Why My Style Changed

IMG_7403When I knew we were moving to Seattle a little over two years ago, I began to stock up on a variety of outerwear. Mind you, I already owned a closet full of jackets and coats! But the types of jackets Seattle requires, I definitely did not own. Besides, I am always looking for an excuse to shop!

I have two friends in Seattle who used to live in the South like me. Recently we discussed the shifts to our personal styles since moving to the Pacific Northwest. In short, our styles are decidedly more casual to say the least.

There are at least three factors at play in why our styles have shifted: (1) the weather (it is damp, okay, wet here in Seattle!), (2) the topography (it is quite hilly; high heels and steep hills do not mix well), and (3) the vibe (Seattle is relaxed, natural and unfussy – and gritty).

Seattle style is difficult to define since it is changing. As one of the fastest growing cities in America (#4 in 2016), Seattle is taking on new residents from all over the United States and the world. But here is the marvelous thing about style in Seattle: no one is judging yours. You are free to express yourself without worrying whether you have the latest handbag or the “it” shoe. That is refreshing and freeing, to be honest.

In Seattle, no one will blink if you dress to the nines, nor will they care if you show up in tattered jeans and a North Face puffer jacket. Whatever works for you, goes.

Yet, I have a challenge for you, Seattle residents: Whatever “dress up” means to you, do it once in a while (and I don’t mean rarely!). The way you dress not only influences how you feel, it influences those around you. Have you ever noticed how others smile when you wear a t-shirt with a funny slogan or have you ever received a compliment on a color you were wearing? You are having a positive impact on them!

So, find a reason to dress up soon. You probably have beautiful clothing that never sees the light of day. If I may say so, that just ain’t right!

Thank you to Heather Lundy of HerCommonThread for the photo, taken inside Easy Street Records in West Seattle!

New Website!

It is with great pride I announce the launch of my new website with an updated logo by New Orleans based BethanyHeadshots2015-8804Sea Level Design and photos of me by Dallas based Christina Childress. This website looks and feels like the woman I am today. Please look around and leave comments here (constructive criticism is welcomed).

For those of you familiar with my former website, you may notice I am paring down my services. Gone are the custom color analysis, the image & style evaluation and makeup lessons. When I moved to Seattle, I wanted my business here to focus on my greatest strengths and the services I most enjoyed, closets and shopping. I have rolled the style evaluation into the wardrobe consultation as it is crucial to understand the client’s style before working with their wardrobe.

I have added photography as a service. It began as an idea to do street style photography for my blog. Then a couple of people used my photos on their website, and the idea to offer this service was birthed. The photos are web-ready for use on social media sites like LinkedIn and Facebook.

I continue to do public speaking as the opportunities arise. I have always enjoyed speaking and educating groups of all sizes, and I would like to see this part of my business grow. Stay tuned!

Last, but certainly not least, my new website features a new blog! I will be adding an e-mail subscription to that blog soon, and once it is complete I will let you know so you can follow me there. Thank you for your support and encouragement. Here’s to the next chapter!—Bethany

Street Style – Two Style Lessons

IMG_3886Here are a few more snaps from our evening at Casco Antiguo earlier this week. Style Lesson #1: If your top is long (longer than where your leg breaks when you lift it), you must wear a heel to create a longer leg. Otherwise, your body is cut in half (50% torso; 50% leg), which makes you look short regardless of your true height. Our lovely, leggy model Amanda here asked me about cuffing her jeans. If she had been wearing a top with a hem around her hip bone, I would have told her to go for it as she has plenty of leg to sacrifice. However, because her top is longer than the leg break, I advised her to keep her jeans un-cuffed. If you can visualize her in flats with a cuffed hem, she would have appeared overlong on her top half and, thus, out of proportion.

IMG_3903Style Lesson #2: The more leg you show, the more of your top half should be covered. I do wish I had a tan for this lesson – ha! Wearing shorts that hit at mid-thigh or shorter calls for a top that is either a half sleeve, 3/4-length or a long sleeve as I am wearing. Short shorts and a tank top is provocative and not very classy. Leave a little to the imagination, and keep it classy, ladies. It is what men prefer, actually.

IMG_3902Lastly, if you have silver and/or turquoise jewelry, now is the time to wear it. The cool tones of the silver has an overall cooling effect on your look, which is just right during our warmest season. Ditto for turquoise. The light, soft green/blue goes with all your spring/summer clothing without having to think about it. Don’t worry if you have none of this color in your outfit. Adding a new color to your look via accessories is totally okay and encouraged, actually. Happy Weekend!—Bethany

Twilight Gallery, The Cool Girl of West Seattle

Walking into Twilight Gallery in the Alaska Junction of West Seattle is akin to stepping into a cool, artsy friend’s living room filled with elegant yet cozy furniture of various genres, arranged in funky, thought-provoking ways, the walls covered in obscure art pieces which beg you to step in for a closer look. You feel at once comfortable and a bit on edge for the mixture of energies around you. It’s a delightful space, a wickedly wonderful feast for the eyes where you could hang out all day and see something new every time you glance up. IMG_1667

But the best thing of all is the jewelry. Oh the beautiful, masterful, “how did they think of that?” jewelry. Many of the pieces in Twilight Gallery are one-of-a-kind, wearable art, true investments. Some of the featured artists in the gallery are local, but there are many jewelry designers who are based on the West Coast, around the U.S. and some are also international. The earrings I am wearing in the photo below (taken by my five-year old son) are by a designer who lives in Bali.

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Jewelry is my Achilles heel.  I have been investing in jewelry (mostly semi-precious) since my mid-twenties, and it is fascinating to see how my taste has evolved since that time, much like my style overall.  My early twenties were about looking “right,” proper and conservative. From there I began to participate more in fashion, most notably after a trip to San Francisco when I was in my later 20’s. I have never felt so plain and boring-looking as I walked around the city in awe of the fashionable gals confidently striding past me in their tall leather boots, knee-length skirts and trench coats. Now my style is more modern, clean and relaxed. I am not spending energy or time wondering what other people think about how I look. I know what I like and I wear it. Period. Love it or leave it.

Enjoy the sampling of photos I took this week in Twilight Gallery, and if you have not been there in a while (or ever), go as soon as possible and return as frequently as you can. It changes every time you go. She’s tricky that way!—BethanyIMG_1683

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Who doesn’t need a ram head ring?!
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These are so lightweight.
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Get a rope.

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2016 – What’s New with You?

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I honestly have been avoiding the “New Year” topic for several weeks to give you an opportunity to recover from the barrage of “New Year New You” e-mails and product endorsements.  I find it very tiresome.  It is the same story each year.  What will I do differently this year?  What improvements will I make?  And more importantly, though cynically, how long can I keep these promises before abandoning them altogether?  We have the best of intentions.

I do not make New Year’s resolutions.  Rather, I like to take a personal inventory.  I like to look at how I improved (or did not improve) over the past year.  And then I like to look forward, both personally and professionally.  What are some things I would like to learn this year and what are the steps I can take to do that?  How can I positively impact the lives of others?  What do I love to do and how can I make time for those things?

Rather than making resolutions, just take a little time to plan for good things for yourself in the New Year.  What did you find yourself missing last year?  Maybe you wished for more time to yourself.  If so, sit down and plan a few outings for yourself or for yourself and a few friends.  If you do not plan it, it will not happen.  Maybe you would like to feel better.  If so, visit your doctor, a dietitian and a personal trainer who can give you a plan of action.  You get the idea.  Planning is the key.  With no plan, there is no change.

Do not sit there and wait for whatever life will throw at you.  And believe me, it will.  Make a few plans and steer the ship for yourself.  Of course your plans may sometimes be thwarted.  That’s life.  But if you do not have a plan to thwart, isn’t that worse?

Make a few new things happen this year.  Happy 2016, everyone!

Byrnie Utz Hats

NewHat (5)I cannot remember who told me about Byrnie Utz Hats, a wonderful family-owned hat shop located in the Financial District of downtown Seattle.  When I spotted it on a recent visit to downtown, I ducked in to see it for myself.  Though I do not wear hats often, I simply adore them and I fancy myself to be a regular hat wearer one day.  We’ll see!

Opened in 1934 by Byrnie Utz, this is Seattle’s oldest hat shop with an extensive inventory and a staff with unsurpassed knowledge on head gear.  I found the shop to be quaint, tidy, organized and well-stocked.  It looks much like it did when it was opened, which lends to its charm and appeal.  I believe there is something there for just about anyone looking for a hat, and the prices will not break the bank.  The many brands they stock include Borsalino, Makins and Stetson.NewHat (7)

As I browsed, I picked up a packable hat by Wallaroo made of lovely layers of navy and white polka dot fabric.  With a family trip around the corner, one that may include stops at a water park and the zoo, I simply could not resist it, especially given the added benefit of UPF 50+ and an interior adjustment for a perfect fit.  I love it.  What do you think?

If you’re looking for a hat or simply enjoy the idea of hats, pop into this wonderful store when you get a chance.  It will not disappoint, and I would be surprised if you did not walk away with a treasure for yourself.

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