DECODING COLOR

August 25th, 2015

 

There are days when I envy my dog’s life.  Who wouldn’t want the life of sleep, play, sleep, eat, walk, and more sleep?  No wonder Coco is in a constant state of tail-wagging when she IS awake!

 

 

But, as great as a dog’s life may be, our canine companions have limited ability to see color.  According to the Dogington Post, “Instead of seeing the rainbow as ROYGBIV (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet), dogs only see the colors of the world as essentially gray, blue, and yellow.”  According to experts, humans, on the other hand, can distinguish as many as ten-million colors.

 

 

 

WHAT IS THE BEST COLOR IN THE WORLD?

 

“The best color in the whole world is the one that looks good on you,” said Coco Chanel.  In other words, it is the color that provides the viewer balance, harmony, and an inner sense of order.  Image Consultant George Brescia begins with categorizing his clients into one of four palettes, based onhair color:  Honey, Caviar, Copper or Silver.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Skin tone and eye color are also considerations when choosing color. To determine if a color is right for you, put it up to your face and see if makes you look more alive and healthy, or conversely, tired and pale.  If a shirt fits, but is somehow making you feel less than attractive, the issue is probably the color.

 

ARE BLACK AND WHITE COLORS?

 

According to Wikipedia, “Technically, in light, black is the total absence of light, or absorption of all frequencies of light, while white is the presence of all frequencies of light.”  So un-technically, from a fashion perspective, yes, black and white are colors.

 

Etcetera has many black and white or ‘column of color’ combinations.  The NIGHT shaker stitch sleeveless sweater and skirt can be worn together, or mix the sweater with the PYTHON pant or NOMAD skirt. Add style and sleeves to the sleeveless sweater with the SNOW white blouse and ECLECTIC pant.

 

 

Pair the ALPINE tunic-length tuxedo shirt with our REBEL black legging, ZEBRA scarf, and CHAINLINK belt.  Black and white are the ultimate color blocking duo, and invaluable when traveling with limited carry-on space.

 

 

 

WHAT ARE NEUTRALS?

 

Neutrals are colorless color, such as camel, charcoal gray, white, winter white, beige, black, and navy.  As the Switzerland of color, they get along with all the others, making it easy to create a super-versatile wardrobe.  Despite the fact that neutrals are considered trend-proof, this season, camel, grey, and winter white are trending.

 

Etcetera’s timeless pieces such as the CASHIEW wrap coat, TOASTY sweater, and ESTATE twill pant can be your wardrobe foundation on which to build.

 

 

 

If you’re cool-toned, you may prefer a column of grey, starting with the SHALE suit and STEEL blouse.

 

 

Winter white is chic and sophisticated, modern and dreamy.  Try the POSH ivory pant topped with the CHARDONNAY wool knit jacket and RIESLING sweater for this year’s snow princess look. These are truly elegant wardrobe essentials you shouldn’t live without.

 

 

 

WHAT ARE THE COLORS FOR FALL ’15?

 

 

Trending colors for Fall ’15 are icy pastels, greys, and our not-so-primary primaries red, yellow, blue.  You will find Sky Blue in our sixties-inspired MADEMOISELLE skirt topped with the MING sweater, or, for contrast, choose the Cognac AGAVE sweater.

 

 

Our pretty-in-pink TICKLED coat looks ice-creamy over NEAPOLITAN skirt and Parfait Pink SACHET sweater.

 

 

Reds are on fire in our Flame STATEMENT dress and hot TAMALE jacket.

 

 

Autumn yellows in rich shades of Doe, Acorn, and Cognac are visible in the SCOTCH, BUTTERNUT, and BARK jackets.

 

 

The always classic navy is found in the HARBOR jacket, boot-cut RUNWAY denim pant, and mod-inspired TURKISH jersey shift dress.

 

 

 

Whatever your color palette may be, there is a color trending for you!

 

“Woman’s best friend” may be seeing more color than we originally thought.  And for my little Coco – the trending greys, blues and yellows of Fall 2015 will only add to her fashion viewing pleasure.

 

 

 

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 (and Coco Chanel, her dog).

 

Polyvore graphics and editing, Barbara Bisel

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DRESS LIKE YOU MEAN IT

August 18th, 2015

 

There is a reason that we’ve all heard the saying “Dress for the job you want, not the one you have.”  Because it is true!  Love it or not, appearances matter and the way you present yourself can help you get noticed and get promoted.  Time and time again, my customers have thanked me for helping them put together wardrobes which have helped them feel confident enough to ace their presentations, win their negotiations and close their big transactions.  I can help you too!  Just follow these three tips and you’ll be decorating your corner office in no time flat.

 

DRESS AS IF EVERY DAY IS AN IMPORTANT DAY

Have you ever wondered why attorneys and bankers wear suits to the office?  It is because on a moment’s notice they can be called upon to head to court to argue a client’s case or meet with a prospective or important customer.  They know that how they look can make a huge difference in how they are perceived.  Even if suits are not the norm in your workplace, I suggest that you always be prepared with a “suited” look because you never know what the day will bring.  Let me demonstrate with some of the pieces from Etcetera’s Fall collection.

 

Let’s say that you are dressing for an average Tuesday at your job as a data analyst.  You figure you’ll be sitting at your desk all day so you might as well be comfortable.  A great outfit choice would be the ESTATE brushed twill pant paired with the FUDGE cotton-cashmere blend relaxed turtleneck.  There you are typing away on your computer when your boss asks you to sit in on a meeting in 15 minutes with an important client.  Fortunately you have brought your UNIVERSITY multi-colored boucle jacket which coordinates perfectly with your outfit.  You can go from cozy to confident in seconds and you are ready for your meeting.

 

Here’s another scenario.  It’s “dress down” Friday and you have no meetings on your calendar.  You’re smart enough to know not to wear ripped, faded or tight jeans to the office (you read this blog, after all) so you opt for the BALTIC crosshatch print jersey knit pant and the SWAN cotton blend shirting blouse.  There you sit, comfortably organizing your files and mentally preparing for the weekend, when your boss asks you to lunch.  You’re no slouch, you’ve brought along your navy HARBOR stretch single weave jacket with ponte knit jersey sleeves.  In one instant you can look prepared and “promotable” by simply donning your jacket.

 

 

On another typical day, you’ve dressed comfortably in the DUSK slim leg pants with a viscose blend front and a stretch ponte knit back.  You have paired it with the WILDFIRE silk chiffon boucle plaid print blouse and you’ve even worn the blouse untucked, a chic and easy look.  A new client arrives at the office unannounced and wants to meet with you.  Simply tuck in your blouse and add the GATSBY stretch poly blend blazer, made in the same fabric as the front of the DUSK pants and voila – instant suit!  Imagine the impression you will make on your new client and the possibilities for your future!

 

 

 

SHOES AND FINGERNAILS

Remember when you interviewed for your first job and you were told that the first things people notice are your shoes and your fingernails?  Well this is still true.  Fingernails need not be a burden and it is not always necessary to spend hours of your life getting perfect manicures.  Just be sure that you keep your nails trimmed and filed and, if polished, free of any chips.  Carry your polish with you in your purse for any needed “touch ups” and if you have weak or brittle nails, apply hand lotion before bed every night to strengthen them.  When you run into the company president at the watercooler, you want to be ready to shake her hand!

 

 

Pay attention and you will realize that you too notice when shoes are scuffed and dull and when fingernails are ragged and nubby.  Make sure that your shoes are polished and in good shape, free of any damage.  And of course, make sure that they coordinate with your outfit.  They don’t have to be boring; in fact, a fun animal print or snakeskin pump can actually serve as a neutral, lending a noticeable and creative look to the right outfit.

 

 

Pair the GATSBY skirt (you were smart and bought the skirt to match the jacket above) with the SPY mock neck knit top.  Add some calf hair leopard print shoes, unzip the GATSBY skirt to reveal its georgette pleats and WOW!  A professional look to remember!

 

INVEST IN ALTERATIONS

No one has a “perfect” figure, but you can still look perfect in your clothes.  By all means, invest in your future by finding a good tailor to make any necessary alterations to your professional wardrobe.  You don’t want to ruin your look by letting your pants drag on the ground because they are too long or look like you are wearing someone else’s jacket because the sleeves are too long.

 

 

One of the added benefits of dressing for the job you want is that you will feel professional and confident every day, not just on the days you have important meetings or presentations.  And who wouldn’t want to promote someone as polished as you?

 

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.

 

 

Top Image: Recognized as being some of the best-dressed CEOs: Marissa Mayer (Yahoo), Tory Burch, Angela Ahrends (Burberry), Natalie Massenet (Net-a-Porter), Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook), Laurie Ann Goldman (Spanx).

 

 

Polyvore graphics and layout: Barbara Bisel

 

 

 

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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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