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Friday, July 29, 2011

Did you know......?

I have clients of all different shapes, sizes, and ethnicities. We all have similar parts, but it is amazing how they vary. What works for one client may not work for another. I always remind clients that we need to work with what we have and feel good about ourselves while doing it. So there are a few tips that I'd like to pass along. Over the next week or so, I will work my way down the body providing tips to keep in mind as we move into fall, which is right around the corner. You know what that means.....cooler weather!

If you have narrow shoulders, don't go the way of shoulder pads! Just say no to the 80's. Choose shirts that have the armholes that sit off the shoulders, like raglan sleeves, or shirts that have a drop armhole to soften the look of the shoulders. Avoid unstructured jackets, as it will create an even softer shoulder line. Create the allusion of width by wearing scarves or shirts with shoulder details like epaulets. Look for shirts that have a boat neck and stay away from v-necks. Think in terms of width or horizontally shaped necklines. That doesn't include horizontal stripes!

If you have broad shoulders, look for shirts that have stretch with lycra or spandex. Avoid sweaters or tops that may lose shape and then appear sloppy. Remember to fit your shoulders when buying shirts and have the rest of the body of the shirt altered as needed. A good tailor will give your shirt the correct fit! Buy clothes to fit your body, avoiding the temptation to buy a bigger size to overcompensate for the width of your shoulders. Long necklaces and long scarves give the illusion of a narrower shoulder line. Opt for pants and skirts that are fuller in width to counterbalance wider shoulders, not with bell bottoms width, but do avoid pencil skirts. Lastly, but most importantly, buy v-necks and not square or rounded!

Feel free to send me thoughts and tricks you have come up with to counter-balance narrow or wider shoulders. I will be happy to pass it on!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Savvy Stylist Answers A Girlfriend’s Question

I recently had lunch with my girlfriend Lynn, who is probably one of the nicest, sweetest, most southern gals I know. She is a gifted artist and quite honestly, has one of the cutest figures of a woman over 50 that I know. She really has great legs, but sometimes questions what is appropriate to wear given her age. She also doesn't want to invest in items that are really trendy, but would like to look updated.

Her first question is about tunics. She loves the look of tunics, but realizes they are too short to wear without anything under them, great legs or not.

I suggest, in this heat, to look for stretch cotton/leggings or jeggings to wear with a tunic. Take a thicker woven belt (at least 3 inches) and place it on your hips. Not only will you look stylish, but this look will also transition into fall. A flat or wedge shoe works for summer and in the fall switch it up to a shoe boot or gladiator woven heel.

Check out www.shopstyle.com for leggings that are different lengths and will work well with tunics or long fitted or ruched tees. This combination is a great age-appropriate look for older women, but make sure your top covers your back end, regardless of how great a figure you may have. This is not wonderful look for women who have larger thighs or back ends, as leggings generally are quite fitted. If you are heavier, make sure your tunic comes to your mid thigh.

Her second question is about camisole tops, or camis. Lynn loves to layer camis but doesn't like the look of her bra showing between the straps of her camis and tanks tops. I agree, the bra thing showing tends to look a little trashy and is not a great look for a grown woman. She also struggles with what to wear for a bra with tops that are macramé in the front or back or a racer back tee shirt.

I suggested she go to Gigi's at Stonehenge Market on Creedmoor Road in Raleigh or their Cary location. The perfect solution is a racer back camisole that has molded breast cups and a bandeau that has the same molded breast cup. For women that are not particularly chesty, it really does the trick. So these are what she chose!

Simple solutions! Send me an email if you have fashion questions - I may have just the simple solution for you. I'm here to help…..

From My Closet to Yours,

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The summer linen pant…the right choice!

So I bet everyone agrees, it’s often just too hot to bother dressing up. There are a few options to get a pulled together look when jeans are not a worthy choice.

Here is some food for thought on selecting linen for warm weather dressing:

  1. Linen is a natural fabric made from the flax plant
  2. Linen is comfortable, versatile and cool!
  3. China is the number one exporter of linen (no big surprise there)
  4. Today linen is often sprayed with a special finish to reduce wrinkling
  5. Most linen can be hand washed or put in a washing machine
  6. To maintain the crisp look of linen, the dry cleaner can provide a “press only” option
  7. Never use a steamer to remove wrinkles, as it will break down the fibers
  8. Lastly, when traveling, pack your linen in tissue paper and in a plastic dry cleaning bag. When you arrive, remember to unpack and hang it as soon as possible to prevent any additional wrinkles (my grandmother used to do this)

Now that you have a basic knowledge about linen, how about how to actually wear it! For summer the best look for linen is a loosely fit pant with a fitted blouse or tee shirt with a hat, scarf and sunglasses. Great relaxed dressing! For a dressier look, opt for again a loose fit pant, fitted or full top with a cropped fitted jacket. It is fine to have the shirttail hang below the jacket, especially if it is gathered towards the hem.

Try another easy look with linen as we transition into the fall season. Hard to imagine less than a week after the official start to summer, but a great structured white linen pant looks fabulous with a cotton or cashmere sweater, scarf and a crossover body bag. If you’re still thinking a scarf will be too warm, opt for layering with several long necklaces. Forgo the scarf and crossover bag and grab a wristlet purse instead. You can also go the route of pairing a linen pant in the fall with fitted long sleeve blouses and a cropped double breasted jacket or jean jacket for a more conservative feel.

Whatever way you decide to wear your linen pants, remember that linen can be worn through the fall, just as white is a year round color. Have fun and mix and match your fabrics and textures because maximizing your wardrobe is truly the name of the game!

Click here to see some great linen looks that I put together!

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Hat's Have It

I have wanted to blog about hats for few months now. I love hats and I was certainly all about hats during our most recent royal wedding. Personally, I tend to wear hats for a purpose and not necessarily for fashion. I mostly wear the baseball style hat for tennis because I find it is helpful with the sun and glare. I also have more feminine hats to go with the bathing suit look or maxi dresses when I know I will be outside and really need to protect my hair color. Oh yes, and a cowboy hat when I traveling out west when I know I'm all that. Did I actually just confess to coloring my hair and feeling the need to look like I belong in a particular scene? Of course!

Back to why I am finally blogging about hats. This morning I was running through JC Penny, looking at a new contemporary line for another project, when I suddenly stopped to look at their large hat display. WOW!!!! JC Pen'a, as I call it, has awesome hats. So now let's get real about hats. Here are a few facts about hats to keep in mind:

  • Before you decide you want to incorporate hats into your wardrobe, be sure you are definitely going to wear them.
  • Consider the shape of your face. If you are tall, look for a hat that has a shorter crown and wide brim. Avoid angles and narrow hats. If you are smaller in size, do the exact opposite. If you are full figured, check out wide and large brims. These guidelines are similar, of course, in dressing. It is all about the balance.
  • Try on hats in a three way mirror and make sure it looks good in proportion to your height, frame and overall silhouette.
  • Consider the shape of your face. If you have a long face, choose hats that have a wide, floppy or curled brim. If you have round face, choose hats that have angular shapes and high brims. Avoid hats that are circular or floppy, as you may begin to look like a clown! Lastly, if you have an oval face, the world is yours. Buy whatever you like, because it will probably fit your face.
  • Make sure you buy the right size and evaluate how it feels on your head. Go up or down in size until it fits. As a rule of thumb, most women wear between a 21 and 22 inch hat.
  • Keep in mind your hairstyle. Hat head is not very stylish, and you do want to be able to wear your hair styled as you normally do.
  • Color and fabric of the hat should be considered with your skin and hair color. Too much contrast will be unflattering and too much pattern will leave people wondering if you are dressing in costume.
The Five Most Commonly Selected Hats

Baseball Caps: Sporty, great for workout clothes (tennis gear for me), simple t-shirt and jeans, or a bad hair day. A serious no-no for a business casual look!

Beret: The French beret rocks with dresses, jumpsuits, shorts, jeans and can be found in a variety of colors, fabrics or jewelry embellishments . The beret is best worn on various angles set on the head which is a statement itself, particularly when paired properly with your wardrobe. A beret tends to be more of a fall/winter look, although I have seen many worn this summer in lighter weight fabrics.

Cowboy hat: Great look if you happen to be living in an area that has the country feel but in most other areas the cowboy hat doesn't translate as well. Cowboy boots have been widely accepted in the fashion scene, but hats tend to look somewhat out of place if not in the majority. The one exception to that is when the hat is made of straw. A smaller brimmed straw cowboy hat is great with white jeans, rompers, sundresses, shorts - anything more fitted. I would definitely avoid activewear, as the fashion police will probably come a calling!

Fedora: Originally made of felt, but is again found in cotton, suede and patterns with feathers, beads and pendants. I love this look, as it is very stylish. and can be as trendy or not as you wish! Jeans, fitted dresses and skirts, shorts and anything with a vest or long boyfriend cardigan and scarf are perfect items to pair together with a fedora.

Sun hats: Usually made of straw with some sort of ribboning along the skull area. Great for the pool, beach or paired with a sundress, long or short. If you are wearing it for protection make sure the brim is wide enough to cover your face and shoulders.

A final tip: Make sure the hat you choose is not only a good fit, but one that fits your personality and style, as well. Hats are not for everyone, but a great way to pump up your style and generally an inexpensive fashion fit! As for me, I am heading back to JC Pen'a for some hat shopping!

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Red Carpet Fashion Lounge

So last night was my big debut hosting the Red Carpet Fashion Lounge for the Carolina Music Awards. Having never hosted a fashion lounge before, I went through several differing emotions. I actually never got nervous, more excited and curious about how it would actually roll out.

The event started about a half an hour late....hmmm, would that happen if it was televised? Probably not, but these things happen. I must have paced up and down the walkway of the entrance of the Progress Energy building about 40 times mouthing what would be my intro: “Good evening Raleigh, welcome to the 2nd Annual Red Carpet Fashion Lounge for the Carolina Music Awards. I'm your host Savvy Stylist Suzanne Libfraind and you are in for a treat tonight!” Blah, blah blah. I did it and made it through the intro only to slide into that usual comfort zone of me being me and chatting.

For the next two and a half hours I interviewed nominees for the Carolina Music Awards (rappers, rock and roll bands, country western folks, and R&B), as well as the event sponsors and organizers, designers, up-coming student designers, and three local boutiques. All my hours of prep work and the rewriting of my 3 by 5 cards went out the window! Jeannie, my marketing manager, warned me that I would have to improvise and just roll with any changes. So roll with it , I did. I found my rhythm and then began doing what I do best - talk fashion and find out what people are up to.

There was so much energy and buzz. Jeannie was like a drill sergeant, sending people in and out of the Red Carpet Fashion Lounge. Did I mention there was no red carpet in my fashion lounge, but white shag instead? The outfits were wild, some very dramatic, tight fitting, and extremely colorful which often left me giggling and smiling from ear to ear. I loved it all! From the young designers showing their creations to guy in the audience who wore a vibrant rainbow color vertical striped suit (from Loudmouth Golf), I was excited by the energy of the whole event.

As my hosting duties wound down around 8:15, I continued to live in the moment. I had my husband, Sid, and my parents along with a handful of good friends there in support. They, too, seemed to enjoy the buzz and wildness of the participants and audience in their various get ups. After catching my breath, I moved onto the photo area for a few snaps on the Carolina Music Awards red carpet with various groups of people, including the organizers for Triangle and Charlotte Fashion Weeks. I walked with my family inside to watch the music awards, hosted by Maddona Nash. Cute country singer with lots of personality! We didn't stay for the entire awards show, as I found I couldn't wait to get home and just process the whole evening. Some experiences you just want to savor and this one was just that!

Click Here To See More Photos!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

New My Carolina Today segment - Dressing a Larger Man.

G105′s Mike Morse learns how to be a well-dressed man.

Here are Suzanne Libfraind’s tips for him:

1. If you are a larger man be sure to wear clothes that fit your body. Fuller clothes will make you appear heavier 2. Stay away from all horizontal stripes. Opt for vertical lines, as it will elongate the body.
3. Darker colors usually slims the body, just as lighter tones tend make the body appear larger.
4. Choose monochromatic or tonal dressing. Example brown pants, camel or khaki tones that will blend and not distract

Friday, July 15, 2011

The 40 Worst-Dressed Cities in America (according to GQ)

35. Raleigh
If you're in Raleigh, your shit better have pleats. It's basically the town's mascot. And here's it's unofficial motto: "The world is your golf course." Southern bankers cruise from home to work and back home to change out of their off-the-rack, BOGO suits and into amoeboid polo shirts and hippy trousers. It's a great city to swoop in for the kill at happy hour. Girls in these bars have never seen a tailored anything, so it's easy to turn a head.—Andrew Richdale


Today I got a call from Penn Holderness, anchor for NBC in Raleigh. He asked if I had heard about the new ranking from GQ noting that Raleigh was designated one of the 35th worst dressed cities. Yes, I had, as I had just finished discussing it with my producer Kim Green of My Carolina Today. As I told Kim, and later Penn, I think there are so many transients living here - how could we earn that label? Sure, there are many people that have grown up here from generation to generation and they may know nothing but the pleated pants, but isn't that just stereotyping the rest of us?

What about the guys that actually developed their own sense of style? Case in point, as I stated to Penn. Here he was interviewing me in his navy pinstripe suit, obviously custom made. I doubt he can buy off the rack with his build, although he was sporting a pair of flip flops on his feet. As the interview winds up, I address the fact that he is wearing flat front trousers with flip flops and obviously has his own sense of style (actually Penn mentioned his feet sweat - with the temps this high, I think everyone’s feet are sweating). I simply stated that the men wearing flat front trousers are more fashion foreword, and also don't have a gut. Generally, it is guys that have a larger belly or backend that need more room to cover their girth. So, pleated khakis have nothing to do with being poorly dressed, or with being from Raleigh.

I have witnessed the fashion growth in the Triangle over the past 20 plus years. We actually have stores for guys that dress for the hip hop scene, as well as the guys who prefer more of the urban feel. As for custom-made or tailored clothing options, there is even a new guy in Apex by the name of Charles Ryan who has designed a machine that will calibrate your exact size to custom make a shirt or suit. So Andrew Richdale, put that in your pipe and smoke it. We are doing just fine!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Mike Morse from G105!

Tomorrow I am filming a segment with Mike Morse from G105’s Bob and the Showgram. I had never met him but liked him as soon as he walked through the station’s door. Mike oozes an urban style and swagger with his dark, square frames, black dress shirt and jeans. I did giggle at his checkerboard Vans his feet were sporting. Based upon the pictures he previously sent, I thought he could rock a fedora. I told him to wear the hat and check out the response from others. I asked him to bring several items from his closet that he didn't know quite what to do with.

Here's the checklist of what he had and how it can be updated:

1. Mike had an off-white linen suit he bought two years ago for his wedding that he never wore. He’d opted to wear a tux instead. I recommend the following:
  • Take the white linen jacket and pair it with dark jeans and a short sleeve button up, lightweight shirt with a tonal plaid in blue, cream, tan or beige. Pair with a loafer or driving moccasin.
  • Take the linen pant and pair with short sleeve button down with a textured fabric or vertical stripes. Another option would be a silk polyester blend slight v-neck shirt. Be sure to wear the shirt out. A fedora will help relax the look.
2. Mike has a long sleeve white linen shirt and doesn't know how to wear it. Here are two options:
  • Roll the sleeves up right below the elbow and pair with a darker camel or brown longer length short that has a drawstring around the cuff. Try a pair of Tom’s shoes, a driving moccasin, or neutral leather flip flop. Tennis player Rafa Nadal has rocked this look for years!
  • Opt for a drawstring camel color linen pant with cargo pockets.
3. White loafers! How to wear them:
  • Dark jeans and a lighter colored shirt. No white shirts or khaki pants.
  • Dark linen or seersucker pants with a stripe other than white.
  • Dress plaid shorts with an un-tucked polo. Keep the plaid muted and not vibrant in color.
Mike is certainly armed now to become his own fashion icon. Check out the segment this Friday on My Carolina Today at 11am on NBC!

If you are big and tall, keep these tips in mind:

1. If you are a larger man, be sure to wear clothes that fit your body as fuller clothes make you appear heavier,
2. Stay away from all horizontal stripes. Opt for vertical lines, as they will elongate the body.
3. Darker colors usually slim the body, just as lighter tones tend to make the body appear larger.
4. Choose monochromatic or tonal dressing. For example, brown pants, camel or khaki tones that will blend and not distract.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Tyler House and The Art of Style

Yesterday I was at Tyler House for the Shop Local event. Jennifer Huggard is the store owner and probably one of the most respected merchants in Raleigh. Her store always is merchandised well and her employees are always helpful, and willing to give an honest opinion. I particularly like the back and forth banter that I share with Anne Suber, a longtime employee. She is born and bred here in Raleigh and knows most everyone, which always makes me giggle. She loves to name drop (in a nice way) and I never, and I mean never, know who she is talking about.

I have been working with clients at Tyler House since I started consulting almost 20 years ago. Although the clothes are generally traditional, I always find a handful of trendy items that are great to build and spruce up a wardrobe. Jennifer's store is often a surprise to many younger people who shop it and get a fabulous jacket, sweater or dress. Yesterday morning, as I expected, there was steady stream of patrons looking for last minute great buys on summer items. The store has a full blown sale going hoping to blow out the last third of spring/summer goods, as fall deliveries are beginning to trickle in.

I met several shoppers, but remember one in particular, a young bride looking for a strapless, soft pink dress for a wedding gown instead of the traditional white. Just as I would with any client, we spoke about what exactly she was looking for and what she envisioned for her special day. After giving her several ideas for stores to hit I came to the conclusion that having the dress made would be the best route, instead of spinning her wheels for a dress that isn't out there. I sent her out the door to Mulberry Silks and Fine Fabrics in the Carrboro Mall and armed her with the contact info of a few seamstresses I trust, and she left with a smile. This was a great example of a day in my life in working with clients. It is all about figuring out what works best for people’s budget and lifestyle!

My afternoon took me to finish my week helping the Independent’s Contest for ShopLocal Raleigh up at The Art of Style at Brier Creek. Kendra, the store owner, has begun to establish a great following and network of clients in their early twenties to late thirties. Her clothes are trendy, but not overly fad-like, and Kendra stocks items that if you are even remotely fashion savvy, you can pair up with basics and look fabulous. Kendra has been open maybe a year and has worked hard at doing events for charity, as she sadly lost her husband a few years ago to cancer. Her purpose is evident and her knowledge of what she wants her store to be is clear.

One of the guys shopping the store was a young professional that loves the look of the items she carries, and shops regularly. We worked together on pulling together a few looks and we sent him to try things on. Clearly, he was probably over whelmed with a group of women telling him how great he looked in several of the fitted shirts he tried on. I believe he ended up purchasing two shirts and left with a smile. While there I worked with Kendra and Chris Jones, a local jewelry artist, to pull together outfits for the Red Carpet Fashion Lounge at the Carolina Music Awards, which is happening next Sunday night at the Progress Energy Center. The Art of Style is one of the featured boutiques, and Chris is doing the jewelry for it. I love mixing items that people wouldn't normally put together to give a new twist to fashion. I was able to do just that and with Chris's fabulous necklace, we quickly were able to pick the items for the runway. I dashed out the door just in time to pick up my friends at the airport - two other fashionista's from Baltimore. They are coming into town to make their mark…more to come on that.

Overall, it was a wonderful week of working with stores for the Shop Local event and I look forward to doing it again soon!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Dapper Style House Has Style!

Last night at Dapper turned out to be great fun. The new store manager/ buyer is Dusty and he really rocks. With about 6 years of experience from another store, I really believe the insight he brings to Dapper will propel them to furthering their mark in the community. He shared with me his future plans of incorporating more men’s furnishings -new lines like Ted Baker and an assortment of complete offerings for the trendy Raleigh guy. Women's clothing will still play a part in the store as they find a look for women wanting something other than a basic party dress.

Less is more and I get the feeling Dapper will dig deep to get that new look for clients. Dapper is unique in that they have a bar - it gives new meaning to shopping! The bar will also be expanded with more nightly and weekend events. They have even brought in an NC student to do a visual story for their window monthly. How cool is that?!?

We certainly had that bonding moment and I especially enjoyed his insight and excitement of what is to come. I expect in the fall I will join them again and plan something that will showcase their new look. The interior will also be revamped and updated. I only hope that don't get rid of the swing in the store. Nothing like swinging on a swing to feel youthful! What a great evening at Dapper, and even walked out with a LBD. I was rocking it!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Stains, Stains and More Stains

This blog is dedicated to my client who is forever worrying about how to deal with stains she gets on her clothing. For many of us the worry of wearing new clothes, especially white clothes, in the summer may send us in to a tizzy, or better yet lead us to not wear a particular item. I frequently remind clients that purchased clothes are actually meant to be worn and are not a closet dust collector. If by chance you stain your clothing, then follow these simple directions or just write it off to a great meal, too many adult beverages, or my favorite saying sh#t happens! Happy washing and let me know how these tips work for you!

When applying stain-removing solutions to fabric, it's best to work at the stain from the back of the fabric and not the front. This way the stain won't spread deeper into the fabric.

Mystery Stain Removal from Clothing

For stains of an unknown origin, try following these steps: First, rinse the stain in cold water. Pretreat with a prewash, then rinse again. Now wash the garment with an all-fabric bleach, in water that's as hot as the manufacturer recommends, adding extra detergent. Let it air dry, and if the stain is still there, soak in cold water for half an hour. Sponge it with a cleaning solvent, let it sit for 5 minutes, and then rinse again. Repeat all of the above if the stain persists.

If your stain is on white clothing, you should be able to restore your clothes to white, and not damage the fibres of the fabric, by soaking them in lukewarm water and color safe or oxygen bleach for 24 hours, then rinse them with vinegar and water. Mix using one tablespoon of vinegar to one quart of water. After treating your stained clothing overnight, wash them in hot water with chlorine bleach added. This should refresh them to their original white state. If possible, dry them in the sun.

Washing White Clothes

When washing white clothes, hot water works the best, since your detergent will dissolve and work the most effectively at this temperature. Water rinses equally well at any temperature, however, so be sure to rinse all your clothes using cold water to save on hot water. If your clothes are not particularly soiled, you could probably get away with using hot water every second or third washing to save on hot water as well. Be sure to always follow the washing directions given on the label of your clothes for best results.

Deodorant and Perspiration Stains

Yellow underarm shirt stains are likely caused by a combination of deodorant and perspiration. Many deodorants and antiperspirants contain aluminum salts. When these salts are combined with laundry detergent, especially in cooler water settings, they are not easily dissolved, and they remain on the fabric.

To remove the stains, try soaking the shirts in warm water with an enzyme pre-soak product or rubbing the soiled area with white vinegar. Wash in the hottest water safe for the fabric. If the stain remains, dampen and sprinkle stain with meat tenderizer. Let stand for about an hour, and launder again. To avoid new stains from forming, always wash the shirts in the hottest water safe for the fabric. Also, allow antiperspirant to dry completely before dressing.

Follow these tips, and make your clothes last for the entire season without having to buy new!

Kick off for Independent’s Week! (Reposted)

As many of you know, or maybe you don’t, I am a member of Shop Local Raleigh. They are running a contest where you shop at different stores, get stamps and potentially win gift certificates. My business is shopping, so I decided to visit some stores and give a free in-store consult to shoppers and see what they had. First stop…Galatea.

The women at Galetea couldn't be friendlier! Cheryl is the owner, Susan is her store manager and Lissa helps, as well. This is by far is the most creative bunch of women I have worked with in a long time. The clothes are classically funk, with comfort, rich textures and interest all folded up into one. During my time there for the Shop Local event I met several women aging from 30's to mid 60's. The common theme was that most of them seemed dedicated to shopping the store while seeking somewhat of an artistic flair, but definitely wanted the versatility in look for their everyday lives.

Susan showed me a tiered shirt with various fabrics in all patterns and colors with a brown stretch waistband. She proceeded to fold the skirt, making it into a cap similar to a cloche hat dating back from the roaring 20's. She took a fabric flower (made by employee Lissa) and cinched it in the front and put it upon a patrons head. Wanda is a regular customer - very petite with a sassy short, reddish colored bob. Wow, creative and what fun. This idea, of course, got my wheels turning, as I volunteer at the Image Boutique at Duke Hospital on Wednesday afternoons. What Susan demonstrated was easy enough that I could certainly do a similar look for the patients.

Amongst many of the interesting items that Cheryl provides for her clients is a smock with a tightly gathered waist and free flowing bottom. At the bottom of the dress/skirt there is a loop that you draw upwards to pull the skirt up on one side giving the skirt an angled appearance. What is most intriguing about this skirt is that it can also be pulled up over your chest and worn as a dress. The dress also is provided with a tie that can be tied around your neck for support for larger breasted women or when worn as a skirt cinching in the waist. Hot damn, many practical uses for our 90 plus degree days. I borrowed the item and have decided it is the perfect "Gotta Have It" item for my NBC My Carolina Segments on Fridays.

I so enjoyed the people that came through while I was there, especially my new friend Mary who actually paints fine china. How cool is that?!? Galetea, near Logan's downtown, is a perfect stop for anyone looking for clothes that are cool and comfortable and interesting in color and style. Cheryl obviously works hard at find those items that will not be found elsewhere!

Second stop…..Clothes Hound

Visiting the Clothes Hound for the Shop Local event was such a treat. I am celebrating my 20th year being in business as a stylist and chatting with Bryce, the store owner, brought me back to where my fashionista ways first came about. Bryce is a young energetic mother and entrepreneur! She built a successful online business and always dreamed about having a store front.

Her store in North Raleigh has the promise of being a boutique to find small treasures for great values and prices. She had a several lines that were well priced and very versatile. For my job as a stylist, I spoke to Bryce about taking certain items and transitioning them into fall looks. She had several cute work/nightlife dresses that could certainly be worn in the fall with a simple white blouse or long sleeve fitted tee underneath. She also carries a line of camisoles and tee shirts that are made by Downeast Basics that are reasonably priced, have a nice weight, and a variety of sleeve and necklines. The light foot traffic of the evening did give me a chance to get to know Bryce and work with her on merchandising her store. She now has, in retail words, merchandise stories within her store and a great selection of dresses ranging in styles of colors, fabrics and sleeve lengths. I expect she will build a strong following of dresses with her clients as she gets the whole idea of value shopping and great looks. Go check out the store as it is so important to support local merchants and especially aspiring young women making their mark in the industry!

Be sure to stop by my other haunts for Independent’s Week while I’m there. I’d be happy to help you shop!

I’ll be at Dapper Style House from 6-7:30 on Wednesday. On Thursday, I’ll be at Tyler House from 10:30-12 and The Art of Style Boutique from 12:30-2. Come on out and visit, and stop the stores - mention I sent you!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Furla bags...

Guess what everyone! I actually showed this bag on a recent segment on My Carolina Today when promoting new spring bags! Dillards carried this great bag. Wondering if it was an actual hit in the stores. Check out the segment once again and read what Furla actually had to say about it! The savvy stylist is making her selecting her own trends and this was certainly one of them! I thought the bag was fabulous!


Friday, July 1, 2011

Fourth Of July!

So the summer heat and humidity is really kicking into gear. Today I actually felt my dress adhere to my skin and proceed to stick with no hopes of prying free. So what to do, what to do. I vote for breathable fabrics like linen and/or cotton. More to come next week on this topic as I will discuss the details of dressing for when the heat actually makes you really want to run around wearing only your birthday suit.

In the meantime, I have received over eight notifications from local boutiques offering great discounts over the holiday weekend. If you’re in town, it would be worth dropping by some of your favorite haunts, or better yet stores you don't frequent, just for the very reason of the great sales opportunities.

Have fun and be sure to check out the Shop Local Independent’s Event that I am participating in starting July 5th. Check out my Facebook fanpage for the invite. I hope to see everyone out there shopping and staying cool!
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