Seattle Street Style – Redheads Have More Fun

Whoever said redheads cannot wear red was wrong. I am totally digging Cindy in this tomato red printed top and jeans. She looks relaxed and comfortable, vibrant and eye-catching. Bravo, Cindy! Keep wearing bold colors. They suit you!CindyStreetStyle

Cindy and I met for lunch in the U District of Seattle at The Butcher and The Baker, a must-stop for sandwich-loving folks. I ordered a sandwich called The Beast, their take on the French dip, but theirs is way more messy and delicious. I have grease-stained dry clean only pants to show for it. Ha, ha!

More street style coming soon. Thanks for taking a peek. Have a wonderful holiday weekend and let your street style do the talking!—Bethany

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

Zelda Zonk Consignment – West Seattle

IMG_0582I am fairly new to Seattle (just over one year), and even newer to West Seattle (11 months).  I have always prided myself with being a great shopper, and, in particular, being a savvy bargain shopper.  My previous home, Dallas, TX, is not only a mecca of wonderful shopping but also a gold mine of consignment and second hand shops.  So, it was my great delight to discover Zelda Zonk Consignment on California Avenue in the Admiral District of West Seattle on a recent drive by. The shop opened in mid-June of 2015, culminating a long-time dream of shop owner Carrie Zimney to have her own boutique.

IMG_0586Once I stepped inside, I knew I had found one of my spots.  The racks are stocked with quality brands like Vince, Tory Burch, J. Crew, Halogen and DVF in near mint condition. Carrie is friendly and helpful, yet not at all pushy or sales-y.  Much of the space utilizes recycled materials, going hand-in-hand with the consignment concept of clothing recycling.  Carrie recently opened up the back room of the shop, which upon my most recent visit was well stocked with designer jeans and jackets. Overall, the shop is well organized, which if you have shopped at consignment shops as much as I have, you know is not always the case.

IMG_0576I recently consigned with Carrie, and she makes the process easy. She sets an appointment for you to bring in your clean, current items, and she lets you know what she is taking and where she is pricing it while you wait. You can track your sales and credit online, and whatever does not sell by the end of your consignment period is donated to a worthy non-profit organization unless you otherwise arrange for pick up.

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Carrie is currently accepting items for spring, which means the fall/winter inventory is being marked down. Now is the time to jump on great deals for next season! Here I am on Instagram modeling a couple of stylish layering pieces I spotted on my last visit. While these items may no longer be available, you can be assured Carrie has many things in-store that are covet-worthy. As always, if you would like assistance finding pieces that are right for you, I am at your service. Happy bargain hunting!—Bethany Siggins

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.

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!

Bad Combos? Pink & Green and Orange & Black

One of my wonderful readers said he dislikes pink and green in combination and orange and black. I agree, those are difficult color pairings which are best avoided in most cases. However, since I’m not one to say “never” in most cases, I set out to create two Polyvore sets with these colors together. What do you think? Are they a hit or a miss?

GrayGreenPurpleOrangeBlack

To be fair, I think the pink & green he was referring to was petal pink with apple green. That does sort of take me back to being five again.  In this outfit, the pink is just about purple and the green is sea foam.  It is quite a lovely color pairing to my eyes.  What about yours?  The orange and black outfit works because the jeans are charcoal rather than jet black, and the orange of the blouse is sheer and it is broken up by a plethora of white polka dots.

Throw another forbidden color combo at me, and I’ll see if I can crack it.  Thanks for reading, and thank you for your comments and shares!  Have a happy Wednesday!

I Want To See Your Closet

CommeSkirt“I want to see your closet,” stated a client of mine as we were wrapping up her makeup application/lesson.  The way she said it led me to believe this was not a question but a matter-of-fact statement of what would be happening next.  You see, this client is a lawyer, and I may not know much about the practice of law, but I know enough about lawyers to know you do not waste a single moment of your life arguing with one.  “Okay!” I quickly responded, rather surprised.  No one has ever asked to see my closet.  Perhaps others have thought of it and just didn’t have the guts to ask?  Honestly, I was looking forward to showing it off, and I was keeping my fingers crossed I had not left it in a wrecked state.

When it comes to my closet, I try to practice what I preach.  For starters, I keep it organized by category and then color: blouses, knits, trousers, jeans, dresses, etc.  I also use clear shoe boxes on the top shelf for my off-season shoes.  The shoes in the current rotation are either kept on a shoe shelf on the floor of my closet or in a hanging shoe organizer for quick and easy access.  I own less than 40 pairs of shoes and boots.  Taking both summer and winter into account, that’s about 20 pairs I must wear per season, very doable.  I wear and love every pair I own.  I hang my boots as you’ll see in the photo below.  Most of my handbags are stored in a cloth dust cover, and many pieces of my jewelry are stored in a hanging pocket organizer so I can see what I have.  If you don’t see it, you won’t use it.  Scarves are on ringed hangers, and my pants and skirts are hung on tiered hangers to save space.

I like to think my wardrobe is well-purged, though I admit I have more clothes than a girl needs. What can I say?  I love to shop!  However, I am constantly casting a critical eye on my wardrobe, including shoes, bags and jewelry.  I try to stick to the “one item in, one item out” rule.  Let’s be honest, if you are shopping wisely and only purchasing items that are a step up from what you already have, the odds of wearing a piece you once dearly loved decrease as you bring in new items that outshine it.

Before I took my client to my closet, I stopped in the hallway so she could see my jackets and overcoats.  I can’t explain why I love coats and jackets so much, especially since I live in Dallas where it is cold maybe 4 weeks out of the year.  Alas, I just love a great coat.  My client ooo’d over a wool overcoat of navy, black and metallic threads, a favorite of mine, as well.  I keep many of my coats zipped in a fabric cover so it can breathe but dust doesn’t get on them.

The tour of my closet started badly as I had to apologize for the unmade bed, which honestly does not happen often.  Thankfully, my client was forgiving and said her mother told her unmade beds were a sign of healthy priorities (or something like that).  Then I opened my closet and started the tutorial of how it is organized, and I pointed out the tools I use to keep it looking orderly.  I especially love the black flocked hangers.  Absolutely nothing falls off them.  What a difference it made to get every piece on the same hanger.  My closet looked like a boutique!

I wasn’t sure what my client thought.  I wondered what anyone would think of my wardrobe upon seeing it.  Is my wardrobe too large, too boring, containing too many neutrals (I am notorious for telling others to wear color)?  I think she liked it.  She said it was not as many clothes as she thought and she thanked me for letting her view it (as if I had a choice).

I felt relieved.  Since I assess wardrobes for a living, I now know on a small scale how it feels to have someone come into my closet.  Tell me how you feel about your closet.  Is it a happy place where you keep things you love or do you have some downers and bullies in there?  Get to work!  Now is the time to start thinking about switching your wardrobe from spring to fall.  Be brutally honest about your spring/summer clothes before packing them away.  If you didn’t wear an item this season, do you think you’ll wear it next year?  Perhaps not…

If you need help, give me a call.  I love clearing the clutter for my clients!

Here is your photo tour of my closetIMG_2638:

DustBagsShoeBoxeshangersShoesBoots