Do you have Chocolate hidden in your Closet?


Chocolate Brown clothing…not food!  Although both make me feel happy because chocolate is easy to love.  It’s a rich, sophisticated color.  Always luxurious, even when worn casually.  Valerie captures the simple luxury of chocolate brown in these photos.

When I thought about doing this story for He Dresses Daily, my friend Valerie instantly came into mind.  Val has beautiful brown eyes and I knew she would be the perfect model for this color story.  Getting her to agree to a photo shoot was easy, getting her to agree to let me into her closet was not as easy.  She said, “I hate for you to see my closet right now, but I do want to help you!”   I’ve worked with her  in her closet before and I knew we could find several looks for this Chocolate story right in her closet.

Everything in the photos above was already in Valerie’s closet.  Once more… All clothing and accessories Val is wearing were already in her closet!

Faux fur vest: Michael by Michael Kors
Bag: Tory Burch
Sweater: Banana Republic
Boots: Donald Pliner

One of my favorite challenges is putting a “Designer Collection Look” together with clothing already in the closet.  For myself, for anyone who asks for help, and especially for these photo shoots.  Do you have similar pieces in your closet to put this look together?  Maybe you have everything except the vest.  If you do, then all you need is one piece to complete this outfit for yourself.

Valerie and I met fourteen years ago.  Her friendship and love is precious to me.  Watching Valerie become the woman she is today – loving daughter, mother, wife, entrepreneur – has been a beautiful experience.  Today, Valerie is a Life & Empowerment Coach, check out her site

Photographer: Beau Bumpas Photography
Stylist: Kurt Michael Haymond
MUA: Ariel Rae Haymond

What’s in your Closet?

Model: Melissa Renee, Age 44, Hairstylist
Photos by: Beau Bumpas Photography 
Hair and Make-up by: Ariel Haymond

Three years ago (Fall 2011) on a shopping trip with Melissa Renee,  I picked out this lightweight Italian wool black suit from Ann Taylor.  She purchased the jacket, the pant, a matching skirt, and two tops to round out her core wardrobe.  A couple months ago, Melissa Renee and I were organizing her closet and editing out clothes that she no longer wears.  I was happy to discover that the Ann Taylor pieces maintained their quality and held their place in her wardrobe three years later.

In the photographs above, Melissa Renee is wearing the black suit from her closet.  The white dress shirt is Trina Turk and the black tie is from my closet.  Her killer platform shoes are Michael by Michael Kors.  She carries the Kate Spade tote that she brought to the shoot.

The subtle, understated elegance of Melissa Renee’s black ensemble is rocketed to a new dimension by adding the bold red felt coat by Elie Tahari Fall 2014.  Red is one of the most dynamic high-fashion colors and looks stunning used in this manner.

So…what’s in your closet?