Sunday, December 5, 2010

Wow! 365 Days of Pink.

A little over a year ago, I was putting together my dream of Pink Pagoda Style, excited to be doing what I've always wanted to and hoping that others might be excited as well & PPS might go somewhere.  And somewhere it has gone.  I have met so many new people, forged new relationships, seen more clothes than I could ever dream, and assisted men, women, and teens find their personal style.  So much fun!  I am so grateful and look forward to continuing this growth for the next 365 days+++.  My website details will have a few changes in the new year which includes one new service that I will be offering.  Be sure to check it out in a few weeks.  Thank you to everyone who has supported, referred, followed, and been a friend of Pink Pagoda Style.  I am so very appreciative and couldn't have done it without you!

xo Kim

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Its been awhile....

Sorry folks.  With the ease of quick posting on FB, Pink Pagoda has been neglecting the blog side of things.  Hope your summer was fabulous and despite the new, crazy weather, I hope your fall is looking good.  With all the new fall merchandise in the stores and the cold temps soon to arrive, now is the time to take a look in your closet, sort out what shouldn't be there, and make your list of what needs to fill in the gaps.  And of course, your new, must have statement pieces that will give you, your wow factor all season.

Pink Pagoda Style has 2 upcoming public events and we would love to have you there. Below are the details to each and our only requirement is that you rsvp to attend.  You can do that one of two ways; Email your rsvp with your name and how many people will be joining you to "" OR find Pink Pagoda Style on Facebook, look under the events tab, and rsvp through the invites there.  Looking forward to seeing you for some Fall Fashion!


**10/10 - 3-7pm**  Pink Pagoda Style - Fall Basics and Must Have's for your wardrobe.

What an event this will be! For those of you who attended our spring event and had so much fun, this Fremont fall event is going to be even bigger and better!

Fun, affordable, fall clothing, accessories, shoes and gifts at Finch + Sparrow, Dream, and Bliss boutiques.

Fabulous, feminine foundations and Lounge wear at Bellefleur Lingerie (Complimentary expert bra-fitting to assist with your perfect fall foundations)

Modern, classic, and sophisticated clothing with an edge at Merge Boutique

Makeup by Justine - Makeup Artist

Duchess Cosmetics - featuring their fresh off the press lip gloss.

Hope you can join us for a fun-filled afternoon. Fashion show, treats, swag bags for the first 50 rsvp'ed guests to check in, shopping discounts, great give-aways via drawing, and more. Feel free to bring a friend. RSVP's required. Thank you!

**10/17 - 3-6pm**  Howard and Marge : A Hip Destination for Casual Chic with an Edge.

Location2118 SW 152nd St. Seattle, Wa. 98166

Created By

More InfoCome join me for a fun afternoon in adorable Olde Town Burien. Fall fashion for guys, gals and youngsters at hip destination, Howard and Marge. Fall looks, MakeUp by Justine, Duchess Cosmetics, trunk show with A to Z , gift drawings, shopping discount, bubbly and more.
RSVP's Required. 

Visit Howard and Marge at:

Sunday, June 6, 2010

A peek behind the Pink Pagoda curtain...

In the past 6 weeks I have been spending quite a bit of time digging in your neighbors closets and having such a blast while assisting clients clean out and start fresh.  With new clients come new conversations with their friends and happily the word spreads.  And she told two people, and she told two people and so on and so on.  With this passed on information I get inquiries with many of the same questions.   I thought it would be a good idea to bring some of these to light and answer them for all to see.

1) I am a professional in XYZ profession and it is expected that I dress in a such and such manner.   I do need assistance with my wardrobe but am wondering if you are going to attempt to convert my sense of style to yours?

The goal of Pink Pagoda Style is not to make anyone dress like I do, it is to assist in finding your personal style and then build your closet to reflect that. While I may have ideas on how you can spark up your current wardrobe or wear something in a new way, in the end it is your wardrobe and you need to love and be comfortable with everything in it.

2) I have not been through my closet in years and I know that a lot of what I have, needs to be replaced.  I
    am prepared to do that but I am concerned that you are going to require me to buy  a ton of new things
    and it will cost me a fortune.  Is your expectation that clients buy designer everything?

When you and I go through your closet, it truly is my goal to use as many pieces from your current wardrobe as we can.  There definitely is purging (goodwill,consignment,etc.) when it comes to outdated, ill-fitting, or stained items; sometimes this is only a little pile, other times, its rather large. Either way, once we have your core pieces figured out, we make a list of the items you need to complete your wardrobe.  Some are basics that you will probably need sooner than later and other list items, such as accessories, are things you can purchase over time.  As for the brands that you are purchasing, that is up to you.  As with my wardrobe, I am the Queen of mixing high end and bargains and share that with all my clients.  Every wardrobe should have some basics that are better quality (classic lines/good fabric that will last for many seasons) and then the fun, trendy pieces can be purchased anywhere from Old Navy and Target on up.

3)  Will you laugh at me and/or my clothes?

I have actually been asked this several times and am always surprised.  Perhaps people think that I will be judgemental or criticize them about what they have.  That is not the case.  I am assuming that I've been hired to assist with choosing your fashion as it does not come easily to you, just as I hire someone to do my taxes.  Hopefully my tax man is not laughing at me. Even though I am always honest, I make the process as painless as possible.  The idea is to have fun.

Monday, May 3, 2010

The long and the short of it....

While changing my closet from winter to spring this past week, I was surprised at how many items needed to go. I love having a ton of tanks as I am a layerer extrodinaire. My collection was large but half of them needed to go. The length of many were way too short, perhaps left over from the day of higher waisted pants. I'd held onto them way too long. And away they go. I have replaced them all with 27 inch models and never have to worry about escaping flesh. Something to keep in mind when changing your closet over.

You can find the newer, longer tanks just about anywhere but the one below is from Victoria Secret, comes in 12 different colors and sells for $14.50.

While on the topic of length, let's talk shorts.  Any magazine, catalog or fashion website you look at, you will find a bevy of short, shorts.  And not just tailored shorts, but cut-off denim shorts.  While Heidi Klum and friends, may look fantastic wearing these beauties with platform shoes to run to the grocery, this is not the norm.  Similar to those shown below, the True Religion cut off shorts are $172 and are not what most of us should be wearing.

The under 25 crowd is who should be looking at this style as something more than a good laugh but those of us older than that (and comfortable with our legs)  might want one more go of the denim cut-offs as well.   If this is the case, look for something a little longer, less ragged.  And wear it with a cute tee or 3/4 sleeve floral blouse and flat sandals.  Leave the Chanel jacket and pump pairing for Hollywood.  These Joes Jeans cut offs are $139 and leave a little more to the imagination.

For those of you that want the shorts but would rather something a little dressier than the denim, tons of cute options out there.    The first pair below are from Elisabeth and James for $225, the second pair from Bliss in Fremont, WA.  for $78. 

And finally, pants.  For some reason or another, pants can "shrink".  Whether its the wash, weight gain, or alien abduction, shrinkage does occur.  When sorting through your closet and finding pants that have not been worn in awhile, try them on.  Seem to be a tad too short, get rid of them.  Pants that are too short are NOT considered cropped.  Say this two times out loud.  Floods are NOT cropped.   Very important always.

Here you will see a pair or cropped pants next to some flood pants.  Although the cropped pair aren't the greatest, you can see which are worse.  While you are looking in your closet, make sure to check your man's at the same time.  They don't seem to have the inner flood warning that most women come equipped with.  Perhaps its a failure to ask for a second opinion.  For a cute, cropped look, Martin + Osa's "Zip Crops" for $69. 

Just something to keep in mind when sorting throught last years spring/summer items and stocking up on items that may be missing from your wardrobe.  Moral of the story, length does indeed matter.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Making your space speak...

Back again, after too many weeks away. Home Decor. I did paint, I did carpets. Furniture is more of a one on one conversation as there is so much out there. But how about the little things? If I walked into your home tonight and just by looking around, would I learn anything about you and what you like? Not just that you love the color purple and have it on every wall, but real things about you. Where you grew up, where you have travelled, that you love hearts, or are totally into music. Are you a traditionalist, eclectic, or completely modern?

Do you love black and white photography, straw baskets or have a collection of wind up clocks? If these things are important to you, they should be seen and not tucked away in some plastic bin at the back of some closet.

I have been in many a home over the years that has been tastefully decorated but says absolutely nothing about the people that live there. Just that they hired a decorator and asked for the latest. Think about the things that make you smile, trips you've been on and the goodies that you have collected. Are there items you have from your grandparents or back further that give you a connection to your heritage? If so, put them out.

Did you live someplace that you miss and still feel connected with? Display a group of items that reminds you of that city. Do you have a collection of books that are important to you? Stack them on a table or shelf so you can reference them whenever you have a moment or two. Collections don't need to be all in one spot or causing clutter. You can cleverly disperse these items throughout your home or create little groupings in various rooms.

In my home, we are truly eclectic. From my husbands collection of Navajo carpets (from his Grandfather) and antiques to my love of stars, crosses, Asian decor, and all things bold. Every beach trip we take, I bring home a new collection of sand, shells and rocks from that vacation and display them in a mason jar or open container for the tactile folks. My husband loves spicy food and that is reflected in a sign we have in the kitchen. We have lived in our home for 5 years but are constantly adding, subtracting and just moving things around to create a home that says us. These are our items, lets find yours.

Monday, March 22, 2010

From the floor on up...

The theme today is carpet. Not the broadloom that your home may have wall to wall in many rooms, but individual carpets or rugs that you bring into your home to tie your room together, to make a statement, or to make that room complete. Given that statement, it would be easy to assume that the rug or carpet is the last thing to be added into a room. In reading many an article, design books galore and even direct quotes from people in the business, if you are not already thinking this, it is time to change your decorating order. The rug comes first. Speaking with Brad Andonian, co-owner of Pande Cameron (Bellevue/Seattle) , I learned that when you are decorating a space, you should build from the foundation up. Instead of running around with a paint chip, trying to be matchy matchy with your carpet and furnishing choices, find that perfect rug first. Brad said that it is very easy to highlight a given color(s) while at the same time, drawing less attention to others, so your rug does not need to an exact match to everything around it. Once you have that carpet, you can then go about choosing your furniture, window coverings and paint. Brad is the third generation of his family to own Pande Cameron, which has been in the Seattle area since 1924. When asked about assisting clients with a carpet purchase, Brad showed his expertise by stating that he always asks where someone lives, the direction a given room faces and what their needs are (living room, dining room, family room, master bedroom). He is so readily aware of the various areas and neighborhoods in the Seattle area that by hearing which neighborhood a client lives in, he immediately knows the amount of light a given neighborhood has as well as the general architectural feel of that area. Of course the direction of the room in question, allows a good understanding of how much direct or indirect sunlight that room will receive.

When you are ready to shop for an area rug, there are so many options from A-Z as to where you will go to shop for your rug. Initially, go through design magazines and online to get a head start in figuring out the styles that you like but when it comes to purchase time it really is recommended that you go live with the shopping so that you can use more than one sense to find the right one. Touching as well as seeing the rug is good. For mud rooms or the kids art room, area rugs from Ikea, Pottery Barn and the like are just fine but designer John Kurtz (former host of Art Underfoot and now designer for New Moon) says "You should buy the best rug you can afford, even it means living with bare floors while you save up your pennies. Look for good quality natural materials such as wool and silk. A high-quality wool rug will wear well and even look better over time, says Kurtz. Wool has the capacity to develop its own patina through exposure to light and air and feet walking on it. It's like having a wonderful piece of wood furniture and rubbing your hand over it every day". Washington based interior designer, Patrick J. Baglino, Jr. says "Sisal, jute and grass rugs often cost less, but are difficult to clean and don't last as long. "If you spill red wine on it, that rug is gone." The general guideline for how much to spend is relative to how much you are spending on the rest of the room. In a living room, the rug should be priced at as much, if not more, than the sofa. Set your price limit before you shop, then add 10 percent to give you some flexibility within that price range.

Once you do find the one, be sure to take care of it, as you would any other piece of art in your home. Brad, from Pande Cameron recommends the following; "In home broadloom should be professionally cleaned 2/x year for cleanliness, wear etc.
Area rugs should be cleaned regularly to increase life; if not, dirt reaches the base of the knot and acts as an abrasive and degrades the condition and durability of the rug. At $2.50 a square foot, area rugs should be cleaned every 3-5 years and pads should be replaced at that time". When a rug is cleaned it should have both the back and front thoroughly scrubbed and washed to ensure a deep and complete clean.

I did go to visit the Bellevue showroom of Pande Cameron and instantly felt the need to bring home all new area rugs. While, I did put a wish list together, I did abstain THAT day but I know I will be back soon. While Pande Cameron has a large selection of both traditional and antique area rugs, because they design and commission their own carpets, they have created a Craftsman series to suit the older homes of many Seattle neighborhoods but also many contemporary rugs as well. Some of my favorites were:

"Silk Road" - handknotted wool pile on cotton foundation with silk accents. $5995 for 6'x9'

"D Swirl" in kelp - handknotted wool pile on cotton foundation. $5400 for 5'x8'

"Bamboo Coral Honey" - handknotted wool pile on cotton foundation. $2995 for 5'x8'

"Wrought Iron" in terracotta - handknotted wool pile on cotton foundation. $5400 for 5'x8'

"Vase" in charcoal - Handknotted wool pile on cotton foundation. You have to see this one in person, it was fabulous. Traditional design with updated colors. $5995 for 6'x9'

"Border Rug" in cinnamon - other colors include sage and graphite. Handknotted wool pile on cotton foundation. Perfect basic for high traffic areas. $995 for 5'x8'.

I hope this information is helpful and inspires you for the next time you are ready to create or re-create a room in your home.

The most important consideration in buying a rug is finding something that "has a beating heart and is going to please you every time you look at it," says Kurtz. "A great rug, a place to sit, a can of paint and you're done."

For any questions about the carpets above, custom carpets or carpet cleaning and mending, contact Brad Andonian through the Pande Cameron link mentioned above or through his email at:

Happy Decorating!


Monday, March 15, 2010

Rose Colored Glasses...

Back in the day I used to have a boss and everyone said he wore rose colored glasses. Although many of us were frustrated by his "sunshinyness" and wanted him to take those proverbial glasses off, I always liked the term. Tonight when I looked it up on the internet, came back with the following:

"Last week a co-worker bought a pair of stylish sunglasses with rose-colored lenses. When she went outside and put them on, all of the colors of the leaves on the trees (it's autum now) absolutely POPPED! She dashed into our building excitedly telling us of her discovery so we all lined up and took turns looking through her rose-colored glasses.
It was absolutely amazing - I have never seen the world as colorful and vibrant as when I looked through those lens. Breathtaking. It was an Ah-Ha moment for us as we finally understood how beautiful the world is through rose-colored glasses.
Now the question is - where do I find rose -colored glasses? She bought the only pair, dangnabbitt."

The point of this and why this term works, is because the world looks better with a little color.

For as long as I can remember, I have always loved color. I used to jump at the opportunity to go to an art store with my mom to see all of the papers and colored markers lined up and could stand in the various aisles forever just staring at all the different shades. Every new school year, I was always adamant with my parents that even though the school supply list said we needed the 12 pack of crayola's, that it was in fact a typo and we really needed the 72 pack with the built in sharpener. I just HAD to have the selection. Today, I am still the same way and love the various art stores and their massive selections of paint, inks, papers, etc. Another favorite spot is in the office supply section of the Kinokuniya bookstore in the ID of Seattle. Their selection of folders, notebooks, pens and the like come in every color under the sun. Just clearing up my craft supplies had me folding all kinds of tissue paper and something so simple to look at, makes me happy.

So, I think I've now established that color is a good thing. And now to bring it into your home. The easiest, least expensive way to add a little punch to your environment, is paint. Many people seem overwhelmed at the prospect of doing so and therefore we see a lot of walls, in a lot of homes with an eggshell finish of "cosmic dust". Doesn't scream excitement does it? Or really tell you much about the people that live in that home, at least we hope not. When thinking about adding color to your space, think about what inspires you, what brings you calm, what makes you happy. Many people reference vacations when thinking of colors that they like; whether its the calming shades of the beach, the gorgeous hues of fabric from India or Mexico, or the mountains of the Pacific Northwest.

A woman named Gretchen Schauffler who moved to Oregon from San Juan, Puerto Rico when she was 10, had missed the bright oranges, pinks, and blues of her childhood but eventually felt like she needed to embrace her new home with the colors of the Northwest. In creating these new colors to inspire herself, she ended up drawing others in with her creations and long story short, came to start Devine Color. She created these colors based on NW nature, from the mountains, to oceans, rivers and deserts and feels her line turns our local nature into a lifestyle. I have gone to the local specialty paint store and had a look at her color palates and they are beautiful. They cost a little more than your local hardware store but supposedly they paint on like yogurt and are of very high quality. They have to since Gretchen feels wall color has a big job to do: "to make every color in your home; floors, countertop, carpet, fabrics, and pictures look more beautiful".

For me, I tend to like my bedroom, living room and den to be darker, cozier, with all my lights on dimmers and candles everywhere. Obviously my cave dwelling does not work for everyone or every room and so where light is needed, my color inspiration comes from my love of all things Asian, focused on the red, lacquered pieces found in antique stores. This too, only goes so far, so a pale but warm yellow tone ties my rooms together and is the primary color throughout the halls. Some rooms are still in question as to "what they will be" but it is a process in living in the space, figuring out what you might like, and maybe even changing it once or twice. At $25 a gallon, that is something that most can do.

Many of the paint company's these days offer either bigger sample swatches or even a "mini" can of paint for a small fee which allows you to take it home, and give it a test run. If its swatches that you have, tape them up on the wall and live with them for several days. With actual paint samples, slap a rectangle of color up on the wall of the room you are focused on and do the same. Check on your colors at different times of the day and see what different light levels do to change the color. That might be cause for elimination of certain shades right there. After watching them over a few days, you will really start to get a sense of what you do and don't like. You may have a winner or you might be headed back to the store. That's okay as you want to love whatever it is you will be living with.

Last week I posted a link to the feature on Fine Living with their color wheel and it looks to have some really great ideas. If you haven't had a look yet, it is worth a peek. When you click on any given color, it gives you a whole range of ideas to incorporate that color into your decor. Some conservative, some very creative and many options in between.,,FINE_26036_64265,00.html

And finally, a modern day assistant to help you with your color selection. For all of you with an iPhone or iTouch, your color app has been created. It is called MyPanatone and it will cost you $10. This app displays 5,251 shades and allows you to assemble palettes of color for everything in a room, from paint color to window treatments. It can also analyze digital photos to find the exact shade of matching Panatone chip. How convenient is that? No more last minute visits to the Home Depot paint guy, you know the one that got moved from the plumbing department last week.

Still overwhelmed? Call me.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Earning your jewels....

With the economy being what it is, most of us are having to choose one thing over another or give up things that were common place a year or two ago. Clothing and jewelry might just fall under this category. If you choose to pass on buying new spring and summer clothes this year, accessories can be the easiest way to update last years clothes and bring them to 2010. But, again, not wanting to spend money in this area, then earning your accessories can be a fabulous solution. You are going to get together with your girlfriends anyways, so why not have an evening in, grab a few goodies from the local Traders Joes or Cost Plus to snack on and host a jewelry party.

One such company that sells their merchandise through home parties is Stella and Dot. Stella and Dot carries bold, statement jewelry that has an Anthropologie feel to it and is truly eye catching. This line is great for those that like a bolder, funkier look in their costume jewelry. Four of their current collections, fall under destination locations to describe the feel of the various pieces; Passage to India which includes lots of gold, silk, and clover details, St. Tropez, which features neutrals, silver coins, chains, and pearls, Palm Beach which is very Lilly Pulitzer with coral, turquiose, enamel flowers and starfish, and finally Sayulita, Mexico. The pieces in this collection feature lots of turquoise with a dark, chocolate brown, wooden beads, suede and leather.

Some of my favorites from their current collection are:

1) The Jardin Ring (14 ct. gold plated - $44).

2) The St. Tropez Statement Cuff in Ivory (hand-sewn Swarovski crystals and glass stones on linen - $118).

3) The Bybles chandelier necklace in silver (silver plated, vintage textured chain with hand cut glass chandelier stones - $148).

4) The Azure Couture earrings (14 ct. gold vermeil with turquoise and green jade - $79).

Stella and Dot was created a few years ago by Jessica Herrin, a mother of two. She was a successful entrepreneur who co-founded and had a vision to create a new kind of company that would allow today's busy woman thrive with a business they would love, selling a product that they would love.

If you are interested in seeing more of Stella and Dot, feel free to contact Sylvia Beer through her email at or visit her websiteat: She will also be having an open house in Seattle on Sunday, March 14th from 3-6 pm if you want to see her "cool jewels" in person.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Another home based jewelry business that has been around for 25 years is Cookie Lee. This line has a broader range of styles to suit almost everyone and a price point to match with 95% of their items under $40. In 1985 Cookie (yes she is a real person) began taking a shoe box full of the jewelry she had made to her job to sell to her friends and co-workers just as a hobby. By 1992 her business had grown so much that she hired her first consultant, shortly after her business had outgrown their house and they opened the first showroom in Irvine, Ca.

The 2010 spring/summer catalog features jewelry with 4 themes to keep with the current trends. Party Glam, The New Contemporary, Spring Rocker Princess and Relaxed Luxury. The website gives lots of detail on current trends, how to wear their pieces and mixing pieces from different collections to create a bold look.

In the online catalog, some of my favorites are:

The Knotted Mixed Strands necklace for $32 on page 44, the Mixed Chain Cuff, also for $32 on page 56, and the Natural Agate Pendant ($32) worn together with the Tumbled Wood Necklace ($28) on page 19.

While, unfortunately, I am not able to retrieve images from Cookie Lee to show on my blog, you can view the items by visiting the online catalog at: or contact Jeanine directly to hear about her future open house dates at

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

So gather your girls for a weekday evening or Sunday afternoon, have a snack, chit chat and earn some jewels to perk up your spring time. No gal can resist a new little sparkle to add to her wardrobe.

Have a great week and I will be back soon with a little interior inspiration.


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Just own it!

The last few weeks I have been blogging about current fashion trends, what to wear, what to avoid but my main goal in all of this is to have people wearing what makes them feel good about how they look. Some people follow the seasonal trends to a T, others have ignored them since they were old enough to make the choice. The majority are probably somewhere in the middle. These posts have been aimed towards those that don't follow what is going on in the world of fashion but are interested in changing, updating or making some minor adjustments to what they have hanging in their closets. I, for one, tend to have a clean-lined wardrobe in mostly gray's, blacks, and denim and update season to season with a new punch of color or print and perhaps the newest length of skirt, latest shape of a sleeve, or most up-to-date cut of pant. Otherwise I stick to my basics. That and my accessories. I don't care what the "experts" are saying about jewelry and footwear, I LOVE my chunky jewels and boots. Even if they have been permanently delegated to the "out list", I will keep them in my wardrobe as they are who I am, how I define myself and what others know as my statement pieces.

Many famous people in the arts, choose to wear all kinds of interesting ensembles and although the fashion critics have lots to say, most of us pay no mind to what they are wearing because they love their style and therefore own it. If your favorite thing is your pleated, cuffed khaki's worn with Nikes, then so be it. If your go-to accessory is a pair of leg warmers with harem pants, then you go. The key is to own your look. It is yours, work it!

Here are some folks that own their look and we know them for it. No matter how bold or simple, this should be the key to fashion for all.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Fella's, let me make this easy for you...

I started this blog last night and after an outing all over the city of Seattle today, I came home to start again. I had my observer eyes on today and did a lot of people watching. I really wanted to see what the men of Seattle chose to wear for Valentines Day. Sure, it's a day the same as any other but also a day in which many men were taking that special someone out for day of love. I have to say that despite a few pairs of Teva's with pleated khaki's and the like, men were doing pretty well. The main thing that stood out to me was that most men started out on the right foot but when it came to finishing the look, the shoes or coats were an after thought. For example, a gentleman had on great jeans and top but finished his look with gym shoes. Or the outfit was great but their fleece Northface, stole the show. Both the shoes and the fleece have their place in men's wardrobes but are better suited for a Saturday morning walk around Greenlake or a scheduled workout at 24 Hour Fitness. Paying attention to these details can really bring your look together.

For this Spring, there are a handful of items that the designers and retailers are showing for men. Knowing what these are, will truly assist with focusing on these overlooked details.

**Do to temporary (hopefully) technical issues, I am not able to load picture files into this blog at this time. To check out the corresponding photos to this blog, please have a look at my Pink Pagoda FB page where many examples are posted***

1) Military.

Nothing extreme, no need to visit your nearest Army surplus outlet. This military is being shown in t-shirts, shirts and jackets with structured pockets on the front in all shades of natural, khaki, browns and blacks.

2) A narrower silhouette.

Whether its a shirt, a jacket, blazer or pants. This is not a skin tight look but just a more streamlined appearance. The pants or jeans should be flat front with either a narrower leg or boot cut but not a full upper leg. The shirts, jackets and blazers are cut to skim the body and give a trim appearance.

3) Dark Denim.

This really should be a staple piece in all men's wardrobes. It looks dressier, its more suitable for the standard workplace and it is perfect for a night time pant to dress things up. Again, a narrower cut is what you want to look for with clean lines both in front and on the rear pockets.

4) Loafers.

This shoe can be found in the most casual style straight up through the dressiest. It is perfect with the slimmer silhouettes for spring, they have a clean line and they are comfortable.

All of these items can be found in all price ranges from labels featured at Mario's and Neiman Marcus right through to the Gap, J.Crew, and Banana Republic.

With listing these stores, I really have been on a search to find "man dedicated" stores where a customer can get really fabulous service with individualized attention for their particular needs. While there are lots of co-ed stores and even great men's departments in chain stores, it's not the same as having a local "man dedicated" boutique to feel like you are truly understood when looking for assistance. I have a list and because its not long, I have made it a PNW list vs. just Seattle. I hope to have more detail in a future blog but in the meantime, I hope this is helpful.

Seattle: Oslo's - A Men's Store

Vancouver, BC.: Harry Rosen

Mark James Clothing

Boys Co. (casual)

Portland, OR.: Blake (casual/denim)

Local 35 ("progressive casual clothing")

I hope everyone had a fabulous Valentines weekend with whatever you did to celebrate. Have a fabulous week and I will be back soon.


Monday, February 1, 2010

Listen Up Gentlemen.....

I have a few things to say. I'm veering back from my Valentines discussion to get more personal. This has been on my mind for awhile and by that, I mean years. Your wardrobe. Plenty of you are doing just fine, in fact, better than fine. There are some great male wardrobes out there. I do have to add in the fact, that I may be a little more judgemental then your average Seattleite as my formative fashion years were spent in Vancouver, BC. where men put a lot of thought into what they wear for all occasions. It was less about the labels and more about the style but the style was good. And it was consistent. When I moved here in the early 90's, to say I was shocked at the male fashion I saw out on the town, would be a major understatement. Slowly, over time, the tech world casualness quietly chipped away at my laser beam fashion eyes and they began to become blurry when a khaki short, hanes t, birkenstock wearing guy walked past me. And this wasn't at the beach or a daytime market, this was in a nightclub, in the city, at night. Aggghhh. People have been kicked out of Canada for lesser crimes! So, on with my thoughts. Because men don't have the constant trend changes that women have, season to season, it is probably easier to slip off the fashion band wagon and wear items longer than they should. I have three major ones that I want to touch base on. If you see yourself in these paragraphs and you know me, its not personal. Its just important! ;)

1) Work issued "fashion":

Clothes that are handed out at work, unless of course you work in a fashion establishment, are not for use outside of work. It seems obvious that a restaurant worker who has a uniform (ranging from McDonalds to the Georgian Room at the Fairmont Hotel) would not choose to wear their work clothes when their shift is over. So why then do we see so many work issued polos, jackets, hats, etc. being worn all over the place for what is clearly not a work activity. And then to put on your best work logo wear to go out for dinner on a Sunday (non work day!), not good. Yes, these clothes are usually free and sometimes even comfortable but that does not equate to a good fashion choice. Most of these clothes were created for trade shows, traveling sales staff, and conferences. Outside of those parameters, the only other acceptable usage is in the privacy of your own home. That being said, there are a few exceptions. I have been reminded that there are good North Face jackets or Patagonia fleece vests that are ordered with company logo's and what to do with those. Outdoor hikes, camping, running to Home Depot, those are fine uses. Going out for a nice dinner on a Saturday night. No. Think of it this way; wouldn't you stand a little taller, feel really good wearing something you chose for your self that says you vs. wearing one of 3000 shirts that were ordered by some admin. person for a last minute conference. Just something to ponder.

2) This one will be short. Cuffs on pants. We don't do this anymore. Sure, many stores will still sell this style if you would like it but you shouldn't. You may have many of these pants in your closet from years past and they still do the job. Time to move them along. Why, you ask? Because unless you are 6' 8", they make you look shorter than you are. Women are always worried about making their legs look longer by wearing the right skirt, cut of pant or shoe and men should think about this as well. Wearing a cuff less pant, gives you length. Length gives the appearance of being leaner. All in all, its a fabulous thing. While we are discussing pants, a side note for you. Pleats along the waist band are another feature from times past. Pleats can add weight to your middle. If you want a leaner look, a flat front pant is the way to go.

3) Last but not least, shoes. I think this is the aspect of apparel that truly gets forgotten. Whether it be comfort or just unawareness , so many people, men and woman both, forget to check this box. I think it is also out of sight, out of mind. Because you can't see your feet doesn't mean other's don't and it is so important for people to keep this in mind. Have you ever seem someone that has a great outfit on but then their shoes stand out like a sore thumb because they are falling apart at the seams? Unpolished? Don't match? Everyone needs to be aware of this. And running shoes, they don't go with clothes that you wouldn't wear to the gym. Shoe makers now have great casual styles that have the comfort of athletic shoes without that look. Nothing says old man like a pair of running shoes paired with office pants, jeans, slacks. Look for a great day time shoe in browns or blacks that will look good with your pants, save the Nikes for your trip to the gym. Just like women spend a little more on a good purse or two, do the same for your shoes. You wear them everyday so you need to have quality for your feet and a selection so you have a few choices. A great pair of shoes will truly complete your outfit.

Hope these recommendations are helpful, women please feel free to forward them on to someone you know that could use these tips. Next week I will have some men's do's to follow up after the don'ts. Have a great week!