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On KonMari + Spring Wardrobe Wishes

Like many other fashion people susceptible to media brainwashing, I've lately been KonMari'ing my home and my closet. For the uninitiated, "to KonMari" – verb – references Japanese organizational guru Marie Kondo and her methods, best recapped in her best-selling book, "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing."

Joy is at the center of Marie Kondo's advice – she advises that you handle every object in your home and ask yourself, "Does this spark joy?" If the answer is no, you must thank the object kindly for its service (really), and then send it off into the world/garbage. It's easier said than done, particularly for those of us who keep more, after having grown up with less (me).

I tackled the easy stuff first, the kitchen, and saved the really loaded assignment, the closet, for last. And in recent weeks (sorry, Marie, I wasn't able to tidy all at once, as per your advice), I've made real headway and KonMari'd everything from a Clarisonic to a 10-year old fitted sheet (the matching flat sheet and pillow cases were inexplicably nowhere to be found), 150 bottles of nail polish to a malfunctioning Dyson vaccum. From my closet, I've exported everything that I didn't love  - trends gone by like colored denim, ratty cashmere sweaters I would have once demoted to loungewear (a Kondo no-no), and multiples of once staple items like American Apparel Deep V-Neck tees (sadly for my wallet, I've progressed to Iro).  The difference is stark. All the clichés are true – getting dressed in the morning is easier, I look better, and I feel, inexplicably, like there's more room in my life, having freed myself of some unnecessary things.

But make no mistake about it, I'm no minimalist. I do like things, and so, while I hope to continue to make do with less, I will be making some thoughtful additions to my closet this Spring.  On my list:

  • A dress or two from The Reformation, including the Sandy seen above
  • A pair of white leather pants from J. Brand because I can never get enough leather
  • A crisp short like these from Babaton
  • A breezy floral blouse from Joie – this one's so good, I'd buy it in both colors

Oh, and in case you were wondering, while Marie Kondo's book may have sparked a small transformation – it did not, at the end of the day, spark joy. So accordingly, I passed it along to a new home with my friend Marina, who wrote her own post on KonMari today

On Vacation Planning and the Beauty of a One-Piece

As I was typing on my iPhone this morning, auto-correct took the liberty of amending my name, "Dina," to..."Aruba." Okay, iPhone, I get the hint. A vacation is indeed in order, and while I'd been dreaming most recently of the Southwest, I'm planning a May trip to Thailand instead, which just so happens to be home to some of the world's most beautiful beaches. 

Given that I'll be hitting the sand before beach season officially arrives, I have that much LESS time to feel swimsuit-ready. Truthfully, it's has been a winter full of Netflix and carbs kinds of nights, so this season's splurge is looking more and more likely to be a one-piece. While they once got a dirty rap, I actually prefer a sleek one-piece - they can be super chic and sexy in a way that bikinis rarely are, and truth be told, I'm often grateful for the added coverage. 

While I'm still a month+ away from travel, I've already been perusing online and this morning, landed at an online boutique offering a well-edited mix of designer swimsuits from brands like Aqua Bendita, OndadeMar and Le Mar. The site offers a LOT to love leading into summer, including swimwear, coverups and fun, easy resortwear.

On my list for Thailand?

Agua Bendita one piece swimsuit

Swimsuit by Peixoto (I always travel with at least two suits to allow time for hand-washing and drying)

Cover- Up by Le Mar

Open Back Maxi Dress by OndadeMar (more beach-ready dresses here!)

Will you be snagging a new swimsuit this season? Leave a comment and share!

This post was created in partnership with Sunbain;all opinions expressed are my own. 

This Jacquie Aiche Sale Could Bankrupt Me

As I was leaving my workout this morning, I was barraged by a series of texts from a coworker - one who shares my obsession with jewelry designer Jacquie Aiche.  Aiche is having, you see, another one of her rare but recurring sales - this one 30% off. And while even on sale the collection isn't inexpensive, the discount feels too good to pass up. Here's what I've deludedly added to my shopping cart:

If you're in the mood to splurge, the code "SPRINGCLEANING" will get you 30% off all purchases at Jacquie Aiche, from now through March 30.  Go forth and conquer!

Seduced by Byredo Mojave Ghost

It's quite hard to write about fragrance, which is why it's something I've done rarely throughout my nine (NINE!) years of blogging. Equal parts art and science, perfumers are sort of the rock stars of the beauty world (anonymous or not) and scent itself is highly individual, to say the least. I'm a fragrance snob of sorts, but by no means the worst of them – for those extremists, visit some of the niche fragrance sites around the web. But I'm a snob in that I refuse to wear, for example, a mass market or designer fragrance, with rare exception, preferring niche fragrance houses with limited distribution.

I've needed a new fragrance for some time now, and tested many in the process. There are scents that I keep in my rotation – Frederic Malle Carnal Flower, Kiehl's Musk Essence Oil and Child Perfume – but I wanted newness, and a scent that could transition more easily from day to night.

Enter Byredo. The uber clean packaging and mysterious fragrance names from this Stockholm-based house seduced me, so while in Paris, I stopped by Colette (THE HOTTEST NIGHTCLUB IN PARIS IS COLETTE, she said, a la Stefon) to sniff and to explore their small but thoughtfully curated beauty level.

Of the Byredo scents, it was hard to choose a favorite - and I admittedly overwhelmed myself by smelling too many perfumes in succession. Regardless, I fell in love with three - La Tulipe, Gypsy Water and Mojave Ghost, which as you can see above, came home with me. It's a mysterious scent, as mysterious as its name, and unlike anything I've ever smelled before. I'd describe it as a skin scent, warmed with floral notes of violet and magnolia, that smells almost like a gorgeous Southwestern desert breeze.

In retrospect, given that Byredo is about 30% less expensive in France (my 50ml bottle was just 90E, as opposed to $145 - and the exchange rate is very favorable at the moment), I should have purchased the trio. Regrets, I've had a few/two!

Explore the world of Byredo, visit their site or Barneys New York. 

Chic + French Meets Chic + French: Kusmi Tea and Jean-Paul Gaultier

I just returned from another trip to Paris, and one of the things that continues to strike me about Europeans is how much they love their hot beverages, be it coffee or tea. Among the tea to be found in Paris, Kusmi Tea is widely considered the chicest, and certainly a favorite of the fashion world, so it makes much sense to see that they've sponsored the upcoming Jean-Paul Gaultier exhibit, to be held at the Grand Palais in Paris, April 1st through August 3rd.

As part of that sponsorship, they'll unveil a collection of five products designed by the iconic JPG himself. Given that the designer is perhaps best known for his fetishization of sailor stripes and tattoos, those elements play largely in the designs you'll see for Kusmi. 

Packaging nerds like me, take note that the Kusmi Tea Collection by Jean Paul Gaultier will be available exclusively April 1st through December 31st in Kusmi boutiques and in the Kusmi Tea e-shop in France and abroad.

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