Sep 052017

Going into September this year, as usual, it’s nearly 100°. During the day. At night, it’s dipping down below 60. That time of year when it’s summer during the day, winter at night. Not really winter, but ykwim. The time of year when people say “dress in layers” and I nod, while staring blankly and wishing it were that easy.

Anyway, since the days of summer are getting shorter and fewer, my summer wardrobe can definitely become minimal. I only plan to save the two best of every wardrobe piece for next year: two shorts, two skirts, two dresses, and so on. Some pieces, only one. Anything I put on these days that feels like a compromise in my best look goes into the donation bag.

In addition to purging those items I don’t plan to store, I will be shopping for those things I need to complete my fall wardrobe. Actually, first I need to take inventory, do some try-ons, maybe some alterations.

It is getting easier. And more rewarding. Discovering how to express my visual identity and essential aesthetic in my appearance is a journey of self-acceptance. And grace.

Aug 012017

Two wardrobe items characterize BTS shopping more than any others:

  1. Athletic shoes
  2. Jeans

In the first case, can I just say that 90% of the ladies I meet at the gym are wearing (#ad)Asics?

In the case of the second, is there anything more complicated? (Ok, it is actually our bodies that are complicated …)

This short video I found on YouTube is pretty helpful. If you have more specific questions about jean style, I am happy to try to answer them in the comments or by email.

Two more things about finding your best look in jeans:

  1. You know how they always say, “wear flares to balance your hips”? I want to say, “well, sometimes” and to add, “wear flares (if you want) to balance your shoulders (and/or bust)”. It all depends on the relative length of your legs.
  2. (#ad)Eshakti makes custom jeans for the price of off-the-shelf! My sister has done it and they are SO cute!

Jun 272017

Are you starting to wonder whether a personal stylist could help you?  If so, you are not alone; there is a massive movement toward popularizing the use of styling services.

(OTOH,  I have just about given up using the term “stylist” because 95% of the people I talk to interpret that as Doing Hair. LOL)

Here is what is not immediately obvious about stylists (or style services) and their philosophies:

  1. Some want to do as much as possible for you and/or with you (shopping, packing, sorting, etc.). They act as a kind of a servant, in the best possible way.
  2. Others, often gifted artists, want to share their vision. Functionally more of a guru or an authority, they can tell you exactly what to wear and what to buy.
  3. Still others are motivated to help you connect with your own artistic vision. Working with them is like seeing a counselor, less a quick fix and more a journey of self-discovery.

While many stylists will try to market themselves as multiple of the above types, I think we are all fundamentally most aligned with one approach.   You can easily see how a misalignment between a stylist’s philosophy and  your reasons for hiring them could produce alot of frustration! Ack!  I can also easily see how I have frustrated some clients 🙁

Some quick thoughts (#thinkingoutloud) on how to align your goals and a stylist’s philosophy:

  1. If your goal is an updated and appropriate wardrobe and you don’t want to spend your time shopping, hire a servant-type stylist. If your budget is less, consider a shopping subscription service.
  2. If you just want someone to tell you what to do, book an analysis with a guru-type stylist. Try to get a personal shopping outing so you can learn how to use their vision and guidelines.
  3. If your goal is a signature style, or if you are an artist, or possibly if you have body image issues; you will want a stylist who takes the counselor approach. Expect to constribute to the styling process.

Furthermore, you can gain alot by working with more than one stylist in the course of your life. After all, stylists have different skill sets and human beings are always changing.

Leave a comment if you would like to start a conversation about working with me.
Or Schedule Appointment

Mar 142017

I am not affiliated with Betabrand in any way; I haven’t even bought anything from them. This post comes from Betabrand to accompany their capsule wardrobe graphic which is philosophically compatible with my approach to wardrobe building. At least today 😉

Have you ever thought of building your own capsule wardrobe? I’ve come across this guide from Betabrand and it’s super helpful! When it comes to building a capsule wardrobe, the whole idea is quality over quantity. With just 27 staple pieces and a few accessories, you can have 100 outfits to fit any occasion. Check out this guide, and when it’s time to get your capsule wardrobe started, check out the selection of multi-functional pants to get your capsule wardrobe started. And be sure to take a look into the rest of their collections. Every item they sell is designed and funded by their customers, which is a really fun change of pace from the old-school way of fashion design. Everything on their site has a dual purpose, and comfort is a HUGE purpose! Take a look at the five-step graphic for building a capsule wardrobe and let me know what you think!

Mar 072017

Last year, in an effort to streamline my ongoing wardrobe development process, I built a month-by-month shopping schedule. My assignment for March? Spring Wardrobe.

That sounds huge, doesn’t it? But I don’t have to start from scratch: I have spring stuff I am pulling out in my Winter/Spring switchover (while it is currently snowing out). To facilitate the process, I plan to use my Updated Capsule Worksheet, which you are also welcome to download and use.

What I mean by spring wardrobe is the basics of covering my nakedness. By keeping the pieces within a single proportion template (not just within a color palette), they can be mixed. Adding in the optional accessories bundles creates head-to-toe infrastructure.

This is my plan. I confess I am much better at creating the plan than completing it. Let me know if you are joining me.

Mar 022017

If I only get one thing done in my wardrobe this month, this will be it: put away the winter stuff and pull out spring. Am I the only one who starts craving green clothes this time of year? Even though I am not seeing alot of green outside –  yet! –  spring is on its way.  It’s inevitable! 😎

Today I am wearing my long sleeve cashmere turtleneck for the last time this season. After this, I will wash it and let it dry, then pack it away for the season.  Or maybe not. This year, I invite you to join me in adding a step to the process, not even a step really, just a question:

Does this garment fit within my signature style color space?

If it doesn’t, this is the least painful time to make that decision! We have months to find a replacement for the item before risking nakedness, months of not having to store the thing only to have it potentially ruined by moths or mildew, months of letting it be enjoyed by someone for whom it is better suited. 🙂

Want help defining your signature style color space? I do that!


Feb 132017

It’s been a long time coming, but I am finally going to be launching an email newsletter.

Here’s who should sign up for it:

  • local ladies (Spokane WA area)
  • people looking for wardrobe planning systems and structures
  • anyone interested in what is going on in the world of Between My Peers and Signature Style Systems

Give me a week or so to see what I can do with Mailchimp and then look for the Just Between My Peers newsletter in your email inbox!

Do you still use email?

Feb 082017

After investigating a number of capsule-building methodologies, I realized the reason they didn’t make sense to me is because they didn’t explicitly explain how to coordinate the shapes – just the colors. So this framework popped into my head. I am posting it here without alo of instructions for the benefit of some people who will be seeing me in person soon.

If you have questions about how to choose the right pieces for you, I will do my best to answer. Or ask me about a Visual IDentity Analysis.

Download worksheet here: Capsule Worksheet.

Feb 292016

Style essence: the “character” of the look.

Some examples of commonly-used essence terms are Classic, Romantic, Natural, and so on. Which style essences resonate with you? There are many style systems out there; my opinion is that they work great, if you find the right one for you as an individual. My training, through Carla Mathis (author of The Triumph of Individual Style: A Guide to Dressing Your Body, Your Beauty, Your Self) and The Style Core, focused on building a look “from scratch”; my work revolves around helping women discover the elements of their Signature Style; my brain is constantly trying to systematize everything.

One well-known style essence system is that of Personal Style Counselors’ John Kitchener, popularized by Andrea Pflaumer in her book Shopping for the Real You: Ten Essential Steps to a Better Wardrobe for Every Woman – Fashionistas, Fashion-phobes and the Over Fifty. Kitchener likens the seven essences he uses to circus animals, with Classic in the middle as ringmaster, keeping the animals somewhat controlled.

Takeaway: the degree of Classic present in your face, body, personality, and/or lifestyle informs the appropriate amount of refinement for your Signature Style.

Btw, I am going to try to start posting little tips like this more regularly, but not promising anything. If you don’t want to miss one, they can be emailed to you. Enter your email in the subscription box in the sidebar.

Apr 172015

So, I have been having a ball, but also wearing myself out – in a good way. Alot is going on behind the scenes. As I have been working my tail off this week, I have also been thinking – the hero says that is my greatest strength 😉 – especially about how I can be most helpful.

One conclusion: There are some categories of high-value items that I seem to have a skill for finding, like fun leather jackets and cashmere sweaters; I may think of some others. In addition to continuing to offer coordinated outfits, I will start posting some of those items too. You might as well benefit from my finds.

(I know it is not sweater season, but it will be again. Did you know you can put your sweaters in the freezer to keep the moths out? And I wash my cashmere sweaters all the time – just don’t dry them.)

Eventually, I would love to offer mini-capsule wardrobes. Do you think that would be helpful?