All Whites Are Not Created Equal

 Classic Carolina Herrera with a pop of color

Classic Carolina Herrera with a pop of color

I love sales – especially final, 70% off sales! Saks is one of my favorite store because they have quality clothes that range from new designers to those who are very well known and very expensive. The best part is that their sales are fantastic. I had been shopping with a client a couple of weeks ago but had not had the opportunity to go back and look at anything for myself. Prompted by an email with news of an additional markdown, I made time to visit the store! One thing that I noticed this season is the predominance of white. It reminds me of Carolina Herrera, a noted New York designer who always has an elegant, feminine collection. She is a beautiful lady with a classic persona. Edgy would never be a term used to describe her or her collections.

More ivory -- adorable!
More ivory — adorable!

However, her signature mode of personal dress is a beautiful white blouse with a skirt or slacks. A long taffeta skirt with an elegant white blouse could easily be her choice for attending an evening event while selecting a classic white blouse to top off her traditional skirt or slacks for day wear. If you are thinking that this is the time to stock up on white because,  How could you possibly go wrong with white? here are some cautions. All whites are not created equal! There are icy whites, warm whites, creamy whites, ivory, ecru and the list goes on and on.

Punch it out with red!
Punch it out with red!

The first consideration is to match the white shade of your teeth and the whites of your eyes. Your best shade of white will be to pick a tone that complements both your teeth and the whites of your eyes. Many people may discover that the whites of their eyes are not truly white or their teeth are more a creamy white than an icy white. A very white shade will magnify the difference of your teeth or eyes and not be as flattering.

Black and white punch.
Black and white punch.

This morning I was at a business breakfast and found that the man and two women in front of me in the breakfast line were all wearing a combination of black and white. Each expressed his/her personality in a different way and looked so right. Had they switched their choices around, it would have been all wrong. That’s the power of knowing your style. I find that an icy white is difficult for many people to wear well. It may resemble the uniforms nurses wore years ago.

Same blouse - pop of color
Same blouse – pop of color

It can look clinical and sterile. White is a wonderful fresh, cool color for summer but may need a splash of color to add the punch you need. I found two white dresses that I really liked. One was more of an ivory color, mainly lace but it projected a dressier look thus was not as versatile. The other was a pure white and a great design for business but did not fit as well. The other factor is that my teeth are much more ivory than sparkling white. I chose the lace knowing I would still have many occasions to wear it, it fit like a glove, and the ivory was my best white.

Warm white for this blonde.
Warm white for this blonde.

Let’s not forget that the 70% off price made it a superb buy even if I didn’t have quite as many options in times that I could wear it. I encourage you to take time to discover which is “your” white.   It is a great basic for your wardrobe but will look best when you discover which shade is best for you and if you need a pop of color.

Meet ChasseChic

 

Founder Amanda Chasse Flower.
Founder Amanda Chasse Flower.

Who ever heard of a shoe that was pretty and practical?   Aren’t they all about fashion? Enticing you with a new nuance so that you just have to own them?

Amanda Chasse Flower, whom I have know for about four years, came up with the concept of designing a women’s line of shoes that was practical, durable and affordable. What a novel idea!   Hearing bits of conservation on progress of the project has been fascinating. She has had some wonderful mentors to guide her through this daunting process and amazing tenacity to prevail. Her line of ChasseChic shoes has now launched!

Not the right look?  Change it!
Not the right look? Change it!

Here are some excerpts from a recent interview with her.

Beryl: What inspired you to develop your own line of shoes?

Amanda: Entering the workplace after graduating from college, I was faced with having a casual, college wardrobe and nothing to wear for work. TJMaxx, Marshall’s and Goodwill saved the day for the moment. Transitioning into a professional role requiring suits and closed-toed shoes brought another wardrobe challenge.   With most of my paycheck going to my work wardrobe, I didn’t

The versatile flat.
The versatile flat.

have the budget to replace shoes that continually seemed to fall apart in one way or another. I began to dream of having one basic, reliable pair of business shoes that I could use accessories to change the look.  From that concept, I developed a basic pair of black leather heels, and created decorative details for different accents.

Beryl: What were some of the challenges that you faced from this concept to production?

Let's add a bow!
Let’s add a bow!

Amanda: It was extremely difficult to bring this product from concept to reality. At first I could not get a manufacturer to even talk with me. They were accustomed to producing thousands of shoes daily for large retailers. Once a manufacturer was found, it took two years to perfect the design with many redo’s.   Despite navigating international commerce and language barriers I was thrilled to find that the shoes came in perfect. Thinking the biggest challenge had been achieved, it was a huge disappointment to receive an order of 1800 ChicCessories (the decorative elements) and discover they had been made wrong, resulting in a five-month launch delay.

Keep it simple and classic.
Keep it simple and classic.

We are delighted with the product. I have been wearing my pair of ChasseChic for over a year and they are still so comfortable and look like new.

The most amazing part of this story is that instead of paying $300, $500 or upwards, you will have money left over from a $100 bill! You can check out ChasseChic at www.chassechic.com. For more articles featuring Amanda and her shoe line, go to http://www.chassechic.com/pages/press.

Maybe we have another Atlanta great idea turned huge success.  Sara Blakely and Spanx may need to share the spotlight with Amanda Chasse Flower and ChasseChic!

 

The New “It” Handbag — Prada Hopes!

 

Choice of size, color and skin.
Choice of size, color and skin.

Prada has always had the reputation of being on the cutting edge of fashion. Their nylon backpack handbag in the 1980’s dominated the market. Since then, they have introduced modern, creative and sometimes far out, styled shoes and multiple iconic handbags.   Of late, however, their leather sales have been waning. The company is now, introducing their newest offering of that “Must-Have” handbag—the Inside Bag.

Medium size, closed.
Medium size, closed.

The Inside Bag is a boxy, rectangular bag that zips shut, featuring two sturdy arm straps. What is unique is the simple inside bag, also zipping shut that is attached at the bottom. This design is intended to add multiple convenient divided spaces and to prompt that knowing look of recognition from other in-the-know handbag aficionados when the outside zipper is left open to expose the contrasting colored inner bag.

This handbag is deliberately designed to be more versatile, offering three sizes, a variety of colors, and choices of leather. Prada’s hope is that women will want several of the bags in various colors and sizes.   A clothing line always brings company recognition but the real money is made in accessories.   Prada is hoping this bag turns their slumping sales numbers around.

The Inside Bag exposed
The Inside Bag exposed

 

What especially struck me about this bag is how closely it resembles one of mine that had belonged to my aunt Jane. The bag has to be forty years old but looks new. Each time I carry it, I have such warm memories of Aunt Jane and have never failed to receive compliments.   It could easily be mistaken for this small size Prada in white ostrich.   How fun is that?

Images from WSJ article 6-18-15