Edie’s Shoes – Seattle’s Capitol Hill Mainstay

IMG_2359For 16 years Edie’s Shoes has served up the sophistication of Europe in a relaxed shopping atmosphere in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. Founded in 2000 by Erin Dolan, the shop offers men’s, women’s and a select few children’s styles, in addition to hats, handbags, jewelry and men’s accessories. On a recent visit, I found an enticing selection of merchandise, including lovely wall art for sale. As I have learned since moving to Seattle, comfort is key, and Edie’s serves it in abundance. Yet style is never compromised. These are on-trend shoes for the fashionable, discerning client.IMG_2310

IMG_2347Erin knows her stuff and is very hands-on with her customers, offering educated advice on what works and why.

As the saying goes, it is a small world. My daughter could not stop talking about a boy she likes (in a friendly, not a romantic, way – they are only five) in her class at a West Seattle school. It turns out, he is the son of Erin.

IMG_2348Edie’s Shoes offers a welcoming, relaxed shopping environment, and I recommend you stop in soon. They are running an anniversary sale until June 9! Now is the time to invest in a cool pair of shoes no one else will have at a price that won’t break your bank. Happy Shopping!—Bethany

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.

Amp Up Your Career Style

womanstrongmakeupI was recently asked by Polish Dallas, an organization that connects young professional women to discuss career and faith, to write a blog post.  Since my subscribers may not have seen it, I wanted to share the post with you here on my blog.  Enjoy!

It has probably happened to you on countless mornings. You drag yourself to your closet, and you stare blankly into the abyss of clothes, uninspired and uncertain what to wear. Chances are when you started your career, you purchased the basic work wardrobe required for your job. The trouble is, that basic wardrobe does nothing to excite you, and it most certainly does not communicate your personal style.

There is hope!  Here are my top 5 tips for adding pizzazz to your hum-drum work look.

(1) Start with color. Admit it, your wardrobe is a sea of black, brown, navy and gray, isn’t it? Make a concerted effort to look for colorful tops to wear under jackets. A raspberry heel, a cobalt blue handbag or a turquoise necklace would also do the trick. Wearing something colorful to work brings a smile to your face and it makes those around you happy, as well.

(2 Look for pattern. This one goes hand-in-hand with color. An outfit that lacks pattern is a real snooze. Stop playing it safe by purchasing only solid colored pieces for your closet. Patterned tops and shells look outstanding under basic work jackets and cardigans.

(3) Add eye-catching “third” pieces. A third piece is my word for blazers, jackets and cardigans. No work look is complete without one. You may not wear it all day, but at least you have it on hand for meetings, luncheons and events where you wish to look smart and credible. When buying a blazer, steer clear of the banker look. Look for shapely cuts, an intriguing texture or creative details.

(4) Seek out interesting shapes and details. In other words, look for classic pieces that go beyond the classic formula: pick a leopard pump over a basic black pump, try a printed sheath dress if all of your work dresses are solid colors, or experiment with a-line skirts if you principally own pencil shapes.

(5) Let your accessories do the talking. Accessories are the “soul” of your outfit, and they tell your story. This is where your creativity and personal style is best expressed at work. Even if your closet is full of wardrobe basics, your image takes on new life with fabulous shoes, handbags and jewelry. So even if you would rather play it safe with your clothing selections, you can still look like a woman with a strong sense of her own style with the right accessories.

So, get out there and start sprucing up your wardrobe.  If you need help, call me. I would love to assist you!

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!

Banish The “Old Lady” From Your Style

I am often asked about age-appropriateness.  It is difficult to pinpoint because it varies from person to person.  What is appropriate for this 45-year old woman may not be appropriate for another.  However, I think I can tell you definitively what not to do in terms of looking old and out of touch.  After all, regardless of one’s age, we need NEVER look old.

Here are my top rules for keeping your look out of “Old Lady” territory:

(1) Break up sweater sets – never wear a sweater shell with its companion cardigan.  Try a patterned top under a solid colored cardigan.  Alternatively, a blazer over a shell looks smart.

(2) Stop doing matchy-matchy – for example, do not match your earrings to your necklace, bravely wear navy and black together and introduce a new color through your accessories.

(3) Wear the right size – over-sized clothes scream “retirement home.”  Know your size and buy it.  Have a garment tailored to fit precisely.  Baggy clothes are frumpy!

(4) Accessorize – modern shoes, bags and jewelry keep your image on-trend. Period.

(5) No long skirts – skirts that hit two inches below your knee and longer look matronly and dowdy.  Shed pounds and years by keeping your skirt length near your knee.

(6) Simplify – garments with a lot of volume, ruffles, bows and other fussy details are aging.  Garments which are sleek and simple, yet current, are slimming and age-appropriate.

(7) Mix trends and classics – wearing all classic head-to-toe looks “old lady.”  Toss in a few trends that suit your personal taste and style to keep your look fresh.

Here is a set I created on Polyvore to demonstrate my point:

ChicCurrentNow go to your closet and start mixing it up.  You have a wealth of outfit combinations in there.  Need help?  Call me.  Outfit-making is one of my favorite things to do with my clients!  Have a happy Friday and a fabulous weekend!

The Elegant Dresser

I am covering the most common style personalities to assist you in identifying your unique personal style.  First, I profiled the Modern/Chic Dresser.  Next, I presented the Creative/Artistic Dresser, followed by Feminine/Romantic Dresser.  Earlier this week, I gave you the Dramatic Dresser.

Now, let’s discuss the Elegant Dresser. The Elegant Dresser has very expensive, refined taste.  Her clothing is made of fine fabrics like cashmere, silk, buttery leather and fine wool.  Every piece of her clothing is tailored to perfection.  She favors lighter neutral colors like champagne, beige and camel, and when she wears color it is generally a solid.  She favors designer brands and most of the styles she wears have a classic, timeless quality.  Her hair is controlled and her makeup is neutral.  Her jewelry includes genuine pearls, diamonds and other precious gems, and she loves the best handbags and shoes.  The Elegant Dresser appears rich and poised.

I created a collage on Polyvore to show you how I see the Elegant Dresser:

ElegantYou may know an Elegant Dresser, and chances are she is either a very successful business woman, or she has no need to work at all.  I do not consider myself to have this style, but I do covet a few of the accessories in this collage.  Do you know an Elegant Dresser?  Are you one?  Do tell.  Have you found your style in these profiles yet?  Thank you for reading!  Have a happy weekend!

Your Shoes – They Matter

Some of you know about my love of shoes.  Thus, it may surprise you to learn I have not always been into shoes. Up until about 8 years ago, I never paid them much attention (on myself).  I thought no one noticed my shoes.  I couldn’t have been more wrong.

I distinctly remember my oldest brother telling me when I was in my twenties how important shoes are and how telling they are about a person.  This struck me.  I was probably wearing a nondescript black or brown pair at the time, and I wondered what that said about me.  Several years later I was shopping with a friend who has great taste in shoes.  She was contemplating a pair of pumps for around $200, not necessarily a bank-breaking number but far more than I’d ever dreamt of spending on a single pair of shoes.  She asked me, “Is that too much to spend on shoes?”  I had to smile and laugh as I pointed to the $30 of sandals on my feet.  She laughed, too, and bought the shoes.  They looked fab on her.

So, why all the fuss about shoes?  In short, they set the tone for your entire outfit.  If you don’t believe me, picture a woman in a black cocktail dress wearing tennis shoes.  Alas, she need not don a pair of $200 pumps to look beautiful, but she should wear a pair that works with her dress and the occasion.  Hopefully, her shoes also say something about her personality.

One of my favorite Clinton Kelly quotes goes like this: “Accessories explain who you are as a person.”  I could not agree more.  This includes your shoes.  Look at your shoes, think about them.  Are your shoes scuffed and worn out?  If so, have them fixed or replace them.  Run down shoes ruin your look as quickly as ill-fitting clothes or wearing the wrong color.  You don’t have to be a shoe person to have great shoes.  Simply giving them more consideration and realizing they have an effect on your overall appearance should be enough motivation to raise the bar on your shoe collection.

Now get out there and find a few pairs that tell your story!