Time for a true confession  . . .  I was always the kid who was super excited for school to start in the fall. I couldn’t wait to start fresh with a new spiral notebook for each subject, sharp pointed pencils, and a new monogrammed backpack and lunch bag if I was lucky! And of course, planning the “first day of school” outfit was something I thought about . . . a lot!  Even into my college years . . . okay, maybe I am a little obsessive. But, given what I’ve just revealed,  it should come as no surprise that I’ve developed a system for reorganizing my closet in anticipation of wearing my new Fall fashions. I call it “switching out my closet” and I do it in the Fall and Spring.  In my 8 years as an ETCETERA consultant, I’ve helped many customers get ready for the change in seasons, and with a few basic tips I hope to help you, too.

 

 

TIME TO SAY GOODBYE TO THE WHITES AND BRIGHTS

As most any fashion consultant will tell you, the old rules about only wearing white between Memorial Day and Labor Day do not hold true today. However, I find that after I’ve been wearing my white jeans, pants, and dresses for 5-6 months I am ready to take a break and try some new looks. Plus, once the weather turns cooler, are you really going to want to wear a white sundress? So the first thing I do when switching out my closet is to put away the whites,  in the back of the closet or in a bottom drawer, or under a bed in a shallow plastic tub. Try to pack your pieces with as few folds as possible to avoid having to iron your items when it is time to pull them out again.

The same concept works for bright or pastel cotton and linen based items in your wardrobe. Move them out of your prime real estate and make room for fall items. For example, I will be switching out my pink COTTONCANDY dress from ETCETERA’s Spring 2014 collection and replacing it with the rosewood RETRO dress from the Fall collection. RETRO has the same beautiful pink tones I love, but is in a ponte knit fabric, a much better choice for the season. Similarly, I’ll be storing away my white cotton blend MALTESE ankle pants from Summer  2014 and replacing them with the ivory ponte knit RAPTURE ankle pants from Fall. My blue LAGOON dress from Spring will go on hiatus, while I enjoy wearing the indigo SKIPPER dress from Fall.

BEFORE YOU STORE, CLEAN AND CONSIDER

As you are storing away your items, make sure they are in clean, wearable condition.  You will thank yourself next spring when you pull out your favorite white jeans and they are fresh and ready to go.  Sew on missing buttons, fix falling hemlines and repair any damaged seams before you put the items away.

As you are storing your items, consider how much you actually wore them in the Spring and Summer seasons.  If they no longer fit your body or your lifestyle, it is probably time to say goodbye to them permanently — no use storing something you won’t actually wear again.  Consider donating the item to a worthy charity or giving it to a friend.  Most consignment stores only take “in season” merchandise, so you might have to wait to consign some of your off season items.  Store them separately to make it easier to gather them up and take them to your favorite “repeat boutique” next year.

 

 

INVENTORY YOUR CLOSET

I get teased a lot for this next bit of advice, but it works so well that I am not afraid to share it.  As you store your items and as you pull out your Fall items, keep a list of what you have.  It is not always easy to see everything in your closet or drawers at first glance and I know many women who’ve even bought multiple items of the same piece of clothing because they forgot they already owned it . . . ahem . . . so the solution is to make lists of your items by season.  Here is an example of what I am talking about:

 

SPRING/SUMMER ITEMS IN STORAGE

Sweaters:

Red and white LADYBUG sweater set

White cotton cardigan

Yellow FAWN cardigan

 

Pants:

Coral ROSETTA pants

Aquamarine BAYOU ankle pants

Lilac DAPHNEY jeans

 

I make my list in the notes app on my iPhone as I am packing the items away and it really helps me to list and arrange by color.  As an added bonus, when I find myself shopping for items next year, I can just consult my list to see what I need, or uhm, don’t need.   I make the same type of list of Fall items, again listing and arranging by color.   Here is the beginning of my list for the Fall “must have items”  I am adding to my wardrobe:

 

FALL ITEMS

Sweaters:

Black Downtown sweater with zipper on shoulder

Ivory TIBET sweater with cable detailing on center front (shown below with COFFEEBAR pant)

Tops:

GREYMIST tunic top (shown below with PITCH jacket and PROWL jean)

Pants:

Black TRAVELER pants

Deep Charcoal DEISEL leggings (shown below with DOWNTOWN cardigan and ENGAGED sweater)

Charcoal and Grey PROWL  jeans

Another great thing about my list-making is that it makes getting ready in the morning so much easier!  Channeling my inner Elle Woods from Legally Blonde, I can just consult my list to see what I haven’t worn in a while and come up with something new and unexpected.  As I add and delete items from my wardrobe, I simply revise my list.  Although it sounds like a lot of work it really isn’t hard and the payoff is well worth the effort.

 

 

CHOOSE YOUR SHOES

When I switch out my shoe wardrobe,  I find it easiest to take all my shoes out of the closet and start with a clean slate.  That way I can make sure the boots, booties, pointy flats and closed toe options are front and center so that I can grab them on the go.  Sandals and flip flops are stored away in the back once I am sure that I am finished wearing them.  And as with the suggestions above, I make sure to discard any shoes that are past their prime in one way or another.  That way I will have more room to add the latest styles to my collection!

 

Photo courtesy of LUCKY magazine

 

I hope these suggestions have helped you gear up for the big Season Switchover.  It is always fun to rediscover  the looks that have been hibernating in your closet or under your bed!  And of course, adding to your collection is the most fun of all!

 

Margaret Cavin has been an Etcetera Sales Consultant for 8 exciting years.  She loves helping her customers create a closet full of clothes they love to wear and when she’s not reading InStyle or rearranging closets, she loves to run and stay physically fit.  A native Floridian, Margaret also loves exploring National Parks and learning about different countries and cultures.

 

 

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Ahhh… Fall is right around the corner!  The smell of a crackling bonfire, cool morning runs, the sound of leaves crunching under your feet, the taste of a crisp Washington apple; or how about the return of Sunday, Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday football?

 

Whatever images come to mind when you think of fall, one that all fashion followers most look forward to is the Super Bowl of fashion magazines, the September issue of Vogue magazine!  Yep, all 600 plus pages of ads stimulating us to buy, buy, buy.  If you are like me, you were not born a Vogue reader, you grew into it.  First came Young Miss, followed by Seventeen, which you gave up as soon as you turned seventeen, followed by Glamour magazine.

 

As soon as my Glamour magazine arrived in my mailbox, I would turn right to the Glamour quiz.  The Quiz-master would reveal my inner most traits, such as,  was I likely to live in the country or city, would I be best suited as a CEO or chef, would I marry the neighbor boy or a mysterious foreigner (aka, someone from another state),  was I social or socially inept, was my fashion personality preppy or pathetic?  Well, the Quiz-master is back, ready to unveil your ETCETERA style with just seven simple questions.

 

YOUR CLOSET CONSISTS MAINLY OF:

 

A. Comfortable clothes that look and feel fabulous.

B. Luxe and labels.
C. Black, with a touch of color.  White is a color, right?

YOUR SUITCASE IS:

A. Resourceful and creative – can take an outfit from sassy to classy.

B. First class all the way – ship the trunk ahead.

C. Carry-on efficiency – 7 pieces with 15+ looks.

 

YOUR SPORT OF CHOICE:

A. A regiment that consists of namaste, game-set-match, just do it, and _____ Barre.

B. Watching from the luxury suite.

C. Same activity, same time, same place – don’t mess with it.

 

YOUR FAVORITE FOOD IS:

A. Anything from Whole Foods, the farmers’ market, or your garden.

B. Anything you don’t have to prepare yourself.

C. Oreos – the colors suit you and there is only ONE way to eat them!

 

YOUR MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY VOCATION IS:

A. Care giver by choice, default, or profession.

B. Entrepreneur and/or Executive.  Your office is at home, in your tote, or the corner with a view.

C. Invest money, count money or sue for money.

 

SPENDING HABITS THAT FIT YOUR BILL:

A. Whatever is left after paying for your children’s wants and needs, student loans, mortgage and donating to your favorite charity.

B. As long as they take Platinum American Express.

C. Has to survive an audit.

 

YOUR MODE OF TRANSPORTATION:

A. Behind the wheel of your SUV.

B. Taxi or Uber; preferably your personal driver.

C. Public transportation or by foot.

 

Now, for the results…

 

MOSTLY A’s:

Your style is sassy and classy.  You prefer every day wear that takes you from the soccer field to tailgate party to date night with just a bit of tweaking.  Check out our new ETC Red Label; it offers a casual, relaxed luxury for your “off-time.”

MOSTLY B’s:

Your style is Luxe and Labels.  You scour the fashion magazines, follow fashion tweets, and know what’s trending–YOU.  Your lifestyle calls for you to dress, whether it is the part of professional, socialite, or fashionista.  Look at our latest pieces in fur, leather, suede and cashmere.

MOSTLY C’s:

Your style comes in black with a pop of white.  Adding color to your wardrobe is in a shade of gray or on the sole of your Christian Louboutin shoes.  Your style is classic, crisp, and clean.  You have basic stylish pieces that easily mix with your wardrobe.  Look at our black and white pieces; sure to add a splash to any dark wardrobe.

I presume many of you are a combination of A’s, B’s, and C’s.  Of course we can’t fit neatly into one category.  The beauty of shopping with ETCETERA is that there truly is something for everyone.  With over 200 pieces to choose from in the Fall Collection, you will find, with the help of your Sales Consultant, your style that fits your season of life.  So, pick up the September Vogue when it hits the rack (all 5 pounds of it), page through it, and peruse the ETCETERA.com website to see the wearable fashions (void of advertisements) that are trending this fall.  Contact your Etcetera Sale Consultant and shop the latest and greatest fall has to offer.  I can guarantee you’ll feel like you just stepped out of your Vogue magazine….or Glamour?

 

JoEllyn Slott, Etcetera Sales Consultant

JoEllen and business partner, Carolyn Crawford, have owned their own Etcetera agency in Germantown, TN, since 2001. They say their goal is to create compliments for their customers, and Etcetera makes that easy!  JoEllyn is a trainer for new sales consultants, and says she is honored to be a guest blogger, having not been published since her high school newspaper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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COLOR.  How does it make you feel?  Do you feel anxious in a yellow room and calm in a blue one?  Artists have long understood that color can dramatically affect moods, feelings, and emotions. Your personal feelings about colors can often be traced to your own experience or culture.  For example, white is used in Western countries for wedding gowns as a symbol of purity and innocence.  Yet, in many Eastern countries, white is a symbol of mourning.

 

While research is surprisingly limited on the psychology of color, data shows that color can impact us multiple ways:

1. A study of placebo pills showed that warm-colored pills were more effective than cool-colored.
2. Installing blue-colored streetlights led to reduced crime.
3. People who are warm-natured tend to list cool colors as their favorites, while cool-natured people prefer warmer colors.
4. Color can affect performance.  Being exposed to red prior to an exam can have a negative result. However, athletes exposed to red react with greater speed and force.
5. Athletes dressed in black are more likely to receive penalties.

 

When it comes to clothing, you can express yourself through your choice of color; so use color to your advantage by understanding its psychological effects.

 

BLACK
In most Western societies, black is the color of death and grief, but it is also the color of authority and power.  Most policemen wear black.  It also implies submission, and priests wear black to signify submission to God.  It is popular in fashion because it makes us look thinner, it is stylish, and it is timeless.  Black outfits can be overpowering, or make the wearer seem aloof.  Black is accepted as being dark and mysterious, and also has come to mean sexy.  Yet black is also for those who like to appear traditional and respectable.  Black has so many meanings, it’s no wonder we have so much of it in our closets.  And, one more time,  black is very slimming!

BLUE
Blue is one of the most popular colors.  The color of the ocean and sky, it causes the opposite reaction as red.  Blue causes the body to produce calming chemicals and can lower pulse rates and body temperatures.  Research has shown that people are more productive in blue rooms.  While blue is the most popular color, it is the least appetizing.  Some weight loss plans suggest eating your food off of a blue plate.  Fashion consultants recommend wearing blue to job interviews.  Blue reflects a wish for peace, tranquility, and even solitude.  As a non-threatening color, wearing it shows you value loyalty and honesty.

BROWN
Brown is often associated with the earth and stability.  Brown is made from mixing red and black, and has many of their attributes.  A person who likes to wear brown is likely to be highly dedicated to work, family, and friends.  Those who like brown are able to get to the root of things and deal with complicated matters.  These are the no-nonsense people.

GREEN
Going for calm and soothing?  Go for green — the color stands for harmony and equilibrium.  It is currently the most popular decorating color and easiest on the eye.  People waiting to be on TV sit in green rooms to relax.  Hospitals also use green because of its relaxing properties.  In the Middle Ages, brides wore green to symbolize fertility.  Green clothing tends to reflect conventional types, those who stick to the straight and narrow and do not want to stand out in a crowd.  Seamstresses often refuse to use green thread on the eve of a fashion show for fear it will bring bad luck.

ORANGE
Orange is another energetic and stimulating color.  If you love orange, you may have a courageous and adventurous streak, showing enthusiasm and zeal.  People wearing orange appear assertive and like to smile, making others smile back.  Orange encourages conversation, not to mention a sense of humor.  Orange is often used to draw attention (think traffic signs).  If you like feeling excited and enthusiastic, sport a little orange in your life.

PURPLE
Purple generates a feeling of self-respect, dignity and self-worth.  Catholic priests wear it to reflect sanctity and humility.  Because it is so rich, it is also associated with royalty, luxury, wealth, and sophistication.  It is also feminine and romantic.

RED
Red can make you feel more energetic and outgoing.  The most emotionally intense color, red stimulates a faster heartbeat and breathing.  It is also the color of love.  If you want to get noticed and be seen as having fire and passion, ferocity and strength — wear red.  Red also symbolizes a strong sexuality.  On the flip side, wearing red might not be helpful in negotiations.  Did you know red cars are popular targets for thieves?

Pink red diluted by white — is considered the most romantic color, and is more tranquilizing than red.  Sports teams sometimes paint the locker rooms used by opposing teams bright pink so their opponents will lose energy.

WHITE
When it comes to white, think cleanliness, purity and innocence.  It is still the number one choice of brides. Doctors and nurses wear white to imply sterility. It also reflects all color and wearing white keeps you cool in the heat of the sun.  White is a popular fashion choice because it is light, neutral, and goes with everything.

Psychologists are on the fence and many view color therapy with skepticism, yet this is a question for you.  Do you feel better when you wear red?  When you meet a person for the first time and they happen to be wearing a color you dislike, does it impact your first impression?  I can’t answer that, but what I do know is we do not live in a black and white world.  So, ladies, open your box of crayons and paint the rainbow the way you want to see it.

 

Claudia Phillips is an Etcetera Area Development Manager in the Tar Heel State of North Carolina. A Chicago, transplant, Claudia is a born fashionista. While playing Barbie with her young girlfriends, Claudia loved helping the other “Barbies” get dressed for the big interview, courtroom case, or night on the town with Ken. A certified master stylist, Claudia loves sharing her expertise by training sales consultants to help in her mission to make America beautiful – one woman at a time.

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The months of July and August typically bring daily showers and intense heat here in Florida. One minute it’s sweltering outside and the next, we’re freezing in the air conditioning. It really can be a tricky time of year — not only with the fluctuating temperatures, but also with the transition between Summer and Fall fashion.

But it’s also the best time of year to sift through our closets to get ready for the season ahead. I not only start thinking of new ways to wear the pieces I already have and how to transition all my warm-weather basics right in to fall, but I also get a jumpstart on wardrobe planning for back-to-school meetings, lunch with friends, networking and more! This kind of organizing and planning also helps me decide what must-have ETCETERA pieces I must have from our Fall 2014 collection!

 

After my first round of Fall organizing, I’ve come up with a few style tips for your Summer-to-Fall wardrobe transition to help you welcome in autumn, too.

 

1.) Mix your summer jewel tones with animal prints. Luckily for us, red, orange, rosewood and teal are all on-trend for Fall and beyond. These are all perfect bold colors to mix with cheetah, leopard, zebra, etc. and you will seamlessly look chic along the way!

 

2.) Speaking of animal prints, start pulling those pieces out now. Animal prints are as classic and neutral as black, but are so much more fun! They will help your wardrobe feel warmer, cozier, and more Fall-like. ETCETERA has many fun, colorful animal prints this Fall –- any or all would be perfect to integrate a bit of the wild into your wardrobe.

3.) Swap out your strappy sandals for pointy-toe pumps, flats, loafers or booties. This is one easy change that helps you look the part while still looking sophisticated in your shorts, mini skirt or jeans in early fall.

 

 

4.) Layer a little: add a scarf or a vest with your tees. Simple, cozy and polished – it’s that easy!

5.) Add some khaki, camel or tan. Camel with white or black should be a staple fall color combination for every woman. A modern approach to adding this must-have fall hue is ETCETERA’s sleek jean-cut pants, ELK. I love these pants paired with TEMPTRESS, a silk georgette blouse that looks great dressed up or down.

6.) Fold in some rich, deep tones. Saturate yourself in hues such as cobalt blue, midnight blue and burgundy this fall season for polished, glamourous style. I love our new midnight blue velveteen slim pant, RANGER. They are perfect paired with our twill MADRIGAL jacket, which is a great twist on a jean jacket with its peacock pattern.

7.) Update your wardrobe with a great, fall-inspired, lightweight jacket. As always, ETCETERA has amazing jackets and this Fall, you’ll agree that there are several must-haves! I love the CALVARY, WOODLAND and FLARE jackets for starters. But, my favorite for Fall is the AMARETTO jacket — the perfect, colorful jacket for fall.

 

 

I simply can’t wait for the fall trunk show so I can see the collection on all of my fabulous friends — and help them dream up some new transitional style discoveries!

Until next time,

Lynette

Lynette Earley, Interim Area Manager

Lynette is one of Etcetera’s bloggers who will share her thoughts on trends, style, fashion and fun with her sunny, southern charm. When Lynette is not busy managing and recruiting as an ETCETERA ADM in central Florida, she is likely serving others in some way.  A self-proclaimed busy bee, Lynette is the consummate volunteer, teen-age boy mom, free-lance writer, pink freak and girly girl who loves traveling, reading, exercising, yoga, fashion, girlfriends and beach time!

 

 

 

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At the end of the 1970′s, image guru John T. Molloy launched his bestselling book, The Women’s Dress for Success Book. He argued that looking the part is the first step to being perceived as competent and professional, qualities essential to being promoted and maximizing a woman’s salary.

Photo: Dress for Success, Edith Head

 

Whether you are a dedicated fashionista and love to explore creative, daring new looks, or prefer to work in your sweats, in the business world there are a few rules that are a must for women who want to be taken seriously and get ahead. Our goal is to make it easy for you to have a look that is classy but stylish — polished, but with a twist that tells your audience that you know the rules but also are not a slave to convention.

 

First, some widely-accepted standards for professional dress:

1. The predominant colors should be from a neutral palette: black, grey, charcoal, camel, navy, or cream.

2. Save flashy accessories for after work — simple, sleek jewelry is best.

3. For footwear, go for low-to-mid heel polished pumps in a neutral color.

 

Now for the good news — with a bit of imagination (and help from your Etcetera consultant), you can let your stylish self shine while staying corporate-style savvy.

 

A FEW IDEAS…

 

PINSTRIPES

When you think ‘menswear,’ aren’t pinstripes the first thing that come to mind? Our designers perhaps thought so, too, but they’ve made our PINSTRIPE look new and comfy, using a soft flannel for the cuffed trousers and flattering flared skirt. They’ve paired these two options with a black cardigan trimmed in the pinstripe fabric to give a feminine touch to this traditional masculine style. Go for an oxford pump by day, and an edgier shoe plus amped up lip color after five to transform the look.

HERRINGBONE

Equally classic is a grey suit, such as our HERRINGBONE jacket, pant, and skirt. The ETCETERA ‘twist’ in this case is in the design of the jacket. While it’s a classic double-breasted blazer, it has a nipped-in waist, thanks to princess seams in back; double princess darts in the front; angled pocket flaps; and accent buttons that start wide at the bustline and narrow at the waist. The Italian stretch ponte fabric lets you look sharp all day but  move with ease.

 

Pairing your neutral suit with a crisp white blouse like our FOAM blouse is always a tasteful option, but the great thing about a grey suit is it’s ability to be combined with so many other colors, such as our flattering BETHANY jacket. Well done, design team!

 

MENSWEAR

Stealing from the men, the JULIE suit is a perfect example of ‘less is more.’ Its tiny camel and black foulard pattern begs to be closely inspected and appreciated. Perhaps the most serious of our suits, it is also strong on ‘chic.’ A most important rule of thumb for styling women’s ‘menswear’ is to incorporate a bit of femininity for contrast — a lace-trimmed silk blouse for example. Contrast is an essential ingredient of successful styling.

INSPIRED BY COCO

Back in 1954, Coco Chanel launched one of the chicest and most revolutionary fashion trends with her iconic jacket. Mme. Chanel’s intent was to give women a more comfortable yet sophisticated garment, freeing them from the wasp-waisted style of the day. Our GAELIC suit, in paprika, pumpkin, espresso, blue, and vicuna tweed, brings Fall leaves to mind — elements of nature also a key inspiration for Chanel. Both the jacket and the skirt lend themselves to use as separates, easily combining with other Fall-hued tops and pants in this Collection.

 

Another Chanel-inspired suit in our Collection is the CHESS jacket and skirt, a black and winter white slubbed tweed. Both the  black faux leather trim and the wide waist band with contrasting trim fabric provide an additional element of surprise, a key ingredient in appealing fashion. The edgy nature of the CHESS jacket makes it fabulous over white or black jeans, again playing up the appeal of contrasting styles and surprising combinations.

 

To keep you from getting overwhelmed with tweed, our designers placed just a front panel of tweed on an otherwise solid black skirt — so flattering. And, continuing down the path of fashion surprises, the pants are constructed from the same trim fabric used in the jacket. All in all, the CHESS suit is one you would never find in a department store, and yet is a classic you will love for years.

 

QUALIFIED

I doubt that any suit has ever elicited as many gasps of delight as  the QUALIFIED suit when our clients try it on. Who would have thought that such a prim and proper, elegant little suit could have so much flirty, feminine je ne sais quoi woven into it’s Italian threads? Whether you wear the collar buttoned up and rolled, or open to release the collar wings, this suit somehow manages to instantly flatter the figure. The complex weave and Fall colors of the fabric suggest countless ways of styling this piece for work and weekend.

 

Now, having touted the glory of suits, in many areas our business clients come to us because we offer so many ways to break down the suit and coordinate it with more casual, contrasting pieces in the collection.  ”Business attire isn’t what it used to be,” shared a stylish, SF-based attorney on Saturday. She chose the QUALIFIED suit, but also purchased the BALSAMIC velvet jacket and MITERED pink sweater to wear with the skirt as another option. She’s also excited about all the possibilities for her BALSAMIC jacket — with jeans, or dressed up for the holidays.

The PEPLUM jacket, URBAN pencil skirt, and FOAM crisp white blouse offer another stylish-but-appropriate option for those who adore color:

 

“A woman’s success does not depend entirely or even primarily on how she dresses,” Molloy admits, “but dress is an important factor in most women’s careers. Research shows that when a woman dresses for success, it does not guarantee success, but if she dresses poorly or inappropriately, it almost ensures failure.”  I’m guessing this is equally true for men. Fortunately, we have the ever-visionary design team at Etcetera looking out for us, helping to guarantee our success.

 

Barbara Bisel, Sales Consultant

 

Barbara is an almost-native Californian living in the San Francisco East Bay. Prior to joining Etcetera she was active in apparel design and construction, marketing, and philanthropic work primarily in the Arts and education. After having been Area Development Manager and Social Media Manager for Etcetera, she joined forces with the talented consultant Linda Zappala, working directly with clients, providing personal wardrobing service and helping her clients to look their own fabulous best.

 

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