Plaid Long-Sleeve Tee

Vince Leather-Trimmed Wool Biker-Style Cardigan


0016 - Catherine [2014.10.29] (Outfit 1) crop

Hello and thank you for visiting my new site, Chicago CatWalk! My mission is to share my passion for fashion and beauty, bring you new trends and provide inside information from influencers in the industries.

I’ve been talking about getting this up and running for quite some time now and could not be happier to see it all come together. I truly appreciate everyone who supported and encouraged me to start on this new journey!

If there’s anything you’d like to see on the blog, please let me know in the comments!

Photo by Sam Lee