Black History Month
We acknowledge the contributions and awesomeness of Black people year round. During Black History Month we would like to highlight the impact and contributions to the fashion industry. As our feature we chose Zelda Wynn Valdes.
"I just had a God-given talent for making people beautiful"-- Zelda Wynn Valdes
Zelda Wynn Valdes was born June 28, 1905 in Chambersburg, PA. She learned to sew from her grandmother, who was a seamstress. Her career in fashion emerged when she moved to New York. Valdes is known for ability to design and fit the curves of women... her signature look "body hugging gowns".
Zelda's early introduction to the fashion industry was working in a boutique for her uncle as a tailor, and working in an upscale boutique as a stock girl in NY. Her knowledge and skill set allowed her to work her way up as tailor and sales clerk in the upscale scale boutique. She is noted as the first black tailor and sales clerk for the upscale boutique. In 1935 she started a dressmaking business, which later flourished to a design and dress making studio in 1948 called Zelda Wynn or Chez Zelda. The shop was deemed the first black shop on Broadway.
Celebrity Clients included:
Some of Zelda Wynn Valdes' accomplishments include:
The designer for the original Play Bunny Costume.
One of the founders of the National Association of Fashion Accessory Designers
Costume designer for The Dance Theatre of Harlem
Costume designer teacher to Fashion and Design Workshop of the Harlem Youth Opportunities Unlimited and Associated Community Teams
We truly thank Zelda Wynn Valdes for her contributions to the fashion industry, and specifically proactively creating a space for other black designers.
5 Easy Memorable Ways to Celebrate Valentine's Day
Are you looking for ways to celebrate Valentine's Day this year? Here are Five Easy Memorable Ways to Celebrate Valentine's Day!
These past several months have taught us how to celebrate and still be safe! Whether you are celebrating with yourself, spouse/partner, or your girls, one of these options will be perfect.
1. Dinner (takeout) and Movie Night
Now is a great time to research restaurants, especially local options for Valentine's Day specials. I am personally looking forward to enjoying a crab cake dinner. Here are a few local dining options:
Timbuktu Restaurant (FYI They ship crab cakes nationwide)
Koco's Pub (Shipping available)
Artful Gourmet Bistro (I normally get "The Hopper")
With your delicious takeout scroll through your streaming platform and pick out a movie. A few movies on my watch list are:
Malcolm and Marie
The White Tiger
Outside the Wire
2. Stream a virtual concert
So, I'm a little late to the party, but I had no clue sooo many concerts are available on Netflix. You can enjoy the night like you are at your own private concert... dance, sing along, and have fun!
3. Trivia/Game Night
My husband put me on to the app HouseParty. He has a monthly game night with family. The app is a video chat where you have the option to play built-in games. The games include trivia, Pictionary, Heads Up, Chips & Guac.
I typically create a basket for my husband and children. I fill their basket with yummy treats, and other gifts they would enjoy. Here's a link to a few items you can shop for Valentine's Day basket.
Here are also a few local small businesses to shop:
5. Virtual Class
Virtual Cocktail Party
Liquid Lab NYC
Paint and Sip
Valentine's Day Basket
Presidential Inauguration 2021 Outerwear Fashion
I didn't attend the inauguration, but it didn't stop me from having a little dress up fun! I think my favorite look from the video is the black faux fur collar wool coat with purple accessories. I was excited to see that my favorite look I put together the day before was right on trend with inauguration fashion. Purple was worn in so many different variations by Former First Ladies Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden (the day before inauguration), and Madame Vice President Kamala Harris. The inauguration outerwear fashion did not disappoint. Take a look at some of the looks!
Chilling Fashionable Moments From Past Inaugurations
This year's inauguration events and festivities are definitely different than years past... at least in my lifetime. You can google if you have been living under a rock. Much of the celebrations and viewing will take place virtually. Here is a link I found with information for this year.
I had the pleasure of attending the presidential inauguration in January 2009. The week was filled with so many events and celebrations. I remember planning my outfits. The most important clothing item that weekend was my outerwear. It was so cold that weekend, and a good chunk of our time celebrating was outdoors. I remember wanting to be cute and warm. If you have been following me, on occasion, I tend to mention my love for outerwear. Hats, scarves, gloves, coats, and vests, fill a separate closet in my loft. Now back to inauguration... that weekend, I packed a heavy puff coat, puffer vest, leather coat, and coordinated accessories. Having the right layering pieces was also important. Here are two of my cold weather looks. In the first picture, I am wearing a hooded puff coat, a pink scarf, another scarf (multi-color), black knit hat, and gray gloves. With this look we were outside for hours. In the second, a little more fashionable look, I wore a tailored leather coat, with a tiered purple scarf, and knit hat. I wore this look as we dined and shopped.
With the theme of outerwear in mind, I want to take a look back at a few fashionable outerwear moments from inaugurations past. I highlighted a few memorable outerwear looks. My top three favorites are:
Legendary Singer and Song Writer Aretha Franklin: Aretha Franklin's hat was the deciding factor in being a favorite. She wore a gray wool felt hat with Swarovski Crystal on the bow. The hat worked perfectly with her gray coat. The stunning hat was designed by Luke Song. I really enjoyed all the different variations of gray in her look from coat, hat, and gloves.
Former First Lady Laura Bush: FFL Laura Bush looked so elegant in her cashmere winter white coat. What made the coat extra special and a favorite for me was the embroidered design detail that matched the trim of her matching dress. The look was designed by Oscar de la Renta. Her matching winter white gloves and scarf was a nice touch!
Former First Lady Michelle Obama: FFL Michelle Obama wore a beautifully tailored Thom Browne coat and dress. The coat is cinched with an embellished J.Crew belt. The coat was a navy silk textured tie jacquard fabric. The fabric choice is what made it stand out as a favorite for me. I loved the pop of purple she added with her J.Crew gloves.
10 Tips for Efficient Online Shopping
Over the past several months, so many people have turned to online shopping (even more so than before)! I have used this method of shopping over the years for myself and clients. In that time, I have learned some best practices for shopping online that are even more helpful given the current situation.
When I complete online shopping for clients they are given two tasks. First, they complete a style evaluation (identify body shape, best colors, and style personality) and second a shopping questionnaire. For questions on this, please feel free to send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org
For some of us, money is tight right now but the sales are good! This is tough. I would encourage you before you click to buy, to step back and really evaluate your wardrobe. We want to make sure you are adding items that are complementary to your wardrobe and meaningful to your style goals.
In full transparency, I too am scaling back on my purchases. Have you re-evaluated your style and spending goals? Take some time to evaluate what is best for you. This decision is up to you, I only wish to offer my perspective and that’s always with your best interest in mind. If you need assistance, I’m just a phone call away! Below are my top 10 tips for online shopping.
I use an amazing shopping tool for clients. They can click through curated shoppable links for each of the images.
Book a complimentary consulation today!
10 TIPS FOR EFFICIENT ONLINE SHOPPING:
1. Know your measurements and use the size charts to determine best fit when selecting garment size. Use flexible measuring tape or string (lay flat to measure) to record your sizes.
Doing this ahead of time makes the online shopping experience easier, and returns too- you will have less returns by knowing your exact measurements! Make sure to update these measurements every 6 months.
2. Read the reviews for the retailer and individual garment items.
And not just the good ones! By reading the bad ones you get an indication of what went wrong and if it’s happened more than once.
3. Review in detail the return policy.
15 or 30 days? Store credit or full credit card refund? Paypal isn’t feasible, or it is ok to receive returns? Check it all out so that there are no surprises.
4. Establish a budget and stick to it.
Revisit this budget at least once per month to see if anything needs to be adjusted or if you are staying on track.
5. Look for those investment pieces.
The core of your wardrobe should be quality items that you can wear multiple times.
6. Price point does not equal quality.
7. Read details about the fabric.
Does the fabric flatter your body? How does the fabric feel against your skin? What are the care instructions?
8. Compare prices.
It’s hard to not get attached to an item when we see it, but it’s always a good idea to make sure we are getting the best deal possible. Then you can use any money you saved towards something else if you want to!
9. Keep a record of sites that you love along with sizes that worked for you.
The research is done, so now you can enjoy yourself without worry.
10. Make sure the website is secure and shop where you trust. Don't overshare your personal information.
Looking for things like “https” at the beginning of a URL is helpful.
I hope you learned something new and found these tips to compliment your current online shopping experience!
Blazers for FALL
Hello Fall! The other seasons aren’t too shabby but, FALL is finally here. Each year, I wait with anticipation for the beautiful rich colors of leaves changing, opening my window and smelling the fresh crisp air, and best of all - sweater and boot season! Even with the official start to Fall, the weather can still be a little tricky to navigate. One staple clothing item that I love to use during this transition is a blazer. A blazer can easily pull your outfit together. You can pair the blazer with a t-shirt, sweater, blouse, the possibilities seem endless. This season I am drawn to menswear inspired blazers and blazers with patterns and texture.
Animal Prints Trend or Timeless?
I would certainly place animal prints in the timeless category. How we wear them each season can determine whether you are on trend. One of the things I absolutely love about animal prints is that you can wear them with just about any color. I tend to navigate towards the leopard print, but there are so many to choose from, cow, zebra, snake, tigers, cheetahs. These prints might be a bit bold for some, but with all clothing your confidence is what makes an outfit work.