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!

Taking Your Image From College Girl To Woman

young womanI was recently asked by Angie Schuller Wyatt, award winning author of a book and blog by the same name, God and Boobs, to write a short piece about transitioning one’s image from college to career while maintaining one’s youthful appeal.  You can view the post on her blog here.  However, I thought I would also share the full text of my contribution below for my many (ha!) blog subscribers.  This is a common issue, one I experienced when leaving college, so I am grateful to Angie for raising the question so I could properly address it in print.  I hope you enjoy it!

As you wave goodbye to your college alma mater, degree clutched tightly in your hands, you have high hopes and expectations for your future.  However, as you stare into your closet surveying your wardrobe, you are dismayed to find it is not filled with the things one would associate with a woman poised to conquer the world.  Since you know image matters and a first impression is of the highest importance, you are in a quandary.

Never fear, I have three simple steps to conquering this very common wardrobe dilemma:

(1) Shop Differently.  In other words, buy your grown woman clothes from stores you used to bypass in college.  For the most part, you will not find nice career clothing where you buy “disposable” casual and/or party clothes.

(2) Acquire Quality Classics.  Start collecting the classics such as a leather handbag, closed-toe heels, a white blouse, a LBD and a trench coat.  Buy the best quality you can afford as these items, when purchased well, will last you 10+ years.  These pieces are investments.

(3) Brand Yourself.  How would you describe your style?  How do you want to be known in your career?  What are the words you want people to say when you walk in the room?  Write your answers and from there make a list of 4 – 5 words that best describe you and your brand. Then start dressing like it.  If you are concerned about looking too old, be sure your wardrobe includes color, patterns and quality accessories.  Accessories finish outfits, and the right ones keep your look youthful, fresh and modern.

Mixing Classics with Trends

I may have been a ‘classic’ girl in my youth when I was still searching for my personal style, but try as I may, I was not meant for it.  It certainly did not suit my personality in the least.  However, I do love classic pieces.  The only way they work into my personal style, though, is to find ways of giving it an unexpected twist.  Have you thought of layering pearls with a link necklace as I did here?  I hadn’t either until I tried it a few weeks ago.  And what do you know?  I liked it.  I was giving a presentation on accessorizing to a group of retired women the day I wore this, and I was told by an inside source that a number of ladies showed up at the next gathering layering their necklaces and trying things with their accessories they had not previously considered.  I love that!

The next time you reach for a classic piece in your wardrobe, try to think of a way to make it unexpected: pair it with something you normally would not, a trendier piece perhaps.  Mix the color palette, as well.  These pearls are gray, while the link necklace is gold.  One might not normally think of blending a cool color (gray) with a warm one (gold). Since gray is not one of my best colors, when I wear it I always find a way to bring one or more of my colors into the palette so it is not so obvious.  Both wine and gold (worn in the outfit above) are in my palette. 

Another way of approaching the classic mix is to purchase pieces that are classic in theory but have something in their design or details that give them an edge, removing some of its classic vibe.  Consider what I created on Polyvore as an example: Little Black Dress with a Twist. The next time you buy a classic piece, find one that veres slightly away from classic.  The dress I chose for this layout is not a traditional little black dress in its design, although a LBD is considered a wardrobe classic.  Note that none of the companion pieces are totally classic either.  Each has an element of classic to it, yet none would be considered a complete classic.

I’m not saying classic dressing is boring, but if you are a classic guy or gal who is interested in inserting some umph into your style, first bring a few non-classic items into your wardrobe.  Then start mixing them with your classics to see what happens.  Your look and style might take a turn for the wilder side!