Welcome to Real Life Style Blog!

Can changing your wardrobe really change your life? Of course it can! Imagine how light and powerful you would feel if 100% of the clothes in your closet were the right clothes for you right now. Imagine that your wardrobe reflected both your personality and your personal style, while suiting your lifestyle. That, ladies and gentlemen, is called Real Life Style. Want to be able to look and feel put together in just 2 minutes a day? You can.

Click here for more information about how you can work with Lani and click here to schedule your free consultation. Because fashion should be an outlet for fun, not frustration!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Designer Kids Lines to Break the Bank

There have always been "designer" kids lines, but lately it seems as if there has been a resurgence among the highest end of the market. I first noticed it this fall while standing in front of a rack of Dior kids at Barneys on Madison Avenue. Every mother of a little girl who entered the section made a beeline straight for a dove gray cashmere coat that cost more than I've ever spent on my own winter coat.

I knew it was a solidified trend when Lanvin staged a three city tour pop up shop to promote its new line, Lanvin Petite. The cities included Paris, Monaco, and New York. The most popular item was a relatively modestly priced shrug for $645.

Not to be outdone, Versace has opened its first boutique in Milan for Young Versace, the company's kids' line. Located next to the Versace Home boutique, on the ground floor of the company's headquarters, the one-story, 538-square-foot lilac and white store has its own merry-go-round.

Want to feel good about buying your child a pair of colored ballet flats for $300? Launching in March, Roger Vivier - Jeune Fille will donate proceeds from the line to a range of children's charities, such as Save the Children in Italy and New Yorkers for Children in the U.S.

Is your little girl the coolest on the block? She'll prove it in Marni's new children's collection for girls ages 2 to 12. The collection will be available exclusively at the new Marni U.S. Edition store ( a slightly younger, less expensive line for adults) at 1 Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District in New York.

And for those of us who can't break the bank for our children's wardrobes, Camilla Morton has started a delightful series of fashion fairy tales.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

6 Ways to Wear a Scarf

One of the questions I get asked the most is how to wear a scarf. Women seem to know that scarves are in style but are often not sure they are wearing them correctly. I tend to find them folded in client’s closets, with the tags still on them. These same clients are amazed when I show them how easy they are to wear!

1. Create an Instant Outfit-Women are constantly telling me they want to look and feel, “put-together”. Adding a colorful, patterned scarf can turn even your most basic pieces into a pulled together “outfit” that will get you noticed.

2.  Scarves are an easy, inexpensive wardrobe update- Want to try one of the new bright colors or patterns this season, but don’t want to invest much? Tiptoe into the trend with a scarf!

3. Scarves are one size fits all- Pregnant, losing or gaining weight, and not looking to invest much in your wardrobe? A scarf will give you an instant wardrobe update while continuing to fit no matter your dress size. Scarves are also GREAT coverage for a post-baby or holiday party belly!

6 Ways to Wear a Scarf

1. Over a Cardigan

2. Over a Coat

3. Over a Little Black Dress

4. Tone Down your Holiday Party Outfit for Day

5. Over a Day Dress

6. Over a Neutral Work Blouse

How do you wear a scarf? Leave comments and let me know!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

My Holiday Wish List

One of my favorite things about the holidays is the multitude of Gift Lists in magazines and on websites. I love finding new gift ideas for myself and others. It seems as if these lists have reached record levels over the last few years. This year I decided to create my own Holiday Wish List using my favorite new website, www.havetohave.com.  If you have an account, you can click on the image to see my list and links on the website. If you don't have an account, you can start one, or see the links below. I look forward to hearing what's on your list this year!
1. Michael Aram Fig Leaf Candle- Two of my obsessions in one, Michael Aram and figs!
2. Archie Grand Fashionistas I Met and Like Blank Notebook- This was actually given to me as a gift last year by last week's style icon, RosaLovesDC, and I want more!
3. M Missoni Small Doll Knitted Keyfob-Seriously, how cute is this?
4. Lanvin Printed iPad Case-For the iPad I wish I had.
5. Sephora NARS Danmari All About Cheeks Palette- All my face colors in one compact!
6. Cause Effect Merino Nimbus Bracelet-Kind of sophisticated Rainbow Brite, no?
7. Max and Chloe Sandy Hyun Green Earrings- These look so much more expensive than they are!
8. Case Mate Keep Calm and Shop on iPhone 4 4S Case- For when I finally ditch Blackberry.
9. Judith Leiber Handbags Giftables- A Macaron without calories, in my favorite color!
10. Kate Spade Designer Stationary Kate Spade Prize Ball Journal- For the Big Secrets and Bright Ideas we all wish we had.
11. Sephora Fresh Mini Sugar Kissing Trio- Have you tried these yet? Love love love!
12. Jimmy Choo Biker The Perfect Weekend Boot- There is probably something innately wrong with a $1000 biker boot, but I'll get over it.
13. Lori McLean Mini Lava Stud Earrings- Super cool earrings to rock alone or to match my most fabulous necklace by Valerie Hector.
14. Bleeding Heart Pendant- I am also obsessed with Solange Azagury-Partridge, but thus far my love for her designs has been cost-prohibitive.
15. Sephora Clarisonic Mia Skin Cleansing System- I keep hearing this is the miracle of miracles for aging skin.
16. Apple iPad 2- See number 4.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

My Favorite Style Icon: Rosa

Some of you might have seen my mentions of "my most fashionable friend in DC" and her blog Rosa...Loves on my Facebook page. The blog, about my two favorite topics, fashion and food, is one of only a few that I read religiously.
Rosa describes herself on her blog as, "A fashion lover and food enthusiast who enjoys exploring the city along with her sassy Chihuahua Lola." Love it! Rosa has been a precious resource and good friend to me as I've been learning the fashion ropes in DC over the last few years. She is also an arbiter of the best cupcakes and brunch in town. As I said before, she is a precious resource!
Rosa tests out her iPad's remote control on Valentine's Day
Lola, the most fashionable Chihuahua in town

Lani: What is your first style memory?
Rosa: I was a teenager back in the 80's and I was just discovering fashion as a way to express myself. I remember I was so proud of myself after putting together what I thought was an amazing outfit for a school party: green pencil skirt, neon yellow oversized shirt and a very wide white patent leather belt. All my classmates were so shocked to see me wear this particular outfit since we wore a school uniform every day and I was a bit shy back then.

Lani: It sounds like a fabulous outfit and very right now! Who is your style icon?
My grandmother. She was a very stylish lady who always wore flattering clothes and impeccable hair and make up. I honestly think I inherited her love for clothes and shoes. My grandmother was also incredibly supportive and a great teacher when I started making my own clothes back in high school. We used to spend hours designing and sewing clothes.

Lani: What is the best piece you ever bought?
A black Theory shirtdress. I've had that dress for years and it never goes out of style.

Lani: You know how I appreciate a classic Theory piece! What is the best deal you ever got?
During the most recent District Sample sale, I spotted a pair of Oscar de la Renta snakeskin kitten heels in my size and 80% off. Sold! These shoes have become my favorite shoes, they are the perfect neutral shoe and so comfortable.

Lani: Oh I’m so jealous! Where do you buy most of your clothes?
Hello, my name is Rosa and I am addicted to J.Crew. But seriously, ever since I discovered J.Crew while attending graduate school, the brand has become a staple in my closet. I shop at Madewell, Shopbop, Cusp, and local boutiques in DC such as Urban Chic, Sassanova, Ginger, Mint Condition and Treat.

Lani: How would you describe your style?
I would say that my style is casual, feminine with a touch of masculinity, and comfortable. Yes, I wear lots of sequins, faux fur and statement jewelry, but I always keep it simple and sorry to say this again, comfortable.

Lani: What piece do you wear the most?
: There are two pieces that I think I wear the most. One is a purple/black Ella Moss dress that I can wear almost all year long and a long rhinestone J.Crew necklace.

Lani: Tell us about your closet.

Rosa: I am a bit of a freak when it comes to organization and my closet is no exception. I keep all my skirts, shirts, dresses and pants separate and these are then organized by color. I also have a section in my closet dedicated to work clothes. I am a scientist who works in a lab 80% of the time, thus my daily uniform consists of jeans, t-shirts and sweaters. Most of my shoes are kept in an over the door shoe rack and all the out-of-season and fancy shoes go inside clear boxes. I have a small walk-in closet but it's pretty dark, so every few weeks, I go over my clothes and take pieces out of my closet and place them in a clothing rack that I keep in my bedroom. This rack helps me remember the items I have and allows me to get inspired when planning outfits (all non work related outfits). I also keep the shoes that I am wearing the most at the bottom of my clothing rack which certainly makes the process of creating the perfect outfit much easier. I love accessorizing and I must confess that I have a lot of jewelry and accessories. Organizing these pieces was a challenge, but after reading an article in the Glitter Guide, I decided to keep all my accessories in clear acrylic boxes and it was the best idea ever.

Lani: What a wonderful system! And I LOVE your pink hangers!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Lani Finally Buys the Closet She Deserves

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving, sans elastic waist pants!

I'm big on everyone, especially service providers as myself, practicing what they preach. This is why my closet is organized by category and color and never has more than one season's worth of clothing in it at one time. Maintaining multiple closets in multiple cities the last few years has created a challenging environment for my usually seamless organization, as has the new maternity wardrobe I've recently acquired.

My first thought upon seeing the "mini" walk-in closet in the master bedroom of our new DC apartment was, "I'm finally getting the closet I deserve." After years of making do with small places in NY, I couldn't believe my luck. But as it filled up over the last two years, the poor design has slowly been revealed.The two long double hung shelves all along the back wall, which seemed to provide so much hanging space, were cut by a third if you actually hung anything on the left and right sides of the closet. And much of the hanging space was made impractical by the constant interruption of the rods by brackets and such. Since nothing slid easily on the hanging rods, keeping my clothes in the right order was a lot of work because every time I moved one hanger, I had to move 5 others by hand. I was turning into one of my clients before they called me, feeling overwhelmed by all my stuff when I opened the closet door every morning and only wearing the accessible parts of my wardrobe. Completely unacceptable!

Old Back Wall & Left Side View
Old Back & Right Side View
Old Right Side View

Making the decision to close my NY apartment came with the realization that the double wardrobe I had enjoyed for so long was now going to have to fit into my one impractical closet. Something had to change and it could not involve buying the one bedroom next door to expand my closet! This is when I decided to take my own advice and invest in an Elfa Closet System from the Container Store. The 25% off sale also helped my decision process along! As I tell my clients, the best thing about Elfa is that it is flexible. Once you have the basic components, you can add and take away hanging rods and shelves as your needs change. This also contributes to the resale value of your home as the new owner can do the same thing. See here how I made a client’s existing Elfa System Closet functional for her with the purchase of one hanging rod.

Now I open my closet and feel joy and peace. Elfa’d or not, two wardrobes were not going to fit into one closet and I was forced to do some necessary editing. Take it from me, this is much easier when your entire wardrobe is in one city.  I’ve also re-learned from working with a smaller maternity wardrobe something else I tell my clients, which is that sometimes it seems as if you have more clothes when you actually have less, because you wear a bigger percentage of them. With a place for everything and everything in its place (and in one city!), I know exactly how many pairs of black flats I have, which keeps me from buying new ones I don’t need. Of course, there is a chance that my feet could grow a half size from pregnancy and I’ll need to buy a whole new shoe wardrobe anyway... 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

5 Ways to Wear a Fur Scarf

Welcome to my birthday blog! Yep, I'm 35 today. Does that mean I'm officially in my late 30's or does that not start until 36? Would love your thoughts!

Today I'm going to highlight one of my favorite trends this season, The Fur (Faux or Real) Scarf. I love a fur scarf because it ups the style quotient of an outfit INSTANTLY; because each piece you wear it with looks brand new; and because you'll get as many compliments as I do when I wear mine!

Now before you think, "I can't afford this trend," let me tell you that the one I own cost $19.50 at H&M. There is no excuse not to look fabulous!

1. Over a Cardigan
2. Over a Coat
3. Over a Blazer

Try color too!
4. Over a Dress, Day or Evening!

5. Over a Sweater and Maxi Skirt
Bonus Look! 

Now, go use your fur scarf to stretch your wardrobe exponentially!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

My Favorite Fall Looks 2011

Here are some of my favorite ideas for Fall 2011. Those of you who attended my trend seminar last week will recognize some of these looks!

Mixing Brights
A Touch of Animal Print
Sequins on Everything
Forties Tea Dresses with Black Tights and Fabulous Shoes
What are some of your favorite ideas for Fall 2011?