Celebrate Color

I love that this season offers two radically different color palates – soft and feminine as well as bold and bright.  We just received this new group from Multiples in lime and royal, and I could hardly wait to get it in the window.  I’m not sure any color screams summer quite like lime.  IMG_2662

I always feel a bit sad when a customer tells me they shy away from wearing color.  I don’t know about you, but in Wyoming when I am surrounded by brown, white and grey from November to March, I am ready for some color come April and May.  It literally brightens my mood to wear something cheerful, and, for me, cheerful means color.

If you are one of those people who feel intimidated by wearing bold colors, dial it down.  Wear one bright item and pair it with foundation pieces in a good neutral like grey, black or white.  Put your colorful item on the part of your body you like the best and wear the solid neutrals elsewhere.  My bet is you will have a million compliments from your co-workers who are used to you just blending in.

If you are comfortable wearing bold, then this is your season!  Get out there and get some color!  You have just 4 short months before the cool winds of September will force those summer colors to the back of the closet.  Make your wardrobe reflect your sunny disposition and how happy you are that warm days are just around the corner!

Who Is Your Fashion Icon?

Who is your fashion icon?  We recently had some fun with Rally to create three iconic looks from clothing in our store.  The photos turned out great, and it got me thinking about how fashion defines us as it has been defining women over the years.

Looking very Audrey.  Top and necklace from Fashion Crossroads

Looking very Audrey. Top and necklace from Fashion Crossroads. Photo by Raymond Craig.

Are you a classic Audrey Hepburn, like me?  Or, maybe you are an edgy Madonna. Perhaps you identify more with the flirty and voluptuous Marilyn.


Desperately seeking Madonna. Clothing and jewelry from Fashion Crossroads. Photo by Raymond Craig.

To determine your fashion icon, ask yourself about how you choose your clothing.  Do you look for timeless pieces and shapes that evoke maturity and class and fabrics that look and feel rich like wool, silk and cashmere?  Do you like tailored, figure flattering styles?  If yes, Audrey is your girl.

Perhaps, however, you gravitate to black and like a harder edged style.  Is there a bit of a bad girl in you?  Do you love studs, chains, and zippers?  Is leather a personal favorite? If a pencil skirt, a refined motorcycle jacket and shoe boots is your idea of the perfect work outfit, you might just be a Madonna.

Maybe you love color and clothing that shows your assets off.  Perfect style for you is part flirtatious and part dramatic.  You don’t shy away from prints, you embrace them.  A flowy skirt is your idea of a must have item.  You were the little girl that chose her dress by its twirl value.  You adore cotton and soft fabrics.  If this all sounds like you, then Marilyn just might be your icon.

Just a little Marilyn.  Elan tiered tank from Fashion Crossroads.  Photo by Raymond Craig.

Just a little Marilyn. Elan tiered tank from Fashion Crossroads. Photo by Raymond Craig.

The point is that each of these women knew who they were and they said it with their clothing.  Fashion is a reflection of your own unique style and you should have one!  What do your clothes say about you.  If a stranger saw you walking down the street, could they discern anything about your personality from what you were wearing?  If you’re not sure, then spend a little time thinking about what inspires you and who.  Then, when you go shopping for new clothing this fall, make sure the items that you pick make you feel great and reflect who you are and who you want to be.

Check out rally.com for some great quotes from these three ladies.  My favorite is from my style icon Audrey: “When you grow up as a girl the world tells you the things you are supposed to be: emotional, loving, beautiful, wanted.  And then when you are those things, the world tells you they are inferior, illogical, weak, wain, empty.”  So here’s to not letting the world define who you are!

A Brand You Can Get Behind – Sympli

One of my great pleasures as a women’s clothing store co-owner is the ability to choose the brands that our stores carry.  We always look for quality and value, but it is a special treat when the companies we choose also have a mission that lines up with our own – to empower women.  Sympli is just such a company:

dressing-sympli-2 (1)

This picture shows how Sympli can work for women of different sizes and body types. They have the latest fashion trends in classic year round pieces that work for casual or dressy wear.

“Thirteen years ago, Jan Stimpson, the owner/designer, [ of Sympli] found herself frustrated with the narrow ideals propagated by the fashion industry and this dissatisfaction gave rise to a vision: create an innovative line of clothing  that will celebrate the diversity of the feminine figure.  Thus, Sympli was born: a collection of high-quality, basics that uses a “fit formula” (including snug, relaxed and tunic) to complement and enhance all body types.  Thus allowing women of all shapes and sizes to achieve a similar look.  Today, the line has evolved to include exciting novelty pieces that allow women to flawlessly mix and match over 300 designs and 30 colors to build entire wardrobes catered to their unique sense of style. Working mothers from our community make up the majority of our workforce; working to their own schedules, they manage fluctuating workloads, whilst maintaining strong family Lives. They inspire us.”

Having sold this line now for a little over a year, I can tell you they have achieved their goal.  Sympli is a line that flatters any figure from size 2 to 20 and beyond.  They have recently added Sympli Grand which offers plus sizes as well.  The travel knit fabric used to make their clothing is 12 oz, 3 oz heavier than other companies who use the same fabric.  You can feel the difference when you take an item off the rack.  The weight of the fabric helps it flow and drape rather than cling.  It also means the tunic styles are not billowy but rather fit in the right places while allowing extra room in the places most women carry their weight.

Once women try this product on, they are hooked.  We carry a large selection of Sympli but the company also offers the ability to customize their line, choosing snug or relaxed fits and customize-able necklines and sleeve lengths.  This gives the customer the ability to choose the elements of their tops and bottoms that flatter them in a huge array of colors that compliment their complexion.

Sympli comes in an amazing array of beautiful colors

Sympli comes in an amazing array of beautiful colors

I’ve also been impressed by the longevity of the product.  We have customers that have had Sympli pieces for 8 years and the black is the same black as the brand new pieces in our store.  Best yet, care is a breeze.  Wash your Sympli by itself or with other Sympli pieces inside out in cold water and hang it to dry.  They dry quickly and without wrinkles or stiffness.

Perhaps what makes Sympli special is that it is designed by women for women.  No one knows our bodies better than us, and no one feels the frustration more than us when styles seem to cater to the young and thin.  I especially love the fact that Sympli employs women who hand sew the product in their homes.  You can count on quality workmanship with this product as well as have the satisfaction of knowing you are supporting a company that supports women.

This week we are celebrating Sympli at Fashion Crossroads.  All week long, anyone who tries this product on or purchases it, will be registered to win a FREE Sympli item to be given away on Saturday.  We will also have our Sympli representative in the store Thursday night for our Trunk Show and Friday and Saturday.  Charlotte has been with the company for over ten years and knows the line inside and out.  She is excellent at being able to suggest styles that will flatter any body type. We will be taking special orders Thursday through Saturday.

Don’t live in Casper?  No problem.  You can also purchase Sympli on our online store at http://Fashion-Crossroads-Inc.shoptiques.com.  Any online orders taken this week will also be entered to win the free item.  You can get more information about our Trunk Show happening this Thursday night at https://www.facebook.com/FashionCrossroads/events. The Trunk Show is a great time to come in and learn about the line while you enjoy wine and appetizers and hanging out with other women who love fashion!

You Really Are More Than A Number

You know those commercials that make you cry?  I was really touched by the new Kellogg Special K commercial.  In it, women go shopping in a jean store and discover there are no sizes.  The sales clerks offer to measure them with a tape measure that replaces numbers with words like “charismatic”  Just about every woman I know can relate to how it feels to get depressed in a dressing room.  It is something I see every week.

Last week I helped a young woman looking for a new pair of Silver Jeans.  She told me her waist size, and we found several pair in the style she liked.  With a little trying on, she discovered, to her dismay, that she needed a bigger size.  When she came out of the dressing room, her countenance had completely changed.  She had wilted right in front of my eyes.  I tried to encourage by talking about how each style and fabric will fit a bit differently.  I argued that she shouldn’t focus on the number and instead focus on the fit.  Sadly, she just couldn’t get past the fact that she needed a bigger size.  She left empty handed and depressed.


Silver Jeans

Oh how I hate that!  Ladies, hear me when I say this.  I dress women of all different body types every day.  I deal with over 200 brands on a regular basis.  I go to market and purchase these brands and talk to their designers four times a year.  I can’t tell you how often I have a designer tell me, “We’ve changed the fit a bit.  Your customers will notice these are a little bigger (or smaller) than before.”  Over the years I have come to the inescapable conclusion that size means nothing.  Truly, all a size means is that in this particular brand and in this particular style, you are this particular size, for now.  That quite possible will change next season.  Any woman who is honest will admit to having a range of sizes in her closet from smaller than she thinks she is to bigger than she wants to be.

It really is time that we stop letting a number define us.  It is most definitely time that we STOP getting depressed when we go into a store and have to take a bigger size.  If you’ve gained weight, okay.  Get motivated and take off a few pounds.  Stay on top of it before it becomes 20 or 3o pounds.  But, if you were feeling good about yourself when you walked into the store, DO NOT let the sizes in the dressing room make you feel sad.   It is a completely arbitrary number.

Just in case you missed the commercial, copy this address into your browser:


How Old Is Too Old to Wear Leggings?

How old is too old to wear leggings and skinny jeans? I just did a fashion show for the Geo Wives Club and most of my models were in their 50’s and 60’s. We put several of them in either leggings or slim legged pants, and they looked great! The issue isn’t whether a 65 year old can wear leggings. This issue is how to interpret the trend for a mature woman. First of all, we didn’t choose a slim silhouette unless it flattered the woman wearing it. In other words, those with larger hips and legs wore a-line skirts or looser fitting slacks. Those with slim legs wore leggings or cigarette pants and loose fitting tunics that came down to the appropriate length. About 90% of the models wore layered tops. A jacket and tank, for example, work well together to hide figure flaws while still showing off a waist. With some well thought out clothing choices, they were all dressed in the latest trends and looked classy, fashionable and perfectly dressed for their age.

Thinspo and Fitspo

So maybe I am totally out of it, but this is the first I have heard of ‘thinspo” and “fitspo” which to define the most simply are images and quotes that women post to encourage themselves to be thin and fit.  So, curious, I googled the words and came across whole websites devoted to the topic.  Many of the postings were phone pics taken by real women in seductive poses showing off their, admittedly, quite thin and often very fit bodies.  I learned from Glamour magazine that Pinterest, Tumblr, and Instagram have banned “scary pro-anorexia images known as thinspiration” (August, 97).  Not being much of a pinner and still new to Tumblr and Instagram, I was amazed at the seductive photos I saw on these websites.  I’m not sure if the motivation is to get attention, a date or to just show off their bodies, but many of the women were dangerously thin.  It used to be that we worried how women’s magazines gave an unrealistic body image to girls, all the while knowing that these bodies were air brushed to hide flaws.  But the pictures I saw were not airbrushed.  They were real, true hard bodies.

So we’re back to it again, aren’t we?  Where is the line between fit and anorexia?  What is the message these kinds of photos are sending to our kids?  Can the average woman really look like that without starving herself or spending two hours at the gym every day?  Is this the definition of modern beautiful?  I am 40 years old and all for fitness.  I work out three times a week and count my calories.  At 5″3, it takes a lot of effort to stay at 120 lbs or less.  I can’t imagine the kind of effort it would take me to look anywhere near as fit as many of these women looked.  I know its possible, but at what cost?  Here’s the deal – the definition of beautiful is a moving target and has been since the beginning of time.  Whether is was cor-setts designed to make women’s waists look impossibly small or Renaissance painters immortalizing the delightfully plump woman of ease, what we find beautiful is always changing.  And that’s okay.  But when the definition of beautiful inspires women to unhealthy places, something needs to change.