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Up until about a month ago, I considered myself a pretty fashionable girl. My style, which I defined as Bohemian-femme with a splash of rocker edge, received frequent enough compliments to sustain a modest self-assurance. My ability to accessorize was one of my proudest secret skills. And I was pretty darn pleased with my somewhat excessive collection of trendy Forever 21 dresses. After all, I had three closets (yes, three) stuffed full of clothes that had accumulated over the course of my twenties. I considered it a “collection” in the most artsy sense of the word.
That was until I hired Melissa Muoio, one of Chicago’s most talented and under-the-radar stylists, to come into my apartment for a closet edit. Melissa, who affectionately goes by Mel, didn’t really edit my closet as much as she did purge it.
Six hours later and with eight bags of crappy hangers and 12 bags of clothes that fell into either the “out-of-date” category, the “out-of-style” category or the “was-I-out-of-my-mind-when-I-bought this?” category, my three closets looked practically empty.
I discovered that my once prideful “collection” was really nothing more than a hoarding problem. I had to face the fact that I was an emotional shopper and was hanging onto clothes I hadn’t worn in years, based on a particular memory or significance that piece of clothing held.
Out with the old, in with the new, Mel took me shopping everywhere from ZARA to Urban Outfitters to Anthropologie to American Apparel to chic privately owned boutiques in Wicker Park, picking out items I would have never chosen myself, yet are now the most fashion forward things in my closet, while still remaining totally, authentically “me.”
I know I’m a dramatic person (and if you’ve met me you know that too), but I’m not exaggerating when I say hiring Mel Mouio will most definitely change your fashion perspective, perhaps your entire style and quite possibly your life. Well…at least your closet’s life.
Read on to hear more about Mel’s fashion (and beauty!) insights in her own words, and then schedule your closet edit and “shopping day” by emailing her here.
- All the deals out there: buy one get one free, buy one get one half off, so on and so forth… Forget it. It is not about mass consumption of items. You’ve heard it before, quality over quantity.
- Fashion is art: your body is the canvas.
- The first step is to think of yourself as an art collector. Would you buy a piece of art to add to your precious collection merely because it is on sale? (I’m hoping you say no.)
- Let’s talk about the power of “no.”
- You can say no to things you may only wear once, things that don’t fit right away, overly trendy items, bad patterns, cheap shoes and bags and over processed highlights.
- However, you can say oui to all the below items. Here are my top ten picks for spring beauty and fashion:
2. While at Sephora, pick up the Bliss Cellulite buffer: it’s lipo for a fraction of the price. Use it with love and use it often.
3. Think Jennifer Lopez’s skin is more gleaming than a dolphin? Did you know dolphins use Neutrogena Seasame Oil? True story, some mermaid told me…
4. Skin in order, let’s move to nail polish. Any blue or purple shade in Essie and Lippman is a shade to try.
5. Natural hair. The dark roots “Ombré” look started in Paris years ago, made its way to LA and now we see most celebs with that look. Tons of highlights are out. Talk to your stylist about the steps to a grow-out and watch how your strands will shine again.
7. Belle of the Ball: Jeans. While it may be one of the last seasons for skinny jeans, feel free to wear them but go ahead and buy a pair of bells.
8. Bag Lady. Great, long lasting bags are always in. I recommend a neutral color with two handles and an option of a strap for a more “gal on the go” look. Look for mild or gunmetal hardware. Top pick brands: Gucci, Givenchy, Michael Kors, Rebecca Minkoff, Marc Jacobs, even Anthropologie has some fab bags.
Finally, have fun. Shopping isn’t about buying something every time you go out. Sometimes it’s just better to look than to touch. Save your hard earned cash and room in your closet for prize pieces of note.”