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:

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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!

How To Care For More Expensive Clothing

One of the most important things we do in our stores is help our customers find the perfect clothing lines that will suit their fashion needs and lifestyle.  I make it a point to end the sale with a few tips on how they can care for their purchase so it will last.  One of the things I find myself saying over and over again is beware of the dryer.  The simple and unfortunate truth is the dryer is not your friend when it comes to better clothing.  8565ae51df46aafe2310f73f1f940591

The high heat of a clothing dryer is the culprit in many a washing disaster.  Heat will fade your dark colors, shrivel your rayon and cotton, melt your embellishments and twist your lace.  The problem is, we all like the convenience of being able to wash and dry our clothing.  If that describes you, follow these simple tips to help keep your clothing looking its best.

1. Turn your dark colors inside out.  Washing your dark clothing with a quarter cup of vinegar will prevent color running.  Drying your dark items inside out will help prolong your color.  To preserve your black the best, try hanging the item to dry and then putting it in the dryer for a short 5 to 10 minute cycle to release wrinkles and soften the fabric.

2.  Turn your embellishments inside out.  If you have sequins, beads, stones, grommets, etc. on any of your clothing, you will want to turn the garment inside out so the embellishments do not rub on other clothing.  This friction causes your embellishments to loosen as well as damages the other items in the dryer.

3.  Invest in a large lingerie bag.  Wash and dry all your more delicate fabrics in a mesh lingerie bag to prevent them from rubbing your other clothing and causing pilling.

4.  For most sweaters you will want to wash them in a delicate cycle (or hand wash) and lay them flat to dry.  You can put them in a short drying cycle to soften if they feel stiff.

5.  Never dry your bras.  I’m sure I am not the only one who has taken out a knotted mess when I forgot to remove my bra before throwing my clothing into the washing machine or dryer.  Always wash your bras in a lingerie bag that prevents twisting and hang them to dry.  They will fit you much better and last much longer if you do this.

When in doubt, wash your clothing on delicate in cold water and hang to dry.  Your better fabrics will love you for the extra care and reward you with a long life and many years of great style.

Buying Quality is the Financially Smart Choice

Recently one of our customers brought in a pair of her favorite Not Your Daughter's Jeans.  Eight years old and washed 1,000 times, the jeans looked amazingly new.  The only sign of their age and wear was a a few rough edges and a seam coming apart on the inner thigh.  Why did she bring them in, you ask?  She wanted us to be able to demonstrate to other customers that quality counts. 

Not Your Daughter's JeansSince then, I've been thinking about how true that is.  At a $110 original purchase price, those jeans cost her about $13.75 a year.  And during those 8 years of wearing her NYDJs she was able to enjoy an incredibly comfortable jean that stretches with her every move yet never stretches out.  She also looked slimmer because the tummy tuck feature helped smooth her mid section.  That is an amazing value. 

Much of the time, it seems that we live in a throw away society.  Everything, from electronics to appliances and yes, clothing are made cheaply and sold cheaply.  It seems the American consumer has forgotten what quality buys her.  Yes, you may have to pay more up front.  Your top may be $60 instead of $35.99 or your jeans may be $110 instead of $40.00 but consider the benefit to you over time.  When you buy quality, you are getting better fabrics and better construction.  The print patterns match all the way around the garment rather than coming together at the seams at odd angles.  The seams are sewn well.  The fabric is a higher grade and will resist pilling.  The garmet has extra features like a tummy tuck or special details and embellishments.  Taken care of properly, it will last longer while still looking new. 

New Not Your Daughter's Jeans

Take this as a hypothetical- your bargain top for $35.99 will likely need replaced at the end of the year, while your more expensive top will still be in your closet several years from now.  Even if the more expensive top lasted 3 years, it will have cost you $20 a year.  That's a savings of $31.00 ($35.99 – $20 =$15.99.  $15.99 times 2 years = $31) over the less expensive top that fell apart.  So in the end, it was less expensive to buy the more expensive top! 

Now, to be fair, sometimes you can get a really good deal on a high quality item.  When this happens, celebrate!  You are getting the best of both worlds – quality and price.  However, be very suspicious of a garmet that is very inexpensive to begin with.  There is a reason clothing is priced what it is.  Fabrics like rayon are inexpensive and tempermental when you wash them.  Pay attention to the way the item is made.  Are the seams sewn well?  Are the buttons sewn well?  Is the fabric light weight or heavy? Does the print match up?  Is it lined?  What is the fabric?  All of these factors go into determining price. 

Be assured, pricing is not arbitrary and you really do get what you pay for.