Lay Summers

5 Steps to Make Cleaning out Your Closet Easier Forever

5 Steps to Make Cleaning out Your Closet Easier, cleaning out your closetCleaning out our closets are necessary from time to time. It could be for the change in season. Or you moved and don’t have as much closet space. Perhaps you needed to revamp your style or got a new job. Whatever your reason this task has to be done. Cleaning out your closet can be a tedious and time heavy process. But it doesn’t have to be.

Over the years I developed a process to help keep my closet full of items that I love and work seamlessly into my everyday life. Oh, I’m sharing. It’s helped me to enjoy going through my closet and make the process quicker every time.

Here are 5 steps to purging your closet that will make the process easier and leave you with a more functional outcome. These are not the typical steps that will just tell you to throw out anything you haven’t worn in a month. This steps will help you get to the why. In the end, you will have a more tailored closet that speaks to your personal fashion sense and lifestyle.


1| Define a Purpose

Any transition in life is defined by a purpose. The same rings true for your closet. Before you go all Van Hansel on your current wardrobe situation, take a step back. Then write down three ways your closet doesn’t work for you and three ways it does. After, write down three ways you want your clothing to work better for you. This gives you a clear plan and guidelines. So when you get to an item you can’t quite decide what to do with, refer back to this plan. You can see my lists below.

My 3 Ways List

Not working

  1. Lacking some key basics like white tees, more turtlenecks
  2. Not enough winter footwear
  3. Not having a staple everyday bag in a neutral color

Working

  1. My denim. They are all great quality, fit well & do double duty.
  2. My Jackets. I have a good range for each season & they’re all very versatile
  3. The fit. All my items fit really well, they hug me comfortably in all the right places

Needs Improvement

  1. Tops selections. I never feel like I have a good range of tops ever. This has been a constant issue for me that I intend to resolve this year
  2. I have a little bin of belts but most are completely useless for everyday use
  3. More color.

2| Pick out your favorite/most worn items

Once you pick out your favorite and most worn items.Make three piles. One for your favorite items, one for your most worn items and one for items that fit both. The reason for this? Sometimes you have a piece that’s your favorite but you don’t wear it as often as you like. It could be something you tend to only wear on special occasions or out to dinner. You may have items you get a lot of wear out of because they’re comfortable or they fit you okay. However, these pieces may not be ones you love or complement your body best.

Analyze them. Why are they your favorite? Is it the material? The style? The color? Maybe you’re able to wear it in multiple ways and across multiple settings. I really find this part helpful because it starts to identify your shopping habits and what you gravitate towards. This all leads to helping to cultivate and hone it on your personal style. These will also be the pieces you’ll most likely keep and measure the rest of wardrobe against.


3| Check for items that can be fixed/repurposed

We have a lot of pieces we count out because they need a little TLC. It could an item continue to work for you if you took it to a tailor. Could a pair of shoes be picked up by getting the bottoms resoled or a pair of jeans turned into shorts? Maybe a white top could be saved with a little oxy clean? Take the extra minute to see if you’d love to keep the item if you made a small tweak.


4| Create or Visualize Outfits

This is my favorite part. I love creating outfits and visualizing. It makes it easy to see what I am missing from my wardrobe, what pieces I’m struggling to style or what pieces are doing double duty.  For example, I have this trench style sleeveless vest by Trouve that I have a million ideas for how to wear. On the flip side, I have this beautiful beaded white top that I’m never drawn to wear. The top is beautiful, fits well but I know it just doesn’t belong in my closet.

You can even take the time to pin a few favorite looks or flip through a magazine or check out your favorite influencers Instagram for inspiration. If you need help in this area call up your best girlfriend or even seek out a personal stylist.


5| Forgotten Gem, Hidden Potential or donate?

Now that you’ve made a plan, picked out your favorite pieces and created a few ideal outfits. Use those as a guide to finish cleaning out your closet.

Make three piles:

The Forgotten gem: Pieces you forgot you had but still love and have 3 three ways you could wear it

Hidden Potential: Pieces you’re on the fence about. Sometimes we need a bit more time to make a decision. Plan to give yourself the next month to wear it and if not get rid of it for good.

Donate/Sell: These are items that just don’t work for you and you need to give a new home. You can decide to donate to a local shelter, church or The Salvation Army. Or you can decide to sell items to a consignment shop or on an app like Poshmark.

 

The Most Comfortable Sports Bra Ever

sports bra, calvin klein, chill sunday outfit
sports bra, calvin klein, chill sunday outfit

This past week I’d been really drained. I have so many things in the work so when Sunday rolled around I just wanted to chill. I didn’t have much to do except recover from a pretty bad allergic reaction, run a few errands and wait for Games of Thrones. Can we talk about this season?!  I love the dragons and I’m obsessed with Arya. She’s everything.I’m so ready for next week’s episode.

As you can see I had a chill Sunday. I decided to sport my sports bra by Calvin Klein. The love I have for it is so real and it is by far one of the comfiest things I own. It’s probably not that great for working out but it is for lounging around. Or styling as a part of your outfit. Some days we just have to ditch the standard bra.

My American Apparel skirt paired well and the material is just as comfortable. I was pretty sad when I heard they were going out of business. I definitely lived in American Apparel during college. It was literally the first store I ran to when I needed a “going out” outfit. However, I am happy they relaunched their online store.

The all white was very unintentional. My mind might have still been lingering on my birthday dress. Since I am me I had to bring in some color. I really love how a cobalt blue and fuschia shade of pink compliment one another. Wearing bright colors instantly makes me feel more positive. When I feel positive I’m more productive and everything just flows easier. It’s such a small thing but the impact is amazing.

What’s your favorite way to help increase positivity and productivity? Leave it in a comment

sports bra, calvin klein, chill sunday outfit

 

Outfit Details

Sports Bra by Calvin Klein

Skirt by American Apparel

Shoes by Missguided

Bag by Dolce & Gabbana

sports bra, calvin klein, chill sunday outfit

Shop The Sports Bra


Pin Up Vibes | Summer Vacation Outfit

summer vacation outfit

summer vacation outfit

 

I never thought summering in the Vineyard would be a thing. At least not for me. However, when one of my favorite people of all time moved out there it changed the game. This was my second summer heading out to Martha’s Vineyard and we did a really fun girls trip for my birthday. It was great to spend time with my two best friends and just relax. We all work so much it can be hard to find time for us to all hangout. When I get to spend time with Sami and Karol it’s always an amazing time.We took lots of photos and video so you’ll get a peek into the celebration all this week. Be sure to subscribe to the youtube channel to know when my travel diary and vlogs of the trip go up.

Sami is a photographer and spotted this old school chevy truck. We had to stop. Actually, she whipped the car around so quickly Karol and I thought something was wrong. Instead, she turned and said, ” we have to shoot your look here”. It really was perfect and lent to the pin up vibes of my outfit.

Of course being on an island warrants the right kind of summer vacation outfit. Most importantly the right kind of shoes. I went for cute sandals with a minimal heel. I really loved the style of my Nine West sandals because the wedge heel adds a bit of elegance while also being comfortable to walk in. Big floppy hats for summer will always be a must in my book. Pairing geometric patterned hat really made the look pop. Not to mention it was great to product my hair and skin from the sun.

Thank you all for the birthday wishes and the sweet comments you leave. It really makes my day. If you are on the email list you got a special treat on my birthday. If you’re not on the list sign up below so you don’t miss out on exclusives. Let me know where you all are traveling this summer.

The Details

Floppy Hat by Aldo | Shop Similar

Shorts by Wrangler

Top by Express

Shoe by Nine West | Love these, these, & these

Bag by Gucci

summer vacation outfit

Shop Floppy Summer Hats

summer vacation outfit
Photos by Samantha DeCoteau & Summers Photography

Elevate Your Style in August | Note From Lay

Elevate Your StyleCan you believe it’s August? It also means I’m another year older today.I remember growing up loving to imitate my mom and grandma’s style. I still look at old pictures of them for inspiration. Our style is something that grows and changes as we do. That’s why every year around this time I evaluate my goals and closet to make sure they’re aligned.

“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.” -Coco Chanel

This month I wanted to focus on ways to elevate your style. This is a topic I wanted to address for a long time on the blog. I believe clothes, fashion and style are able to give us a voice and create a story without words. You have the ability to say so much about yourself in what you wear and how you wear it. It’s because of these reasons I’m so passionate about helping women feel empowered in their personal style.

So we will be talking about wardrobe staples, how to elevate your shoe game and more. There will also be new beauty posts. Don’t worry.

If you’re interested in working with me on developing your style, sign up here.

Casual Friday Outfit

casual friday outfit

casual friday outfit

You ever have one of those days where you don’t feel like being dressed? You’d rather just chill on the couch in your sweatpants. Let’s be honest we all have those days but we still have to venture out into the world. The couch cuddling session will just have to wait.

When I have one of those days I always go for what I call my “casual Friday outfit”. This is an outfit formula that never fails because you can’t go wrong with a white top and dark denim. To spruce up my casual Friday outfit I like to add some color with accessories. Mixing a lime green belt works great with a dark wash pair of jeans while keeping the look simple and clean. Next, I like to stack on a bunch of gold bangles. They are a must. Then come the earrings which tie in nicely with the belt without being too matchy. They also help to brighten up face. I’ve talked about how earrings are great for framing your face and elevating your look before.  You can read that post, here.

Last but not least, throw on a pair of heels. On the days where I don’t feel quite my best my heels make me feel like I can take over the world. It’s cliché but true. We along have those pieces that instantly makes us feel great. It’s the power of clothes.


Casual Friday Outfit Formula

Dark wash denim + White Top + Colorful accessories + Your favorite pair of heels

casual Friday outfit

The Details

Top by Zara

Jeans by Citizens of Humanity

Shoes by Steve Madden

Wallet by Louis Vuitton

Shop Citizens of Humanity

casual friday outfit

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Rainy Day Special

rain, rainy day

It has been raining for days in Boston which makes shooting my outfits difficult. I was able to snap these photos in between a lull of the hard downpours, it literally had just stopped raining, we pulled over and hopped out the car to snap these photos. I’m happy for the rainy days if only so I can sport my rain coat and have an excuse to go snag a new book from the bookstore. Because what better way to spend a rainy day than snuggling up with a good book?  Since the weather is still pretty warm despite the rain I opted for my Marc Fisher flats instead of rain boots and to keep the metallic vibes going for this look.

I’m terrible at carrying an umbrella and they usually fail me. My umbrellas never last, if you have any good recommendations please help a girl out. It’s for this precise reason that I love wearing headscarves on rainy days. Headscarves keep my hair in place and protected under my hood while adding a unique detail. The one I’m wearing I bought from a little Parisian shop years ago but I included some others you can shop below. The rest of the look is fairly simple, just jeans, a lightweight white top, and a crossbody bag.

I hope you all are experiencing better weather than we are in Boston. I can’t wait for the rain to let up so I can shoot summer looks to share with you.

The Details

Jeans by Topshop | Top by Stylekeepers|Rain Jacket by Zara | Shoes by Marc Fisher |Scarf ( bought in Paris shop) | Purse by LV

 

 

rain

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Blush Accents

blush

It’s June and I’m wondering how this year seems to keep speeding by. First, hi. Second, I’ve been gone awhile and I apologize but a post going up Monday will give more details on where I’ve been. That’s out of the way so can I please rant about this New England weather?! My head spins every day putting together an outfit with the inconsistent whims of Mother Nature. As of late, I’ve been leaning towards really, really easy daytime looks because they require little effort and time. I love this co-ord set I picked up from Asos because it falls into that easy category plus the colors are perfect for this time of year. Blush is always my favorite color especially in the warmer months, get used to seeing it a lot.

Co-ord sets are great for creating a stylish look when short on time or effort. I tend to really love the ones from Asos and Missguided for affordable options, you can also shop a few from my closet on Poshmark. Chains have always been my preference over more statement type necklaces and I literally cannot stop wearing them in this layered style. I love that name chains are trendy again even if I’ve never stopped wearing mine since high school.  Just one more thing because I must mention this fab clutch. It’s my idea of a perfect clutch down to the hints of blush which I picked up a few months ago from & Other Stories. That brand has stolen a little piece of my heart. I can’t wait to share more with you all on Monday.

The Details

Co-ord set by Asos | Clutch by & Other Stories | Sandals by French Connection | Dinosaur pin c/o Coach

blush

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3 Tips to Perfect the Art of Layering to Stay Stylish & Warm this Winter

 

This particular day wasn’t too cold even with the light drizzle of rain and I wanted to dust off one of my favorite coats. However, it’s a thinner coat and definitely requires some extra layers to pull off in February.  My brother and I headed out for a little walk to this quaint area a few minutes from our house. When I looked back at the photos we snapped I thought it would be great to share some style tips on this particular look.

There is an effortless vibe in perfectly layering an outfit. It’s especially essential when you need to stay warm during the colder months but not have your sense of style suffer. This is something I’ve worked to perfect over the years and wanted to share 3 tips to perfect the art of layering that helped me do it. I love playing with different ways to pair items in my closet and during the winter is my favorite time.

3 Tips to Perfect the Art of Layering

1| Material: The art of layering is really dependent upon the right materials. I like cotton and silk tops because they are lightweight and breathable. It’s usually what I choose for my first layer. Here I’m wearing a basic crew neck tee from H&M in a dusty pink. The first layer is really about comfort more than style but getting both in one item is great which is why I like the basics from H&M. Not to mention they are at a nice price point.

2| Structure: This is the fun part but also the trickiest, for me at least. There’s a fine art to layering without losing shape, you don’t want to look like a big walking ball of clothes. Part of it is figuring out the right fit for each item and how many items. I layered a form fitting blazer over my t-shirt to create some shape underneath my coat.

3| Color: I’m always telling you all about color palettes. They are practically weaved into all my tips but they’re essential. Understanding which colors work well together gives a strong foundation and opens up some many creative possibilities. I like the contrast between pinks and blues, it’s one of my favorite combos once the shades are rights. Pairing the deep blue denim with the blush tones in the coat and scarf keeps the overall look from falling flat. The hints of burgundy in the scarf give off the same effect.

3 Tips to Perfect the Art of Layering
3 Tips to Perfect the Art of Layering

The Details
Shades | Rayban
Blanket Scarf | Azalea
Trench Coat | Missguided
Top | H&M
Denim | Frame
Shoes | Jessica Simpson

3 Tips to Perfect the Art of Layering

Metallics, Leather and the most stylish sweatshirt

Metallics x Leather Metallics x Leather

Metallics. I’m really into them. Well, metallics & leather to be exact. I skipped over the whole velvet trend last year. I’m not currently tuned into the refined military trend that has popped up to start the year. However, I love military inspired pieces so I’m sure I’ll tune in soon. Until then I’ll stay all about metallics.

The metallics and leather combo is like the pb&j for my closet for the moment. It’s not a groundbreaking combo but it’s cool. It’s chic and effortless. There’s no denying it is damn good.

The other thing I’ve been loving is my sweatshirt by Nicce. Can’t even remember how many times I’ve worn it. It’s comfortable, lightweight so it layers easily and stylish. All the items from this brand are like that actually. They’re great basics that have unique detailing, of quality and at a reasonable price point. I’m not one to swoon over sweatshirts and sweatpants but everything by them has been irresistible.

Don’t know if you noticed but this is yet another post when I’m not wearing heels. Guess you can say my shoe game is getting diversified. Anyway, please share any style combos or items you’ve been loving to start the new year. I’d love to compare.

Up Close

I’m wearing a MAC lipstick called stone. It’s a cool grayish purple which is beautiful on a range of skin tones.

Lipstick: Stone by MAC

Metallics x LeatherMetallics x Leather

 

 

 

 

 

The Details

Link 1| Link 2 

Link 1|Link 2

*this is a similar jacket

Scarf by H&M · Jeans by Rag & Bone · Bag by Zara

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