Heels & Picks: Cleaning out my closet

Jan. 7, 2014 | 0 Comments


BY ERIN SMITH / Special to the Star-Advertiser

Welcome to the first week of January, where we all raise a final glass of nog to the holiday season, take a look back at the year that was, and start making personal changes to ensure the new year is even better than the previous one.

Personally, 2013 was a good year, although I feel like 2014 is building up to be of particular note. I’m a happy person and generally get to do what I love. My family and friends, though many are far away or on Maui, are fantastic. My hair is pretty good and I am in love.

Not bad, right?

The past two years for me have also been a time of tremendous change. Consequently, my internal reflection for 2014 looks backward as well as forward. While we all go through changes in life, sometimes we abandon pieces of who we were — and sometimes, those pieces were pretty cool.

I have too many clothes. This is how I know: while folding clothes for my T-shirt, tank top and camisole drawer, I became bored and contemplated living out of a laundry bin for the rest of my life.

And so, reorganizing my closet took place shortly after I rang in the new year — a resolution of sorts to take a good, hard look at my wardrobe and set it up in the best, coolest, most badass Martha Stewart way possible.

It also came about from the broken ankle I managed to procure for myself while hiking one of the Mokolua Islands last month (that I have since been instructed to rest) and was solidified by the emotional turmoil from watching my Canadian family pile into vans and head to the airport, leaving my boyfriend and I arm in arm in Kailua under the glow of the moon.

As I dug through piles of clothes, gasping at a few ugly skirts and reminiscing over hoodie dresses from Throwdowns shows, I struggled to not hang on to one top I love but never EVER wear. And that got me thinking about fashion choices and what they represent this year.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you E’s top fashion item for 2014, aka “What in the Hell is in My Closet?”


Wear a tie with a mini dress, like a BossMy boyfriend and I found a hot pink Ralph Lauren tie in his stocking. From LAST year.

This gift that kept on giving became my new obsession; I started pairing it with my short black tank dress, black tights, and black heels. It looks great, has a tiny touch of masculine, but when paired with all those feminine elements, its still sleek and light-handed.

MY ADVICE: Rock it like a boss, ladies. But don’t lose your feminine touch. Girly girls can be bosses, too.


R2D2 Dress from Black Milk Clothing CoMy little sister bought a great one-piece bathing suit from an Australian company called Black Milk Clothing. It has a cheetah on it that’s crouching down, ready to pounce and kick your butt.

Upon her purchase, I surfed back over to Black Milk’s website, having been there before to ogle a tank mini dress designed to look like R2D2, the robot sidekick from “Star Wars.”

Lo and behold, the dress was on sale! I bought it. I adore it.

MY ADVICE: Let your freak flag fly, as they say. I’ve always had a bit of an oddball flare for fashion, and in the last two years I let it kind of fade away.

The freak keeps inching back in, however, combining forces with my new, sleeker way of dressing.

The results? I’m feeling more like myself — just an evolved version. It feels good.


Because, why not?

MY ADVICE: Again, why not?


It's the Liger skirt. Half Tiger, half leopard.Is it a tiger skirt? Is it a leopard skirt?

It’s both — it’s a liger skirt.

A cheapie find at Forever 21, where I often love to shop — and am not afraid to admit it! — this skirt has an ambush of tigers printed on the top and fades to leopard print.

I’m unsure as to whether this was actually done on purpose, or whether the designer got mixed up about which spots belonged to whom.

And really, what DOES the fox say?

MY ADVICE: Don’t put yourself into one box. You can be as multi-faceted as you like. You, too, can be a liger.


Leather Jacket w Lace DressI adore black leather jackets. These days I also have a red one, but it sadly doesn’t have zippers like the Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” jacket.

I never run out of ways to pair my black leather jacket with outfits. Black leather over a white lace dress? Yes please. With a crop top and skinny jeans? Absolutely. I very nearly never leave home without it.

MY ADVICE: Classic is always hot, always wanted and never goes out of style. That goes for wardrobe, manners, and life in general. Something I never keep too far out of mind.


My boyfriend “T,” short for “Trouble,” and I have two Boston Terriers: Max and Maisy. The former is the older pup and generally really well-behaved.

The latter is a puppy and has reverted back to chewing everything she can get her paws on. She’s like a goth teenager who has been told she’s not getting tickets to the upcoming Taking Back Sunday concert. (Okay fine, we’ll get tickets. I can’t resist a good show).

I came home to our Kailua cottage the other day to her newest conquest; she had eaten my hair barrette, a pretty, mermaid-looking one with dried starfish attached to it.

Rolling my eyes and giving the signature Smith Girl Death Glare to Ms. Maisy, I felt sorry for myself for a few minutes about my sudden lack of a cool starfish hairpiece.

That is until I remembered I’m alive, life is great and it’s just stuff.

MY ADVICE: Appreciate what you have. Don’t sweat the small stuff. But also, any dogs who are reading this, don’t eat starfish barrettes!


First, the faux fur coat represents the reusing of plastic bottles rather than killing of animals. It also may represent my constant half-desire to be vegan, which I will never EVER actually commit to.

This particular faux fur coat is from Bebe and was great at keeping me warm after I broke my ankle and my whole body temperature dropped. It was chosen for me by a stylist from my management team.

MY ADVICE: Get out of your comfort zone. Trust your gut, but don’t resist allowing others to take care of some of your work for you. Sometimes a broader vision is better.


“What in the hell is a toque?” you ask.

In American vernacular, it’s called a beanie, skully or wooly. In Canada, a wool hat is a toque and that’s all there is to it, thank you very much.

(Oh, sorry, did I cut in front of you in line? Sorry.)

I adore my black toque. I bought it at my friend’s Toronto clothing shop, Robber, and wore it for the entirety of my trips to Montreal and Seattle over the past two years. It looks killer with straightened hair.

MY ADVICE: Don’t forget your roots or where you came from. And also, be ready for bad hair days at all times.

Happy New Year everyone! Thanks for reading, and may 2014 bring you happiness, health, great new music to rock out to and many moments of shopping zen.
Erin Smith is a singer and guitarist who performs as a solo artist and with Maui-based Na Hoku Hanohano Award-nominated band The Throwdowns. Born in Canada, she moved to Hawaii in 2004 and now resides in Kailua. Contact her via e-mail or follow her on Twitter.

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