Saturday, July 18, 2009

pete and repeat

i know it's not just me, because i've had this discussion with a couple fred shoppers recently: what's going on lately with milwaukee fashion? maybe it's the fact that temperatures were a record low the last couple days, or maybe we're just thinking about things other than shopping...which i have been guilty of lately myself, but it seems like everyone is dressing the same. am i crazy? perhaps. but i feel like we're all uninspired lately. i haven't seen anything special on anyone. everyone, including myself, seems to have this ho-hum attitude about getting dressed. i've been guilty of repeating outfits lately, which i never do...and i haven't cared. is it the weather? excess boozing at all the festivals leaving us listless and sloppy? i don't know. whatever the case, i'm really trying to get inspired. all my pre-fall mags are rolling in and even though i don't want to imagine summer ending, it's inevitable. i'm forced to look at all the trends on their way in--more rocker chic, edgy, leather, studs, fringe...and i think, yeah, so what? been there done that last fall/winter. ugh. maybe i'm in a fashion slump. i need to break out. i think it's just mildly premature to think about fall fashion. so i don't even want to write about it yet. but it feels like fall right now, so i guess i should be all about it. i'm trying to shake it off, but i'm struggling. i will say that the new hot color combo trend, tangerine and khaki is new and refreshing to me. i love it:

i guess that's a tiny pic. we just had in the best handbag...khaki with bright tangerine detailing. loved it. scooped up by a stylish chick within two days of arrival. i've always been a big fan of surprising color combos...chocolate brown and baby blue, purple and green, royal and yellow...anything that pops. and this new tangerine and khaki look is cool. sorta militant, sorta safari...but definitely new and appealing.

i have been seeing a lot of 80s inspired looks on people lately. am i a fan? no. hate all 80s. big hair, gross, music, cheesy...everything is off to me. i'm not opposed to retro style in general, but i'm sorry, bright neon, stone washed, flashdance-y styles will never do it for me. but i guess it must be trying to make a comeback...probably with the people who didn't do it the first time around. well, fine, enjoy it, but don't say i didn't warn you when years from now, you're revisiting your pictures in your 80s junque, and just the sight of that costume-like attire sends you crawling into a hole. eh, see, i'm being negative nancy again. i can't get out of this fashion funk. usually i'm inspired by the small things and nothing lately is cutting it.

on the bright side, fred is getting in tons of cute stuff lately. dresses for any occassion, a great brand called ya that fits everyone perfectly, and tons more on the way in within the next couple weeks. we have a fashion show at cans on thursday the 23rd that we're stoked about. we'll showcase all our new dresses. we also have a bunch of new jewelry, with more coming in mid-week. even if i'm in a rut, i guarantee you'll find some gems at fred.

i don't want to leave this blog on such a gloom and doom note, but i'm hoping you can help. comment on what you think is great about fashion lately, what you've seen and liked, or just comment on what you think my problem is. just kidding. but if you are in the same boat as me lately, let me know i'm not the only one. we're giving away a gift certificate to a random blog commenter, so your thoughts will count. let me know what you're thinking. can't wait to hear.

don't forget about fred's ladies night, the last thursday of the month from 5-10pm. take advantage of the buy a dress, get the second at half off special. i'll talk to you soon. hopefully with a list of all the things that inspire me and my new obsessions and must haves!

Knock It Off

Thursday, July 2, 2009

wedding crashers

i haven't worked a shift at fred in the last month, where at least three chicks per day were in the store looking for a dress to wear to an upcoming wedding. yep, it's wedding season, and time to buy dresses appropriate for any summer style wedding. i can't believe how many people struggle with finding the perfect dress to wear. i get asked a zillion questions, can i wear a black dress? is a maxi dress too casual? can i wear a dress with white in it? i don't know if it's just me, but i don't think i've ever questioned what to wear. i didn't realize there were any rules other than don't wear a white/ivory dress...but apparently, there's a lot of confusion. i say, wear whatever you feel comfortable in. i would never wear a white dress anyway; i'm a slob. a calamity, if you will. i drop my coffee on me on average twice a week. so i always tell customers, wear a dress that makes you happy. one that you will wear again. one you can style dressier for the wedding and more casual so you can wear it again. steer clear of white, and you're fine. and don't dress too risque. so those are my rules. i asked my coworker and friend, annie maederer, a couple questions, since she's the queen of getting dressed up, what her thoughts were on weddings. here's her take on what to wear:

what would you wear to a summer wedding that is black tie? a black tie summer wedding requires a formal dress. because it is summer, i would recommend a short dressy cocktail dress. black cocktail dresses always look formal (and yes, it is perfectly acceptable to wear black to a wedding nowadays) and you can differentiate yours with a statement necklace. fred currently has numerous styles of black strapless dresses and is always stocked with statement jewelry. because it is summer though, why not opt for a vibrant or saturated color dress instead? fred has a stunning silk cobalt blue dress. even though it's a shorter style, the silk makes it formal and accesssories can help dress it up even more. black patent or strappy metallic heels always dress things up more too.

how about a "normal" summer wedding? a normal summer wedding really allows you freedom to wear any cute, fun dress. i love this time of year because it's when fred has the most dresses in stock. there are so many styles and patterns to choose from. my favorite is the brand minuet. they make solid colored dresses with unique origami detail, ruffles, box pleats, or flower appliques. they always seem to look great on everyone and sell out immediately when we a get a shipment in! their dresses come in the perfect colors for summer too: magenta, teal blue, yellow, green, etc. there really is such a wide selection of styles and brands of dresses at fred right now and the majority of them would work for any summer wedding. and i'm so thankful we don't have to worry about what tights or jacket we need to wear with them anymore too!

what do you recommend for an outdoor summer wedding? for me, an outdoor casual wedding reception is all about the appropriate fabric choice. i would stick to any cotton or jersey fabric--nothing too formal like silk. and even thought it is casual, it's not a backyard bbq, so a dress is still the most appropriate option. since it's outdoors, i would stay away from black and opt for a colorful flower pattern, which is one of the biggest trends this season. and one more important thing to remember: don't wear stilletos! you'll have sinkage issues in the grass, so a cute strappy metallic flat sandal or wedge would be best.

so, there you have it. your wedding dress dilemmas solved. here are my top picks for dresses we have at fred right now--come scoop 'em up fast:

and don't forget to check out our new store luscious, right next to fred! talk to you next week! here's this week's installment of knock it off. please disregard beyonce's missing arm. :)

Knock It Off