Tip of the Month

"Shop smart, stay chic, and make it last."

This tip comes from Marie Claire Fashion Director and Project Runway judge Nina Garcia.
Nina Garcia
Nina Garcia

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Dear Friend,


I love October for all the memories it brings. Growing up in the Midwest, fall always had a special scent (this is back when we used to burn leaves) and as a child, it was infused with the excitement of winter ahead: sledding, snowmen, the thrilling possibility of snow days home from school.


Don't Let the Drizzle Get You Down  


As much as I tend to feel apprehensive about fall in the Pacific Northwest, with all the rain and cloudy skies, this year it feels different to me. It's not because it is actually different (we've already had sideways rain) but because I'm looking at it with new eyes. It's always helpful to try on a new pair of eyes in the face of a tough situation.  


When the Going Gets Tough...  


You all know I spend a lot of time in people's closets - and through their concerns and choices, I've gotten my own clear view of how the economy in the past couple of years has shaped our day-to-day existence. The perennial question of whether we're making the best shopping decisions has taken on a new kind of urgency.


The Tough Make Smart Choices 


I strongly approve of this growing trend toward thinking intently about every single purchase, and analyzing what kind of difference it's going to make in your wardrobe. That's how I'd like my clients to think all the time! If you're going to maintain a closet full of clothes you love, it's important to make the best possible decisions in the store. When you can do that, you'll find it's much easier to make Smart Choices in front of your mirror at home.


Approach #1: One Significant Addition


So how do you make sound choices that will stand the test of time? I was with a client the other day who said she was tired of watching every dime, and she decided to indulge and buy just one thing she really loved, then make all the other elements in her wardrobe work around that piece as much as possible.


And I say, good for you! If you can identify one big thing this fall you really want - something that will make a key difference in this season's wardrobe - then go for it! I'm not saying you should go out and spend money you don't have. Quite the contrary: I'm saying that every purchase counts - perhaps now more than usual - and if you don't love it, it's best to leave it on the rack.  


Approach #2: A Few Small Additions  


The opposite angle works too - if you have the basics but are longing to spice them up, remember that affordable jewelry, bags, tights and scarves can change any outfit instantly without breaking the bank. You can go a long way with just one or two new pieces to add to an existing wardrobe - as long as each one is a careful choice that brings you closer to The Real You.


Enjoy the fall and winter to come. This year I'll enjoy it with you!

Patricia Gorham

Patricia Gorham
Inside/Out Style
Go Commando (Tights)

I love the Commando brand of tights (which you can find at Nordstrom). They fit really nicely around the waist without showing that telltale, top-of-tights "line" where many tights pinch uncomfortably. They're very thick, which makes for strong, opaque colors - plus they last a long time, so they're a great investment! Find them online >  



Not Your Grandmother's Costume Jewelry

Stella & Dot is a fabulous line of costume jewelry you will fall in love with - the pieces are accessible, stylish and sophisticated. They are sold only through Stella & Dot stylists, so you can sign up to attend a Stella & Dot trunk show - or contact the Seattle stylist I work with, Jane O'Neal, to order something fun just for you.
Check out the Stella & Dot website >  
Email Jane >