Tory 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!
Many of you know I love to get on my soapbox about wearing black. If you read my July newsletter “My Beef With Black” you understand why. Don’t get me wrong. It isn’t that I am completely against wearing black. On the contrary, black can be quite chic. In fact, it would be remiss of me not to tell you I own quite a bit of black in my own wardrobe and several little black dresses (aka LBD). It’s just that in order to wear black well, you first need the right body coloring (dark hair is a good start), and black also requires some spicing up to communicate your style statement.
Since I know many of you wear a lot of black, I thought I would share with you a few things I generally do to add life to an all-black ensemble.
(1) Add color! Here I am wearing a black and gray ensemble. In order to stand out in a sea of black-clad fashionistas, I enjoy throwing on a statement necklace, often a colorful one. This way my style comes through and you can pick me out in the crowd. If black isn’t your best neutral, add a colorful accessory near your face in one of your colors to neutralize the stark effect of black. Not sure if black is a good neutral for you and want to know your best colors? See me for that! A custom color analysis will answer those questions and more.
(2) Add a metallic topper. To bring life to your LBD, add either a silver, gold or bronze jacket or sweater. Gold and bronze generally work best on most people, but if you really like to sparkle and stand out give silver a shot.
(3) Wear a fabulous shoe. If you prefer the clean, chic look of an all-black ensemble, why not throw on a drop dead shoe to snazz it up? I think a LBD with minimal accessories and a killer shoe is effortlessly chic. Wear a deep red lip color, as well, if you dare!
As you can see, this isn’t rocket science. Bottom line: fabulous accessories separate you from the next black-clad gal. As Clinton Kelly once said on an episode of “What Not To Wear”: Accessories explain who you are as a person. So true, Clinton. I could not have said it better myself. Before you step out in all black, add a bit of your personality to it. You’ll add intrigue and interest to an otherwise forgettable outfit.
Some of you know about my love of shoes. Thus, it may surprise you to learn I have not always been into shoes. Up until about 8 years ago, I never paid them much attention (on myself). I thought no one noticed my shoes. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
I distinctly remember my oldest brother telling me when I was in my twenties how important shoes are and how telling they are about a person. This struck me. I was probably wearing a nondescript black or brown pair at the time, and I wondered what that said about me. Several years later I was shopping with a friend who has great taste in shoes. She was contemplating a pair of pumps for around $200, not necessarily a bank-breaking number but far more than I’d ever dreamt of spending on a single pair of shoes. She asked me, “Is that too much to spend on shoes?” I had to smile and laugh as I pointed to the $30 of sandals on my feet. She laughed, too, and bought the shoes. They looked fab on her.
So, why all the fuss about shoes? In short, they set the tone for your entire outfit. If you don’t believe me, picture a woman in a black cocktail dress wearing tennis shoes. Alas, she need not don a pair of $200 pumps to look beautiful, but she should wear a pair that works with her dress and the occasion. Hopefully, her shoes also say something about her personality.
One of my favorite Clinton Kelly quotes goes like this: “Accessories explain who you are as a person.” I could not agree more. This includes your shoes. Look at your shoes, think about them. Are your shoes scuffed and worn out? If so, have them fixed or replace them. Run down shoes ruin your look as quickly as ill-fitting clothes or wearing the wrong color. You don’t have to be a shoe person to have great shoes. Simply giving them more consideration and realizing they have an effect on your overall appearance should be enough motivation to raise the bar on your shoe collection.
Now get out there and find a few pairs that tell your story!