Link Love: Independent Boutiques

Racked explains why Oakland’s indie shopping scene is worth its own trip.

The New York Times lists four New York neighbourhoods that have many locally owned businesses.

If you prefer to shop online or if the brick-and-mortar stores are too far away, then here’s a list of small boutiques across the US with great online shops.

Fab Links from Our Members

Ledonna N. is loving this post about plus size fashion and maximal looks.

Milehighstyle (Linda) and MsMaven liked Brenda Kinsel’s advice for 60-year-olds, and think it can apply to women of any age. 

Christine Lagarde is a style icon for Joy. She says: “She wears lots of scarves, but, like Angie, she also likes pearls.”

Greenjeans found this article about Zara’s recipe for success very interesting.

Sally reminds us that you have to keep your wardrobe items in places where you see them. Angie couldn’t be in MORE agreement. You can’t wear items that you forgot you had!

Saint Bustier is inspiring Minimalist to look beyond menswear and Eileen Fisher for further options in dressing a body larger than most mainstream brands provide coverage for.  

She also enjoyed reading about Jenna Lyons’ ‘lunch uniform’.

Finally, Minimalist would like to share this handy holiday tipping guide.

Learn From My Shopping Mistakes

I help others shop for a living, but that doesn’t mean that I’m immune from making my own shopping mistakes. I’ve learned from them (sometimes the hard way), and I’ve become a more savvy and successful shopper because of it. Each season I have a wardrobe that I’m more in love with than the season before, but it’s taken time and patience to get there.

This is what I’ve learned:

1. Never Say Never When it Comes to Fashion

Keep an open mind and poison eye to a minimum when you shop for new-to-you pieces, because the item you thought you disliked last season, or even last month, might grow on you sooner than you think. This is especially important when you’re bored with your style, which is why I keep the trends flowing through my own seasonal purchases. 

2. Don’t Shop for an imaginary Climate

After living in hot and humid Hong Kong and Cape Town for most of my life, I was used to having a large inventory of what I call “proper Summer clothes”. I did not change my shopping habits when we moved to Europe and the US. As a result I amassed a lot of clothing that was inappropriate for my climate. It took me years to get that right because shopping for Spring fashion is my weakness. Now I keep a tight inventory of Summery items because I live in Seattle and run cold. 

3. Choose your Neutrals Carefully

I used to purchase lots of items in black and charcoal thinking that I would wear them because they’re neutral and “go with everything”. They were often orphaned because large doses of these two neutrals do not make me happy. Black footwear and outerwear especially does not make me happy. What does make me happy is large doses of light neutrals like cream and white, and dark neutrals like ink blue and navy. I’m also loving neutral earth tones like cognac and toffee, and there’s even a smattering of light pearl grey in the mix.

4. Keep The Colour Flowing

Getting the right assortment of neutrals is one thing, but an overly neutral wardrobe doesn’t make me happy either. I’ve learned to keep a stream of the right colours flowing through my purchases as I refresh for the season.

5. Prioritize Structured Items

Although I can be attracted to highly unstructured, very drapey, and avant-garde clothing items, it normally does not work on my slight frame and narrow shoulder line despite being 5ft 6. When I’ve purchased these items they languished in my closet, because I just don’t feel great in them. I look best in semi-structured and structured outfits, and that’s that. 

6. Focus on the ITEM not the Price

Many years ago, I used to be attracted to something because the price was right although the item was wrong. Allow this shopping habit to escalate, and you end up with a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear. And ironically, it’s a colossal waste of money. I’m happy to say that I do not wear sales goggles, and am a lot more discerning about whether the item will earn a spot in my wardrobe regardless of the price. 

7. Duplicate Items that are Signature to your Style

I believe in a moderate sized wardrobe, and as a result have learned that item duplication is a GOOD thing if the items are signature to your style. That’s why I rarely allow the fear of duplication to stop me from adding items like cream or white footwear, white jeans, lace dresses, chunky pearl necklaces, sour green toppers and tomato red tops to my wardrobe.

8. No Uncomfortable Footwear

Unless they are “siting shoes” for fancy occasions, no more heels higher than two inches. The Sam Edelman Okala pumps are the only exception because I can miraculously walk in those quite comfortably. For the rest, heels between half an inch and one and a half inches are best for me. 

9. Don’t Shop When You’re Not in the Mood

I’ve found that if I’m shopping when I’m hungry, tired, distracted or cold, I make bad decisions. I’m definitely more focused when I feel like shopping. 

10. When in Doubt, Ask a Friend or Significant Other

Find sounding boards whose opinions you trust. If I’m unsure about the way an item or outfit looks, my in-house fashion stylist (hubby Greg) helps me make the right decision. His fresh and objective eye is an invaluable resource. 

Over to you. What have you learned from your own shopping mistakes? 

Nordstrom Roundup: Black Friday Top Picks

These items caught my attention as I browsed Nordstrom’s Black Friday sales assortment. I have seen some of the picks in person, and fitted them onto clients. Some items are available in plus and petite sizes, and there are lots of colour options too. 

Visit the collection page to see the items alongside my descriptions.

Roundups

Black Friday Top Picks

Some Black Friday deals that are well worth a look.

Read More

Cute Items

There is lots of good stuff in stores at the moment as we near the end of peak season.

Read More

Subtle Bling & Earth Tones

Add a little subtle bling to your outfits because why not!

Read More

Cuddly Comfies

As temperatures plummet, make sure you have a good selection of cosy items in your wardrobe.

Read More

Texture and Interest

Lots of interesting Fall items that work across a range of body types and dress codes.

Read More

Neutrals

Some winners on my clients this season.

Read More

Thank You to All of YLF

A big THANK YOU to all who support YLF. Whether you’ve visited once, or are an active member who checks in several times a day, we appreciate your participation and support because you are what makes YLF a wonderful community.

I also want to make a few special shout-outs. 

A heartfelt thanks to our global, die-hard Fabbers who have stuck with us for years, some for as long as ten years. As YLF Veterans, you are the heart and soul of our community. Your wisdom, wit, intelligence, loyalty, thoughtfulness, compassion, respect for one another, problem-solving ability, and good manners know no bounds. You are an impressive bunch who enrich YLF, making it better in so many ways. 

Thanks to all the over 50-year-youngs who continue to have fun with fashion and rock their style with the best of them. You inspire us to be as confident, attractive, unaffected, spunky and full of verve as you are. 

Thanks to all the significant others, parents, children, and pets who offer their ongoing stylish support in their more subtle and special ways. Some take pictures of our outfits. Some are the best cheerleaders of our styles. Some photobomb our pictures for comic relief. Some are glorious shopping buddies. And all simply love us no matter what. 

Thanks to all Fabbers who keep an open mind about fashion and style, and their poison eyes to a minimum. Those who believe you can “never say never” in fashion are dead right.

Thanks to Inge, for looking out for YLF when we’re asleep or travelling. It gives us great peace of mind to have another set of eyes checking in on our site as regularly as Greg and I do. But most of all, thank you for your fabulous friendship, sweet disposition, infinite patience, warmth, enthusiasm, compassion, and smiles.

And last but not least, thank you to my very special boys Greg and Sam, who make everything better just by being who they are. We at YLF wish you a happy, safe and peaceful Thanksgiving weekend.

Team Warm or Team Cool Colours

Reds, oranges and yellows are warm colours, while greens, blues, violets and purples are cool colours. Also, every colour has its warmer and cooler shades. For example, a burgundy red is cooler than a bright tomato red because the former is mixed with blue and the latter is mixed with yellow. A bright turquoise is warmer than cobalt blue for similar reasons. Gold is a warm metal, and silver is a cool metal. Pewter and rose gold can often go either way. 

Karen Millen
TIE-NECK COAT
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9
Karen Millen
SWING COAT
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1
Karen Millen
O-ring Clutch
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5
J.Crew
Majesty peacoat
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4
Zappos
Steve Madden Kate
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4
J.Crew
Lucite link necklace
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10
Zappos
MATISSE Nelson
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3
Loft
Ribtrim Tunic Sweater
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12
Zappos
KENDALL + KYLIE Logan
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17
H&M
Patterned Blouse
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6PM.com
Aquatalia Ophelia
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10

Earth tones like burnt orange, rust, cognac, chartreuse, mustard, camel, toffee and chocolate brown are on the warm side. Earth tones like burgundy, taupe, forest green, olive, donkey and very dark brown are on the cool side. Jewel tones like amethyst, fuchsia, eggplant, magenta, jade and teal tend to be on the cool side too. Clear, crisp brights and neons skew warmer. Muddy colours with lots of grey in them are generally cool. 

COS
Petal drape blouse
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11
Boden
Robyn Dress
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5
COS
Ribbon knit top
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5
COS
Flared knit jumper
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4
Boden
Pony Saddle Bag
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7
J.Crew
Lucite link necklace
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10
Zappos
KENDALL + KYLIE Logan
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14
H&M
Bow Blouse
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6
H&M
Bow Blouse
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4

Neutrals like ink blue, black, charcoal grey, stone, pearl grey and optical white tend to be cool-toned. Neutrals like navy, cream, and tan tend to be warmer. Pastels are a little tricker to categorize into warm and cool tones but generally, mint, lilac, icy blue and icy pink skew cool, while peach, lemon, lime and aqua skew warm. 

I bat for Team Warm Colours. I love wearing crisp and sour brights like citron, lime, apple green, tomato red, Dutch orange, shocking pink and turquoise. I enjoy wearing warm earth tones like toffee, cream, chartreuse and cognac, and pastels like melon and peach. Gold is my favourite metal. That said I also wear cool shades like black, optical white, ink blue, blush, icy blue, French blue and silver. Very occasionally, I’ll wear a cool pearl grey and olive. But for the most part, my wardrobe is about warm colours because they make my heart happy and work best against my complexion.

Over to you. Do you bat for Team Warm or Team Cool Colours? And just because it’s Thanksgiving in the US tomorrow, feel free to bat for both teams. If my clientele are anything to go by, my guess is that Team Cool Colours will win this race.