If The Shoe Fits….

Looking your best doesn’t just mean you pay attention only to your top and bottom; accessories really matter too! In fact, the right shoe can take an outfit from amazing to BOING!  Conversely, the wrong shoe, can make a great outfit fall flat.  For instance, knowing how to wear a shoe boot with a cuffed or ankle jean matters.  Small details can be the difference between making it work and having it be all wrong. 

My store has just received our fall shipment of these lovely shoes from L’Artiste by Spring Step. What I love about these shoes is the artistry; they are anything by ordinary, and wearing a shoe like this can really add dimension and interest to your outfit. The combination of multiple fabrics, blended colors, and exquisite details, take them to a whole new level. And, why shouldn’t your shoe be as interesting as the other elements of your style?

But, wearing a great shoe does take a little more thought, so here are my 5 tips for how to wear a great shoe like these correctly:

  1. Balance the details: If you are wearing a beautiful shoe like these with lots of embellishment and details, you can let the shoe be the star of your style, and good style dictates that you don’t have more than one or two items that are really eye catching. If you combine too many pieces with too many details, your look can begin to be a bit over done. For example, if you have a great shoe like these, choose a simple, clean bottom without any embellishments. Then, maybe add another accessory such as a great pair of earrings, a scarf or a handbag as your second “star,” keeping your top simple.
  2. Wear the style correctly: Nothing can ruin a look faster than wearing a shoe the wrong way. For example, with the shoe boot trend, you have three options: you can wear them with a skirt, you can wear them with leggings or you can wear them with a cuffed bottom that hits right at the top of the boot. You don’t want two inches of skin showing between the hemline and the boot. You also don’t want an overly large cuff. Also, don’t let your socks show!
  3. Match the colors: Wearing a multi-colored shoe just requires that you match the colors in the shoe with the colors in your outfit. Take the shoe boot on the bottom right at the top of the page as an example. This shoe combines several key colors of the season, including navy, wine, lavender and gold. This boot is going to work well with any denim, but you would want to choose a top in the same tones as the shoe. Wine, blue and purple tones will work best. You don’t have to match the shoe exactly, just stay in the same color family to keep your style pulled together.
  4. Match the metals: I have never been a fan of mixing metals in your outfits. If you shoe has silver buckles, for instance, make sure that the rest of your jewelry is also silver. The same goes for gold.
  5. Enjoy the attention: When you wear an eye catching shoe, you will….well…catch eyes! You might even have a stranger stop you and compliment you. When this happens, enjoy the attention! When you’ve worked hard to put a great look together, you deserve the praise! And, it feels good to feel great about your style!

These shoes are available on our online store in our “Kyleen’s Picks Of The Week” Collection.

Denim Trends For Fall/Winter 2020

1. Mom Jeans: Top left
Wear those shorter tops with high rise jeans to get the latest mom jean look. This style doesn’t have to be distressed and blown out. It can be toned down with high rise jeans that are cleaner, like these new ones from Jag.

2. Colored Denim: Tobacco, Mustard, Distressed Black and Black jeans styles
This is the season to embrace colored denim. From the more conservative Tobacco brown to the trendiest Mustard, this trend is hot, hot, hot. Many of these styles are selling out fast, an indication that this trend has fully taken hold, so don’t wait to grab your favorite color!

3. Raw edge hems: Bottom Left
What makes these jeans special is their un-hemed bottom, known in the industry as a “raw edge.” These also have a “clipped hem” which means they are shorter in the front and longer in the back. This is a fashionable jean trend that is on its second season in popularity.

4. Dark, clean denim: Bottom Right

The best way to dress up denim is to choose a dark wash that is “clean,” meaning it has minimal distressing, seam detailing or embellishment. These are your best choice for pulling off the dressed up casual looks of the season like blazers and dressy tanks paired with jeans.

You can find all of these styles in store or on our online store here:

5 Key Sweater Trends

It’s almost sweater season, and now is the time to grab some new styles to update your wardrobe. In my “Kyleen’s Picks” collection of the week, I wanted to highlight some of my favorite new sweaters and tell you a little about the sweater trends to be watching for this season.

1. Sweater ponchos: Top left
A true poncho is more like a cape, but designers have taken that basic style and adapted it this season to sweaters. While a typical poncho has open sleeves, many of the poncho sweaters I’m seeing are more sweater than poncho and have sewn in sleeves while maintaining that looser poncho feel. A great example of this is our new poncho sweater from Charlie B that has just arrived. With its rounded hemline and loose fit, it feels a bit like a mix between a poncho and a tunic sweater. I love the casual style that pairs beautifully with jeans. You can see more views of this sweater here: https://fashioncrossroadsinc.com/products/charlie-b-funnel-neck-poncho

2. Reversible Sweaters: Top Middle
This new reversible sweater from Charlie B is such a great combination with its tobacco dominant side and grey dominant side. I love this trend because it gives so much value to the sweater because you can wear it both ways offering two color palates. And, the great thing about these two palates is one is warm and one is cool, giving you loads of pairing opportunities! You can see more views of this sweater here: https://fashioncrossroadsinc.com/products/charlie-b-reversible-print-sweater

3. Long Sweater Cardigans: Top Right
We are still seeing the long sweater cardigans be a strong trend that has continued from last season. Long sweater cardigans work well as light weight coats in the fall and as warm and cozy sweaters in the dead of winter. They also are great for the office because they simulate a jacket and look professional. I’m loving this new black and white plaid that has just arrived because of its versatility. Take a closer look here: https://fashioncrossroadsinc.com/products/charlie-b-pepper-hooded-cardigan

4. Tie Dye: Bottom Left
Tie dye prints are everywhere this season, so it is no surprise that we are seeing them on sweaters. While many tie dye prints I have seen are focusing on neon colors, I love that this one has a subtle grey and black print. Tie dye typifies casual, so this style may be best left for the weekend, but I think it could be easily paired with both jeans and leggings to change up the look and give it mileage in your wardrobe. Plus, it is just so darn stylish! Grab it here: https://fashioncrossroadsinc.com/products/tribal-long-sleeve-tie-dye-top

5. Nordic: Bottom Right
Nordic inspired sweaters are a really strong trend for the season, and they feel fresh because we haven’t seen them in awhile. What makes a sweater “Nordic” is the diamond shaped prints that harken back to the classic ski chalet sweater. I think this new grey one is so pretty with its denim and cream accents. Get a closer look here: https://fashioncrossroadsinc.com/products/charlie-b-grey-alpine-sweater

Every week, I choose some new arrivals that are my favorites. These sweaters are my “picks of the week” because they all offer a new trend that will keep your look trendy and stylish. You can see them all in my weekly collection here:
https://fashioncrossroadsinc.com/collections/kyleens-picks-for-the-week

Fall And Winter Color Trends for 2020

If 2020 were a color palate, what would you choose? Thank goodness we don’t have to wear the sad colors that probably first jumped to mind! With lovely pops of color like Mint, Mustard, Cayenne, Powder Blue, and Hot Coral, your fall and winter wardrobe can actually help brighten your mood!

Let’s start with key neutrals. Navy and grey have taken over black as the trendiest neutrals, and the geniuses who decide what colors will trend did us all a favor by including colors that pair well with navy. Many of us feel a little unsure of what to wear with navy and so avoid it, but if you think about your favorite pair of dark denim jeans as an example of navy, perhaps that will help you feel more confident! Mustard, yellow, hot coral, mint, grey, and powder blue all look amazing matched up with navy. For grey, try the bright yellow, powder blue, and the hot coral as great choices. A more neutral palate choice might be a navy top and grey bottom or vice versa.

Mustard (Zinnia) and Cayenne are warmer colors and will pair well together or with browns. Think of a warm sunset to help you imagine these colors. And, while you are imagining a sunset, add in a beach and a pina colada. That might improve your mood too!

For those of you who prefer cooler tones, you will love the Mint, Bright Yellow, and Powder Blue. The last of these is a personal favorite because it makes me feel peaceful….there is just something about soft blue that is soothing. On the days when you need a pick me up, choose the brighter colors and on the days you just need to feel peaceful, choose the blue.

All in all, embrace color this season. It can do a lot for your perspective on things. Let your clothes lead your psyche into a better place because we WILL make it through this! Better times are ahead.

For more on this and for examples from our store of these colors and how the pair them up, watch our Saturday Savy video which will be published this Saturday on our Facebook Page.

Our New Normal: 10 Changes To Doing Business In The Midst Of A Pandemic

Recently, I was helping a long time customer in our dressing room area.  For the past several years, we have offered complimentary bottled water and coffee to our customers.  With the financial hardship that Covid19 presented to my business, I have avoided non-necessary expenses.  My customer questioned me on why I didn’t have the water available like I usually do.  Not wanting to get into a conversation about finances, I  simply told her I was out of water.  She was visibly frustrated; she expected the water.  She then went on to mention other changes she noticed in the store.  I made my excuses and tried to keep the conversation positive.

This whole experience got me thinking.  This customer seemed unaware that it was unrealistic to expect things to be as they always had been. It occurred to me that maybe she didn’t know…because no one had told her…how this pandemic has changed things for businesses and how we are all operating under some form of new normal.  I thought it might be helpful to share some changes you might be seeing here in our stores and offer some explanations for them.

  1.  Covid related safety equipment: This change is familiar to most of us.  With the increase in cases all over the country, many businesses, including mine, have added screens at the counter, hand sanitizing stations, temperature checks, rules that employees must wear masks, social distancing floor decals, and extra cleaning.  Additionally, because it is impossible for us to help our customers and maintain 6 feet of distance, we offer free masks and ask that our customers wear a mask.  You might find some of these changes frustrating, as screens limit counter space and masks can be an inconvenience, but we here at Fashion Crossroads Inc. believe that the health and safety of our staff and customers is of vital importance.  We have also found a very good triple layer cloth mask that is made by one of our Canadian vendors.  It sells here in the store for $12, and it fits comfortably while still allowing you to breathe easily.
  2. Fewer perks: As I mentioned in my opening story, I have had to cut down on non-essential expenses.  This means you might have noticed fewer rewards coupons in the past several months or the lack of extras, like coffee cups for the coffee maker.  As everything recovers, I am slowly adding all of these things back…I bought bottled water this week SMILE.  If you have shopped with us within the last several months, your coupons are coming! FC Outlet customers will get a coupon in September and Fashion Crossroads customers will get one in October.  In the mean time, you will still be receiving your earned rewards that you get for spending $200.
  3. Less inventory: Due to the abrupt shut down of our state, I had to make some changes in my inventory.  We received about 80% of our normal spring/summer inventory so the store feels a bit empty right now as a result.  The great news is our new fall from Charlie B, Tribal, and French Dressing will begin arriving next week, so we will soon be full up again!
  4. Changes in inventory flow: Our clothing markets, like all other large events, have been cancelled.  All of the inventory that I order 6 months ahead of time is guaranteed, but the inventory that we usually buy at market will all need to be purchased in other ways.  This will mean that vendors will have to come to the store for me to make an inventory purchase or I will need to buy online.  Sadly, not all vendors have travelling sales people or online capacity.  You may find that it takes longer for me to re-stock on items we carry or I may not even have some of your favorite brands.    If this happens, be sure to let me know.  If there is any way I can order for you, I will.  Additionally, many vendors are behind due to being shut down or to supply disruptions of goods made in countries hard hit by the virus like China.  As a result, some vendors are pushing the inventory shipping dates back.  Please be patient with these changes, as this is an evolving situation.
  5. Low supply of coins: Covid 19 has seriously disrupted the supply of coin and as a result the Federal Reserve has limited the amount of change it sends to banks.  We are trying to stay ahead of this situation by buying extra change rolls.  So far, we have been able to get all the change we have needed.  I have heard of other businesses, however, not being so lucky.  There may come a time when paying with cash might be a challenge.
  6. Smaller than usual staff: I have been fortunate to maintain most of my staff, but I am staffing the store a little differently to respond to a decrease in traffic.  I know many businesses are in the same situation, doing the same work with fewer employees. This may mean that it takes longer for me to respond to your emails, comments on social media or to messages via Messenger.  Please know, your communications are very important to me.  If you don’t get a quick response to a question, please call the store at 307-237-9221.
  7. Changes in vendor offerings: The financial impact of Covid19 hit all sectors of retail, including our manufacturers.  As a result, they too have had to make changes.  Sympli, as an example, is not taking any special orders for the remainder of 2020 because they had to lay off 80% of their seamstresses.  They do have merchandise available that has already been made and can be ordered.  If you want an item that you cannot find in the store, please let me know, and I will see if it is available or if we might be able to get it in another color.
  8. Changes in in-store events: We just finished our VIP Pre-Crazy days sale and were able to have that in-store event while maintaining a safe environment.  The next big in-store event will be our Sympli Trunk Show which is scheduled in September.  I usually host an in store fashion show for that event.  Due to social distancing, we cannot do it the same as we usually do, but I am looking at other options like more spacing or even a virtual show.  I often ask our Fashionistas to weigh in and offer opinions and suggestions on our Fashionistas Facebook group.  If you are not already a member, please join today.
  9. Changes in dressing room protocol: You absolutely can try our clothing on while you are in the store.  What we have changed is that we hang the clothes over night after they have been tried on before returning them to the sales floor.  We also sanitize the dressing rooms in between customers.  We ask that you please give us any clothes that you have tried on so we may be sure to quarantine them properly.
  10. Additional ways to shop: This is a good change that has come from the pandemic.
    1. In addition to shopping in store Monday-Saturday from 10-6, you can shop online at http://www.fashioncrossroadsinc.com. We have beefed up our online inventory and added an in-store pickup option so you don’t have to pay shipping if your total is less than $100.  All online sales have a 30 day return window.
    2. We also post outfits on both Facebook and Instagram.  You can comment on those posts or message me in Messenger with questions about any items you are interested in.  We can then complete the purchase over the phone.  We ship for free if you spend $100 or more.  You can also use our alley way pick up or come and get your purchase in the store.
    3. We have added a personal shopper option called our Fashionista Kit.  You tell us what you want and what your budget is, and we will pull the items for you.  You can have your kit delivered to your home or you can use our alley way pick up option.  Just return what you do not like.
    4. I am hosting live sales the first Wednesday of the month on Facebook from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.  You can tune into these on our Fashionistas Facebook Group Page or on either of our business pages for Fashion Crossroads or FC Outlet.  The live sales feature new arrivals from both stores and always have special discounts and give-aways.  To make a live sale purchase, just comment “sold” and the size you want during the live sale.  The purchase will be completed the next day, and you have 2 weeks to return any items.

Fashion Trends for Fall 2020

It’s mid July and serious summer sale season starts next weekend at our annual Crazy Days event.  As we mark down summer and transition the store to sales racks, I always start looking forward to the new fall merchandise that will begin arriving in August and, in earnest, in September.  While most of you are just embracing summer, we in the fashion industry are already shifting gears to fall.

Most of my early fall deliveries will be from vendors that require pre-booking; in other words, I ordered this merchandise last February while I was at market.  That seems like an age ago with the last several months being so dominated with Covid-19.  I wanted to re-mind myself of the significant fall fashion trends, so I looked up several trend reviews and wanted to take a minute to give you an over-view of which ones I think we will see here on the streets of Casper, Wyoming.

IMG_7074 Fringe: this trend continues to be strong, but the most edgy version of fringe has morphed into long, car wash style fringe.  While I doubt we will see much of this dramatic fringe, we will see fringe on purses, tops, accessories, vests and jackets.  This cute top from Vocal, as an example, added interest and detail with a layer of blinged up fringe at the shoulder.

IMG_0817Equestrian: look for lady like and tailored suits  as well as the return of the tall riding boot as a footwear trend.  Here in Wyoming, we love tall boots because they are so practical for our snowy days, and they work with everything from skinny jeans to skirts and culottes.  We are a little too casual for suits, so I don’t expect to see much of this trend make it here, but we definitely see the boots.

DSCF1411

Grunge: this ultimate casual trend is the iconic plaid shirt tied around the waist and paired up with a graphic tee and beat up jeans.  It also includes camo prints and thick soled, lace up boots.  The teens can really take this trend to the edgy side, but for us older women, we need to just play around with some of the elements.  Take, for example, the picture above.  This cute camo printed top is nodding toward the trend, but we’ve toned the look down with a solid and not beat up olive jean and loafer instead of heavy boot.  Still, this is the trend driving the beat up (ripped, holes) jean trend so we will continue to see these jean styles take center stage.

Shag: shearling jackets will play a key role this season, and you’ll be seeing some serious shag in long coat cardigans, sweaters, and vests.  A little shearling goes a long way, and this look can add bulk so be careful to do this one in moderation.  A toned down version of this trend might be a shearling collar or detail as opposed to an all over look.

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Cut Outs: this trend has been with us for awhile now.  It began with the cold shoulder styles and has now morphed into cut outs as a design element usually located around the neckline and shoulder area.  Notice the cut out triangles on the neckline of this top, as an example.  As with any trend, there is an edgy side and a conservative side.  With cut outs, it correlates to the size of the section that has been cut out.  The larger the cut outs, the edgier the item regarding trendiness.  To keep it classy and more conservative, choose cut outs that don’t show you bra strap and are small and tasteful.

Capes: this trend is one of my favorites because capes always make me feel very fashionable.  This is the perfect look to wear in the fall and is therefore something to shop for early in the season, as once the snow flies around here, it gets too cold to wear a cape. Another benefit of capes, is they really never go out of style.  Like camo or animal print, they just come in and out of being on the top trend list.

Chains: look for chain details on belts, handbags, boots, and the like this season.  The heavier gauge the chain, the edgier the trend.  This trend can move towards grunge and rocker, so be careful to keep the chains small and tasteful.

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1940’s: it’s the season of lady like looks that hearken back to the 1940’s including shirt waist dresses and sweet polka dots.  Look for lady like suits, dresses and pant and top combos that highlight the design styles that were prominent in the 40’s.

Sweater vests: the classic men’s wear v-neck sweater vest will be a key trend this season, and they look amazing paired over a collard blouse.  Complete the look with with slacks or skirts for a classic office style.

Victorian jackets: this trend has been inspired by the movie Little Women.  These jackets often have puffed sleeves with a high collar and very tailored fit.  Another common quality are large metal buttons either running down the middle of the jacket or on both sides.

In the next weeks, I’ll be covering more fall trends including the key colors of the season.  Stay tuned for more blog posts or, to watch a video covering these trends, please join our VIP Facebook Group, Fashion Crossroads Fashionistas.  I’ll be doing a Fashionable Friday live video today at 6 p.m. MST and one lucky live viewer will win a free gift.  Join now.

 

How To Wear The Latest Short Trends

Have you noticed the re-surgence of shorts in the market this season? The come back of shorts for all ages actually began last summer,  but this trend has truly taken hold here in Wyoming for summer 2020.  For some of you, this new trend will be a welcome change from the capris that have dominated the market for the last 5 years.  For others, it may have been awhile since you wore shorts, and you may be feeling a bit reluctant.  As a result, I thought it might be helpful to all of you for me to do a trend review on the latest short styles.

First of all, let me reassure you that I am seeing many lengths of shorts in the market this season from short ripped up denim styles all the way to the traditional longer Bermuda style that is pictured above. If you have been used to wearing capris and/or are reluctant to show your legs, the longer styles might be a good place to start.  Bermuda styles will hit just above the knee, leaving only the bottom half of the leg exposed.  If you are in for a shorter length, the mid thigh styles are very popular as well.  As a woman of almost 50, I’m going to leave the shorter, distressed jean styles to my 15 year old daughter, but the choice is totally up to you!

Capture

Just as with denim, the trendiest shorts are printed, colored or embroidered.  You’ll see everything from checkers to stripes and every kind of embroidery and embellishment you can imagine.  Take a look at the denim shorts in the picture above from Charlie B and notice the cute embroidered flowers.  These details add a flirty and youthful feeling to the short as well as make them distinctive.  As far as color goes, look for mustard, yellow, coral, and olive denim as well as a variety of regular denim from vintage wash to dark and even striped.

capture1

Another fun new trend are regular rise, fabric shorts with tie front waists like the one pictured above.  These make great dressy shorts and can be worn with wedges to casual weddings or other events that require dressed up casual.  Look for these in lots of checkered prints from black and white to coral and white.  Pair them with a tucked in top to show off the waist.

While many businesses allow capris, few will allow employees to wear shorts.  This is a downside to this trend, so if your employer won’t allow shorts, instead of sticking to your capris this season, go for slim, ankle length pants.  These are also very trendy and look amazing with a heel and dressy top.  To correctly pull off this style, the length is very important.  An ankle length pant should hit an inch above your ankle bone.

The good news about shorts is that I don’t see this trend going away anytime soon so you will be able to wear the ones you buy this season next summer as well.  And, let’s face it, when it gets hot, you want as little fabric on as possible.

 

 

8 Ways To Shop During Quarantine

pearsonphoto2018_102

During these unusual times of stay at home orders and mandates for social distancing, we’re being asked and sometimes forced to stay away from not only people we love but also activities we love.  For many off us, shopping is therapeutic, that’s why they call it “shopping therapy.”  For others, shopping is a way we connect with our friends and family as a fun activity that we can do together.  The silver lining I see to the Covid19 crises is that it is forcing all of us to look for new ways to do the things we have always loved.  Maybe you are using Face Time or Marco Polo to stay connected to your friends and family.  Maybe you are using Zoom to have meeting with your team or, like me, doing bible studies over Zoom.  As each week passes and we become more and more aware of the things we miss from our normal lives, we are becoming more willing to think outside of the box and learn new ways of still doing the things we love.

If shopping is one of those things for you , this blog post will give you 8 ways to get creative and be a savy shopper during quarantine. Here goes:

  1.  Use Your Favorite Boutique’s Online Store:  Many boutiques already had an online presence prior to Covid19, and like us, are now ramping up their offerings by increasing their online inventory.  Some boutiques that weren’t online, are now getting there.  Shopping from a small business online is a little different than shopping with, say, LL Bean.  First of all, the very nature of a boutique is to offer exclusive items that customers can purchase without worrying about seeing 15 other people in town wearing the same item.  Using my boutique, as an example, the most we buy of a single style is 6 pieces.  Quite often it might be only 4.  As a result, there is a limited supply and once the item is gone, it won’t be re-ordered.   Thus, like shopping in store, if you see something you like, grab it! It may not be there next week.  Also, boutique owners know their products: how they fit, how they wash, what they match.  Just because you are using an online venue, doesn’t mean you can’t call that boutique up on the phone and ask questions.  Many times I have worked with customers over the phone who used our online store as a online catalog and then asked me what else I had in the store that would complete the look they were trying to achieve.  In the end, the sale was a combination of online offerings and other items that I suggested.
  2. Shop by phone: If you are savy and know the brands that you love, it is quite easy to shop by phone.  Usually, boutiques carry clothing lines that have a consistent fit.  So, that favorite jean that you love, for example, is just a phone call and shipping bag away!
  3. Use Drop Shipping: The financial burden on small businesses has led to strained cash flow and inventory shortages.  As a result, many of my vendors are offering to drop ship items directly to the consumer.  The way this works is you call up your favorite boutique to get a specific item.  If they are out of that item, the boutique can call their vendor, and if they have it in stock, the vendor can ship the item directly to you.  That way, the store owner doesn’t have to invest in inventory he or she might not sell.  It’s a win, win for everyone.  Just ask your boutique if they are offering drop ship.
  4. Shop Via Messenger: Most boutiques can be reached through Messenger, an app that allows for a private conversation very similar to texting.  Yesterday, I did a sale over Messenger with a customer.  She told me what she was wanting, and  I found items that I thought she would like.  I took pictures and sent them to her through Messenger.  She picked the items she liked, and then I called her to complete the purchase.  You can also you Messenger, oftentimes, to ask questions about products or fit for items you find on an online store as well.
  5. Shop Via Live Sales: If you don’t know what a Live Sale is, let me explain.  This is basically virtual shopping where you watch a live video on Facebook of someone showing you items available for purchase. If you see something you want to buy, you comment on the items as they are presented in the Live Sale, and the transaction is completed sometime after the video ends.  It is first come, first served, which ads an element of fun.  This type of shopping comes closest to being able to replicate shopping with your friends.  Live Sales are scheduled and so you can all get together in a group call and watch the live sale together and talk about the things you like and what you should buy.  You can also communicate with each other in the comments while the Live Sale is happening.  It is fun and creates a social shopping experience while still being safe.
  6. Shop Via A Video Chat: You might be familiar with Apple’s app Face Time which allows you to video chat in real time.  This app can also be used to shop at your favorite boutique.  Essentially, you do a video chat with the boutique owner and you can see items you might want to buy right during the chat.  That way, you can give direct feedback and ask questions like, “show me what the back of that top looks like” or “can you show me a close up of that detail on the sleeve?”
  7. Shop By Appointment: Even if your favorite boutique has limited hours or is closed for in-store shopping, many owners might consider letting you schedule an appointment to shop.  This can be done while still practicing social distancing and using safe practices like sanitizing.  Of course, you would never want to request this option if you have been exposed to sick person or are sick yourself.
  8. Personal Shopping: If you have been shopping with a specific boutique for a long time, the owner probably knows you and what you like.  In this case, it is relatively easy for a boutique to offer personal shopping services where you communicate what you are needing and you allow the owner to choose items for you.  These items can then be shipped or picked up.  Even if the boutique owner doesn’t know you, a simple phone consultation can usually produce all the info necessary for he or she to shop for you.

As for my boutique, Fashion Crossroads, I am offering all of these services to my customers.  My online store can be found at www.fashioncrossroadsinc.com.  I have been working very hard while my store is closed to in-store shopping to add new merchandise, and I have expanded our online inventory greatly.  Additionally, I am here Tuesday-Saturday 12-5 for shopping by appointment, personal shopping or phone shopping.  I am offering free shipping on orders over $100 or alley way pick up.  Also, I just recently launched a weekly Live Sale every Wednesday night at 8 p.m.  You can see my most recent Live Sale here: 4/1/20 Live Sale.  The next one is scheduled for next Wednesday night 4/8/20 at 8 p.m. To watch live, join our VIP Facebook Group called Fashion Crossroads Fashionistas.

Hopefully, this blog post has opened you eyes to ways you can shop that you might not have tried.  During this time, your favorite boutique needs your support!  I encourage you to reach out to them and find out what they are doing to make shopping accessible to you.  If you would like to watch a video with more ideas on this topic, check out my latest YouTube video Ways To Be A Savy Shopper During Quarantine.

pearsonphoto2018_031As a brick and mortar business of 45 years, we’ve only recently added an online store to our mix of offerings.  Today, I am writing this blog post amidst the Covid19 outbreak, and we are having to get creative to still reach you, our customer, in order to allow you to shop while still protecting yourself.  Many of you have shopped with our stores for years and prefer an in store experience because we have always offered knowledgeable staff and excellent customer service.  And, frankly, its just nicer to shop face to face, especially when you are shopping with a local store where the owner is almost always in.

You may be unfamiliar with all of the ways you can shop from us that don’t require you to leave you home.  I wanted to take a minute today to write this blog post for you who fall into that category.  Maybe you are a Boomer and uncomfortable with online shopping or perhaps you just didn’t know we have added an online store to our business.  So, let me tell you what we are doing to help you out.

Many Boomers are on Facebook and love it for the way it helps them keep in touch with their families.  Facebook is also a great platform for “virtual shopping.”  If you are unfamiliar with this term, it essentially means watching a live or pre-recorded video on your favorite business’s Facebook page where the owner or staff member shows you items that are available for purchase and includes the sizes and prices.  Virtual shopping can be almost as good as going into the store because it allows us to tell you about the product….how it fits, what the fabric feels like, what the washing instructions are, and show you, via video, any details like embellishments or embroidery.  You likely know how your favorite brands fit, and this allows you to buy an item without trying it on with more confidence.  Video does a good job of representing the color and texture of the fabric, so there are few surprises.

In response to the outbreak, Fashion Crossroads is offering regular virtual shopping videos on our Fashion Crossroads Fashionistas VIP Group Page (to join, just click this link.” The reason we chose our group page to host these videos is because as you watch the video while its happening, you are able to type in the comments any questions you may have.  For example, you may want to know what we have that matches an item.  While I am doing the video, I can see your comments and answer them right then.  You also can take that opportunity to let us know you would like to purchase the item so we can set it aside for you.  The transaction can be easily completed over the phone and then we can ship the item to you or you can use our alley way pick-up, and we will hand deliver it to your car.  We ship all orders over $100 for free.  We pre-schedule most of these videos so you can know when to tune in.  For example, we are doing a Wednesday Wardrobing video each Wednesday night at 6 p.m. that focuses on new arrivals.  Click this link to see our latest video on the new Sympli arrivals, as an example.

Another opportunity for shopping remotely is using our online store at www.fashioncrossroadsinc.com.  One thing that we do differently is that I do most of the modelling.  The reason for this is so you can see the items on a real person and have more confidence in how an item will fit.  I am not 6 foot tall and a size 2.  I am 5’3 and a size 6-8.  Hopefully, you can relate to me a little better than to a professional model.  We also shoot multiple product images and close-ups so you can get an accurate sense of what you are buying.

We have tried to make your online shopping experience as easy as possible.  When you get onto our website, you will see a menu at the top listing several categories like “tops” and “bottoms.”  If you click on these menu items, you will be shown all the tops and bottoms we have available on our online store.  If you scroll down a little on the homepage, you will see our “featured collections.”  These are organized by brand or style to help narrow down the choices for you.  Once you click on an item, you will see all of the photos we have taken of that item as well as a detailed description of it that includes information about the item and how it fits and feels.  We also include styling information to help you choose matches so you can create an outfit.  We then tell you what our customers love about the brand and any specifics you need to know.  Last we include the fabric content and washing instructions.  You will also see the sizes available.

If you aren’t familiar with online shopping, let me take a minute to explain the checkout process you can expect…don’t worry, it is easy.  From the item screen, just click on the button “Add it to your Cart,” you will be taken to a shopping cart page that will tell you the total before shipping and also offer you our payment program through Sezzle that allows you to pay in 4 installments that are interest free and still get your items shipped right away.  It will calculate your payment amount for you, so you know exactly what to expect.  To make your purchase, click the button labeled “Check Out,” and you will be taken to a page where you enter your contact information and have the opportunity to apply any discount codes like our current STUCKINSIDE promotion that gets you 20% off a purchase of $100 or more.  To get your discount, just type the word STUCKINSIDE in all caps into the box labeled “Gift Card or Discount Code.”  Next just click the button that says “Continue to Shipping.”  Our website will calculate the shipping and taxes for you.  Orders over $100 ship free.  Next click the “Continue to Payment” button and you will be taken to a screen where you can enter your credit card information or choose our payment plan through Sezzle.  Last, just click the button labeled “Pay Now.”  That’s it.  We will receive a notification here at the store that an order has been placed, and if it is within our regular business hours, we will start packing it right away.  Often times, we ship out the same day.  And, as an extra precaution, every outgoing package will be sanitized before it leaves the store.

It is still us helping you.  I am modeling the clothes and am the one writing the product descriptions.  It is Elizabeth or I that pull your order and pack them.  Every step of the process goes through our hands.  We will even write you a personal thank you note so you know who packed your order and that we appreciate your business.  If at any point in the process you have questions, don’t hesitate to call us at 307-237-9221 and we can answer your product questions or help you with the ordering process.  When you order online from us, you have 30 days to return the item either by mail or bring it into the store.  This gives you plenty of time to receive the item and make sure it is exactly what you want.  If you have a Rewards Card with us, just let me know that in the notes with your order, and I will be sure to apply your points for your order onto your Rewards account.

So you see, it’s still shopping with Fashion Crossroads…just in a slightly different way! I encourage you to give one or both of these shopping methods a try.  This crises shall pass, and when it does weddings, graduations, trips and much more pleasant things will all be waiting for you.  There is no need to have to wait until them to get prepared!

5 Steps to Embracing Trends And Still Dressing Your Age

pearsonphoto2018_031As a boutique that focuses on career clothing for women aged 30 and over, I often get asked if wearing the trends means a woman is dressing too young.  My emphatic answer is a resounding NO! I have ladies in their sixties and seventies that keep up with the trends while still always looking age appropriate.  I think there is a misconception that at a certain age, you should stop worrying about being trendy.  I totally disagree.  We’ve all seen women who looked like they were dressing too young, and these experiences cause us to worry that we might be doing the same thing.  But, the key is not to avoid the trends; the key is to wear the trends appropriately.  Here are my 5 tips for embracing the trends while still dressing your age.

  1. Keep it classy: If you are over forty-five, you may want to avoid plunging necklines, too short of hemlines, spaghetti straps and overly tight fitting clothes.  These, more than anything else, can make you look like you are dressing too young.  If mini-dresses are in, for example, this doesn’t mean you avoid them altogether, but it may mean that you look for a longer rather than shorter mini dress and wear it with tonal tights to avoid drawing attention to the hemline.  If you love skinny jeans, wear them, but choose a longer top that covers your front and rear.  Use jackets and cardigans to cover problem areas and make the look more conservative.
  2. Choose the more conservative version of the trend: Every fashion trend has a scale from edgy to conservative.  As an example, consider the cold shoulder trend that we have just seen come and go.  As a buyer, I saw everything from the whole shoulder and half the arm to just a small sliver of the shoulder being exposed.  The latter of these would be the more conservative version of the trend.  Staying away from the edgy side allows you to wear the trend while still making it appropriate for your age.  As a general rule, the older you are, the more conservative you should go.
  3. Wear the trends correctly: Being knowledgeable about how the trend should be worn is key.  Oftentimes, a trend is dependent upon the other items in your outfit being the right style to pull it off.  As an example, right now the trendy hem length in bottoms is an ankle length (an inch above the ankle bone).  This style needs the right type of shoe to make it work.  If you are short, ankle length bottoms work much better with a little heel or wedge.  It is also important that the bottom hits you at the right place on your ankle.  Too long or too short, and the pant looses its trendiness and just looks strange.  Another example is the long, printed blouses that are trendy this season.  A long blouse worn with bootcut jeans will look strange.  You need a skinny or slim bottom to help balance out the volume of the top. To be sure you know how to wear a trend, ask your favorite boutique sales staff to educate you or google the trend and look a images.
  4. Let the brand help you decide: If you shop by brand, paying attention to the marketing images that company is using can really help you decide if the label is appropriate for your age.  Are you 50 but all the models for the brand are 20? That would be an indication that the target market for the brand is a bit younger than you.  If this is the case, you can go back to tip number 2 to be sure you are choosing the less edgy pieces from that brand.
  5. Pay attention to what other fashionable ladies your age are wearing: We can learn so much just by being observant.  Do you have a friend who dresses well that you admire?  What is she wearing? How do your clothing choices compare? Perhaps you’re in a rut with your style and need to freshen things up a bit.  Either your friend or a trusted boutique can help you transition into a trendier wardrobe that is age appropriate.

I hope these guidelines help you and encourage you that being trendy is not just for the young and thin.  Staying up with the times helps us feel beautiful and stylish.  There is no age limit for that!

For examples and more detailed information on this topic, please watch my video How To Embrace The Trends And Still Dress Your Age