ToryJessica

Tory Burch “In Color”

ToryJessicaTory Burch, known as much for her love of the color orange as for her sporty flats and dreamy caftans, has released a gorgeous coffee table book today, “Tory Burch: In  Color” about her 11 favorite colors: orange, blue, green, purple, pink, red, yellow, white, black, natural and gold.  I was blessed to meet Tory last week and have her sign the book, which is being released today.  Last Friday afternoon at the Nasher Sculpture Center in downtown Dallas, Tory was joined by her friend Jessica Alba (actress and founder of The Honest Company) to discuss the book and other topics of interest including how she balances motherhood and a career, and the roundabout path she took in starting her namesake company.

Tory considers herself a late bloomer having only started her wildly successful company 10 years ago.  Tory departed a career on the rise with LVMH to stay at home with her three young boys.  Four years later, she started her company because she felt there was a need for high-quality, affordable clothing and accessories.  She certainly hit the mark!  However, she said she was not an overnight success, spending many of her first two years on the phone with her Hong Kong operations until 3:00 a.m. her time.

Tory was raised on a farm in Pennsylvania with three brothers.  Her parents Buddy and Reva (for whom Tory named her first flat) who would leave Tory and her brothers with family to take six-week worldly vacations, returning with various exotic souvenirs.  In addition, Tory’s childhood home entertained many “overnight” guests who invariably would stay long past their expected departure dates.  As as result of this unique upbringing, Tory’s aesthetic reflects an appreciation for diversity, one that is decidedly multicultural.

I greatly enjoyed the event, hosted by American Express, and I am very appreciative to my dear friend Peg Baird for allowing me to be her plus one!  Pick up a copy of the book, even if you are not familiar with Tory or her company.  I think you will find the content, including many beautiful photographs, to be highly inspiring and a lovely addition to your library.  Tory sees the world in color, and I think we all should!

How To Create a Wardrobe Shopping List

HangersSizesThere are at least two approaches to creating a smart wardrobe shopping list. One way is to assess your wardrobe for basics versus personality pieces.

Why do you need a shopping list? For starters, most purchases are impulse buys. And let’s face it, it is difficult to have a wardrobe that works for you if it is full of impulse buys. Any guilty parties out there? Tags still on oodles of items in your closet? Yep, that’s what I thought. Stop it. Make a list and stick to it.

First, assess your wardrobe for basics. These are the foundational building blocks of your wardrobe. You might also think of wardrobe basics as classic pieces, the items which are always available (in some version) year after year.

Basics/Classics include:
a white cotton shirtClassic Dresser
a blazer (or cardigans)
quality, well-fitting t-shirts
a few skirts (in lengths & shapes that flatter)
dark wash, straight leg jeans
flat-front pants
a few blouses
a day dress
a cocktail dress
a leather handbag
a leather pump
flats
quality bras (in the correct size) and
good underwear

How did you do? Write the missing classic pieces on your shopping list. Next, list them in order of priority. You cannot build a home with no foundation. The same is true for your wardrobe. These foundational pieces help to create well-balanced outfits. However, you may not need every item on this list. If you never attend cocktail events, skip the cocktail dress. If you are a skirt girl, skip the pants or vice versa. Tailor this list to your taste and your needs/lifestyle.

Of the classics/basics you own, are they in good condition, do they fit and are they representative of your taste and style? If not, toss them and purchase new ones.

Second, assess your wardrobe for personality pieces. Do you have any? What are personality pieces? Perhaps they are pieces you gravitate towards in the store that you are not sure you can pull off. Of course you can! Go for it! Often a personality piece is a twist on a basic or a classic. It has a slightly different design, color, texture or pattern to it.

Personality pieces may include drop earrings, cocktail rings, printed scarves, patterned tights, colorful handbags, over-sized sunglasses and so on. These pieces show others who you are. Personality pieces are mixed with classics to make interesting, well-balanced outfits.

WardrobeSpiceIf personality pieces are sorely lacking in your closet, write “personality pieces” at the top of your shopping list. The next time you shop, if you gravitate towards a basic/classic, but you know your highest priority is to find personality pieces, step away from the classic.

Some of us are classic girls, and some of us are personality piece girls. And some of us are both (guilty)! Too many classics makes for a lackluster wardrobe, but too many personality pieces make it difficult to create well-balanced outfits.

Happy Weekend, everyone, and thanks for reading. Make a smart wardrobe shopping list and stick to it!  Most of all, stay fabulous.

Fall Trends 2014

OrangeDoorAt the end of each summer I produce a card of fall trends, a reference of the biggest trends of the season, in anticipation of fall fashions which begin hitting the stores at about that time.  I simply love fall fashion, the rich colors, the textured fabrics and the beautiful leather goods.  To me, fall fashion is worthy of investment.  Trends come and go, but if you purchase wisely (read: not too trendy) and you take care of your things (yes, pay attention to care instructions), your investments will last you several years (at the least!). 

If you love something but cannot afford it, look for the best version of the knock off or scour vintage stores for something similar.  As you know in fashion, everything old is new again, so it is quite possible what you love has been done before in a previous decade.  One fall I really wanted a moto jacket, but I did not have the budget for a leather jacket.  So, I purchased a pleather version and wore the heck out of it.  A few years later, I got the real thing.

My fall 2014 trends card does not cover all the trends, so below is an extensive list .  If you would like a trends card and a couple of extras for friends, message me.  I would be delighted to send them to you!

Colors:  cobalt, steel, dark red, moss green, pastels, orange and jewel tones

To see a list of the Pantone fall 2014, click here.

Fabrics: shearling, leather, tweed, knits, fur, metallic and velvet

Prints/Patterns: plaid, abstract, color blocking, patchwork and diagonal lines

Oversized: coats, collars on coats, dresses, sweaters (including turtlenecks) and pants

Office:  midi skirts, pant suits, sharp blazers, pin stripes, menswear and neck tie blouses

Details: feathers, accordion pleats, fringe, sequins, western and puffy sleeves

Top layer: ponchos, capes, varsity jackets, bombers, blanket coats and fur-trimmed parkas

Bags: bucket, totes, jeweled clutches and fur top-handle handbags

Shoes: sneakers, flats, ankle boots, brogues and ankle-strap heels

Beauty: ponytails, braids, oversized buns, colorful cat eyes, nude and berry lips and nude and Bordeaux nails

Whew, I probably missed a few, but not many.  If you need assistance finding what suits you, call me.  I love making the shopping experience quick and easy.  I especially enjoy helping people find pieces they would have never considered if they had shopped on their own!  Happy Shopping!

Aligning Body Language With Your Message

twistinghairYour body language, your facial expressions and your posture are often subconscious. You are likely not aware if you play with your hair in meetings, look down during conversation or pick lint off your clothing while standing around at parties. Ask a trusted friend or colleague to assess you during your next social outing or meeting, and don’t take it personally if the feedback you receive is less than glowing. Being aware of your body language pitfalls is your first step in correcting them, right?

Correcting your posture, if needed, is your first assignment. The first three things others notice about us are our face, our hair and posture. Good posture (standing up with shoulders back yet relaxed) says I am confident, and I am paying attention. Bad posture communicates insecurity or boredom. If you are taller than most, your good posture assignment will be difficult because you have likely adopted a slouching posture as you lean over to hear what is being said or as a way of appearing shorter if your height is an area of insecurity. Stand tall and proud. Others will project up to you during conversation, and being looked up to is never a bad thing.

Next, consider your message and align your facial expression with what you are communicating. If stern expressions come naturally to you, you may find yourself delivering good or happy news while scowling. Trust me, the recipient of the good news will be confused. We are hard-wired to read someone’s face and body, believing those signals, before we take in the words we are hearing. A smile or a positive expression says you are relaxed, assured and happy. As you know, a frown communicates displeasure. Be careful your face is saying the same thing your words are!

Lastly, pay attention to your hands as you are speaking. Do you point or hold your palms down while directing others? If so, they will be hesitant to follow your direction. Why? When you point fingers, they feel like you do not value their intellectual abilities. Taking orders from someone whose palms are down feels like orders rather than direction. The right approach is of course to give direction with palms up. This makes them more open to your words and less threatened by what is being said.

These tips are just the tip of the iceberg. There are many other body language pitfalls to consider, but we can address those in another piece. In the meantime, work on these areas. (My palms are up!) They are the first steps to enhancing your influence.

Amp Up Your Career Style

womanstrongmakeupI was recently asked by Polish Dallas, an organization that connects young professional women to discuss career and faith, to write a blog post.  Since my subscribers may not have seen it, I wanted to share the post with you here on my blog.  Enjoy!

It has probably happened to you on countless mornings. You drag yourself to your closet, and you stare blankly into the abyss of clothes, uninspired and uncertain what to wear. Chances are when you started your career, you purchased the basic work wardrobe required for your job. The trouble is, that basic wardrobe does nothing to excite you, and it most certainly does not communicate your personal style.

There is hope!  Here are my top 5 tips for adding pizzazz to your hum-drum work look.

(1) Start with color. Admit it, your wardrobe is a sea of black, brown, navy and gray, isn’t it? Make a concerted effort to look for colorful tops to wear under jackets. A raspberry heel, a cobalt blue handbag or a turquoise necklace would also do the trick. Wearing something colorful to work brings a smile to your face and it makes those around you happy, as well.

(2 Look for pattern. This one goes hand-in-hand with color. An outfit that lacks pattern is a real snooze. Stop playing it safe by purchasing only solid colored pieces for your closet. Patterned tops and shells look outstanding under basic work jackets and cardigans.

(3) Add eye-catching “third” pieces. A third piece is my word for blazers, jackets and cardigans. No work look is complete without one. You may not wear it all day, but at least you have it on hand for meetings, luncheons and events where you wish to look smart and credible. When buying a blazer, steer clear of the banker look. Look for shapely cuts, an intriguing texture or creative details.

(4) Seek out interesting shapes and details. In other words, look for classic pieces that go beyond the classic formula: pick a leopard pump over a basic black pump, try a printed sheath dress if all of your work dresses are solid colors, or experiment with a-line skirts if you principally own pencil shapes.

(5) Let your accessories do the talking. Accessories are the “soul” of your outfit, and they tell your story. This is where your creativity and personal style is best expressed at work. Even if your closet is full of wardrobe basics, your image takes on new life with fabulous shoes, handbags and jewelry. So even if you would rather play it safe with your clothing selections, you can still look like a woman with a strong sense of her own style with the right accessories.

So, get out there and start sprucing up your wardrobe.  If you need help, call me. I would love to assist you!

Cake & Icing

A well-balanced wardrobe includes what I call cake and icing. Sounds delicious, doesn’t it? The cake of your wardrobe are the wardrobe classics. These are the pieces that are available in some version year after year. They include a white cotton shirt, a blazer, a cardigan, quality t-shirts, a pencil or a-line skirt, jeans, a leather handbag, a pair of pumps and a pair of flats or loafers. The design and fabric of these pieces change a bit over the years, but you will always be able to walk into a store and find them.

The collage below, which I created in Polyvore, shows you two types of dresses, one is a wrap style, which is fitted through the waist, and the other is a shift style, which flows over the waistline. Every woman regardless of her age and her lifestyle should have one dress that fits her well and makes her feel like a million bucks.  Not to be overlooked in our list of classics, one should own either an overcoat or a trench coat.  The coat in this collage is something of a cross between a classic wool overcoat and a trench coat.

CoatDress

While wardrobe classics are great, they often lack flair.  This is where the icing comes in.  The “icing” in the collage below (created in Polyvore) may not be your flavor, but the point is,  the icing includes the pieces that show others who you are.  The icing most accurately communicates your personal flair and style. These pieces mixed with classics create interesting outfits.

WardrobeSpice

Some of us are cake girls, and some of us are icing girls.  And some of us like both!  Guilty!  We may find ourselves with too much cake and not enough icing or vice versa.  Assess your wardrobe for cake and icing.  If you are lacking basics and classics, it is difficult to create outfits, as an outfit often begins with basics.  On the other hand, not having the icing to give your look its flair will leave you feeling like your outfits are boring.

If you identify an imbalance, make a wish list and start shopping.  The spring and summer deals are heating up.  If you need help assessing your wardrobe, call me.  We’ll determine your best pieces and make a shopping list together.  A well-balanced wardrobe is a must!

There’s Something About a Guy in a Bow Tie

Originally posted on Bethany Siggins Image Consulting:

FloralBowTies You have no doubt noticed oodles of bow ties if you have wandered through the men’s department of your local department stores recently.  It’s a big trend in menswear for spring, and you are not at a loss for selection: all manner of colors and patterns are available.  I spotted these cool floral bow ties by Cinabre , a French luxury accessories line, in the April 2014 Neiman Marcus the book .

Imagine my surprise when a local small business owner, Kat Armstrong, recently found me on Instagram and decided my 3-1/2 year old son Nathan was the perfect candidate for a baby bow tie.  Kat’s business, baby bow tie, was born out of inspiration when she opened a bow tie gift at a baby shower when she was expecting her son.  In that moment, she realized she was not just having a baby boy, she was about to…

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