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My name is Melissa Kaplan Guarino. Welcome to Turning Fashion Inside Out! I believe there is a connection between fashion and self-esteem and I am interested in understanding that relationship. Tell me … What is your story?

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Lauren Kickstarts The Simply Co.

Lauren Singer

Lauren Singer: The Simply Co.

My new friend, Lauren Singer, is launching her Kickstarter for The Simply Co. today. Lauren tells her own story …

My name is Lauren Singer and I live a Zero Waste lifestyle. As the founder of the blog Trash is for Tossers, former Sustainability Manager at the NYC Department of Environmental Protection, and Environmental Studies Graduate from NYU, I have learned to make all of my everyday products organically and simply. My friends always ask me to make my products for them and complain that they can’t find high-quality, completely pure products in stores. When my grandmother asked me to make her my laundry detergent for sensitive skin, I realized that I had a market. That’s when I created The Simply Co.— safe products for people who want a healthy body and truly clean home.

The Simply Co.’s first product is a laundry detergent unlike any other product on the market. Our detergent is handmade, organic, vegan, and contains only THREE ingredients: baking soda, washing soda, and castile soap. It comes packaged in a sleek, plastic-free, minimalist box made of out recycled materials that can be composted or recycled. 

But this company doesn’t exist yet; I need to raise $10,000. Today my Kickstarter launches and will run for 30 days. Together we can build a company that not only aims to create a ‘less bad’ product, but creates one that is truly good.” ~ Lauren

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Courtney says, “Swoop and Scoop!”

Find a good bra fitter, like Courtney

Find the right-fitting bra and a knowledgeable fitter, like Courtney

When you’re wearing the wrong bra size your clothes don’t look right. You become so hard on yourself and your body image takes a hit. But when you try on the right bra and see what you have been missing and how your clothes should fit, you realize that it’s not you. It’s the bra!” ~ Courtney Auchter

When I heard Halle Berry this week, talking about French women and the close attention they pay to their lingerie, I took a long, hard look at my own bras. I have written about the importance of a good-fitting bra and I certainly stand by my words, but somehow, I lost my own way. I have been wearing the same bra every day for far too long. It was time for me to do something about it.

Wearing a v-neck tee by Splendid I took myself to Nordstrom, the right destination for professional bra fitters. Once there, Courtney Auchter took care of me from start to finish. As she and I entered the dressing room I remarked that I was embarrassed to show her the state of my bra. Courtney was sweet and understanding; there was no judgment. She began by measuring me and we went from there. Continue reading

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Halle Berry wants American women to be a little more Scandalous!

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Halle Berry: “I think I have a pulse on what American women want.”                                             Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Today is a big day for Oscar-winning actress, and now entrepreneur, Halle Berry. She is launching the iconic French lingerie brand, Scandale Paris, and teaming up with Target (in select Target stores and on Target.com). Why lingerie, and why now? Berry discovered the 80-year old brand while shopping in Paris, fell in love with it, and wanted to give it new life, globally. Says Berry: “I am excited for the U.S. debut to be at Target and to launch the brand globally in 2015. I look forward to giving more women the chance to enjoy what European women have come to love for more than eight decades.”

Because on a basic level, Berry understands the importance of a good bra. And she wants American women to feel as good about themselves from the inside-out as French women do. As Berry says, “What I’ve learned about French women is that they always look like they’re not going to be caught in the emergency room not prepared. With their clothes off, they’re going to look fabulous! I think that’s really important. And when you can bring it, this kind of quality at a good price, every woman can have a collection of it. You don’t have to have one bra that you just wear until it’s dead.”

I understand the importance of a good-fitting bra, too; I wrote about it on TFIO two years ago. And yet, I am still one of those American women wearing worn-out bras and underwear. And I would not want to be caught in an emergency with my lingerie! No way. So, this news is a wake-up call for me. This week, I am heading to find a good-fitting bra or two, and will share the fitting process with you. And who knows, I may end up at Target myself. After all, the price point for the Scandale Paris 10-piece collection ranges from $7 – $18. Now that’s Scandalous!

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Lauren Doesn’t Trash Vintage Shopping!

Lauren Singer, outside her favorite vintage shop in NYC: Beacon's Closet

Lauren Singer, outside her favorite vintage shop in NYC: Beacon’s Closet

When I first met and interviewed Lauren Singer, the creative force behind the Zero Waste movement Trash is for Tossers, I knew she was dedicated and committed. I knew she was enterprising. And I knew that Lauren was only 23 years old. What I didn’t know was the depth of her passion: on Wednesday, October 29, Lauren will launch her own clean-home products line, called The Simply Co. I knew that I had to get into her head and find out what makes this young phenom tick! That’s why I spent the best morning with my new friend, Lauren Singer, as we hung out and shopped at her favorite vintage shop in New York City, Beacon’s Closet. It was a wonderful reminder that we are all connected, no matter our age, no matter where we live, or where we are in our lives …

MKG: Lauren, you are only 23 years old! How did you discover such a deep-rooted passion for Zero Waste living? Was there a life-changing moment for you?

Lauren: I am a really sensitive person and I always have been; I am highly aware and my emotions hit me intensely. With all of the different experiences in my life, I am constantly learning and as I do, everything affects me deeply. I can’t not keep growing, and once I learn something, I can’t undo it. I have to keep moving forward.

MKG: I love when you say, “you can have strong ethics, live a sustainable life, be Zero Waste, and not sacrifice style. One of my favorite things ever is that when people meet me, they expect me to LOOK like I lived in the woods for 23 years!” That is brilliant, Lauren! How do you marry Zero Waste with style, and living in NYC?

Lauren: I am me first; Zero Waste second. I have always loved fashion and being stylish. Continue reading

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I’m not buying it! (Well, I’m not keeping it!)

Photo courtesy of Terry Richardson/French Vogue

Photo credit: Terry Richardson/French Vogue

I bought it. I kept it. And then I returned it. It’s a fashion story that must be told: what happens when you buy something that you really like … a lot … but in your heart you know you shouldn’t keep? You let it go and send it back, and make room for better. Why?Because you’re worth it. Because you know that almost-good-enough isn’t good enough for you. I have bought clothing on impulse, because I needed a pick-me-up, when I didn’t think it through, and when I had a little cash in my hands. I have bought clothing for all of those reasons. But the best and really the only reason to buy clothing, is because it brings out the best in you and helps you feel like the most brilliant version of yourself. Today I interviewed Lauren (who will be featured on TFIO this Friday), who told me that she would rather wear the same thing over and over, if it is the right thing. Alright, Lauren! We don’t need to have so much mediocre in our closets. We just don’t.

And although my mistakes come fewer and farther between, I still make them. Until I won’t. And that will be a great day for me. Because almost-good-enough is not good enough for me. Or you.

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Follow your style

O0Afn4lIv62sk7A-Sl_beRfs0Qya_qWU2EYJOlDMzg4,v0AL2RsdWDwjhlUd41OkoL3bpRkrRK2W1wwC356ytMYfppdC3hjH46XJqB5CTk8oU2GvEAI5anzOz1mEZL4gXk,_JvYN8vlxOummkLXx-SZLxDepw8xsKAwdJyZQEhelC8m4TEt02KAdADNzjZ2c4_zti1OW1469WBaNHuAnoykLw,fuk7KNTvSHAJvW6T9D2YL7FiBglhgoosPeOZFVGjTGUIt’s always best to follow your style. I like a simple, classic style. I guess because I am on the petite side, clothing that is full of detail or too trendy never works for me. If I don’t keep it simple, I feel like the clothes are wearing me. And that’s never good. What I like to do is focus on a good fit and color. And when Rivka said that we should refrain from wearing too much black, she was speaking to me. So this yellow, pea coat-style jacket is a classic, and pairs well with other favorites: jeans and a striped tee.

Jacket: Ralph Lauren Polo

Photos by Sophie MacMillanmZdSpfMDAeVJsFb5Sv1mojWKbLOlq-aepcXszPUzoeI,KokkGksIqFx0LPXSXZ35NQtv6IfjeL8zYRo338wYzSQ

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Rivka says, “I see every woman as a star!”

Rivka with her husband, Sam

Rivka with her husband, Sam

What I do is not about clothes.” ~ Rivka

Rivka Grubb has been blessed with really good eyes; eyes that see things that help women feel and be their best selves. Not simply a fashion stylist or a fashion consultant, Rivka is more like the vehicle that strips away the black coal, to reveal the “diamond” that is the woman underneath. Rivka told me that it all began when she was a young child growing up in Israel with a doll make-over! Here is Rivka

I was born in Israel and grew up there, until I moved to The United States when I was 13. My father was a furrier; my mother was a Paris-trained dress-maker and designer. They both worked from home. My father worked with fur pelts and my mother worked with people who had the money for custom dresses; she designed dresses for these women. From the time I could crawl around the floor, I was surrounded by pieces of fur, silk, brocade, ribbons, and buttons. As a young child, I had a doll. Not a fancy Barbie Doll, but a plain, Ruth Doll. With Ruth, I began to play with the fabrics in my house: I gave her a fur stole, a new dress, and accessories. My mother says that when I was four years old, and I brought her the new version of Ruth, I looked at her and asked, ‘Doesn’t this look better?’ And I have been doing this ever since! I guess you could say that it is in my DNA. It’s in me. I have both the knowledge and the God-given talent to see things and know how to translate them for others …

What women need to know is that they are attractive just as they are. They have more inner beauty than they realize and it is possible to go from good to better, to shine through beyond. When I work with a woman for the first time, I ask her to look in the mirror and start with what she likes about herself. Women are so disapproving of themselves and it is essential to identify with the good things, first. Only then, can she accomplish a higher level of confidence … Continue reading

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What’s Black and White and Ghoul All Over?

IMG_8154My skull sweater! I couldn’t be happier that it’s October, and I am pulling out my skull sweater! I love my skulls, and although I wear this sweater the entire fall and winter, nothing feels better than wearing it this month. Today, I pair the sweater with black pants, and my first-ever Manolo Blahnik’s that I purchased … where else? At my favorite consignment boutique; on sale, no less. It was a good day. Are you pleased with me, Carrie Bradshaw?

Do you have a favorite October item to get you in the mood for Halloween? Do tell …

Photos by Lisa ReznikIMG_8147IMG_8152IMG_8160

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Nicole Gets Married

Nicole is married!

Nicole gets married!   Photo credit: Jacob Leatherman

Here is news to celebrate: Nicole, founder and creator of the website, Body Boop, got married last month! I met Nicole last June, when I featured her on TFIO, sharing her message to love and accept ourselves just as we are. Nicole, who struggled for years with anorexia and bulimia, has been building back her life with courage and conviction. I later followed Nicole as she shopped for a wedding dress and dealt with the body issues that came with that process. And now, I am thrilled to share that Nicole is happily married! I am so impressed by Nicole’s ability to not only tell her story, but also to help so many others who may be struggling at this very moment in time. What a difference Nicole is making, and I can’t wait to see how far she goes!!

Here, in her own words, Nicole talks about being a bride:

So, no, I was not the skinniest bride. There are those out there who might think, oh, she could have lost a few lbs. for something like this. And they can say that. I have to keep reminding myself, even as I’m looking through the photos that are coming in, that I am so incredibly happy in my life right now and that I felt the most beautiful I have ever felt on that day. I can criticize my stomach or my arms or my double chin in those photos all day long, but that day was magic and I felt gorgeous. It will be a mission of mine to keep that feeling with me at all times.” ~ Nicole

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Sophie’s Choice

Sophie in her red!

Sophie in her red!

Sophie and I just met, and I am lucky that she will be shooting the images for my blog. Sophie is a gifted photographer, a high school senior, and a blogger. And she and I share a passion for fashion, self expression, and red lipstick! Sophie shared with me her dreams for the future, why she became inspired to express herself the minute she started high school, and why red is her new favorite color 

MKG: Were you always interested in fashion and photography?

Sophie: Ever since middle school I have loved the idea of being able to dress anyway I liked. I watched my older sister get ready for high school every morning, envious of her creativity and individuality, as she put an outfit together. When I started high school, I instantly fell in love with creating an outfit, and for the first time I enjoyed going to school, because I felt good in my skin, because I had discovered my personal style. It was then that I realized how much I loved fashion and that I wanted to be involved in the industry in some way. During my sophomore year I took my first photography class, and fell in love with creating pictures and watching film slowly develop.

MKG: What inspired you to start, The Adventures of S? What is your intention for the blog and how long have you been blogging?

SophieI started my blog, The Adventures of S, in 2013, because I felt that I had something unique and inspirational to offer. Through my blog I want to show that you can dress however you like as long as you are always happy with what you do. I also stress the idea that ‘Confidence is Key, with weekly inspirational posts, illustrating that when you are confident anything is possible. Continue reading

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