Friday, May 29, 2015

Feature Friday: How to Never Regret a Fashion Purchase

So you're in a store and you see a ton of clothes you love. To your luck, it's also on sale...many items are on sale and you're instinct is to buy, buy, buy! But will you regret it later when you get your credit card bill? Retail stores are excellent at getting you to open your wallet because we all love a great deal! Today's Feature Friday will provide some good questions to help you never regret a fashion purchase again!

Ask Yourself:

Am I getting this just because it's on sale?

A lot of people will buy something they don't necessarily need just because it's on sale. Sure, a bargain is great but is it something that you will actually wear? Or will it just take up space in the closet?

Does it fit right this minute?

It's important to get something that actually fits you in the present time. If you lose weight, you can always get it altered. But you don't want to get something you can't wear right away because you don't actually know when you'll be able to wear it. 

Am I comfortable in it?

Sure, it may look GREAT on you but if it's not comfortable, is it worth it? This specifically makes me think of shoes. You've been eyeing that one pair of shoes but there's a catch - they're so uncomfortable! Keep looking, there's always something better - that's comfortable!

Am I getting this because it's part of a deal?

This is similar to the "sale" point. It's so easy to get trapped in the "Buy one, get one" deal or the "Spend this amount of money and get that..." I think this is one of the most common ways to end up with buyers remorse. The best way to decide on this is to actually ask yourself the other questions!

Do I own items to wear with it?

You found a shirt in an awesome color/print. Suddenly you realize you have absolutely nothing that will go with it! The buyer's remorse comes in after you make other purchases to accommodate the shirt so that you have a complete outfit. But how often will you wear the outfit? It's best to find clothes that you can dress up or down and use in different ways for multiple outfits.

Do I have a place to wear it?

I ask myself this question a lot. I've found beautiful dresses that fit perfectly but then I ask myself, where can I wear this to? Unless I have a specific event, I always put it back.

Is this item too high-maintenance?

Another question I ask myself. I've passed up several garments because it's "dry clean only" or really delicate fabric like silk. I don't want something that will have to be taken to the cleaners all the time or may fall apart after one wash. The expensive stuff always seems to do that - right??

Am I getting this just because it's a brand name?

If you found two pairs of pants that were practically identical but were different brands - which one would you choose? It's true that you always get what you pay for - but in some cases, just because it's a certain brand, doesn't mean it's any better or worse than the other. 

Am I filling a wardrobe gap? 

Is the new dress shirt in a color that you don't have? Or does it look very similar to all the other shirts you own? Give yourself different colors to choose from!

Does it feel like me?

I actually see this a lot - people have tons of clothes and some of these items you'd never expect them to wear (or even buy) in a million years! It doesn't fit their style and it always ends up in the closet on a shelf. If you find yourself second guessing, just put it back. If you really thought it was right for you, you'd know instantly.

There you have it - some simple (but thought provoking) questions to help you in your future clothing purchases! Good luck!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Feature Friday: Cardigans

Today's Feature Friday focuses on cardigans, that comfy, run out the door sweater that is perfect for mildly cool days.

The "cardigan" was named after  the 7th Earl of Cardigan, James Thomas Brudenell, a British military commander during the Crimean War.

They became popular in in 17th Century France as well as the British Isles, where fisherman adopted this heavy, hand-knitted wool apparel to stay warm on cold days.

Once created with wool, a cardigan generally has buttons or other fastening pieces in the front. These buttons will help to close the front of the sweater either from the bottom to the top or perhaps only to the middle of the torso, depending on the style and the cut. Some cardigans will also have zippers instead of buttons that can help to secure the sweater in the front.

The most famous wearer of the cardigan sweater is said to be Mr. Rogers - the children's TV show host. You may remember that Mr. Rogers used to change into his cardigan at the beginning of every television episode.

I think it's pretty safe to say that cardigans are available in almost any color imaginable. They can be that last piece to really make an outfit, or just a quick on-the-go garment to keep you warm.

How many cardigans do you own?


Friday, May 15, 2015

Feature Friday: Trench coat

Today's "Feature Friday" will talk about the history of the trench coat, which became very popular after World War I. It was originally developed for the British military.

The material from which trench coats are made, gabardine, dates back to the 1870's when designer Thomas Burberry (1835–1926) developed a unique wool material that was chemically processed to repel rain.

Jackets made of the fabric were first used in the Boer War fought in South Africa between the British and Dutch settlers in 1899.

This new material was untearable, virtually crease-proof, and resistant to the elements, while remaining porous and well-ventilated enough to be comfortable and cool for the wearer.

The classic World War I-era trench coat was double-breasted with four buttons, reinforced shoulder or gun flaps, straps at its sleeves, a buckled all-around belt (with distinctive brass "D" rings designed to hold one's water bottle, hand grenades, or sword), slotted pockets, and an adaptable collar. It was typically lined with wool. 

While these features have altered somewhat over the years, the trench coat has never gone out of fashion, remaining a popular all-purpose coat with both men and women. 

Among its wearers are a number of famous political leaders, actors, and literary figures, including politicians Winston Churchill (1874–1965) and Ronald Reagan (1911–), actors Humphrey Bogart (1899–1957) and Katharine Hepburn (1907–2003), writer George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950), and General Norman Schwarzkopf (1934–). Fictional characters who have become identified with the trench coat include Holly Golightly, the heroine of the novel and film Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961), and Peter Sellers' bumbling Inspector Clouseau from the Pink Panther comedy film series (1964–82).

Do you own a trench coat?


Friday, May 8, 2015

Feature Friday: Ballet Flats

Ballet flats are the perfect shoes to slip on as you're running out the door. More comfortable than heels for a busy day of shopping, and yet are just as classy as a pump!

Today's "Feature Friday" will focus on the lovely shoes that continue to live on as something every girl should have (at least one pair of) in their closet.

Ballet flats have been in style for many centuries and naturally, they were inspired by the shoes dancers wore. They first appeared in the 16th Century, before heels were even invented. Flats remained popular until Catherine de Medici, Queen of France from 1547-1559, wore the first pair at her wedding.

Ballet flats were reintroduced in 1947 with the help of Rose Repetto. She crafted her first ballet flat, now known as the timeless Repetto ballet flat, for her son Roland Petit, a renowned dancer and choreographer.

Her ballet flats immediately became popular among professional dancers. After French actress and animal activist Brigitte Bardot wore a pair of Repetto’s flats the trend of the ballet shoe launched into iconic status. (Photo above)

They continued their popularity in the 1950's  and 60's as well, where actresses like Audrey Hepburn was seen wearing them all the time, as it was her shoe of choice! Television actresses like Mary Tyler Moore and Lucille Ball were also fans of the shoe and could be seen wearing them quite often on their shows!

Today's generation of women consider actresses of the 50's and 60'sto be fashion icons which has kept fashion trends, like the ballet flat, alive and going strong.

The History of the Ballet Flat 
The History of the Iconic Ballet Flat

Friday, May 1, 2015

Feature Friday: Special Announcement

The Marilyn Johnson Sewing Design Studio, LLC., a multifaceted design studio in Laurel specializing in the fabric arts, has an immediate opening for a Workroom Supervisor to manage and supervise the daily operations of incoming and outgoing client work orders.

This person will be in charge of a small group of stitchers and interns in the workroom and will be working with them to complete tasks in a timely and consistent manner.

The ideal candidate for this position will possess the following skills:

Advance-Level Sewing Skills

Ability to answer questions from the stitchers and interns regarding sewing, using machines, etc

Ability to do client work in the event that deadlines are tight, staff is shorthanded that week, etc. with little to no supervision.
Must be able to do fittings with clients – including measuring, pinning, pricing, etc.


Organization is a must. This position is fast-paced and the ideal candidate will have to keep track of all incoming work dates, due dates, and fitting dates.

The ideal candidate will be responsible for pre-planning the following week’s work schedule – who will do what – in order to make sure work is being finished on time for clients.

The ideal candidate must maintain the workroom area and make sure that the interns and stitchers clean up every afternoon before leaving for the day.

Listening Skills/Note Taking – The ideal candidate will be working with Marilyn on a weekly basis completing a list of tasks for each client work order. This requires good listening skills, attention to detail, and the ability to convey this information to the interns and stitchers in the Workroom.

Management Skills

Experience in managing a small group of people is a plus. Occasionally, Marilyn may not be in the Studio and the ideal candidate must be comfortable managing the workroom and making sure the work is being completed on time.

The ability to give direction with ease and make sure everyone in the Workroom is following Studio Procedures, maintaining Studio standards for quality of work

The ability to train and work with stitchers and interns as needed

People Skills

Must be open-minded, friendly, approachable, and positive

Phone skills are a plus

Must have the ability to handle stressful situations or any problems that arise in the Studio in a responsible manner.

Other Skills/Qualifications

A Bachelor’s Degree in Fashion Design, Costume Design (or related field) or an equivalent amount of experience working in this field

Basic Computer Skills (Outlook, Microsoft Word & Excel)

Quickbooks is a plus (but not required)

Adobe Photoshop & Illustrator is a plus (but not required)

Occasional traveling (local) for work order drop offs, supplies, etc. (need driver’s license/car)

Unrestricted work authorization in the US, without sponsorship

To Apply

Please e-mail with your resume and cover letter.

Include “Workroom Supervisor Position” in the Subject Line

If chosen for an interview, please be prepared to bring your portfolio, which MUST include physical stitched products.