How to Pack for a 3-Day Vacation

Summer is all about vacation.

Often the excitement of a trip is thwarted though before it even begins, just from the thought of packing. Loading a bag full of wardrobe decisions I won’t be able to take back can be a nightmare! If you’re anything like me, you wait until super late the night before to get started, hoping that a stroke of stylish genius will occur.

Tired of starting my vaca this way, I called Raquel and got the scoop on how to pack for my 3-day trip to Nashville. She suggested I pack light basics (I tend to over pack like most people), and choose versatile accessories that can be used for multiple outfits.

1 necklace for 2 very different outfits! 

1 necklace for 2 very different outfits! 

My husband and I used to live in Nashville so this trip revolved around seeing what all had changed, trying as many new restaurants as we could, and seeing old friends. Here’s the rundown: 2 dinners, exploring the city, Jeni’s Ice Cream excursions, and Sunday brunch.

Planning how to pack for all of those excursions, while still factoring in hot weather, was less of a challenge when I factored in Raquel’s quick tips. I reimagined my outfits by playing with accessories. This kept each look fresh. For example, my chambray dress, worn with flats in the daytime, was perfectly light and airy for ice cream stops and shopping in Hillsboro Village. To take it to a trendy restaurant in Germantown that night, I lost the bright necklace, added some wedges, and felt completely chic.

Easy to roll into a suitcase & wrinkle free!

Easy to roll into a suitcase & wrinkle free!

I can’t over-emphasize that we should all work on packing realistically. Will I really wear 5 different pairs of shoes on a 3-day trip? Answer: no.  I was able to narrow it down to 3 – my converse, a pair of comfy flats, and my wedges. The Converses I wore with my favorite grey dress. The cut outs in the dress kept me cool and on point.

Ladies, it’s time to get on board with wearing, and re-wearing, the basics. It’s all in how you accessorize them. I have been really into high waisted pants & shorts lately, so I brought a pair of each. These bottoms can go with almost any top in your closet: crop tops, tucked in blouses, or longer tops that you tie in a knot.

I paired my light pink zip up shorts with a bold, geometric crop top and my flats because this outfit allowed me to feel both perfectly chic and comfortable for a dinner at Butcher & Bee.

Saturday before we left, we had brunch at Barista Parlor coffee shop where I had the most delicious Salty Tennessee Whiskey Caramel Latte.  I’m telling you, this place has gotten trendy, so I had to bring my A-game. Enter:  the high waisted bell bottoms. I tied a knot in my top and added my favorite coral necklace – again! I wore that necklace 3 times, meaning it was the only necklace I had to pack. Win!

I love how light weight and structured these pants are – I didn’t get hot once!

I love how light weight and structured these pants are – I didn’t get hot once!

I guarantee that, had I gone through this packing ordeal alone, I would’ve needed a larger suitcase for my 3-day trip to Nashville. By relying on basics and utilizing accessories, I didn’t have a single extra piece. I also never felt like my outfit was missing something.

Want help packing for your next trip?


Emily Blanco is a freelance writer based in San Antonio, TX. She has studied creative writing, journalism, and has a degree in English Lit. She loves to blend snarky observations with helpful truths, encouraging people to love reading again! When she isn't being a complete book junkie, she loves to travel with her husband and pup, as well as explore local hidden gems. 

Emily Blanco

 

The Phrase You Should Never Say About Your Clothes

My all-time favorite posts to write are the ones that are inspired by my clients, something I've mentioned before. So naturally, I was super pumped last week when I was in a client's closet and she uttered five words (that I'm about to tell you), which I hear all the time and tell me more about a closet than you can imagine. 

I hear this phrase when Im working in someone's closet, getting to know whats inside. A piece of clothing will jump out at me—something that doesnt belong. It could be a top or a pair of pants, or maybe a skirt, shoes, or an accessory. Whatever it is, I can see from the moment I look at it that it shouldn't be there. 

When I asked about why she owned it, hoping that we could bid it adieu, to send it off for someone who should actually own it, I almost always hear this excuse:

"I just bought it because..."

Those are five little words that tell three things you need to know:

1. YOU DON'T LOVE IT. 

You should always love everything in your wardrobe. Yes, I said it. I know it's a lofty goal, but if you don't reach for the stars, who will?! (I know, that was a little cheesy.)

2. YOUR STYLE SHOULD BE UNAPOLOGETIC.

"Just" is a word that lets me know that you aren't owning it, and with your style, you should be unapologetic. Style is one of the few arenas where pride can be a good thing. Style is expressive and all about you. When I hear you have something "just because," I know that it's not really speaking to who you are. There is something that is better out there. I know this for a fact.

3. PURPOSE AND PASSION ALWAYS HAVE TO COLLIDE.

I see this time and time again: a woman will think she needs a gray t-shirt (for example), so she goes to Target, finds the first gray t-shirt in the store, grabs it and goes. That t-shirt sits in her wardrobe collecting dust, because if you don't love a piece of clothing, it no longer becomes a necessity. Style is what you make of it. It's about guidelines, not rules. 

Yes, function is key in your wardrobe, but your wardrobe should make you feel consistently beautiful, powerful and satiated.

Your closet is a carefully curated collection of pieces you love and love to wear. If you own a piece only because you think you should or it goes with something specific in your closet (example: red t-shirt, red patterned skirt), put it in the Goodwill pile. Chances are I can style something with that red patterned skirt thats much more exciting than that red t-shirt.

Your personality should show in everything you wear, which is why everything you wear should be something special. Want to learn how to trim the unwanted pieces in your closet and build a wardrobe thats only clothes that project who you are and how you want to be seen? Lets chat.

I help you develop your personal style, so you know exactly what to wear, how to wear it, when to wear it. 

The #1 No-No Hiding in Your Closet

My favorite posts are the ones that are directly inspired by my clients.

After I see an unexpected problem in my clients' closets, boom! A blog is born. I am constantly learning and discovering alongside my clients. 

The #1 no-no I'm about to mention is something I've always know was bad though. Little did I know how many women resorted to it as fashion's version of a bandaid that's trying to heal a broken leg. 

The #1 no-no is...

Having one item in many different colors

(i.e. "I thought these shorts were good, so I bought them in navy, black and white.")

My belief...

everything is your closet should be a unique snowflake, just like you. 

Say those shorts are like vanilla ice cream (I'm a big fan of food analogies). All three of those pairs are vanilla ice cream, because in essence, they are the same item.

You can top them with cherries or chocolate chips or whipped cream (aka styling them different ways), but they are all vanilla. 

You are without a doubt missing out on something wonderful: cookies n' cream, mint chocolate chip, butter pecan or rocky road. These bad boys have the toppings inside! #genius

To break it down a few steps further, here are 3 reasons why you should not own 1 pair of shorts or a dress or shoes or a top in 2, 3 or 4 colors...

1. You aren't generic. Your wardrobe should be either.

Your closet is a carefully curated collection of pieces which represents your deeply unique self. To have 3 pairs of 1 thing makes your closet feel more like an Old Navy ad than a creation. You are multifaceted, thus your closet must be too. 

 2. The options are endless. 

There are a billion shorts options in the world, just like ice cream flavors. If a billion options freaks you out though, focus on the options in front of you at the mall or the department store. You don't have to search for 100 pairs of shorts, make a spreadsheet and compare each option. Just graze. If only 1 pair calls to you, only buy 1 pair. Soon enough, you will find another pair, which speaks to you in a whole new way.  

3. Each piece in your wardrobe should be special. 

Everything in your wardrobe should have it's own story and purpose. One time while I was in a photo shoot, the photographer complimented a few pieces I was wearing. With every compliment, I found myself spilling the details of where I got it and when I got it. Every piece in your closet should bear this excitement. To reference "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up", each piece should spark joy. 3 pairs of shorts do not spark joy. Choose your favorite, and give the rest a kiss goodbye. 

And when you need help figuring out how to create a wardrobe that you genuinely love with all your might, contact me. I would love to help you discover how to develop your closet, your style and transform your wardrobe. It is after all, the physical manifestation of your unique self. 

Systematize. Stylize. Strategize.

Your favorite outfit in your closet should feel like your favorite food: a no brainer. When I see crab cakes on a menu, that's it. I'm ordering them. If I don't, it just feels wrong, because no matter how they come out of the kitchen, I'm going to love them. 

This is how your favorite piece of clothing should feel. It is the physical manifestation of love and it's glorious. When you're wearing it, nothing can touch you. 

Everything else in your wardrobe is a bit different. Other things should be something you love, yes, but you need a few more rules to make sure it's serving you in the way you need it to each and every time you wear it. 

Outfits get stale. And the outfit you've worn 15,30,40 times, is stale. The life has been sucked out of it, and when you put it on, you probably feel this too in the form of exhaustion, anxiety or a lack of excitement. 

So it's time you threw all those feelings away and started anew by looking at each component of each outfit. By looking at each component separately, you can create new looks that feels fresh, exciting and fashion-forward. 

There are 3 things you need to do to breathe life back into your wardrobe. 

1. Systematize. 

Creating a system of how to build an outfit is incredibly helpful, because it removes the stress, but leaves the creativity.

For instance, I NEVER choose my jewelry before I choose my clothing. I NEVER choose shoes before I choose my clothing. I NEVER choose a jacket before I choose my basics. I build around 1 of 3 things: a dress, a skirt, jeans. 

In other words, create a ritual. This will give you guidance and a route when creating an outfit. And then you get to play...

2. Stylize. 

One Dress, Four Ways

Raquel Greer Gordian displays an outfit that pairs the long sleeve gray dress with a red blazer, black booties, statement jewelry, a black belt, and a black handbag.
Raquel Greer Gordian exhibits an outfit that pairs the long sleeve gray dress with an army green cardigan, studded booties, gold jewelry, and a green handbag. 
Raquel Greer Gordian styles the same dress with a fur vest, neutral booties, coral accents, and a gray handbag.
Raquel Greer Gordian styles the same gray dress with a striped turtleneck pullover, burgundy heels, black tassel earrings, and statement handbag. 

Disregard what you paired your skirt with last time. Forget about what you put with it before. Get creative with you choice this time. Pull a shirt or sweater you've never put with it. 

And don't be scared. Most of us think there's some giant book of rules we need to follow. There isn't. The two things that you need to consider in your style arsenal are: 1) your intuition 2) your creativity 

Use both these elements to get excited about getting dressed again. 

3. Strategize. 

Each outfit must have a purpose. This goes for both your personal and professional life. And I'm not just talking about it being appropriate for a certain situation. Whether you want to be powerful, playful, dynamic...your intention must be clear. 

Ask yourself the tough questions to make sure there is a strategy behind each outfit: 

Exactly why are you wearing what you are wearing?

What do you want it to say about you?

How does it say what you want it to say about you? 

 

Now I would love to hear from you! Was this guide helpful for reviving that stale outfit we all have? Let me know in the comments below and tell me about the outfits you brought back to life!

Surviving the Wild: A Common Flaw in Your Wardrobe and How to Fix it

Happy November! I can't believe the holidays are almost here, and it's finally cooling down in Austin [insert happy dance]. I absolutely love sweater weather because it's the perfect time to style some of my favorite layered combinations in my closet and my clients' closets. 

My clients are my greatest inspiration. When I see and hear their style struggles, it only makes sense to write about the answers. This week, I'm tackling a big mistake I often see. And this one is so important because it stops women from reaching their goal and my goal for them: the ability to wear 100% of their wardrobe. 

 This big mistake is...

not being able to see everything in your closet. 

 

Now yes, in states where there are four seasons, it's difficult to squeeze in all the cold weather gear alongside the sundresses and summer essentials. It's often necessary to have more than one closet. You need too many winter items and too many summer items to keep them all in one closet. 

In a more temperate climate like Austin, you can use the same type of items any time of the year. You should be able to see every single thing in one closet.

If this suddenly made you think about those tops shoved up in a corner somewhere or a box of miscellaneous items under the bed, here's three things you can do to bring your wardrobe front and center for you to see. 

1. Roaming the Plains

Bring everything out in the open. All of pieces that are stashed all over the house — in the top corner of your closet, behind the luggage, mixed in with the kids' laundry — bring them out. Take a good long look at them, so you can see what you have. 

Raquel Greer Gordian offers a look into her own wardrobe organization.
Raquel Greer Gordian displays a closet inspiration picture from Pinterest.

2. Stick to the Pack 

Arrange everything in the way that's most logical: with the things like it. Jackets with jackets, sweaters with sweaters, maxi dresses with maxi dresses. 

3. Survival of the Fittest

We are all guilty of holding on to things, but it's time to let go. Apply this rule to the basics, not everything of course! Pieces that are one-of-a-kind are lucky. They are the lone wolf. They can automatically stay. 

With items like black flats, white shirts, grey pants, tan cardigans, think this: There can only be one.

Style should not be a distraction, it's the physical manifestation of who you are. The more clear and direct you are with your style, the easier it is for other people to understand you. Only the things you really love can make up a wardrobe you love to live in. 

Want help with the big task of cleaning out your closet and styling your wardrobe? Schedule an Image Breakthrough Session to see how Greer Image Consulting can help you build a wardrobe that is uniquely and beautifully you. 

Now I would love to hear from you! Were you inspired by these tips and tricks? Let me know in the comments below what your personal experience is with this common problem!

Austin Bridal Secrets Interview

I had such a blast being interviewed by R.J. Johnson of Austin Bridal Secrets this week.  If you want more info about exactly what I do as an image consultant, take a listen! 

Now I would love to know! What did you learn? Make sure to leave a comment below and ask any questions you have! I'll be more than glad to answer them.

What to Wear for Weddings Galore

Repeat after me: "I will not wear the same boring thing to every wedding this year."

Wedding season is a funny one, because it's really not like any other occasion or seasonal event. Even my daily getup gets more thought than my wedding season one. For some reason, I am so distracted by gifts, travel, and agenda up until the day of the nuptials that picking any outfit is inevitably a last minute decision. No more.

This year is the year to find something you feel and look beautiful in. Now, to find that special something...There are a lot of factors to consider when putting together a look for a wedding.

 

 

The first is subtlety.

Be subtle, not too sexy, and as always, incredibly chic. This is probably the only non-work occasion where an outfit should be understated, because you never want to take attention away from the wedding dress and the bride. This rule applies to the dress, the jewelry and the shoes.

Having said that, your understated look may be someone else's over-the-top outfit. Stick to what you consider understated. Your style is your own, and even when toned down, you should still always be able to express it. 

 

Raquel Greer Gordian discusses how subtlety is important in order to avoid taking attention away from the bride.
Raquel Greer Gordian discusses how you can still stick to what you consider understated and express your personal style.
 
 

The second is comfort.

I worry about being comfortable for the duration of a wedding much more than any other occasion, even if it's just as long. Perhaps it's the dancing or the amount of food that I'm predicting I'll eat or perhaps it's both. Either way, comfort is important. If you also relish the fact that dancing and food are the best parts of a wedding, I would give your dress a test run. Pop on some music and dance in it at home.

 

 

The third is environment.

Weddings are so often indoor and outdoor, so picking the right fabric and layering pieces is key to staying warm enough or cool enough wherever you are. Terrain is also a factor to consider. This year I have a few weddings where they were very specific about wearing shoes to fit the outdoor venue. Even if it isn't mentioned to you, the venue needs to be on your radar. 

 

Raquel Greer Gordian discusses how the type of terrain the wedding will be in is important to consider when planning an outfit.
Raquel Greer Gordian discusses how the environment of the wedding determines the right fabric, layering pieces, and shoes to wear.
 
 

Now I would love to know! Was this helpful for your wedding season experience? Let me know in the comments below how you managed to mix-up your wedding season outfits this year!

Take Your Wardrobe from Winter to Spring with These Six Looks

I've learned to always carry a purse big enough to fit a sweater, because every afternoon, that's exactly where my sweater ends up. Austin's weather is unpredictable, to say the least, and the past two weeks have been the worst of it. I'm really never sure what I'm going to get when I step out of my apartment. Even if the day starts out at 40 degrees, you could be sweating by the end of it. 

So! Because Austin likes to keep us guessing, I've put together looks to incorporate both winter and spring pieces for a chic style statement for whatever weather comes our way. 

FLOWERS & LEATHER

Winter Pieces: Leather Jacket + Infinity Scarf

Spring Pieces: Floral Dress + Open-Toe Pumps

Bad Romance  

Winter Pieces: Oversized Cardigan + Booties

Spring Pieces: Graphic Tee + Floral Skirt

Dinner and A Movie

Winter Pieces: Jeans + Booties

Spring Pieces: Faux-Fur Vest + Silk Blouse

PASTELS AND SEASHELLS

Winter Pieces: Midi Skirt + Scarf

Spring Pieces: Light-Weight Cardigan + Sandals

The Girl in the Coffee Shop

Winter Piece: Heavy Cardigan

Spring Pieces: Flats + Mini Skirt

BELLINIS AT BRUNCH

Winter Pieces: Knee-High Boots + Overcoat

Spring Pieces: Shift Dress + Sunnies

Now, I would love to hear from you! How do you stay prepared for any kind of crazy Austin weather? Let me know by commenting below which elements of winter and spring you'll mix together!

The Fabric of Society: Fashion and Style Throughout the Twentieth Century

Fashion evolves. The work of every generation is broken apart by newcomers, who discard what they dislike and use the remaining rubble to build the next generation’s styles and trends. One thing I’ve always loved about fashion is that it is an expression of everything that's going on around us. Social, political, and religious movements are reflected in what each generation wears.

When I think about MLK Day, my first reaction is to consider the developments in fashion that stem from the remarkable, unprecedented change that occurred in that decade. Then I feel guilty. How shallow can I be, considering fashion in the context of the greatest social movement in history? But putting my self-consciousness aside, truth be told, it is astounding. How quickly the conservative, traditionalism of the 1950’s shifted into the forward-thinking 1960s, only to be radically transformed into the free-loving 1970s.

Fashion of course can never fully honor the work, or the pain and suffering, of those who fought during the civil rights movement. But it is fascinating to study the broad-reaching impact generational change has. To honor that, I’ve pulled together a few looks that pay homage to each generation and the change they saw.

1950's

1960'S

1970's

1980's

1990's

Now I would love to hear from you! What are some trends that you remember from the twentieth century? Leave a comment below and tell me how you might pull some outfit inspirations from past decades! 

Dress to Impress at the Holiday Party

The key to being stylish is being unpredictable, whether you’re at the office party or a friend’s holiday shindig. Being unpredictable doesn’t mean dressing like someone else. It means you avoid the drab, campy, overworked holiday costume of years past. This year, you should stand out… in the right ways.

I’ve put together a few ideas that will bring a little whimsy to your next holiday function.

Skip the red and green. Stick to black and white.  

Flip a Classic.

Whether it's your mother's pearls or a vintage brooch, it can be incorporated into your outfit in a fun, exciting way. 

Bring the Bling.

This is the only time of the year when tacky can turn chic. Embrace it. Costume jewelry is the perfect touch for any party look that A. won't burn a hole in your pocket and B. gets you in the mood to celebrate. 

Dress Up Your Denim. 

Denim can be worn to many semi-formal occasions as long as you follow one rule: The denim cannot be the star. A subtle dark blue or black denim paired with vibrant heels or a sequin sweater allows you to be comfortable and edgy while chatting around the punch bowl.

Now, I would love to hear from you! Comment below to tell me how you plan to stand out at your next holiday function!