Seattle Street Style – “Fun” Neutrals

Whoever said neutrals are boring didn’t know this lovely gal. Meet Niusha, new to Seattle from Dallas, TX, who was kind enough to allow me to snap her today on the street in Bellevue Square.  She has a great love of fashion and style, and she also happens to be a brilliant MBA with a background in advertising and supply chain. Seattle is lucky to have her!

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I love how she mixed a variety of neutrals in her outfit, and they all work beautifully together.  Plus, the bright white at the top of her sweater brings the focus up to her gorgeous face. With the addition of the zippered handbag and stylish sunglasses (plus her radiant smile!), she’s totally pulled together and quite a head-turner. Thanks, Niusha!

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Stay tuned for more Seattle street style!

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!

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!

Seeing Double

As some of you know, on December 30, 2010 I became a mother to the most beautiful twin babies in the world, Nathan & Vivien.  Ever since their arrival, I have been seeing double, literally!  Double diapers, double laundry, double bottles, etc.  All this double vision got me thinking about style (only me, right?).  The past year of my life raising twin babies has been a little overwhelming.  Yet it has been manageable with the right guidance and support.

I encounter clients all the time who feel overwhelmed when they shop.  They may as well be seeing double when they walk in the store. The next time you feel as though you have too many choices and you want to walk out of the store, take a deep breath and remember this advice:

(1) Look at mannequins.  It is true things don’t always look the same on a ‘normal’ body as they do on a mannequin, but often you can get your starting point of inspiration from a mannequin.  Looking at mannequins helps you zero in on the area of the store where you can find items you like.  Simply ask a sales associate to show you where you can find the blouse, bag or whatever it is that is catching your eye.

(2) Consider the color.  Stores are full of color choices from bold to rich to pastel to dull to non-existent (black).  If you know the colors that are most flattering on you, you can immediately rule out at least half the store and skip over the items in colors that do not personally enhance you.  If you do not know your best colors, see me for a personalized color analysis.  Your personalized color fan is a time and money-saving tool you will enjoy for many years!

(3) Remember proportion.  Are you petite?  Don’t waste your time in regular missy sizes.  Vice versa if you are not petite.  Are you a Women’s size?  A missy 16 is different than a 16W.  For instance, at least two extra inches are added through the bust of a 16W jacket and blouse. 

(4) Remember your age. Are you over the age of 21?  If so, stop shopping in the junior department.  I know, the prices of junior clothing are tempting, but junior clothes are not made for the curves of a woman’s body.  Besides cheap accessories, you are going to find little (if anything) that suits you in the junior department.

(5) Shop the catalog first.  If all else fails, simply pick up a store catalog or look online before going to the store so you can take your time in the privacy of your home.  Then when you are ready, find a good sales associate to help you locate the items that caught your eye.

If all else fails, call the expert – me!  I’d be happy to help you navigate the maze of the mall and pinpoint the items that are best for your shape, your lifestyle and your personality.