Dressing for success in Fall 2015 means different things to different women. While some work environments call for a dressed-up-matching-suit look, many, if not most, workplaces call for a more relaxed ensemble. Nonetheless, the suits our designers have created this season are anything but staid, and owning any one of these jacket-skirt-pant combos will give you endless possibilities for work, whether your day includes presenting to the board of directors, grinding out a report at your desk, or hopping on a plane to see a prospective client.

 

 

GREY MATTER

Topping the list of style trends for women’s business wear is the grey pant suit — the ultimate statement of strength and independence. Our designers tweaked this menswear-inspired look in our SHALE suit with beautiful design details, including exposed pickstiched darts in the short blazer-style jacket, and black vegan leather trim on the narrow-leg pant. Clients love the supportive but comfy stretch in this Turkish fabric; the contrasting Orchid lining keeps this suit from taking itself too seriously, and is tres’ on-trend. We love hearing gasps of delight from clients when they see this Orchid pink lining peek out as cuffs are flipped, or the jacket is removed.

 

To contrast the masculine element with a feminine touch, pair this suit with the orchid/black/pink python print silk  SNAKESKIN blouse. The shirttail on this delicate blouse is slightly longer in the back, so it looks stylish left untucked, but is sheer enough to tuck into a skirt or pant.

 

 

Give yourself more options by adding the SHALE pencil skirt, with flattering princess seams and hand pickstitched dart detail. When my financial services client tried on this skirt last week, we loved how the deep Orchid lining of the skirt created extra interest just inside the back slit when she walked. The fuchsia silk EXPRESSION shell, or the maroon/black/grey abstract BLOOMS silk blouse with mother of pearl buttons, feels sumptuous, and beautifully complements the hematite grey suit.

 

 

NAVY IS THE NEW BLACK

While your style may be monochromatic, why be boring? Mix textures and patterns to create more interest, with our LIAISON short jacket in a shade called Dark Inkwell.  Pair it with the SONJA top and INKWELL leather skirt with stretch twill panel back. The ANDROMEDA pant in Moroccan stretch poly twill  is a retro look with the LIAISON jacket — so elegant with the ivory silk georgette/knit back JESSICA blouse. We love how the silk sash on the JESSICA blouse can be attached three different ways for  a variety of draping styles.

 

 

 

The retro-feeling navy and camel striped silk blend pointelle knit LINEAR sweater is the ultimate in understated chic; but trust me, heads will turn when you pair it with the INKWELL leather skirt and CASHEW Italian brushed wool easy-fit jacket.

 

 

 

THE PERFECT TRAVEL JACKET

One of the more intriguing designs in the Fall collection is the Italian knit tweed PROGRESSIVE jacket, with its creative, architectural angles shaping the back. For a business-casual look, pair it with the taupe bi-stretch cotton MALT pencil skirt with its flirty exposed back zipper, and ivory silk-rayon jersey RIESLING sleeveless sweater.

 

 

 

 

While the PROGRESSIVE jacket is a tailored look for work, the soft knit fabric makes it versatile for casual wear and travel — stash it in your carry-on and emerge fresh and ready to go when you reach your destination. Try pairing it with our body-conscious ribbed stretch silk blend CAROB sweater and elegant ivory POSH pant, created from a yummy-soft non-wool flannel from Portugal. Or, try the VAIL ivory turtleneck and SMART malt-brown bi-stretch cotton equestrian-inspired pant with your PROGRESSIVE jacket.

 

 

 

 

VOICES FROM FRANCE

One of my favorite clients came in last week and fell in love with the stunning BARK suit. Ooo-la-la — Mme. Chanel would so approve of this classic suit, and the way it looked on my client. Julie happens to be a very tall, slim blonde who acquired a fabulous sense of style during the 20 years she spent living in France. The fabric is a multi-colored tweed, trimmed in vegan leather. The BARK jacket also incorporates another big trend, reminiscent of the ’70′s, seen on the runways — the patch pocket.

 

The pencil skirt is form-fitting, with an exposed gold zipper down the entire length of the back.  Julie selected the classic ganache brown silk/rayon blend TWIG sweater, with elbow-length sleeves and tubular seam detail.

 

 

 

The BARK jacket was equally eye-catching on a teeny, petite client who bought it to jazz up the brown pants she already has in her closet:

 

 

A VERSATILE STATEMENT JACKET

If you  love your basic black, ivory, and brown separates, our designer Tom Walko created the stretch cotton BELMONT jacket, with its yoked and gathered/flared back, especially for you. I’m showing it below with our super soft ZURICH silk/rayon jersey turtleneck sweater and GATSBY black A-line skirt, which features a flirty zipper and pleated chiffon panel that gets revealed as the zipper goes up!

 

 

If you know Etcetera, you know that we are all about getting the biggest bang for your fashion buck. Invest in beautiful, quality pieces, and take advantage of the way our designers have created endless possibilities for mixing and matching your separates.

 

Happy Fall Shopping!

 

 

Barbara Bisel, Etcetera Sales Consultant 

Barbara was originally drawn to Etcetera because of her lifelong passion for gorgeous fabrics and exquisite design. 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 Carlisle-Etcetera, she became a partner in her local Etcetera agency. Based in the East Bay, they also see clients in Etcetera’s beautiful San Francisco showroom in the financial district, providing personal wardrobing service and helping their clients to attain “Compliments and Confidence.” Barbara is a member of the Association of Image Consultants International, San Francisco Chapter.

 

Polyvore graphics and layout, Barbara Bisel

 

 

 

 

 

 

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As much as I hate to admit it, I am ready to say farewell to summer. Don’t get me wrong, I love the lazy summer days, the late afternoon showers and time spent with my family. But when it comes to fashion, it’s the one time of year that I grow weary of the season. My everyday uniform consists of a flowy dress or shorts + top + cool shoes (usually sandals or flip flops), leaving little room for creativity!

 
So, you can imagine why I get a little excited about the cooler weather ahead. (Well, living in Florida, I have longer to wait than most.) Fortunately, it’s the kickoff of Etcetera Fall 2015, making it the best time to plan ahead for the season to come. I’ll study the latest trends, sift through my closet to figure out what I love of my own, then shop the Etcetera collection and decide what MUST-HAVE pieces I need to order now! I can’t wait to mix what I currently have with new fall pieces to create a fresh, updated look.

 
Here are a few tips to get YOU thinking about how to make your transition from summer to fall successful and easy!

 

1. Start with beauty products and accessories. Transition your nail and lip colors as you change your wardrobe. It can be as simple as a new nail polish (I love light grey this year) and lip color. Try Marsala – after all, it’s the Pantone color of the year. Think about adding a new bag (snakeskin, fringed or pink leather are a few fall purse trends) and updating your belts (Etcetera’s BUCKLES, NEXUS, and CHAINLINK are my faves). And, of course, add some new scarves! I love, love, love Etcetera’s BYZANTINE and ZEBRA, as well as WESTERN, a fabulous black fringed wrap.

 

 

 

2. Break out the animal prints. Transitioning from summer to fall is the purrr-fect time to play with textures, patterns and color! I love pairing bright, bold colors with animal prints – like this STATEMENT red dress with leopard shoes.

 

 

The FUSCHIA blouse with classic SHALE skirt is a great backdrop for a zebra-print bag and snakeskin shoe, and the BUTTERNUT jacket looks beautiful paired with LEOPARDESS, a plaid and leopard jacquard knit skirt. Don’t you think it’s fun to add a pop of bright heel with CHEETAH? It’s a fabulous dress that makes a statement all of its own.

 


3. Pick a versatile, solid color blouse. I love Etcetera’s SILKY sapphire blue blouse. You can pair it with everything from a mini-skirt to boyfriend jeans to leather pants. It’s also a great layering piece with sweaters, vests and jackets – perfect for transitional days!


4. Invest in an amazing jacket. Unfortunately, I can’t pick just one jacket per season — I have a jacket (and coat) fetish! And, Etcetera has so many great jackets this season. (Once again!) So, I’ve highlighted a few of my favorites for transitional weather. Let’s start with HARBOR, a classic navy blazer with gold buttons. You simply can’t go wrong with this piece. PROGRESSIVE is a beautiful taupe and cream jacket constructed with gorgeous detail and crisscrossed seams – it’s perfect for work or play. And, if you don’t have a leather jacket, then you should invest in one. I love SCOTCH, a rich cognac leather jacket that is simply amazing. And the best part, you can wear these jackets for seasons to come!

 

 
5. Add a great tuxedo-stripe pant or legging. Summer-to-fall transition is the best time to start pulling out your comfy leggings or tuxedo-style pants for the ultimate in street chic. Etcetera’s SHOCKING pant is a Ponte knit legging with vegan leather side stripes. They are an awesome, on-trend pant you should have in your wardrobe.

 


6. Just layer It. This may sound like an obvious one, but you would be surprised how often we forget to layer pieces that we already have. It can be as simple as adding a pair of tights to a dress. For example, a flirty floral dress is just as fabulous for cooler seasons as it is for the warm ones — simply add tights, a leather jacket and ankle boots to make the transition. You can also layer a vest to breathe new life into a peasant dress or outfit. I love INSOUCIANT, the charcoal sleeveless cardigan, as a great layering piece with TURKISH. And FAWN is a luxe suede and knit vest that can be worn all fall (and winter) long.

 

I hope you’re getting in the mood for Fall as much as I am – it’s just around the corner. Now you know how easy it will be this year to transition from summer into fall.

 

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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A decade of fashion played out through the characters of award-winning AMC’s Mad Men has sadly come to an end.  “Mad Men created an entire movement in fashion that became the impetus for American men and women to start dressing better,” states fashion reporter, David Yi.  Mad Men’s costume designer, Janie Bryant, paradoxically states her job had nothing to do with style.  She was thinking about the character and how their costume design told a story.  Yes, a story of Madison Avenue advertising in the 1960’s was told through compelling characters, but so was a decade of fashion defined, culminating in the ’1970′  final season.

 

 

Despite the end of the Mad Men series and Janie Bryant’s intentions, the fashions are reflected in one of this fall’s  biggest trends: inspiration from the 60’s and 70’s. What if we could dress Betty Draper, Peggy Olson,  Joan Holloway, and Megan Draper in the designs of Etcetera?  What would the “perfect” housewife, modest Catholic school-girl turned ad assistant, powerhouse partner, and modern budding actress look like in Fall ’15?

 

Betty Draper/Francis, as wife of Don Draper, dressed to look the part of perfect housewife, in classy camels and crisp whites, soft pastels, and cool blues.   The CASHEW wrap coat over an ivory column of the VAIL turtleneck and POSH Pant accented with the BYZANTINE scarf would be fitting in her role as upper-crust suburban mom.

 

How chic would Betty look in the MONARCH dress topped with the parfait pink TICKLED coat when she met Don for lunch in the city?

 

 

As the seasons progressed, Betty’s style transformed with the addition of bolder colors, quite possibly to match her confidence as a Congressman’s wife. Our fuchsia and black GEOMETRY dropped-waist shift shirtdress, or the BOUCLE sheath dress and jacket (a la Jackie Kennedy), would fit the “politician’s wife” bill.

 

 

Peggy Olson, fresh out of secretarial school, and with every intention of working her way up the advertising ladder at Sterling Cooper, was comfortable in her schoolgirl modest plaids.  Costume designer Janie Bryant dressed her in earth tones, with rich mustards and greens, portraying Peggy as the “down-to-earth gal.”   The tweed BARK suit with pencil skirt and FUDGE turtleneck is certainly a Peggy look.

 

The suede COLA A-line flared skirt topped with the BUTTERNUT jacket and JAIPUR paisley print blouse also had just the colors for Peggy’s palette.

 

 

Another smart Peggy-look is VISIONARY, the retro cocoon-shaped jacket, paired with the GREENTEA sweater and ENTICING A-line skirt.  These winning combinations, in addition to her unrelenting tenacity, would have Peggy moving from secretary to ad exec in no time.

 

 

Joan Holloway/Harris was the ultimate expression of femininity with her voluptuous, hourglass silhouette.  Her signature look was formfitting, snug, sheath dresses in strong jewel tones and peacock colors — giving her a powerhouse appearance to go with her resolute personality.  Certainly no one could give off as much animal instinct in the CHEETAH dress as Joan.

 

 

Red was another of Joan’s trademarks.  STATEMENT, with the deep v-neckline, would bring Joan to partner status in no time.

 

 

Megan Draper, Don’s second wife — quite the opposite of Betty — was new, fresh, chic, romantic, and fashion-forward.  Seeking a career of her own as an actress, Megan brought excitement to the set with her kicky mini-dresses and West Coast style.  The modern look of the DECO silk blouse with MALT pencil skirt would give just the right combination of creativity and professionalism for her casting call.

 

 

 

With the 1970’s approaching, the pleated ESTATE skirt with BRIAR blouse, topped off with the leather SCOTCH jacket, has the mod movement that would describe Megan to a tee.

 

 

Mad Men, a period show and cultural phenomenon, has ended, and we already miss it.  Janie Bryant created memorable characters using modern clothing inspired by the past.  Maybe that’s why we all loved it… modern and past, possibly the best of both worlds?  Be sure not to miss the Etcetera Fall Collection, a mix of modern and past.  I believe you’ll fall in love.

 

JoEllyn Slott has been with Etcetera since 2001 as a Sales Consultant, Trainer, and most recently as a Sales Associate in Memphis, TN. Her goal is to create compliments for her customers, and Etcetera makes that easy!  JoEllyn enjoys traveling with her husband, following fashion trends, running, volunteering, and mothering her son and daughter.

 

Photo Sources: Pop Sugar; AMC

 

Polyvore graphics and layout: Barbara Bisel

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Even before feeling the first nip in the air or seeing the first leaf fall from a tree, fashionistas everywhere are yearning to know what the newest looks will be for the Fall season.  Yes, ladies, you know who you are.  Maybe you are still loving your summer fashions but you’re wondering, “what’s next?” or “what do I need to make room for in my closet?”  Don’t worry, I’m here to help and to guide you through the newest trends to get you ready for the upcoming season.  Get ready to “fall” in love!

 

ICE ICE BABY!

Icy pastels, in shades of sky blue and parfait pink, are all the rage for Fall and are a welcome change from the intense, hot colors of summer.  Selections in these shades abound for work, play and everywhere in between.  Craving something new for the office?  Etcetera’s BOUCLE’ sleeveless sheath dress  with coordinating jacket is powerful and feminine at the same time.  With the added stretch in the boucle fabric, you won’t have to sacrifice comfort to look polished and sophisticated.

 

 

The MING fitted short sleeve turtleneck paired with the flannel fit and flare MADEMOISELLE skirt is another look showcasing sky blue.  The cognac stitching on the skirt’s waistband and pockets is visually interesting and begs to be worn with a pair of cognac boots for a fun retro look.

 

 

 

Ice blue fits into a casual wardrobe as well, with the glacier colored HEATHER easy fitting cowl neck sweater from Etcetera’s Red Label collection.  Fabricated in a cotton blend with a touch of cashmere, this sweater is soft and cozy, perfect for when the temperature starts to dip.

 

 

For a parfait pink look, try the cotton moleskin TICKLED coat over the SACHET high cowl necked sweater and the NEOPOLITAN jacquard A-line skirt.  TICKLED is a great new topper, or even a winter coat for those of us in the southern states.  And with its multiple pockets, you can leave your heavy purse at home!

 

 

 

FEMININE FLORALS

Floral prints are popping up everywhere this fall and winter.  Bright and bold, or soft and delicate, there is a floral print for everyone!  I love the IDYLLIC short A-line skirt in a bonded felt floral print, paired with the crisp, white button-down, SNOW, and topped with the strawberry-colored WILDROSE shaker stitch sweater.

 

 

For a more sophisticated floral look, select a silk blouse such as PRINTEMPS and pair with a retro-inspired pant such as ANDROMEDA.  Or go “girly flirty” with the silk watercolor roses print skirt DREAMSCAPE.

 

 

BOLD MINIMALISM

At the opposite end of the spectrum, Fall showcases looks that are understated and restrained but bold in effect.  The ivory CHARDONNAY wool jersey sheath styled sweater dress and its coordinating wool knit combo jacket is elegant and luxurious without feeling fussy or overdone (also shown in top image).

 

 

For a really luxe look, pair the ivory and soft mink color-blocked turtleneck YUKON with the non-wool flannel ivory pants POSH.

 

 

LUXURIOUS DETAILS

Fall fashions include luxurious leather and fur, both as accents, and as the main events.  Rich shades of ganache in the rabbit fur and knit combo OUTBACK pair perfectly with the COCOA straight leg pant, but also look great with the retro-inspired bootcut RUNWAY jean.

 

 

The ganache brown suede COLA skirt features 70′s inspired trumpet fluting for a bit of extra kick to its flattering A-line shape (shown below with the EGGNOG cardigan and SWAN blouse).

 

 

I hope this taste of Fall whets your appetite for the fabulous season to come.  It will be here before you know it, and it will be time to wear the cool weather fashions we are dreaming about today.  Stay cool and make some room in your closet!

 

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; when she’s not reading InStyle or rearranging closets, she spends her time running and staying physically fit.  A native Floridian, Margaret also enjoys exploring National Parks and learning about different countries and cultures.

 

Polyvore graphics and layout: Barbara Bisel

 

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With Summer officially upon us, most would agree that the freshest, coolest look around is white. Nothing spoils that look faster, however,  than one tiny stain, or the yellow/gray dinginess that can happen over time to our favorite white jeans, blouse, or dress.

 

 

 

So, how to maintain that new white look?

 

1. Separate your laundry by color and fabric type: whites, pastels, bright colors, and darks should all be washed separately. Then within those color groups, separate delicate knits from the sturdier fabrics.

 

 

2. Use the optimal temperature. Wash your whites in the warmest water possible that can be safely tolerated by your fabrics. Water that is at least 120 degrees Fahrenheit is most effective for removing soil, however with knits cooler water is recommended.

 

 

3. Don’t overload your washer — clothes need to be able to move around, and there needs to be enough water to circulate through the fabric and carry away soil

 

 

4. If you have hard water, be sure to use detergent rather than laundry soap; detergent will cling to the dirt and prevent it from getting back onto the clothes and turning them gray.

 

5. Measure your soap or detergent carefully. Too much soap is hard to rinse out, so clothes don’t get clean; but if too little soap is used, perspiration and dirt won’t be removed. Either situation will turn whites gray.

 

 

6. Add an oxygen bleach that says it is “safe for all fabrics” to the wash water. Oxygen bleaches are a great alternative to chlorine bleach, which is corrosive in stronger concentrations and carries more health and environmental risks.

 

 

7. Pretreat stains: rub with stain remover, a wet bar of soap, or liquid detergent, and let sit in the hottest possible water (that is still safe for the fabric) prior to washing. To treat a stain as quickly as possible, my daughter carries a little Tide To Go pen in her purse.

 

 

8. If a stain doesn’t come out after the first wash, retreat and rewash again prior to putting the garment in the drier, as the drier will set the stain.

 

9. When in doubt, hang-dry. I always hang-dry anything that has any spandex, or anything that I have the least concern about shrinking. With a quick press with an iron, I’m good to go.

 

And now, for some White Inspiration! Do you have at least one fabulous white dress, white skirt, dressy white pant, and fabulous fresh white jean in your arsenal? If not, you can still order a great piece for Summer, but do it a.s.a.p., as the ordering deadline is July 13.

 

Our rayon blend pointelle knit HUSH tunic is elegant over a white jean or pant (HARLEY, below), or as a coverup over your swimsuit or yoga top.

 

 

Keep it COOL in a lovely little white sleeveless top, such as our WHITEWASH, ALLEGRO, or WHISPER over a white jean and strappy sandal, and toss in a pop of color with a great scarf such as our INDONESIA navy/sand cotton print or KATJA cornsilk yellow cotton/silk gauze scarf.

 

 

I’m a big proponent of getting a new pair of white jeans every Summer. Try as we may, those white jeans inevitably pick up some spot or discoloration — at least mine do, because I wear them so much! I love the slim fit  of this season’s IMMACULATE jean, and the ease of our SPHINX tunic

 

Sources:

Barbara Bisel, Etcetera Sales Consultant 

Barbara was originally drawn to Etcetera because of her lifelong passion for gorgeous fabrics and exquisite design. 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 Carlisle-Etcetera, she became a partner in her local Etcetera agency. Based in the East Bay, they also see clients in Etcetera’s beautiful San Francisco showroom in the financial district, providing personal wardrobing service and helping their clients to attain “Compliments and Confidence.” Barbara is a member of the Association of Image Consultants International, San Francisco Chapter.

 

Polyvore graphics and layout, Barbara Bisel

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