CHECK OUT THE SPRING TRENDS

January 21st, 2015

SPRING awakens me! I just love blooming flowers, gentle breezes, and getting organized (well, at least attempting to)! It’s also the time of year when I can’t help but think about the newest fashion trends — and how much Spring’s colors, textures and looks all appeal to me!

 

This Spring is no different. In fact, it may be one of my favorites for colors and trends — not only from what I’m seeing on the runways and in the magazines, but what I am seeing in ETCETERA’s  Spring 2015 Collection, too!

 

What I love about this year’s trends are the subtle nods to the ‘70s, the sporty chic looks, the carnival prints, the soft and neutral palettes, the flirty skirts, the modern safari look –and, of course, the gingham and checks — just to name a few.

 

Gingham and checks could be one of my top picks for trends this Spring. Maybe it’s because I love patterns and can’t ever get enough of them; or maybe it’s because so many designers showed off fabulous silhouettes in sweet checked fabric (Dorothy and Pollyanna would be so excited!) Seriously though, this is not your grandma’s gingham! These modern checks in gingham and grid patterns are back on top because they are fresher, more feminine and simply burst with modern energy. From black and white to pastel palettes, this cheeky check has a way to brighten any mood.

 

Here are some great, new ways to wear this trend:

 

GINGHAM FOR GROWNUPS

This year, you will see gingham done with many fun shapes and styles. I love the ETCETERA jacket and skirt, UPSCALE. Worn together or as separates, these pieces have a fun and fresh appeal that can take you from work to weekend, ‘Gingham Style.’ It can be serious or playful – and everything in between. You should also consider mixing pattern with gingham, such as with our BASHFUL blouse; or pair it with any hue and wear it on a casual weekend outing.

 

MODERN CHECKS

These jumbo squares look more modern and adapt to any silhouette. Trousers, tops, sweaters and dresses have all gotten the GRID treatment this season and each can make a statement of their own.  ETCETERA’s CHECKMATE pant offers the “Etcetera Advantage,” giving you the best bang for your buck. They are versatile and can turn you in to a professional mix-master if you try pairing them with varied color combinations, patterns and textures. They also are the perfect pant to take you from day to evening!

 


WINDOWPANE is another terrific suit playing in to the  “twin” set trend. This jacket and skirt also transition fabulously from day to night and, of course, are sassy separates, too. The jacket’s neckline is trimmed with beautiful beading embellishments — keep the trends coming — and makes the perfect statement piece.  The WINDOWPANE skirt references not only the black and white trend (probably the hottest color combination of the season) and the mini grid pattern (check, another trend mastered), but offers a great sporty appeal with its black grosgrain ribbon striped trim on the side panels, all of which makes this suit must-have!

 

ALTERNATIVE GRID PATTERNS

Speaking of twin sets, RALLY and DEUCE make a sweet pairing, and both offer another great way to wear alternative grid patterns, together or separately. DEUCE is a long-sleeve button down cardigan that should be a staple in anyone’s closet. Although its grid illusion is on trend, it is one piece that will carry you from season to season for years to come.

 

The HOPE knit sweater also offers a great grid pattern trend alternative, with mesh side panels. You’ll see more mesh  grids making a splash this season on shirts, including our MESH white blouse with mesh sleeves and pockets for detail; jackets, cover-ups, shoes and more.

 

LIBERTY is one of this spring’s most versatile dresses. With its hexagon grid pattern and figure-flattering texture blocking design, it is one piece most anyone can wear. Partnered with a sweater or jacket, you can wear it to work year round!

 

        

ACCESSORIES

If gingham is too preppy for you, don’t forget how well it plays with other patterns. You can accessorize with a belt, purse, or bow to capture this fun trend. Play with mixing checks and gingham with a floral in the same color family, or with the athleisure trend. Truly, that’s the glory of gingham — it’s fun just about any way you try it

 

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!

 

Photo Credit: dexigner.com; Elle.com

 

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Imagine spending 3 days with your best friends surrounded by glamour . . . For the past several years, Etcetera’s consultants have gathered in early January at a National Sales Meeting to preview the Spring collection, network with each other, learn sales and fashion skills and generally have an awesome time together.  Highlights always include a fashion show complete with gorgeous models striking poses, high energy music and consultants playing the part of paparazzi snapping pictures with cell phones.

 

 

This year’s meeting, held at the Waldorf Astoria in New York, included a segment with Etcetera’s dynamic design team, where we caught a glimpse into the inspiration behind the most gorgeous collection ever.  The “Fab Four”, Joel Childress, Petra Muller, Patrick Sleem and Tom Walko, really understand today’s modern woman and her fashion needs and desires.  I found myself nodding in agreement with everything they said, feeling giddy with excitement that they had created the clothes that every woman will want in her closet this spring.  Let me give you a taste of these delicious morsels.

 

 

Tom and Joel began with a discussion of the philosophy behind the cozy chic Red Label sub collection.  Designed with ease and wearability in mind, the ever-affable knitwear guru Joel explained that his idea was to make a woman feel like Meryl Streep in “It’s Complicated” or Diane Keaton walking her dog in the Hamptons in “Something’s Gotta Give.”  When we saw the hand-knitted FLAXEN sweater paired with the CARGO pants and the MARSEILLE scarf, the collective response was “mission accomplished!”

 

 

Similarly, we loved the sporty combination of the rouge red OCTANE raincoat, with the navy RUNNER leggings and the navy and white pointelle striped PORTOFINO sweater.  These are pieces that every woman needs, whether she is carting children around during the week or shopping at the farmer’s market on the weekend.

 

 

We were further delighted when Tom explained some of the details in the STUDDED and ZENITH dresses.  For example, the statement striped ZENITH has a neckline designed to be worn on or slightly off the shoulder and an ultra-slimming black panel on the sides.

Tom designed the color-blocked sheath, STUDDED, to be flattering on all skin tones by expertly placing the black trim around the jewel neckline next to a block of luscious honey colored fabric.

 

 

 

 

The effortlessly cool Petra delighted us as she introduced us to the vegan leather trim and grommet details in the CLASSIC coat and dress.  She explained that vegan leather is the fabric of choice in top design houses because it takes color well, and as an added benefit, can be dry cleaned.  No more running around town to find a cleaner who handles leather!

 

 

We all felt an instant connection to Petra as she pointed out the python print detail in her SLITHER knit sheath dress and RATTLESNAKE poly chiffon print tunic, all the while exclaiming “I’m actually terrified of snakes!”

Petra paired RATTLESNAKE with the honey colored GYPSUM ankle pants and sang the praises of the year round cotton blend pant fabric designed to hold you in and be very forgiving.  I’m sold!

 

Patrick introduced us to the tropical colors of his native Jamaica and Venezuela with the Limoncello colored CITRUS wedge dress.  We all let out a sigh as he explained that his love of his mother inspired the dress.  Patrick explained the graduated half moon beads on the neckline of the dress serve as a built in necklace and the radiating pleats off the neckline give the dress a flattering cocoon shape.

 

 

He pointed out seaming details in his pieces such as the papaya colored SARASOTA skirt suit, with the princess seams and set-in waistband on the back of the jacket…

 

 

… and intricate workmanship of the black leather SKYSCRAPER skirt and princess-seamed MARLO white blouse, all designed to “celebrate the curves of a woman’s body.”


The figure-flattering details continue in the TECHO jacket, with stitched-down inverted pleats in back that open into a gentle peplum for a sporty-meets-chic effect — shown here with the CHROME sweater; IMMACULATE white jean with flattering side panel; and exquisite CAROUSEL scarf, a work of art.

 

 

Patrick even thought to add an engineered ponte knit stripe to the sides and inseam panels of the ARCHITECT pant to add some ease. And then he topped it with the LAVISH eyelet blouse with detachable dip dyed ostrich feather trim.  Yes, detachable!  Once again, my drycleaning worries are lessened.  Thank you Patrick!

I guess it’s pretty obvious that I am in love!  I’m in love with the entire Spring collection and I know you will be, too.  Start making space 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.

Photo Credits: Mary Farley, Margaret Cavin, Alicia Pulver, Julie Grossman, Barbara Bisel

Polyvore Art and Layout: Barbara Bisel

 

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The Gift of Style

December 17th, 2014

“Fashion fades; Style is eternal”

- Yves St. Laurent

 

When it comes to style and fashion, the holiday season always brings out every girl’s very best — whether it is with sparkle and shine, leather and sequins, or glitz and glam. Even the gals who don’t have to suit up or look glamourous in their daily or business lives get to showcase their best style during this time of year.  For some, effortless style just happens. For others, it takes meticulous planning to get the perfect outfit just right.

 

No matter whether you are getting decked out for a party, or you are simply having lunch with a friend, your style can be easy — and work for you. That’s what I love about shopping ETCETERA. It makes having style effortless; there is always something chic, classic or that makes a statement hanging in my closet.

 

Seriously, it is wonderful to work with a client who gets it! She is no longer stressed out about shopping or what she is going to wear to a certain event. She either buys with purpose and a plan — or she buys because she really loves something. And you know what? It sets her free — it’s a Gift!  She no longer worries about spending time, energy and money on a wardrobe that is frivolous. (Although that can be fun every now and then, too.) I love when the transformation happens, and a client really gives herself the GIFT of STYLE! She can make a decision, and keep an open mind. She knows what she likes, but is eager to be challenged by something new.

 

You see, setting yourself up in style is practical — it’s not necessarily what your look is, but what your lifestyle is. When you have learned to dress the part AND do it effortlessly, you have arrived!  And doesn’t it feel good when the doors of opportunity open, and you are ready to sail right through?

 

ETCETERA gives you the opportunity to navigate through anything with confidence. Our clothing line offers a very up-to-date, chic way of staying on trend, while giving you choices. You can keep it simple, or dress unconventionally with a touch of flare!

 

If you haven’t had the experience, give yourself that gift, either for the Holidays or the New Year. Give yourself the opportunity to be styled, to learn your own style, and to set yourself up in style. One hour (or however long it takes) and you’re set: effortless, beautiful style.

 

Opportunity will be knocking, and I want you to be able to open that door and say, “YES!” to STYLE!

 

 

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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YOUR HOLIDAY WARDROBE

December 9th, 2014

As much as we want time to just slow down, here we are firmly into December, and the season of holiday events has arrived. Whatever your style — feminine, elegant, classic, dramatic, creative, sporty, or alluring — turn up the luxe over the holidays with sumptuous fabrics, sparkle, and rich color. Whether you’re heading to a neighborhood brunch or off to the city for New Year’s Eve, celebrate each day this month in something festive! Now, for a few ideas…

 

BOOK CLUB HOLIDAY PARTY

Chances are, your book club pals are long-time friends; but you all enjoy exchanging new ideas, and thinking ‘outside the box,’ right? For this special night, why not play with mixing interesting textures with a bit more glitz than you normally would, such as our INDULGE cardigan, MEDALLION blouse, and ANISE black legging featuring faux leather piping.

 

 

GIRLS NIGHT OUT

My girlfriends and I love our occasional (or not so occasional!) treat of going out for cocktails and appetizers after yoga class. Yes, I know that is somewhat defeating the purpose of yoga — please don’t judge. We duck into the changing area, whip off our Lulu’s, and throw on something edgy and eye-catching. The CARMEN sweater with its strategically cut back slit, TAR black jean with lace trim, and PITCH jacket would be a great choice!

 

 

 

GINGERBREAD DECORATING AFTERNOON

My daughters, Grace and Olivia, and I have a blast decorating gingerbread boys and girls every year. We get pretty carried away creating their outfits, of course!. Last year, we invited the next-door neighbor kids — and a new tradition has begun. Etcetera’s HOTHOUSE top would be the perfect thing to hide any frosting mishaps, shown here with our corduroy TEXAS pant and MASQUERADE vest.

 

 

CAROLING ON THE SQUARE

Our friends have a fun tradition of gathering friends in our little downtown square and singing carols. It started when our kids were teens singing in the school choir, but now that the “kids” have gone off to college and careers, they especially look forward to coming back and singing with old friends. Bundling up in our ESCHER jacket, KISSES turtleneck, and DIVA gloves is in order!

 

 

NUTCRACKER BALLET

Sugarplums fairies, waltzing flowers, snowflakes dancing — Olivia is my ballerina, and we have a longstanding tradition of seeing the San Francisco Nutcracker ballet. What better occasion to indulge your soft, romantic side than with our lacy PARIS dress and pearls? Be sure to add a warm red (IGNITE) jacket for the walk to dinner before or after the ballet.

 

 

OFFICE HOLIDAY PARTY

No matter your position at work, no matter how bored you are with your everyday work “uniform,” resist the temptation to dabble in anything too alluring for the office party. Keep it refined and stately, and you’ll have the admiration of women and men alike. If you want to stand out in a sea of LBDs, an elegant “LWD” (Little White Dress) such as our winter white, mixed texture DECADENT dress will set you apart from the pack!

 

 

CHRISTMAS EVE

A warm, vivid shade of red is the clear choice for Christmas services, and the style should be communicate both the specialness of the holiday as well as the joy. Deep rose pink would also work well as in the hues of our ADORNED jacket and LOLITA silk skirt; or if you prefer a more understated approach, luxurious black highlighted with sparkly metallics.

 

 

BOXING DAY PARTY

One of my favorite parties is our annual Boxing Day open house, which includes a big dinner buffet and music by friends who bring guitars or play the piano. The busy-ness of Christmas prep is behind us, and we can fully enjoy the spirit of the season with friends and neighbors. This year, I’m thinking it would be fun to celebrate the day with something dramatic such as our HYBRID white cardigan/blouse and our BLACKROSE rose-patterned flocked velveteen jean.

 

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

As Oprah says, “Another chance to cheer, another chance to get it right!” What better way to start 2015 than in fresh cream and bronzy gold? Our silk chiffon BACCARAT blouse and SOLARIS jacquard pant are topped here with the GOLDRUSH jacket. Bring along your MARZIPAN cream wrap, to throw over your shoulders during dinner.

 

May you close your year in style, and enjoy a healthy, happy 2015!

 

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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LAY IT ON ME!

December 2nd, 2014

 

As the weather gets colder, stylish women everywhere are asking themselves the same questions.  Can I stay warm and cozy but still look effortlessly put together?  What do I do when it’s below freezing outside but my office feels like a sauna?  Is there a way to be fashionable and sensible at the same time?   With a little planning, you will survive the winter and look fantastic doing so.   The secret to this can be summed up in one word: layering!

 

 

HEAD, SHOULDERS, KNEES, AND TOES…

 

Let’s cover a few basics first.  One key to staying warm is to keep your extremities warm.  So keep your head, hands, and feet warm to increase your body temperature; we don’t want any of that warmth to escape.  Starting from the ground up, if you are wearing boots, be sure to wear warm wool socks.  Wool has really come a long way from its thick and scratchy origins.  There are many thin, soft versions on the market which will keep your tootsies warm and still fit comfortably under your boots.   (Cashmere and wool socks below: Garnet Hill)

 

 

As far as your head is concerned, on many days you will need to cover it to keep warm.  There are many cute stocking caps on the market at all price levels.  The most important thing is to be sure the cap can be pulled down to cover your ears.   Try a variety of styles with this guideline in mind.

 

Next, it is absolutely imperative to have a warm pair of gloves.  I love the elegant look of elbow length leather gloves and – bonus — they will keep your arms warm, too!  It’s particularly smart to pair elbow length gloves with a shorter sleeve sweater.  You’ll be warm while exposed to the elements, and once you get inside you can simply remove your coat and gloves, and comfortably go about your day.  Try pairing Etcetera’s VICUNA hand knit cropped cardigan with the EXCLUSIVE espresso brown suede gloves and the VELVETEEN skirt.

 

 

Another fun combination is the STYLISH dress with the black elbow length SHRUG and the black leather DIVA gloves.

 

 

INVEST IN A VEST

 

Vests are stylish and practical layering pieces.  With no sleeves to worry about, they can easily fit under a coat without bunching.   I have also found that they can camouflage a midsection nicely, if that is an area of concern!   Etcetera’s cozy chic Red Label collection included two “must have” vests: MASQUERADE in black, and INVESTED in ivory.  MASQUERADE makes a particularly useful topper since it can be zipped all the way up to create a turtleneck for warmth and unzipped to create a collar — shown here over jeans with our KISSES turtleneck and booties by Freda Salvador. Mistletoe, anyone?

 

INVESTED can be worn as a sporty quilted vest over a casual pair of jeans or it can be part of a sophisticated “column” with the RAPTURE pants and the BASIC jersey turtleneck.

 

And who can resist the statement a fur vest makes?!   Try putting the BEATNIK rabbit fur vest with the charcoal ZINC pants and the Prussian blue TRULY top to take your outfit to a whole new level.   A fur vest also makes a great dress topper.  Combine Beatnik with the SKIPPER or TRANSITION dresses as a way of really warming up your look.

 

 

WRAP YOURSELF UP

 

Scarves are the ultimate way to stay warm and stylish.  Many times a scarf can be used instead of a coat for warmth and is so much easier to stash away in your purse or briefcase rather than having to find a cloakroom or hook.   Combine the paprika colored FLING scarf with the paisley printed ARABESQUE dress to stay warm going to and from your destination, and then simply fold the scarf up and store it away once you are inside.

 

 

A scarf can also become an integral part of an outfit.  The FRILLS triangle scarf with its handknitted fringe looks great with the velveteen camel colored ELK pants and a crisp white blouse such as GARDENIA.  I’d add turquoise jewelry for a fun western vibe!

 

 

The internet abounds with videos showing how to tie scarves.  I like to keep it simple with a double loop for a long rectangular scarf like the dip-dyed ombre GOSSAMER (below).  For a square scarf such as SIGNATURE (shown above with the winter white ensemble), I fold the scarf on the diagonal several times to create a “rectangularish” shape and then double loop it.  The important thing is to keep your neck warm.  If you decide to take your scarf off once you are inside, simply tie it around your purse strap for a fun accent.

 

I hope these tips will help you plan to stay warm, cozy AND fashionable this winter season!

 

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.

 

 

 

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