Dallas Street Style Heats Up

IMG_3053My hair stylist and best friend, Gary Walden, has been doing my hair for longer than I care to admit. Today the spotlight is on him as he heats up the Dallas streets with his playful yellow and blue ensemble and his perfectly imperfect bracelet stack. The bright yellow shorts play nicely off the darker blue shirt. Neither is vying for the focus. Perfect playmates.  The bracelets are a cool mix of colors, textures and weights. IMG_3082Each one stands on its own; however, he has brought them together in one look which makes it unique and special.

IMG_3068Whatever your story and whatever your style, it is yours. Let it speak and do not stifle it. Have fun. Thank you, Gary, for showing us how to have fun with style!

Technicolor Dreams at Neobantu

IMG_3092It was a wild party as revelers swang from the chandeliers, swilled champagne spilling over the edges of their glasses, their laughter ringing through the hallways… okay, maybe just that last part is true. But it was a colorful, wonderful evening of fashion at the studio of Tendai Tawonezvi as my Dallas clients, family and friends perused her spring/summer collection. A few smart party-goers purchased pieces to take home, investments for their wardrobe.

As I told everyone in attendance, when I spotted Tendai at a fashion event in Dallas a few years ago, she stood out in a sea of black-clad play-it-safers (of which I was one, sadly). I could not take my eyes off of her. I wanted what she had, not only the clothing, but also the bravery to wear it. Little did I know she was wearing her own pieces, and one day I would own a piece, as well. It makes me very happy every time I wear it. Naturally, I wish everyone to love and enjoy each piece they own, which is why I was eager to show Neobantu to my people!

Enjoy the photos from the colorful party, and if you have not seen Neobantu up close, follow Tendai’s blog so you can be at her next technicolor soiree! Happy Shopping, fashionistas. xo

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Neobantu – Something Different

IMG_0443Years ago when perming one’s hair was “the thing,” my little brother Marsh told a hair stylist he wanted “something different.” Two hours later, he emerged from the salon with freshly permed hair, and those simple words have never made me laugh so hard since that day. Oh, as we like to say in the South, bless his heart. I’m certain he wishes he had hair to perm now!

If I had a dollar for every time a client told me she does not want to look like everyone else, I could have retired by now. Okay, dear client, let me introduce you to Neobantu, your “something different.” Tendai Tawonezvi, a pharmacist by trade who grew up in Zimbabwe, founded Neobantu in 2013 with the desire to bring the vibrancy of Africa into our lives. I thank my lucky stars she did! I am the fortunate owner of one of Tendai’s creations, and I turn heads and I feel fabulous every time I wear it.

Neobantu is a fusion of vibrant African print and modern feminine styles. While this line may not at first appear to be for you (if you shy from color or from print – or both), I think every woman can find a way to make it work for her life. One of her printed tops with a classic pant is a simple approach, while a printed dress under a cropped blazer is a more forward tactic. At the very least, a t-shirt depicting of one of her designs with jeans makes for a cool, conversation-starting look.

IMG_0432I personally feel the tunic dress with sandals is the way to go in the heat of summer. Who doesn’t want to throw on a show-stopping piece that glides easily over one’s figure, hiding a multitude of sins? Sign me up!

I am hosting a sip and shop at Tendai’s studio in Dallas on Thursday, June 30 from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. If you wish to come, please message me via my Facebook business page with your e-mail address. An investment in Neobantu is the best thing you could do for your summer wardrobe. Go ahead and do something different! Hope to see you there!—Bethany

Siggins in Seattle

FamilyPhotoHi, everyone.  My apologies for not keeping up with my blog, newsletters, etc.  The move from Dallas to Seattle on January 23, 2015 was harder on my body, my mind and my soul than I had anticipated.  But here I am, still standing (better than I ever did – to copy a phrase from Elton John).

As most of you have likely learned by now, John (my husband) took a job in executive recruiting for Amazon Web Services which necessitated a move to Seattle.  It was a very difficult decision for us as we weighed many pros and cons for moving to Seattle versus staying in Dallas.  Ultimately, we had to look at the much bigger picture.  This job would provide John with a great career challenge and opportunity, which benefits our family.  So, here we are!

We had not been told before the move how difficult it is to buy a home in Seattle (low supply, high demand).  Despite the odds, I trekked out almost daily to see homes all over the city and on the east side as they call it here.  Many people were praying for us, and it showed.  God was in control.  In 30 days’ time (miraculous by Seattle standards), we had a contract on a home in West Seattle.  We took the above family photo on the back deck of our home in April.  At least John and I appear happy about it!

We moved into our lovely blue craftsman home Easter weekend.  We love West Seattle, which has a gritty, urban feel mixed with a friendly, small-town vibe.  In addition, we live 1-1/2 miles from Alki Beach, which is where many Seattlites congregate in the warm sunny days of summer.  So, along with being new residents of the Pacific northwest, it looks as though we are also going to be “beach” people!  Who would have thought?

In the coming days, weeks and months, I would like to introduce you to some of the places I’m visiting in Seattle and in West Seattle, and keep you in the loop on the things I am doing here.  I hope you will enjoy the posts.  Thank you for reading!  I miss you, Dallas! xo

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!

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!

Alternative to Shorts

Some of you face a dilemma this time of year.   The temps are creeping up, but you are not a “shorts” person. What is a gal to do?  Allow me to suggest an alternative, which is universally flattering.  Enter the circle skirt.  This skirt has ease around the hips because of its slight a-line shape.  This is great for the gal with more down below who needs a bit of room for comfort, and this is also great for the gal who lacks shape to give her the appearance of curves.

The ideal length is to the knee (either just above or just below).  I realize the midi skirt is very popular right now, which goes to mid-calf.  However, this length is extremely difficult to pull off if you are not particular tall or thin as stops in an odd place at mid-calf (much like the Capri pant), creating a shorter leg line and visually widening the wearer.  The last time I checked, no woman has ever told me she wishes she looked shorter and wider!

I created the following set in Polyvore to provide you with a couple of ideas for wearing this skirt.  I paired both skirts with a button front shirt, which looks a bit more dressed up than a simple t-shirt is able to accomplish.

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Two pieces of advice on the top: roll the sleeves and make sure the hem of the top ends around your hip bones.  If you do not tuck your tops, and the top is too long, ask your tailor or dry cleaner to cut it, a very simple alteration.  Rolling the sleeves is heightening, and it certainly makes sense now that the mercury is rising.  Finish the outfit with your favorite sandals, bag and jewelry, and you are done.

So easy, right?  Hop to it!  Happy Friday and thanks for reading!

No Shopping Update

shoppingbagsWell, dear readers, it has been a short while since I made my confession of breaking my six month no shopping pledge 1-1/2 weeks into the pledge, and I am happy to report I am staying the course.  Yes!  I must admit, however, I have not stopped shopping completely.  While I am not presently adding to my wardrobe, my mindset has shifted to those little “essentials” I said I would allow myself.

In the time since my last confession I visited DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse in Preston Center with a little coupon in hand and I purchased:  (1) two pairs of house slippers (I had to trash a pair of worn out slippers recently), (2) a pair of low heel wedges for work (replacing a pair I wore out and tossed) and (3) a package of athletic socks (the toes of mine are wearing thin now that I am working out again).  This was hardly a bank-breaking purchase, much like the one in my aforementioned confession, as everything I purchased with the exception of the socks was on clearance.  So, yes, I bought again, but everything I purchased replaced items that were wearing out and on their way out.  I feel okay about that.

I am not feeling a pull to shop as I did when I made the pledge a month ago, so perhaps I am getting over the hump?  One can hope so. Staying out of the stores is my best defense, which is hard to do when you shop with clients for a living.  Alas, as long as I keep my focus on my client and off of things I want, I should be fine.

I hope you had a wonderful short work week.  Enjoy your weekend!  Perhaps it includes shopping?  I certainly hope so!

No Shopping For Six Months

shopping8Last week I documented my end of summer sale finds, and my favorite places for doing so in Dallas.  The adventure continued when I visited Elements this past Saturday for yet another round of summer sale scavenging.  Crazily, I took my 2-1/2-year old twins with me, and my shopgirl Stevie and the sales staff could not have been sweeter to play with them while I shopped… and I bought.  All of this shopping has been great fun, and I have added many lovely pieces to my wardrobe the last 6 weeks.  However, I have gone well beyond my limits, and I must put my foot down on myself.  Yesterday, I told two of my friends I will not shop for myself for six months (other than for essentials, naturally).  Can I do it?  I hope so.  I have no choice, to be honest!  I realize this means nothing new during the holiday season, not even after Christmas sales.  But I am not concerned.  How is one to enjoy what one has if they are always acquiring the next new thing?

Over the past several years, I have assembled a nice wardrobe of things I love, things that communicate my brand and make me feel supported and fabulous.  This is what I want for my clients, and I am merely taking my own advice.  Yet, there comes a time when one has enough.  Now the fun begins, actually, because I can test my outfit-making skills, devising interesting combinations with my wonderful wardrobe.

Outfit-making is one of my favorite things to do for clients.  It falls under my closet audit / wardrobe review service.  Most clients are amazed at the number of options they have that they never considered and would not have put together on their own.  I look forward to doing this for myself and casting a blind eye to the 2013 fall collections (at least where my own wardrobe is concerned).

You may have noticed I excluded “essentials” from my shopping moratorium.  What is an essential anyway?  If nail polish isn’t an essential, I’ve already broken my promise this morning.  I was trying to find an OPI polish called Fly from the 2012 Nicki Minaj collection, a cool matte teal I’m sporting on my toes from a recent pedicure.  I justified the purchase because I love the color and I want to replicate it on my own since pedicures may be beyond my budget for awhile.  I did not find Fly, so instead I picked up a glittery teal, also by OPI, called Yodel Me On My Cell from the Fall 2010 Swiss Collection.  I must be very wary of my “essential” purchases, else I will make the drug stores very rich over the next six months and negate the benefit of my “no shopping” pledge.

So, there you have it, my promise to not shop for six months, no shoes, no jewelry, no clothes.  I will keep you posted on my progress, and I hope you will help me stick to my guns.  I would like to apply some restraint on my twins’ wardrobes, as well.  I daresay they are much less excited about a new piece of clothing than I am.  While I am on my shopping hiatus, I will live vicariously through my clients and you.  Let me know what you’re buying.  I’m dying to know!

Bethany’s Favorite Spots for Summer Sale Season

Sometimes I am asked, “When are the best times to shop?”  For spring/summer, the time is NOW.  Actually, it is a little late in the sale season now.  Sales have been going for at least a month or more; however, we are now in prime time for final markdowns, which is when you find your best deals (but there is also less selection).

The other question I am occasionally asked, “Where do you like to shop?”  My broad answer to this question is “everywhere.”  I pick up finds at vintage shops, boutiques and “regular” mall stores.  I also enjoy shopping when I travel because when I purchase pieces outside of Dallas I have a greater chance of having things no one else will have in their wardrobes.

To be more specific, here are my top four spots for clothes shopping in Dallas:

(1) Nordstrom Northpark is where I pick up work basics like cardigans, pencil skirts and trousers.  Ask for Jennifer Parsons to assist you.  She stays very busy, so if she is not available to assist you, she can set you up to shop with one of the store’s other personal stylists.  Shopping with a personal stylist is a service offered free of charge by Nordstrom, and it is a service I highly recommend.  It is a great time-saver, and their stylists have the eye for what looks good.

(2) Tootsies is where I like to pick up pieces that are one step beyond basic like printed TootsiesFindsjeans, colorful blouses and funky jewelry.  Ask for Pat or Betsy to assist you.  They are fun and knowledgeable about the store’s merchandise, and they are also honest about what looks good and what pieces can be tailored to fit well.  Here are my finds from this week’s consolidation sale, which ends tomorrow: J. Brand printed jeans (love!), three dots white tank top (a basic I needed) and a Lulu Guiness cosmetic case (I had been looking for a new case for my handbag for months).

(3) Elements is where I shop for cool wardrobe treasures, pieces I know I will have for many years and love wearing because of their unique design.  Elements carries lines you may not have heard of, but you think you should like Mackage and Plein Sud.  Ask for Stevie.  She’s a brilliant stylist, always spot on NotifyJeanswith what works for you, and she’s just plain cool.  Here I am wearing a pair of high-waist, white flair jeans by Notify I snagged at their final markdown sale last August.  When Stevie said I look like Olivia Newton John in these jeans, I practically threw my dollars at her feet.

(4) Forty Five Ten is a shop you may be afraid to go into because they carry the top designer goods, and they are repeatedly featured in fashion magazines like Harper’s Bazaar and Elle.  However, if you have all of your wardrobe basics covered and you would like to start adding designer pieces to your “collection,” this is the place to go.  Their final markdown is the time to go if you have a limited budget (as I do).  Here I am wearing a Comme des Garcon skirt I purchased at this year’s final markdown sale.CommeSkirt

Lastly (but certainly not least), I would like to give a shout-out to Lou Lou, located across the street from Elements on Lovers Lane.  They carry all kinds of fun shoes and great handbags at prices that won’t break your bank.  The owner Molly Thayer Justman, a fellow Louisiana girl, has the eye for what we’ll love having in our wardrobes.

To close, I must brag on my finds from Gap this week.  I haGapFindsve enjoyed my cotton pants I’ve bought there the last two summers, so I decided to go in this week to see if I could get another pair for a good price.  Well, I not only found another pair of cotton pants (in cobalt blue, no less), but I also scored three tops and a pair of hot pink shorts.  All five pieces rang up for a grand total of $67, including tax.  Wow!

So, there you have it – Bethany’s shopping haunts revealed.  Nothing too exotic or crazy is on the list, as you can see.  The key is knowing what you want and need, and being sure of your brand and what pieces will best communicate it.  If you need help, let me know.  I’d be delighted to assist you!