Fiercely You in 2018

I have written a lot over the years about personal style and fashion. You could say I am fierce about others discovering their own style. If you were to look up “fierce” in the dictionary, you’d see: wild, savage, hostile and intense in the definition.

We began using “fierce” to describe fashion around the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. Supermodel Tyra Banks and fashion designer Christian Siriano seized upon “fierce,” and it sort of became tired from over-use. However, I love the word, and I believe “fierce” remains relevant as a fashion term when used in the right way.

IMG_0725I like to think my personal style is fierce, and I would definitely describe my style icons as those who are fiercely themselves: Daphne Guinness, Iris Apfel, Isaac Mizrahi and Simon Doonan. You may be surprised to see two men on my list. My style icons have an attitude toward style that I adore, rather than a style I wish to copy. Over the years, I have pulled inspiration from my style icons, as well as from friends and people on the street. In fact, Isaac, in his 2008 book “How to Have Style,” said, “You can’t have style without being inspired.”

What is style? Everyone has their own definition of style. I find it difficult to define, but, in short, your personal style is you. What you wear tells us who you are. I love what Iris Apfel says about her image: “I do not intellectualize what I wear. I just put on what I feel like.” Iris understands herself. She buys what she loves, and she mixes it on her body in creative and interesting ways.

For those of us who are not artists, honing our style takes more reflection and effort. As Isaac has said, “There’s only one way to be excellent at something. You have to practice. Having style is no different. The more you do it, the better and stronger you become.” For 2018, take time to find your sources of inspiration whether they come from fashion, nature, art or other areas. Make a mood board (I have a three-ring binder). When you have a visual, who you are, and thus, your style, becomes readily apparent. Then, start dressing in a way that reflects the vibe of the photos. This process is personal, not cookie cutter, and it takes time. Be patient. Keep your eyes on your board, and allow your style to come to you.

Danielle Steele wrote a lovely piece titled “Ageless Style” for the November 2017 issue of Harper’s Bazaar. Here are some excerpts: You can’t buy it. It really is ageless. It’s a gift. Women need to be braver about wearing their own style. The mistakes can be cool, too! Fashion and style should live and breathe. I have much more fun with fashion now than I did at 25. I’m more daring. If not now, when?

I could not agree more. In an article for Elle magazine about nine years ago, writer Alex Postman interviewed Isaac Mizrahi and went through his process of creating a mood board to discover her style. Alex was bored with her look, and I love what she said about her style, “I’m just passing. At least passing isn’t failing! Yet, it is a failure – of the imagination, of courage…” Yikes!

Don’t just pass! Try new things, make mistakes and have fun. And don’t worry what others will think. I could not put it better than Simon Doonan when he wrote, “As you experiment with your appearance, you must remember that by feeling self-conscious you are merely indulging yourself. Nobody is judging you… People are much too busy worrying about their own lives to ask why you are dressed like Wolf Blitzer.”

Metropolist -70Have a fantastic holiday season, and, by all means, make them look twice!

Why would you want to look nondescript when you could look fierce?–Simon Doonan

 

Seattle’s Best Holiday Gifts

Let’s be honest. One big reason we are stressed during the holidays is we have no idea what to buy those people in our lives who seem to have everything they need. For those individuals, we must go the extra mile, do a little more research, to find just “the thing.” Who has time for that?! On the eve of Small Business Saturday, I am saving your hide with my short list of the best gifts in Seattle from some of our finest small businesses.

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Buki Blanket (Travel Wrap) – I have been in love with this luxurious blanket/wrap since I laid eyes on it earlier this year, vowing to buy one for my travels. I am happy to report I finally nabbed this beauty (in red trim, naturally) just in time for cozy nights on my couch watching holiday movies (Home Alone, anyone?). In my January post about Buki, I explained about the fabric Joey Rodolfo, Buki co-founder and designer, has developed, which they call Kinoki-3.0. This fabric does not pill, does not stretch out (though it moves easily with your body), warms and cools your body depending upon the atmosphere (indoors or out), and, best of all, it is wash and wear! This blanket is a must-have for your favorite gal on the go. I just took it on a trip, and I can attest to its comfort and thermal regulation. The soft gray fabric is trimmed in your choice of cobalt, red or silver (allow the photos above to scroll to see all three). Looking chic while covering up isn’t easy. Buki has nailed it. Buki is offering 20% off site-side this weekend with the code BUKIME. Or go into the store downtown to see it for yourself (1826 6th Avenue).

Salua’s Classic Cotton Pajamas – When I travel, I love buying something for my wardrobe because it means I will have something no one else will have. We are in luck that Shadia, owner Salua Atelier Lingerie, brings us a little bit of Columbia right here to Seattle. Shadia’s mother founded the company in her home country in 1993. Her luxurious lingerie swiftly gained popularity in Columbia by women who wanted the country’s finest sleepwear. Shadia’s beautiful little boutique has been open in Madrona since 2009, and Salua’s classic pajamas in Rayita Stripes are the most recent to hit the store. Hurry in or purchase online. They will go fast. Shadia is offering 20% off store-wide today! If you need something “special” to go under your pajamas, Shadia and her staff will be happy to assist you.

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flora and henri signature fragrances – The flora and henri concept lifestyle shop, which opened this summer in a gorgeously renovated Pioneer Square space on First Ave., has recently launched two signature fragrances they developed in collaboration with Chelsey Owen of Atelier Madrona. Alcazar Palace opens with orange blossoms, settling into orange flower, jasmine and violet, and finishing with vetiver, white musk and ambrette. Isle of May has a lemon top note, heart notes of violet, raspberry and marigold, and background notes of vetiver, rose, iris and ambrette. These fragrances are available in three sizes, and I love both. They are approachable, yet unique, leaving a dazzling impression. Trust me, you will want one of these as your new signature scent. Beyond fragrance, flora and henri has a tightly-curated selection of unique items for all ages, starting with babies. If you need something special for someone special, flora and henri is your shop.

IMG_1477Sharply’s aviator sunglasses by Randolph Engineering – There was a little film released in the summer of 1986 called Top Gun. Perhaps you’ve heard of it? The main character, Maverick, made the life of an Air Force fighter pilot look very cool. At the heart of his look were those supremely cool sunglasses made by Randolph Engineering for the U.S. Air Force. In 1986, there was no internet, so getting your hands on those coveted shades was no easy task (but I managed it). Thank goodness times have changed, and thank goodness Sharply knows what the ultimate cool man wants to wear. You will find these fantastic sunglasses on Sharply’s website under Other Stuff. Beyond having the coolest shades on the planet, Sharply offers a smart selection of menswear, luggage, bags and small accessories unmatched in Seattle. I guarantee Sharply has something your guy wants. Sharply, located in Seattle’s Capital Hill neighborhood, is offering 25% off in the store and online this weekend with the code TURKEYCOMA25 (fitting).

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The four shops mentioned here not only offer the coolest stuff in Seattle, but they are also run by the nicest people you will ever meet. Who doesn’t love doing business with awesome people? Happy Shopping! Shop local, shop small. Actual people do a happy dance when you do!

My best,

Bethany

(All in-store photos by me.)

Faux Fur is the Current Direction

IMG_0756If you’re concerned about faux fur as a dying trend, don’t be. Faux fur is one of the biggest trends of Fall 2017, as I mentioned in my previous post. In fact, faux fur, with the advancements in fabrication technology, is getting better each year, almost indiscernible from the real thing.

You could argue faux fur is hotter now than the real thing. Many designers are shunning real fur from their lines completely, Gucci being the most recent design house to announce a fur ban. Gucci chief executive and president Marco Bizzarri told Business of Fashion, “Do you think using furs today is still modern? I don’t think it’s still modern and that’s the reason why we decided not to do that. It’s a little bit out-dated.” I agree. For the record, I own furs. I have always purchased vintage pieces, which is marginally better than buying from the current fur market, but I know some may find my ownership of any real furs to be offensive.

It is, perhaps, with the new direction of the industry in mind (and the ethical treatment of animals) that I have recently purchased two pieces of faux fur: a black jacket (photo above) from H&M and an off-white vest (photo below) from Top Shop, both of which have already seen airplay during this chilly fall in Seattle.

My readers have asked me to start linking pieces similar to those I wear in Instagram and Facebook posts. With that, here is a run-down of similar faux fur pieces.

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My black faux fur is sold out, but I am totally digging the dramatic flair of this oversized black and white fur, also from H&M.

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And this one from Forever 21 is giving me all the feels! It’s chic, sophisticated and looks luxurious, and it comes in three color choices.

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If you love my vest above, I am linking the same one here.

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And I love this one in the color of the season, also from Top Shop.

I have been on the hunt for years for a leopard faux fur jacket like the one Kate Moss has been known to wear. While I cannot justify yet another purchase of outerwear with my jacket and coat closet beyond full, I have found a few to entice you. Allow the photos to scroll through to see them all.

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The short hooded one is Ann Taylor, a great length for not too cold days. The longer, classic style (like Kate Moss’s) is by Vince Camuto, a line known for on-trend, good quality fashion. Lastly, the thigh-length car coat style by Forever 21 is my favorite and the best value!

I have given you much to consider. If you did not see a faux fur here that you love, let me know, and we will hunt together for one that is just right!

Enjoy your weekend, and I hope you have snuggle, faux fur weather soon wherever you are!

Best,

Bethany

 

 

 

Fall 2017 Must Haves

Some might say this blog post is late. We’ve been talking fall trends since late summer. However, the way that I like to shop, which means waiting for sales, this blog post is just in time. Make your list and, if you are a particularly patient kind, wait for the bigger mark downs in November and December, my favorite time to shop for fall fashion.

Now that you are aware of the vibe of the season from my previous blog post, let’s get down to specifics.

There are always a lot of themes floating down the fashion runways, but the one that stood out as the most ubiquitous for Fall 2017 was the 1980’s, the decade where more was more. Fall 2017 gives us metallic fabric; sharp, exaggerated shoulders; oversized, menswear-inspired blazers; slouchy boots; bomber jackets; studs on everything and colored fur. The list continues with pointy toe ankle boots, berets, stirrup pants and slash pumps.

I sometimes wonder if we have collectively stepped into a time machine back to the 80’s. However, before you go digging through your trunk of old treasures, remember when a trend returns, it is usually much different than the original. In fashion, things are rarely the same way twice.

Beyond the 1980’s theme, here are the big hits for Fall:

IMG_0554Dark floral – This can be anything from a pair of pants to a blouse or a dress or a pair of boots. You decide. Dark floral means the background color is dark, either black or navy, generally. I love this Joie shell, which is on sale and would be gorgeous under a blazer. My pants are Zara. They are sold out; however, I adore this Zara pair, and for a similar color scheme and look, this pair works.

Red – Again, this is one where you pick. Red is everywhere from garments to accessories. I found it difficult to decide since red is my favorite color. For now, I’ve invested in a dark red tote similar to this one, a pair of bright red rain boots similar to this style, and this pair of wine-colored suede booties. I should stop right there.

IMG_0812Velvet – It is the fabric that refuses to go away. It is everywhere this season, especially on bags, boots and heels. Aren’t the Prada sandals here super dreamy? I’ve linked it in case you must have them. ; ) I would love a long velvet skirt to take from day to night, or a dark blue velvet blazer would be dreamy. You could combine two trends into one by investing in a dark red velvet blazer!

IMG_0763Faux fur – If you happen to live in a climate that is warm, maybe you go for a faux fur vest, a denim jacket with a faux fur collar or a bootie with a peek of faux fur. But if you live in a place where winter is truly winter, go for it with a cool, faux fur jacket or coat.

For those who like a feminine style, there is so much for you to love about Fall 2017, including lace, sequins, crystals and lots of glitter, along with sheer stockings, bows and knife pleat skirts. This Ted Baker pleated skirt is especially eye-catching!

For those with an edgier, modern style, you’ll find white boots, leather everything, high-waist denim and lots of words and messages to communicate your causes. Prabal Gurung put out quite a few graphic t-shirts if you like that sort of thing. As far as white boots go, a friend of mine said they look like what the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders wear. Well, she has a point. But how about this gorgeous pair of off white booties?

Every season, there is something for everyone. If you need help navigating the sea of trends, I would be happy to sit down with you to pinpoint your best ones. Send me a message! Happy shopping!

Local Fashion Designers Shine

IMG_0986Anyone who knows me even just a little bit knows that I am a champion for small businesses. My love for fashion and my desire to help further the dreams of others drive my support of local fashion designers. That is why I love the Independent Designer Runway Show at Bellevue Fashion Week. This show features designers who are looking to break into a wider fashion market. The show that is presented each September is six months in the making from the selection of the designers to the mentoring of them by the panel of judges.

I will keep my commentary short and focus on showing you what each designer showcased last night. Terri Morgan and her team at TCM Models & Talent did another stellar job with the show. Enjoy.

Jersey Virago by Meagan Kruz:

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Poppyseed by Rebekah Adams (the eventual winner!):

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Stone Crow Designs by Jennifer Charkow:

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Lourdes E Eva by Nora Suarez:

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Paloma Hurtado by Paloma Hurtado:

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Gustavo Apiti Couture by Gustave Apiti:

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The last designer to show, Chany Venturini by Maria Venturini, was also voted the fan favorite:

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I was honored to wear Cute Like Mad’s Hedvig silk dress by Jeanette Svensk Li:

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Congratulations to all of the designers! The show was such fun to watch. You should be very proud of your hard work. (All runway photos are my own and may not be used without express permission.)

Happy Friday and Happy Weekend!

Wine, Women & Shoes

On Friday, November 10 at The Fairmont Olympic hotel in downtown Seattle, local fashionistas and supporters of Olive Crest will gather to sip, nibble and bid their way through the night for a wonderful cause. Olive Crest Foundation works to prevent child abuse, treats and educates at-risk youth, and assists in finding foster and adoptive homes for area children.

IMG_0824The cause is reason enough to attend; however, the pot is sweetened with wine and culinary tastings, a fashion show produced by Styled Seattle, featuring notable area women as models, marketplace shopping of local boutiques, a live and a silent auction, and an opportunity to win the night’s coveted prize, a “Key to the Closet,” which unlocks a prize package valued at over $10,000.

And did I mention “Shoe Guys?” Several local menswear style bloggers are raising funds and lending their hands at the festivities by passing champagne to guests, showcasing merchandise on silver platters and serving as table hosts. The Shoe Guy who raises the most money for Olive Crest will be crowned the “King of Sole” at the event.

Last, but certainly not least, Blue Nile is partnering with Wine, Women & Shoes to add a Luxe Ticket option which includes a table for 10 guests, prime seating for the runway show, hair and make-up, a champagne reception, a guest suite, valet parking, deluxe swag bags and an opportunity to wear Blue Nile jewelry for the evening.

IMG_0803For more information about the event, its partners and sponsors, go to the Wine, Women & Shoes website. Tickets may be purchased here. I look forward to seeing you there! Not sure what to wear? I can help. “Nothing to wear” is never a reason to miss a fabulous evening!

Southern In Seattle – New Blog

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I am excited to announce I have a new blog! I will continue to write on this blog, of course! However, I felt I needed to make a special connection to the Pacific Northwest. After all, few people in Seattle know Bethany Siggins. Why should they read what I write? I explain why I am writing the new blog here. I would love to have you follow SouthernInSeattle (just as you have faithfully followed me here – thank you so much).

Also, it would be amazing to have you follow my new SouthernInSeattle Instagram page. Starting an Instagram page from scratch is daunting!

My first blog post on SouthernInSeattle is about Visette Boutique in Capital Hill. Dresses are an integral, important part of a woman’s wardrobe in the South. I love that Visal Sam is bringing beautiful dresses to Seattle. It’s a gem of a store, and she’s a gem of a person.

I greatly appreciate your support, your comments and your believing in what I do. Have a fantastic week, and speak to you again very soon!

Warmly,

Bethany Siggins

Photo above by Yuliya Rae

Graphic Design by Sea Level Design

Shop for a Cause

BethanySigginsKateSpade-9744copyThose of us who love fashion have at least a few reasons for shopping. Stress relief, fun and the desire to look current are a few of my top motivators. Let’s add one more to the list: shopping to empower women to achieve economic independence. Yes! I can do that! Through a variety of client services, Dress For Success, a non-profit with many locations in the U.S. and around the world, assists women on their road to success.

For the second year, Oprah Magazine, Dress For Success and Talbot’s have joined forces on a  limited-edition capsule available exclusively at Talbot’s. This successful partnership raised $1 million and helped over 20,000 women last year. I would love to see them go above and beyond these numbers this year. How about you? 30% of the net proceeds benefit Dress For Success. Shop the beautiful capsule here.

Talbots-OMagI am partial to the mixed-dot cardigan, as well as the tote and the scarf. Come to think of it, the scarf would look adorable tied to the tote! Happy Shopping, and let me know what you buy!—Bethany

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!

It’s in The Bag

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Anne Sylvain isn’t just any handbag company, and Patricia Raskin isn’t just any creative director. Anne Sylvain, born of many years of careful thought and education, along with several years of testing to find the right U.S.-based manufacturing facility, turns out beautiful one-of-a-kind, hand-crafted handbags of ostrich, python and American alligator.

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Patricia, a corporate lawyer by trade (17 years to be exact), has always enjoyed creating beautiful things, and she comes from a long line of artists on both sides of her family, including painters and a concert pianist. So, while her company is a mere five years old, being the creative director of Anne Sylvain is very natural, what she was born to do. Patricia knew she wanted to create something to augment a woman’s everyday life. As she explains it, no matter what you are feeling on any given day, carrying a beautiful handbag makes you happy. I agree.

img_5656Anne Sylvain bags, accessories and home products are made by hand with careful attention to details such as turned edges (rather than edges which have been cut and painted), and, whenever possible, she uses continuous pieces of material, greatly increasing the value and durability of her products. Anne Sylvain bags are classic shapes, which stand the test of time. The inside of the bag is just as carefully created as the outside, often in a contrasting colored leather for a nice “pop.” The side view of a clutch is also considered, using the prized belly of the python, for instance (photo above). No detail is overlooked. For these reasons, Anne Sylvain bags and products are authentically luxurious.

In 2017, Anne Sylvain is launching a home collection including coasters, boxes and catch-alls. Patricia is also turning out smaller personal items such as zip pouches, notebook covers, eye glass cases, card holders, men’s accessories and women’s cuffs.

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On December 10-11, Turner Helton Antiques & Interior Design is hosting Anne Sylvain at a preview launch party for the Anne Sylvain home collection. The event will also feature the full fall and holiday handbag collection. You don’t want to miss it!

Enjoy the slideshows featured in this post, and trust me when I say each piece is more lovely than a photo is able to capture. Any Anne Sylvain piece would make a special holiday gift for a loved one.

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Not to be overlooked, Anne Sylvain offers bespoke! The options and combinations are almost limitless. Your product can also be stamped with initials or numbers (like the catch all in the slide show above).img_5662

All photos by Bethany Siggins.

Note: The large black bag at the beginning of this piece is Anne Sylvain’s newest addition to the family, the Artemis. It features a 2 way zipper, 2 exterior pockets and 3 interior pockets. In short, it is the perfect bag for your next adventure!