Tip of the Month

On spending less on trends: "If you think it might be out of style by your next birthday, stick with an affordable version."
This tip comes from the book Who What Wear: Celebrity and Runway Style for Real Life, by Hillary Kerr and Katherine Power.

Who What Wear: Celebrity and Runway Style for Real Life

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Dear Friends,

It's February and by now many of us are well into our New Year's resolutions. As I look back at past years I realize that February is always when the fun of the resolution wears out. It's easy in December to make wild declarations about what I'm going to do in the new year. It's harder for me to maintain my resolutions right now.

Resolution Number One: Body/Mind

I generally have two resolutions I try to stick by. The first one is maintaining a workout schedule that fits into my life and is actually doable. This is generally a fairly easy task for me as I enjoy this piece of my life and try to make it a priority.

Resolution Number Two: Wardrobe

The second one is harder and it has to do with money. I love to shop and I love all the new looks that come out each year. I'm always excited about the challenge of figuring out how new looks will work for me and my clients. An even bigger challenge is figuring out how to make the look fit into my budget.

Window-Shopping: A Budget-Friendly Way to Plan for the Season

With that in mind, February is a great time of year for window-shopping and perusing the Internet. This is the perfect time to make lists of your wants and needs for spring (and even summer) and to prioritize. Get very specific about the difference between what you just want and what you really need. Stores aren't yet packed with spring merchandise, so you have the time to really reflect and make Smart Choices in your spring and summer planning.

The 70/30 Rule

I believe that 70% of your wardrobe should be the basics and 30% should be the pieces that add to that. In other words, for a professional or work wardrobe, plan to spend the bulk of your money on the fundamentals, like slacks, jackets, and suit pieces, while adding in the accessories and shirts at the end. So, 70% of your wardrobe budget should go toward big-money pieces. The rest should be spent on trendier items or pieces that make the look really "you." You can use this same percentage with almost any type of job, whether you are a stay-at-home-mom or a corporate CEO.

Don't Confuse Price with Value

Remember that just because it's expensive, it's not necessarily great. I've recently returned to the world of Levi's after years of searching for the perfect jean. I'm finding that Levi's fit my style more than I thought they would - and the bonus is that they are relatively inexpensive. My point is that even when following the 70/30 rule, you can still save on some of the basics - and when you do, you'll have extra cash for that trendy item that has suddenly become more of a "need" than a "want."

Have fun with spring shopping! As the season unfolds, I encourage you to try something new - but don't forget to be true to The Real You!
Patricia Gorham

Patricia Gorham
Inside/Out Style
Custom Handbags by Arebyc Designs
I was recently introduced to an up-and-coming handbag designer in Eugene, Oregon: Stephany Childers of Arebyc Designs. Her designs are custom and she does all the sewing herself. My husband ordered me a bag for my birthday, and I got to share my ideas with her to help her create the perfect bag for me! It arrived last week (less than 7 days after ordering), it is exactly what I wanted. Stephany is truly talented. Visit her Etsy site, and don't be afraid to call her and walk through a design process with her. You won't be disappointed!
Check out Arebyc Designs' Etsy site >

Arebyc Designs
Artist + Seamstress + Sewing Instructor
Paradiso Designs' Okashi Courier BagYou may know that I'm not a seamstress, but my daughter is a rising star in this arena. However, everyone needs a little guidance and I was fortunate to recently meet Cheryl Kuczek, owner of Paradiso Designs. Cheryl is a local seamstress and artist who teaches sewing and beading classes to kids (brilliantly I might add) and adults. She has her own pattern line and will be showing at the Sewing and Stitchery Expo in Pullayup at the end of February. If you are trying to perfect your sewing skills, or you have a young one who really wants to perfect her sewing, Cheryl is the person for the job. She has a great way with kids, encouraging them to express themselves through their craft with generous amounts of praise and skill.
Visit Paradiso Designs online >