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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Purses and Pears?

I recently started working with a woman who had been out on maternity leave and was getting ready to go back to work. The stress of leaving her child and having to figure out what she could wear post- maternity is stressful itself. Most women are not exactly ready to hop back into their pre-maternity wardrobe, and without a doubt don't want to wear their maternity clothes a second longer than necessary.

We took a couple steps back and did a closet consultation, which means we went through her closet and worked with items that she had pre-pregnancy, to see what that fit now and what would fit within a month or so. We quickly made a list of must-haves to get back to work. One of the items needed was an updated purse. A diaper bag is not part of the working wardrobe and she was ready for an upgrade to what she had been using. Determining whether buying a really good quality purse on sale would be a sound investment was crucial because she really needed clothes to get back to work in. After much deliberation she decided to go for it! I was thrilled because I knew in the long run a great quality purse is a great investment.

I hear a lot from clients about their purchases, and as a general rule, how glad they are they took my advice and made a purchase I suggested, but you gotta love this update:

One day on the ride home from daycare I decided to give Charlie [older brother] a pear (yes, a whole pear) to eat in the car. Yes, I figured it could be a mess but it’s a pear, how bad could the stains be?

He did well. We get home and I bring Sam in the house while Charlie saunters in. I have to be clever and lure him into the house from the garage because his drive to lawn mow, wheel barrow and drive his truck is instinctive and magnetizes him away from the house.

We manage to get in the house without fussing and without letting Angel sneak out. Whew! I am catching my breath and taking a quiet private moment to congratulate myself when I see Trevor playing, pear nowhere in sight. Crap! What if Angel ate it?!?! Panic in my veins I ask Charlie as calmly as possible, "sweetie, where's your pear?"

"I put it in your bag mommy."

Gasp! Not at all the answer I expected. For those who don't know, I am totally cheap when it comes to purses, except my current one, a $200, on sale, Dooney & Bourke. Visions of pear juice and bits on the canvas interior roll through my brain like a powerpoint slide show. Oh my gosh this is gonna be my moment to show my toddler how self absorbed and materialistic I can be.

I walk (telling myself not to run and not make a big deal) to my 'bag'. Sure enough, inside my bag, resting on a mound of paper, receipts, and a notebook, is the pear. I had a Hallelujah! moment. No pear juice, no pear bits, no pear stains! I love my toddler; he put the pear 'away' when he was done.

Morals of the story: Pear was a good choice for the car ride home. Canvas lining is better than silky lining in bags. Put your purse out of a toddler’s reach, not next to diaper bags.

:) happy mommy

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Day in the Life of A Stylist Seeking Her Own Dress

So, I have this great gig coming up on July 17th as the host of the Red Carpet Fashion Lounge at the Progress Energy Center before the Carolina Music Awards. Basically, I get to interview designers, boutique owners, the musicians and people producing the event. Knowing that I want to look and feel fabulous for this event, I begin last week to process what store I will approach to borrow a dress. The incentive for the store is a mention in the program and several hours of me sashaying around, talking about what a fabulous dress I am wearing from this great store, and hopefully doing my dream duet with Roberta Flack. If I am going to be standing next to Roberta Flack I better look great, ‘cause I expect my singing with her will cause her to run for the exit.

Needless to say, now that I have become a dark brunette, the world of new color selections has expanded. Hmmm, do I wear a formal black-tie gown, or a simple little black dress and some fabulous jewels from a few of the local jewelry artists I like to work with? So after a sleepless night of excitement, I sent an email to the store manager of a large department store that I have shopped at for years for myself and clients, hoping that my existing long-term relationship with them will help pave the way to a yes. After all, free publicity, they get to showcase a gown, and of course, I plan on dry cleaning prior to returning it to them.

A couple days go by. A slow response of acknowledgment but finally a response - it’s a no go. However, she will pass on the information about the event to the public relations office but they don't normally publicize events they aren’t a part of. Yeah, right...wow, here I am, a stylist hoping to get a little love for all the thousands spent with them, and they can’t help with a simple gown or dress for 3 hours? Guess we’re not in LA or NYC. Ah, well, there are plenty of other stores in Raleigh.

That leaves me heading to Cameron Village, though, re-evaluating my vision of making that statement on the red carpet. I’ll have to find a specific boutique that has both a gown and a little black dress so I can see if the outfit completes the vision I have floating around in my head, without traipsing all over town. You’re probably thinking- just buy the dress, already! Formal black-tie gowns are kind of like bridesmaids dresses - what’s fashionable one season is out of fashion the next, and it never seems like you get to wear it more than once. So, faced with the option of finding something to wear that I will not be able to wear again anytime soon leaves me with the dilemma of maybe thinking consignment or using the online service, Rent The Runway. So if anyone out there has a fabulous dress that you want me to showcase and name drop your store let me know...

Raleigh certainly has come a long way in the 19 plus years I have been styling folks so you'd think this would be easy!

From my closet to hopefully yours!

Savvy Suzanne

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Gotta Have It – June 24th (My Carolina Today)

Wardrobe Consulting's Suzanne Libfraind shows us this week’s “Gotta Have It” finds from local retailers and entrepreneurs in the Triangle area.

Scroll down for information on where to find these great 'Gotta Haves'.

1. Oopsie Ditty Solution Sack slim wristlet clutch. $35.00, available at www.lilymaes.com

2. Falling Whistle necklace. $34.00, available at www.gypsyjule.com

3. Thundershirt for dogs that alleviates a dog’s anxiety. $36, available at www.suitepaws.com

4. Midtown Olive Press, small oils and balsamic starting at $10, medium saturating at $14.99 and large bottles starting at $29.99, available at www.midtownolivepress.com

5. Misto Gourmet Olive Oil Sprayer, available at www.midtownolivepress.com

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

My Carolina Today - Choosing The Right Shoe (6/21)

Savvy Stylist Suzanne Libfraind puts G 105′s Kentucky Kristen to the test on choosing the right shoe for summer’s hottest styles.

Suzanne shares these style tips:

1. No need to exactly match the color of your shoe to your outfit. Blending is better

2. Ballerina flats look best with capri pants, leggings, shorts or skirts with the hemline at or above the knee

3. Accessorizing your outfit from day to night will often require another style shoe

4. Stepping out of your comfort zone is great to try in the summer when shoes are less expensive because of the material used.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My New Blog at iheartretail.com!

Can't get enough of me here? You can keep up with me here, too!

Click here to go to iheartretail.com!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Dressing Tips: When It Is Actually Too Hot To Wear Clothes

The thermometer is showing over 95 degrees and you wonder if you will soon combust or just sweat out every ounce of liquid through your pores! Before that happens, check out these tips and do a quick closet check to make sure you have the tools you need to survive the heat of summer:

  1. Opt for washable natural fibers such as linen or cotton, avoid all man made fibers.

  2. Wear as few layers as possible and loose fitting versus tight or binding.

  3. Wear sleeveless or sundresses whenever possible, pairing with a light sweater for those occasions you step into a movie theatre or restaurant where they keep the air conditioning at 60 degrees.

  4. Select cap sleeve shirts and tops if the sleeveless look is not an option due to a heavier upper arm. Make sure the sleeve set is at or right below the heaviest part of your arm.

  5. Gravitate to skirts and avoid pants or capri’s .

  6. Wear lighter color fabrics and avoid dark tones.

  7. Consciously decide to wear less make up and focus on a more natural look. There’s nothing worse than the feeling that your make-up is melting and running.

  8. This is an ideal time to incorporate a little white dress into your closet and dress it up or down as needed. Pair with a jacket or structured cardigan for business and a peep toe pump or a strappy sandal for night.

  9. Dressing to fit corporate office culture gets challenging as the summer weather heats up. Instead of dressing in suits and jackets try a sleeveless sheath dress with structured and lined jackets of linen, seersucker or polished cotton.

Lastly, I always recommend keeping a small bottle of hydration mist in your purse. You would be amazed how a quick spritz of mist will refresh you in no time flat!

Monday, June 13, 2011

I'm Just Saying...

Now, if you want instant style, check out some of my favorite tips and quips when it comes to fashion and beauty! I am still a believer in making an impression the first time you meet someone, because often we don't get that second chance. I dare and hope that someone challenges me on any of my suggestions!
  • Wear your favorite color to get yourself out of a funk or grab attention
  • Ever wonder what’s up with people that wear sunglasses when it is not sunny outside, especially when seen inside sporting them?
  • If you have family jewelry to wear, rock it out. Family heirlooms make the best stories and keep you connected to them!
  • For those women who have narrow shoulders, summer is the best time to wear halter necklines to give the illusion of greater width and balance your proportions.
  • If you have heavy upper arms, wear a short sleeve that is long enough to hide the heaviest part. Try and stay away from sleeveless.
  • Traveling this summer? Remember to carry a separate plastic bag with a pair of socks, tooth brush and tooth paste, and a spray bottle of spring mist for facial hydration. ooh la la!
  • Never hem the length of your skirts to the thickest part of your leg. Adjust the hem to so if falls right above the slender part of your leg.
  • Buy the best quality handbag you can afford. Not only will it last for years, but it will always make your outfit look better!
  • Think of your hair color and style your hair as an accessory. Change your hairstyle often as it may even become your signature!
  • Lastly, and this is something I do often, especially when I am out and about. Puzzling to me is that people are frequently thrown, as if receiving and accepting a compliment never happens to them. I find when I compliment others on how they look or a particular garment looks great on them, not only do I get a smile, but the person stands up a little straighter. It’s a confidence builder and everyone you know could use that every once in a while.
From my closet to yours-

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Gotta Have It – June 10th (My Carolina Today)

Wardrobe Consulting's Suzanne Libfraind shows us this week’s “Gotta Have It” finds from local retailers and entrepreneurs in the Triangle area.

Scroll down for information on where to find these great 'Gotta Haves'.

1. Original hand-painted whimsical painting of animal on fine art note cards, by local artist Susan Dahlin. $5 each, available at www.roundaboutartcollective.com
2. Magwear Magnetic Wristband, holds hardware, tools and metallic objects. $18, available at www.fortisdesign.com
3. Black Serum Miracle Hair Treatment – $19.99, available at Atmosphere Salon, Colleen Herring (919)272-0844
4. Piebird – one hand pie $3, slice of pie $5.50. www.piebirdraleigh.com
5. Twist and Pout lip balm. $9.95, available at www.lilymaes.com

Friday, June 3, 2011

For Men Only: How to Pull of White Pants For Summer

Regardless of your age, men are often leery about wearing white pants for summer. Part of it is fear they will look like the Skipper on Gilligan's Island or David Cassidy when he was rocking it out in the 70's with the hit ‘I Think I Love You!’

Men, you can do it! Women have taken the plunge and begun incorporating white jeans, slacks, dress pants and casual pants into their wardrobe as a year round staple. It’s even become a whole new color palette - think white, off white, cream and winter white. Never fear, we understand that for men, white in any shade is probably still white.

There are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind while shopping. Don't over think it. Remember that white is as versatile as other, ‘regular’ khaki colors. Avoid a baggy pant silhouette, but not super skinny either. Select a pair that is fitted and fits correctly.

Check out these simple guidelines to help pull off white:
  • To go for a casual look, pair the white jeans or slacks with a graphic tee
  • For a dressier look, throw on a bright colored shirt with a sweater for layering and a pair of loafers for a relaxed look
  • Once you are confident wearing white, go for a white-cream colored linen pant for the summer months. Wear a contrasting shirt with texture and a dark suede shoe (now we are talking!)
  • Now that you have stepped out and feel confident wearing white, how about one last look for summer. Pair white or cream pants with a navy or dark linen blazer. A pinstripe cotton blend blazer looks great worn with a contrasting color dress shirt or collarless shirt.
Not only will you be rocking in white pants this summer, but you will indubitably be the coolest!
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