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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Power shopping at its’ best.

I often get the question where do I personally shop. Well, I shop all over the place. Sometimes in town, always when I am away. I always like to check out stores in regions other than our own. I find different areas of our country buy obviously for their weather, demographic and surrounding influences. And as you can imagine, if I am in a store looking for items for a client and see something I like, I make a mental note to go back and pick it up or I buy it.

I like a bargain like anyone else, but quality and fit is the number one priority. I don't settle for items that don't feel good or that I don't feel wow in. Just because I am tall, doesn't mean I don't have my own style challenges. I would be lying if I didn't say I don't cock my head in the dressing room and make faces in the mirror after putting a garment on. I even break out in a giggle every once in a while.

I also have specific designers I like, and I know which stories carry their lines, and they sometimes come to town for trunk shows. If you haven’t been to one, it’s a great experience and I highly recommend it.

One of my favorite designers came to town Friday, Kay Unger, just in time for my power shopping excursion. Somehow Kay’s dresses fit my body like a glove. A good glove, and her newer line is called Phoebe and is designed by her daughter. I met Kay a few years ago at the same trunk show. She is in her 60's, slim, dark hair, and full of spit and vinegar. It’s obvious that she is well seasoned and loves coming to do trunk shows - it’s a great opportunity for her to speak to the women who wear her things about what they like and what they love.

Last time we met I told her I was a stylist, and we chatted briefly as she juggled several clients. This time, I arrived at the store at 10:10, knowing if I was ever going to power shop this was the time. I had to catch a plane in two hours and I was going to be focused and try only what wowed me. I was also gonna work the friends and family discount. Good clothes (tailored well, nice fabrics) are so darn expensive, but I know I will wear one of her dresses for years.

This is what happened in the 25 minutes I was there. They wanted to introduce her to me. I said we met two years ago. "Hey, Kay,” as I extended my hand, “I am Suzanne Libfraind, stylist. I have to catch a plane but I want to try a few casual dresses, not business but a dress that can go casual as well."

Kay was wearing a v-neck ruched and gathered to one side leopard print dress. Cute, but not screaming gotta have. She pulled a muted beige and brown weave with a cowl neck. Hmmm, thoughts begin swirling. Tried it on with my cowboy boots and walk out for Kay to adjust the belt. She yanks the neckline over my shoulders, making it an off the shoulder garment and opening up my neckline - it's a wow dress! I loved the belt - a supple leather with gold framed holes and buckle. Not the usual flimsy belt that often comes with dresses. Now that is a bonus!

Of course, then I proceeded to talk business. How could I stand there and make it all about me when I have five minutes to talk shop?!? “So Kay, how is the newer line Phoebe doing?” She stated that it was doing quite well and that she found people were enjoying the everyday appeal. We chatted about my motto of lifestyle dressing and she heartily agreed. Her leopard print dress is one of her favorites this season because it is easy to toss in a bag and bundles up in a suitcase. Yes, easy care fabrics. I can't say it enough, everyone wants things that are low maintenance. Just like friendships should be, as I always say. 

How refreshing it is that a designer is so personable and listens to what the customer is saying. I did giggle as she tried to get me to try several other dresses including a great looking black sweater cape that would have been a wonderful addition to any wardrobe. Very fresh and nice lines. I didn’t try it but only because I already bought something similar earlier this season.

So that was my power shopping - in less than 25 minutes at a trunk show I tried 4 dresses and chatted with Kay about what she was doing to keep up with the times and economy.

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