looks i love: new years eve

{image via}

I always have high expectations for New Years Eve plans—sometimes they pan out, other times they don't.  No matter where I am, I love to celebrate with friends by my side and a glass of champagne in hand.  Here are some looks I would love to be in when ringing in 2011...
a pretty lace dress to wear with killer heels...
{image via nordstrom.com}

an embellished sparkly top to pair with jeans and flats...
{image via shopbop.com}

sequined pants in winter white with a casual top and fun jewels...
{image via asos.com}

and for a more conservative affair, this simple grey dress with a beaded necklace.
{image via nordstrom.com}

Hope you have some fun planned for Friday.  All the best for a Happy New Year—cheers!


fall/winter trend: faux fur

fall/winter trend: faux fur
fall/winter trend: faux fur by wakincloset featuring a faux fur vest

There's a whole lot of faux fur around these days... and I love it! It makes its appearance in a variety of neutral colors and textures on vests, as scarves, lining even the most casual pieces like hoodies.

Last season I got myself a faux fur vest which I've put to great use already this season, pairing it with flowy tops, jeans and boots. I also picked up a sweatshirt at Old Navy with a faux fur hoodie which is so comfortable and so cozy.

These are some of my favorite faux fur items I've seen this year. Bundle up and stay warm!


new favorite shoe(ties)!

{image via shopbop.com}

I was on the hunt for a new pair of black heels and came across this pair of "shoeties"on shopbop.com.  While the heel height was lower than what I originally wanted, I bought them to try them, since they were on sale and Shopbop offers free shipping on returns. 

They arrived a few days later and the minute I slipped these beauties on my feet, I was in love and absolutely thrilled with how comfortable they were!  Honestly, it felt like I was wearing running shoes... I also adore the lace-up, making them more unique vs. a traditional black pump.  Thanks, Michael Kors!


tips n' tricks: packing for a weekend getaway


A few weekends ago, my fiance and I went to Santa Barbara to location scout for our wedding.  It's called the "American Riviera"a perfect way to capture this quaint city next to the Pacific!

I get a little obsessive about packing (ask any of my closest friends) and usually start the process several days (sometimes up to a week...) before I leave.  I used to be an over-packer, then started not packing enough, and now I think I've got it just right. 

For this 4-day/3-night trip, I knew I needed outfits I could layer, since the temperatures were hovering in the low 60s.  Here's what made my list:
- pair of Habitual jeans (darker wash so I could dress them up or down)
- pair of Citizens of Humanity black jeggings (these are my most comfortable pair of pants)
- Madewell dress
- grey slouchy tee
- Madewell silk blouse
- white v-neck tee
- grey J.Crew Infinity cardigan
- black Aritzia boyfriend blazer
- black J.Crew utility jacket
- black J.Crew lace top
- black Elizabeth & James laser-cut suede flats
- black patent Via Spiga mary jane pumps
- Bensimons
- Havaianas

My philosophy is always to pack things that are neutral in color so you can pull outfits together quickly and easily, and accessorize with
colorful scarves and jewelry

Our trip was so much fun—Santa Barbara is such a pretty place and we even made a day trip to Los Olivos (in the Santa Ynez Valley) for a hike and  a delicious dinner in wine country.  More importantly, we accomplished our goal and found a place to get married!


inspiration: j.crew collection catalog

Fall is my favorite time of year to shop---I think through years of being a back-to-school tradition, I have never been able to let go...  

This year, I'm looking to several sources of inspiration, and (once again) J.Crew is at the top of my list.  I received a tabloid-sized mailer featuring signature pieces from the J.Crew Collection and fell in love!  The upscale feel and unexpected newspaper-esque format make for a great lookbook, not to mention the chic, polished-meets-punk looks that they pulled together.  I'm excited to get my hands on some thigh highs!


look i love: rocker chic

look i love: rocker chic

look i love: rocker chic by wakincloset featuring blue skinny jeans

As many of my friends know, there's nothing I love more than accents of hardware (chains, zippers, sequins, studs) on my shoes, bags and even shirts. Lucky for me, these accents are everywhere these days!

When you pull these together with a leather jacket (real or faux—mine is faux, from H&M) and accessorize appropriately, it's a super easy look to achieve for a night out with the girls—casual with a little bit of zest. I'm loving the pop of color that the Rebecca Minkoff bag brings to this outfit.


bridal bliss

{image from jcrew.com}
I recently got engaged to my boyfriend (fiancĂ©!) on my 30th birthday.  Not 2 weeks after he proposed, I was on the hunt for a dress—of course, it was the one item on my list that I had no questions about—I knew exactly what I wanted.  

J.Crew has, undoubtedly, upped the game in their bridal department over the last couple of years so it was my first stop.  Not only do they offer an amazing and diverse selection of styles, but they are priced so reasonably!  It was important for me to find something simple, and elegant, so I quickly fell in love with the Silk Tricotine Goddess Gown.  Having worn a bridesmaid dress made of the same material last year, I knew it would be flattering and, most importantly, comfortable.  I am so excited about itnow we need to set a date!


tips n' tricks: organizing your closet

One of the best ways to maximize your wardrobe is to organize your closet (I wish the one pictured above was mine...).  You'll rediscover items you haven't seen in a while, or be inspired by new ways to pair different tops, bottoms, shoes and accessories.  

Here are 5 steps to get you started:
 1.) Start Fresh.  Tackle your closet in sections so you don't overwhelm yourself, and make space for four piles in your room—keep, toss, repair and donate*.  The golden rule?  If you haven't worn it in a year, it goes.  If you're still on the fence, tie a ribbon or stick a post-it on the hanger and remove it when you wear it.  At the end of each season, items that are still "flagged" should be donated.
2.) Figure Out Your "System."  Look at the layout of your closet and decide what storage solutions you may need (if any).  Measure the space you have and make sure you have the measurements handy when you go shop for boxes, bins, baskets, etc.  The Container Store is a great place to do this!
3.) Space Assignments.  Depending on your preference, either organize your hanging items by color and/or by category (skirts, pants, blouses).  Be sure that the items you wear most frequently are easy to reach.  If you have limited space, you can create a seasonal system by rotating your fall/winter clothes with your spring/summer clothes.  Out-of-season clothes can be kept in your attic, basement or under your bed.
4.) Hang Appropriately.  Invest in the right kind of hangersHuggable Hangers are great for keeping things from slipping off, and are thin so they allow you to fit more in your closet.  Thin sweaters can be folded and hung; thick sweaters should be folded and shelved.  Sturdy wood hangers for jackets/blazers will help retain their shape.  Be sure to remove wire hangers (they don't support your clothes) and plastic dry-cleaner bags (they don't allow fabrics to breathe and keep the chemicals used to clean on your clothes).
5.) Sort Shoes + Accessories.  You can keep your shoes in their original boxes (be sure to label what's inside), stack them in a hanging shoe shelf, or invest in clear shoe boxes with drawer- or drop-front pullsthey allow you to see what's inside so you can easily access your shoes.  Belts and scarves should be coiled and put in bins and handbags can be hung on S hooks (I got mine at Home Depot).  Lastly, lingerie and socks can be organized using drawer dividers.

Good luck!

*Don't forget that your donate pile could go to great organizations like Dress For Success or Goodwill, but for those pieces you spent a pretty penny on and are still in good shape, there are a number of fabulous consignment shops in town (I'll share my favorite one in Seattle with you in an upcoming post).


fall trend: over-the-knee (otk) + lace-up boots

fall trend: over-the-knee (otk) + lace-up boots
fall trend: over-the-knee (otk) + lace-up boots by wakincloset on Polyvore.com

I love when fall arrives because it kicks off boot season! I'm a huge proponent of investing in a nice pair of boots because I know how often I'll wear them, especially in Seattle (where it's guaranteed to be cold enough October through April).

This season, I'm drawn to two different styles: over-the-knee (OTK) and lace-up. These are some of my favorites.


matchmaker, matchmaker: dress on a budget

Back in July, Cecilia, a co-worker of mine, asked me to help her find a dress to wear to a wedding the following month.  The wedding would be taking place in a park, so she wanted something summery, not too formal and fun, for under $50.  

I am a huge fan of budget shopping---I frequent Forever 21 as if it's Forever 31 (for the trendier items I know won't last long) and I love visiting consignment shops.  However, I knew I needed to look elsewhere for this request, particularly because Cecilia was in a pinch for time.  I immediately hopped onto Target.com, as they almost always have a nice selection of apparel all at a reasonable price.  What I found was the perfect match for Cecilia!  And, most importantly, she felt the same way.


sale section: j.crew factory

{image from jcrew.com}

Over the last year, I have become a huge fan of J.Crew (you'll see several more posts about my love affair with them in the following weeks)!  After a long period of being disappointed by the same Ts, tanks and cardis every time I walked in, these days I find it incredibly difficult to walk out empty-handed. 

So when I received an email from them last week about J.Crew Factory Online, I was thrilled.  Now you can find great deals starting Fridays at midnight (technically Thursday night) through the weekend.  Enjoy!


look i love: bringing together the basics

look i love: bringing together the basics
look i love: bringing together the basics by wakincloset featuring ballerina flat shoes

When it comes to basics, my philosophy is that you can't have too many. Basic staples are almost always in style, and are such great investments since you can wear them with each other, or with the more trend-forward pieces.

On the mornings that I struggle putting together an outfit for work, I fall back on my basics: black skinny jeans, a nice cardi, solid-colored tops, some flats and my pearls. It's a fail-safe bet I can count on!


NYFW fave: derek lam

{photos from style.com}

I've been following New York Fashion Week for the last few years—more religiously for this season's Spring 2011 shows... I think from tuning in to so much Rachel Zoe! 

Style.com is my go-to source for live streaming feeds of the shows and photos that make you feel like you were sitting right in the front row.  In looking through slideshows of my favorite designers from last week's events, Derek Lam was one that absolutely didn't disappoint.  His looks were impeccable, with delectable fabrics, clean lines, and the minimalist in me appreciated the simple silhouettes and neutral tones.


fall trend: skinny cords

There are a number of fall trends I've got my eye on this year—skinny cords is one of them.  They're a great alternative to jeans and are versatile, so you can wear them with heels, flats or tuck them into boots.

Here are some of my favorites, courtesy of Piperlime:

{images via piperlime.com}

1. Free People, Super Skinny 5 Pocket Corduroy, $68.
2. Joe's Jeans, The Chelsea Cords, $139.
3. Current/Elliott, The Skinny Cords, $198.


loving lookbooks...

{images from shopbop.com}

Shopbop.com is, quite possibly, the most delicious online retailer out there.  They have a plethora of brands, an amazing e-commerce site that allows you to "heart" your favorite finds, and a sophisticated editorial approach to everything they do.

One of my favorite features is their lookbooks.  They come out with at least one every week and they are incredibly inspiring!  A few weeks ago I fell in love with "1 Piece, 4 Stylists" (these are only four of the 8 ensembles), which used a simple white blouse in each of the 8 looks shown.  Not only did I purchase the white blouse, but I am coveting the camel-colored pants that they paired it with in the first look.



{photo by sara dearaujo}

My name is Hana Wakayama (Wak, for short) and this blog is a tribute to where I happily spend my time.

I’m the girl people come to when they need styling magic. There’s nothing I’d rather do than get people in an outfit that makes them feel gorgeous. I help them shop, purge, accessorize, find those lasting staples, rock a suit for a wedding or hunt for the perfect party dress.

I've been addicted to fashion all my life. As a child, my mother used to dress me in the most amazing little outfits (Esprit jumpers with accent-colored socks and laced Keds--so cute in the 80s). I owe my love of style to her.

Here, I'll show you the work I do, the things I love and answer any questions you have.


Special thanks to Francesca Merlini and Derek Shimizu for getting me off the ground with their amazing writing and design work!