The Denim Detox

September 16th, 2014

I challenge you to take the 30-day denim detox and embrace holiday fashion  with comfort, a little glitz and a lot of glam.  With the Etcetera Holiday collection soon to be at a showroom near you, what better time to put away the Levi’s (just temporarily) and prepare to put on your party apparel?

 

The holidays are the perfect time for a stylistic transformation.  With decorations and parties abounding, why not dress in accordance with the season?  The Etcetera Holiday collection has the latest trends: luxe outerwear and knits, bright and bold colors, trousers, and opulence!

 

I’m no Ron Burgundy or Al Roker, but based upon last year’s polar vortex and this summer’s record low highs, it’s a good idea to be prepared for chilly temps.  Layer-up with Etcetera sweaters DARKNESS, KIMONO, and HOODIETextured, chunky, waffle and cable knits are all over the runway, making these looks must-have rather than musty.  Top it off with MARZIPAN or MAGIC scarf creating the “shoulders look bolder” trend.

 

Looks for the holidays are all about vibrant color.  The Emmys’ red carpet was filled with red and the stars certainly did not blend into the walkway.  I am sure you’ll agree our SEDUCTIVE dress is every bit as stunning as the Carolina Herrera gown Julia Louis-Dreyfus wore.  The back is as striking as the front.  It’s a must have!  You will be guaranteed to leave a lasting impression.

Fuchsia and red are bold colors that stood out on the runway and will stand out on you.  Our RADIANT jacket with BARBIE, a fuchsia stretch cotton pant, can take you from the office to a holiday party in an instant.  Not only is our Holiday collection filled with red, but our Fall line is as well.  This is the year to own red outerwear.  The IGNITE jacket from the Fall collection makes a lasting statement even on the grayest of days (shown here with our ENIGMA dress and DIVA gloves).

Our Holiday and Fall collections are also on trend with a variety of blue and green shades.  If blue describes your mood, favorite gemstone, or conjures images of your summer beach vacation, this may be just the color to perk you up.  No need to be blue or green with envy when you have so many options from which to choose.  The sapphire blue MAZARINE jacket and pant will be your staple, along with the MERCURY jean and SARGASSO blouse. The BIMINI aqua cashmere blend sweater with the SIGNATURE scarf and ATTRACTIVE legging will take you back to your beach vacation in a flash.

 

 

With the wide variety of pants and trousers trending, you will not even remember your detox from denim. What to wear with booties, tall boots, thigh-high boots, oxfords, pumps, platforms, open-toe, peep-toe, lace-up shoes and sandals? Our designers are cognizant of our insatiable need for footwear and they’ve designed our pants with that in mind.  We have leggings and slim leg pants for the booties and tall boots.  We have straight leg, tapered leg, and wide leg for the oxfords and heels.  Concerned about pants that truly fit?  We can help with that.  Etcetera has pants, whether your body resembles Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, or Grace Kelly.  Your sales consultant will help you find the pant that fits you and your footwear fetish.

 

 

Whether you’re donning or imbibing champagne, it’s opulence all the way.  Light up the town with our GOLDRUSH champagne jacket and SOLARIS pant.  We have glitz galore!  Pair the silk charmeuse copper blouse, PENNY (no need for a necklace with its banded jewel and stone neckline) with our HIPSTER pant to rock the company holiday party.

 

 

Sip your mimosa wearing the TWINKLE sequined jersey sweater with our MERCURY gunmetal jean and must-have, new-to-Etcetera, BLING black satin clutch. What champagne doesn’t marry with lace?  A holiday dress that even Dom would be proud to toast is the fuchsia sheath FEMME with sheer lace trim (above, top image).  Whether it’s a bit of the bubbly color, luxurious silks, jewel and stone embellishments, clutches, sequins, or lace, Holiday has what it takes to transform your wardrobe into a winter wonderland.

 

You are sure to succeed with your 30-day denim detox armed and clothed with the trending Etcetera outerwear and knits, bright and bold colors, trousers, and opulence.  Before you know it, you will have completed the challenge and find yourself packing up your holiday décor.  The decorations may go back in the box, but your wardrobe will be forever transformed.

 

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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A ROMANTIC WEEKEND RETREAT

September 9th, 2014

Where did summer go?  Seems like just yesterday kids were getting out of school for the summer, attending graduations and June weddings, buying sunscreen by the gallon, and heading off for summer vacations with family and friends.  I thought summer was a time for relaxing, but I find I am always on the go.  Yet, here we are, in the blink of an eye, packing kids off to college and hitting the school supply stores for pens, pencils, paper, and markers.

 

Once everyone is settled, it’s the perfect time for a romantic weekend getaway, and it just might be what the doctor orders.  A trip that screams “This trip is all about us!”  In every corner of our great country, there is someplace special — someplace perfect for such a trip.  There’s Mystic, Montauk, or Mackinaw Island, Aspen, Sedona, Napa Valley, and the San Juan Islands.  And, for us southern girls, we love a trip to Savannah, Charleston, or Asheville.

 

It’s hard to beat Asheville.  An easy drive, Asheville has it all — great shopping, delicious restaurants, and even our very own chateau.  From four star accommodations to quaint and charming B&Bs, there’s something for every couple, and Asheville is one of the top art destinations in the country — hundreds of galleries.  You can watch artists at work and buy directly from them.

 

I’m throwing a few of my favorite pieces in a bag and I’m ready to go!

 

 

No trip to Asheville would be complete without a drive on the iconic Blue Ridge Parkway.  The drive is mesmerizing, curving through tunnels opening to sites from forests to open meadows, panoramic views, breathtaking overlooks, clear waterfalls.  Watching a sunset from the top of the Pinnacle at Craggy Gardens is a great place to sneak a kiss and remember how you got together in the first place!

 

The key for this drive is comfort AND style.  We will want to stop along the way and a girl has to look cute when she’s with her honey!  Today, I’ll wear Etcetera’s AMBER cashmere-blend jersey cocoon cardigan over comfortable TEXAS auburn stretch corduroys and the BOTANICAL stretch cotton/silk floral print blouse.  I think the turning leaves will be the perfect backdrop for this outfit.  Photo Op!

 

 

This weekend, we’ve picked the historic Grove Park Inn.  Built in 1913 with stone mined from Sunset Mountain, it’s a lovely spot for a romantic getaway.  It’s the perfect way to reconnect after a summer of family activities.

 

Tonight, we’ll have cocktails and dinner on the Sunset Terrace.  You simply cannot find a better view.  The fuchsia and espresso stretch ANIMALE dress is one of my favorites.  I’ve always loved a wrap dress, but they can be challenging to wear when you sit, walk, or are in a breeze.  Solution:  Etcetera’s Faux wrap ANIMALE!  Get the look without the worry.

 

 

Saturday morning, we awake to a busy day ahead, but first a little breakfast in bed is always good for the soul!  No trip to Asheville would be complete without a visit to Biltmore Estate.  This chateau-styled mansion was built by George Vanderbilt during 1889-1895.  At approximately 179,000 square feet with 250 rooms, it is the largest privately owned home in the United States.  And, I have no intention of skipping the winery. Be it ever so humble, let’s see what life was like for the Vanderbilts during the Gilded Age.  For such a rich backdrop, our TAPESTRY print pants topped with prussian blue TRULY stretch jersey knit top and YALE quilted puffer-front jacket is comfortable yet regal.  If born today, I imagine it’s what Mrs. Vanderbilt would wear around the house.

 

 

Our last night, and to make it special, we have reservations at the Dining Room located in the Inn on Biltmore Estate.  I know, to name a restaurant, “The Dining Room” is rather lackluster and unimaginative, but what they lack in creativity for their choice of name, they most certainly make up for it in their cuisine.   It’s time to pull out all the stops!  CHARISMA is my choice tonight.  The navy stretch satin in front and charcoal ponte knit back wedge dress is so beautiful.  I’ll take the WRAPAROUND charcoal knit scarf just in case I need a little extra warmth.

 

 

Sunday morning, and all that sightseeing calls for ultimate pampering.  I love the tandem, candle-lit spa massage at the Grove Park Inn.  Sip champagne and eat a few chocolate-covered strawberries, and this romantic spa experience will have you relaxed and rested.  (Or, like me, your batteries charged for an afternoon of art galleries and shopping!)  But just because you’re heading to the spa, doesn’t give you license to pad down the hall in a bathrobe.  After all, you never know who you will meet.  The FLARE light-weight stretch scuba peplum jacket, TRAVELER ponte knit pants, and ORZO sleeveless top present a polished look with no more effort than throwing on sweatpants.  I’ll take the GOSSAMER scarf for a little extra punch.

 

 

Ready for shopping!  We love being in the mountains, but the weather can change quickly.  Although the Boy Scout’s motto is “Be Prepared,” I’m convinced it was first said by a boy scout’s mom!  After all, women think that way . . .  men, well, not so much!  So, the key for today is layers (and a very large tote for goodies I find along the way).  I loved these layering pieces.  Chic and Sassy, ready for whatever the forecast.  Start with the VELVETEEN stretch cotton skirt in espresso and WHISKEY stretch modal jersey top in Paprika.  If there’s a little chill in the area, layer on INVESTED.  This vest is light-weight and the quilting is subtle and will not add extra pounds, I promise.  Throw on the paprika FLING scarf, and I’m good to go.  And, just in case there’s a little drizzle in the air, our HUNTED water-repellant stretch sateen trench coat will keep a smile on my face.  I’m ready to shop . . . let the games begin!

 

 

The drive down the mountain doesn’t disappointed.  It’s easy to see why they’re called the Blue Ridge!

 

 

Back home . . . and back to reality!  Oh well, I’ll have the memory of the weekend to help me plow through the piles of laundry.

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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STYLING YOUR TEE

September 3rd, 2014

Next to blue jeans, there’s nothing quite as all-American as a plain white T-shirt. It’s versatile, it’s cool, and it’s the foundation of our wardrobes that can be incorporated in to just about everything we wear. Not to mention, a “tee” shirt can be worn any day of the year, during any season!

 

When we think of a T-shirt, tee-shirt, or tee, we typically think of that simple, short-sleeved shirt with a round crew neckline (usually, Hanes comes to mind). But the T-shirts of today — as we now know them — have come a long way! From the “T-shirts” that were introduced to us 101 years ago by the U.S. Navy (as an undergarment which was never thought to be worn by itself) to the colorful “tee shirts” that are must-have wardrobe staples — this wardrobe essential is a chic styling piece that we can wear in so many ways.

 

What’s great about modern tee shirts of today is that they are elegantly made and can be worn virtually with anything that you own. They can be dressed up and they can be dressed down — and you’ll never run out of ways to wear them.

 

You may be thinking your tee shirts just don’t have the coolness factor of the latest trendy tops. But when it comes to versatility, the classic tee shirt scores off the charts. Seriously, the tee shirt is a true wardrobe workhorse – even the plain (and not so plain) tee offers limitless styling potential. Here are several style tips to help you rev up your fall fashion rotation with just a tee:

 

1.) Dress it up!  Your simple tee and favorite jeans don’t have to be worn while you are watching a movie or football game . . . dress them up for an elegant day look or night on the town.

 

 

2.) Pair it with comfortable, but classy pieces. You don’t have to wear workout clothes all day to be comfy –instead wear a sleek tee and leggings with a darling cozy jacket!

 

3.) Understate yourself! If you opt for more than one strong, trendy piece (such as patterned pants, funky booties, etc.), throw an understated tee shirt into the mix to avoid trend overload.

 

 

4.) Dial it down! I just love a tee shirt with a sequin, beaded, leather or embellished skirt. A simple tee dials down the formality of your glitzier pieces and creates a more wearable, every day look.

 

 

5.) Work it! Who doesn’t love a comfy tee shirt under their suit!?  Zoom, Lana and Orzo (ETCETERA staples) are comfortable but elegant (sleeveless) tees under your suiting. I can’t tell you how many times I sell one of these pieces, and my client comes back asking for one in every color. This ‘tee’ is the working girl’s MUST HAVE.

 

 

 

6.) Lighten up! I love all black, but I also love to soften an edgy all black or monochromatic look with a white tee.

 


You also can’t go wrong with layering, tucking or embellishing your favorite tee. With ETCETERA, our  NECESSITIES tee shirt collection offers just about every neckline, sleeve length and color you need in your wardrobe. I personally love the boat-neck style and have added the new INDUSTRIAL (charcoal grey) and EGGSHELL (cream) to my wardrobe foundation this fall.

 

Whether you’re partial to the standard crewneck or the long sleeve V-neck, I know you will love how these soft Peruvian pima cotton gems look and feel!

 

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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“It’s fabulous on the model, but I would NEVER wear that!” How many times have you opened a Vogue, Bazaar, or Elle magazine, looking for inspiration, only to be frustrated by the extreme fashions that favor the creative impulses of the designers over the everyday needs of women juggling career, family, and (hopefully) a social life?

 

GOOD NEWS: This season the word from the fashion authorities is that the Fall 2014 runways are showing clothes that real women actually wear.

 

But how to balance expressing your own personal style with your desire to look current?

 

The following Guidelines could help you make smarter shopping choices:

 

Does the style reflect your personal style? Image Consultant guru Alyce Parsons describes the 7 Universal Styles, and it’s important to know which style best represents the inner you:

 

Traditional – conservative, reliable, and businesslike; clothing: neat, buttoned up, hints of menswear

Elegant – refined and stately; polished, pared down, often monochromatic

Sporty – friendly and casual; clothing is loose and layered
Romantic – soft and feminine; clothing is soft and covered up

Alluring – sexy and glamorous; clothing is tight-fitting, bare, and seductive

Dramatic – striking and sophisticated; clothing is exaggerated and contrasting

Creative – original and artistic; clothing mixes a variety of colors, patterns, and styles

 

Other key Guidelines:

Does the silhouette flatter your figure type?

Does the color complement your skin tone?

How many outfits can you create with the garment?

How long will this trend last – will the garment look dated after one season?

 

Your Etcetera consultant will love brainstorming with you about how to combine your new pieces with unexpected separates and accessories to keep it edgy and stylish  – ie. pair a updated classic like our OZONE skirt and FOAM white blouse with our sportier MASQUERADE vest, a stylish boot, on-trend red bag, and edgy jewelry:

 

 

ON TAP FOR FALL

Now, for just a few Fall 2014 trends identified in the September issue of InStyle magazine, interpreted for our beautiful, unique, very REAL clients. Armed with your new Guidelines, which ones will work for you?

 

WILD THINGS

Animal prints, whether spotted, striped, or scaled are elegant and interesting when used as a neutral. Tame them by pairing your prints with similarly-hued solids.

 

Clients who lean toward a ‘Romantic’ style will particularly love the flowy GODIVA blouse; we’re showing it below with the striking HUNTED jacket and RAPTURE pant.

 

 

 

The subdued print in our SERVAL blazer makes it a versatile topper; it’s shown here with our BUTTERMILK sweater and ESPRESSO pant, but it’s also the perfect piece to elevate your weekend jeans to a chic new level. Clients who identify with the ‘Traditional’ style type can dabble in the fun of animal print, while still feeling classic and business-appropriate.

 

 

 

What could be more ‘Alluring’ than 0ur DVF-inspired ANIMALE wrap dress in rosewood and espresso animal print?

 

 

GET REAL: TAILORED CLASSICS

If you are as much of a lover of beautiful fabrics as I am, your time has come: velveteen has made a long-awated comeback. We’re featuring velveteen in several sumptuous pieces in the Fall and Holiday collections. The ‘Traditional’ straight shape of the VELVETEEN skirt and paprika WHISKEY top become a bit edgier when contrasted with a ‘Sporty’ quilted INVESTED vest.

 

 

Red coats will be big this season; the intense color of our IGNITE coat is balanced by the understated elegance of the design, and will especially appeal to our clients who identify with the ‘Elegant’ style type.

 

 

 

KNITTING CIRCLE

There is something so timeless about a chunky, textured sweater with a rich knit pattern. My uber stylish next door neighbor, Melissa, chose our grey COZY cardigan and our VICUNA cardigan. They’ll be perfect for cooler days at her two upscale hair salons, FESTOON, in San Francisco and Berkeley. These looser cardigans will appeal to clients who identify with the ‘Sporty’ style type.

 

 

NATURAL WONDERS

As a fan of Valentino and Ted Baker, I was thrilled to see our design team come out with artful, nature-inspired floral prints that will be loved by clients who identify with the ‘Creative’ style type. Pair them with black or dark neutrals to keep them age-appropriate.

 

 

Alternatively, the ‘Dramatic’ BELLEFLEUR vest pairs beautifully with the ‘Sporty’ TRAVELER pant and NUBIAN black top.

So, as you dive into the beautiful Fall fashions this year, always stay true to your personal style, and have fun showing off your most authentic, stylish self this Fall!

 

“Fashion is not necessarily about labels. It’s not about brands. It’s about something else that comes from within you.” — Ralph Lauren

 

 

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 ultimate authority on successfully mixing unexpected combinations, Etcetera sales consultant Linda Zappala. Together they delight in providing personal wardrobing service and helping their clients to attain “Compliments and Confidence.”

 

 

 

 

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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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