Travel Like A Boss!

Mom and I just returned from a market trip to Dallas, Texas.  Hopefully, you have already checked out my blog post on our Treska Warehouse tour.  If not, do it now so you can learn all about how a Treska necklace is made from start to finish!

Today’s post is on a different topic, however.  I want you, our precious customers and loyal readers, to know that we absolutely, positively, believe in the lines we sell at Fashion Crossroads.  How much, you ask?  So much that we wear them and use them when we travel!  You all know that we women take our very favorite things with us when we go on trips.  The ho-hums in our closets never see the inside of our suitcases and travel bags.  Oh no, only the coziest, cutest and most comfortable items get that special privilege.  For me and my mom and our trip to Dallas, those favorite things were Sympli and Vera Bradley.  Let me tell you why.

IMG_4216Sympli is the most wonderful line (not kidding) that I have ever worn.  It looks amazing because it has a fabulous fit, and it is oh so comfortable to wear.  Because you can pack it without worrying about wrinkles and because the line is so well thought out, you can literally grab two bottoms and three tops and have a whole week worth of outfits.  For example, I brought my Sympli leggings and mini skirt (I always wear these together) and my capris for my bottoms as well as a white pair of jeans.  Then I threw in my sleeveless Cascade Top (see picture above), my cold shoulder Nu Urban top, my Go To Tank Tunic and my favorite Sympli jacket.  These 7 pieces saw me through 5 days and took me from seminars, to show room floor, to dinner out on the town.

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When it came down to packing, both mom and I chose Vera Bradley travel gear even though we each have other options.  My mom took her Vera rolling carry on in black. She was able to push it through the airport with ease due to the four wheeled bottom.  I was able to lift it above my head to put it into the carry on luggage rack without breaking my back!  Yeah for me!

I took my Vera Grand Traveler soft sided bag, my Vera tote and my Vera cross body cell phone purse. You can see some of these items in the picture below.  The tote bag worked to hold my book, spare cell phone battery, headphones, files, Kind bar, and iPad while I was on the plane without being too bulky to fit under the seat in front of me.  The cell phone purse was perfect to sling across my body to keep my cell phone, driver’s license and credit cards handy and within reach while I was going through security and waiting to board the plane.  When it was time to get on the plane, I just took my cell phone purse off and put it inside the tote, and I didn’t have to get in a fight with the gate agent about having too many carry-ons.  Inside my Grand Traveler bag was the Vera hanging organizer that I could simply hang up on the back of the bathroom door and reach all my cosmetics easily without cluttering up the bathroom counter.  I also had my Vera jewelry organizer which kept my earrings and necklaces and bracelets in separate compartments (I love organization, especially when I travel). Then, while I was at market, the Vera tote worked perfectly as a brief case.  I have to say, I really do love these products.  IMG_4230

When I convince my customers to buy a product we sell based upon my recommendation, I take that very seriously.  Know that before I will tell you it is a wonderful product, I have put it though the test of my own life.  If we sell it, we believe in it!  We have just marked down a special rack of discontinued styles and colors of Sympli to 30% off.  (Mark downs in this line never happen so grab them while the gettin’ is good).  We also have several patterns of Vera Bradley that are 25% off, and we are expecting our new fall arrivals from Painted Medallions and Falling Flowers any day!

Happy travels, and don’t forget your Sympli and Vera Bradley!

What is A Shirt Dress?

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Buy this in store or online at http://Fashion-Crossroads-Inc.shoptiques.com

One of the big trends in dresses this year is the shirt dress. Although it can take a few forms, a shirt dress is an elongated shirt.

My favorite version of this style is the button down,  like the one pictured to the left.  What makes these little beauties wonderful, is you can open them up and wear them as a long vest or keep them buttoned and wear them as a dress.  The versatility of style gives you more bang for your buck.

The high low hemlines (shorter in front and longer in back) are still popular, giving these dresses some interest at the bottom.  It’s trendy right now to wear a “shoe boot” style shoe with dresses.  I’m not fond of the heaviness of an actual shoe boot with a dress, but there are many styles of open toed sandals that mimic the look of a shoe boot without feeling so bulky and weighty on the foot.  The one the model is wearing in the picture above is a good example of this.  We have similar styles in the store that accomplish this same look, like the ones pictured here from Yellowbox.  Don’t hesitate to wear suede in the summer.img_3345

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Buy this in store or online at http://Fashion-Crossroads-Inc.shoptiques.com

The other style of shirt dress is a pullover style.  Again, it looks like an elongated collared shirt, but it doesn’t open up with buttons and thereby can’t be worn as a vest.

This style is usually offered as a mini dress, making it harder for everyone to wear.  If you don’t feel comfortable wearing a short dress, don’t hesitate to add skinny ankle jeans or even leggings with this style.  It will still look just as cute.

Again, you will want to pair this style of shirt dress with a “shoe boot” sandal to keep it really trendy.  Otherwise, a great flip flop and hat could make this the perfect summer run around town look.   It would also be a wonderful vacation item, as you could use it as a dress and swimming suit cover up.

It’s snowing here today, but writing about these dresses makes me long for warm summer days.  I know they are just around the corner!  Give one of these styles a try this year.  I think you will love how you look!

Fringe Me Baby

Fringe has been playing an important role in fashion for the last couple of seasons, so imagine how delighted I was to find that one of our best selling lines had brought the trend into their spring collection.  I absolutely love the new fringe group from Sympli we just received for spring!  It takes fringe to a new level of classy.

The jacket, pictured on the left, can be worn open as shown or buttoned for a modified double breasted style.  The long vest, pictured in the center, is a year round piece that looks great over white but would work equally well over charcoal grey for colder months.  The fringe tunic, pictured in the middle, offers great movement and would look stylish in head to toe navy or contrasted against white.  All three pieces add some vavoom to your wardrobe that is sure to put a smile on your face!

While I would not usually recommend two pieces of fringe worn together, I saw the jacket and the maxi skirt (not pictured) worn together during a Sympli fashion show.  The two were set off with a white tank, and the whole ensemble was just gorgeous.  Admittedly, head to toe fringe might be reserved for the more adventuresome at heart, but if anyone can make that look classy, it is Sympli!

And just in case you have never tried it, Sympli is a travel knit line with a patented fabric that won’t fade, stretch out or wrinkle.  It is designed by women for women with an amazing fit and beautiful drape.  It fits women’s bodies from a size 2 to 18 with expert design to hide our flaws and emphasize our assets. Fashion Crossroads is the largest retailer of Sympli in the Rocky Mountain States.  Find out more about the line on our website.

What is a Trunk Show?

I love this open vest and capris from Sympli.  See this and more at our Trunk Show this Friday and Saturday!

I love this open vest and capris from Sympli. See this and more at our Trunk Show this Friday and Saturday!

For those of you who may not know, a trunk show is an event where a manufacturer’s representative brings his or her sample line into a store to allow customers to see the entire line.  The sample line has one of each style available for order that season.  Most samples are produced in size 6 or 8 and usually are only produced in one color even when the item is available in other colors.  This is a great opportunity for the customer to see items the store may not order.  Most lines, be they clothing or shoes, are larger than what a typical store can carry.  The store might only carry 30% to 50% of the line, for example, meaning that their customer will never be able to see all of the items available for purchase unless that manufacturer also sells online.

We are having our Sympli Trunk Show for the spring 2016 line this Friday and

This new pant called the Pivot Pant is a personal favorite and looks great paired with this vest!

This new pant called the Pivot Pant is a personal favorite and looks great paired with this vest!

Saturday.  Sympli, which is not sold online, is an enormous line.  Even though we have an excellent selection, we carry only 60% of the line.  At our trunk show, our customers get to see all of the pieces available, both in the in-stock program and in the special items that will be available for spring.  This is an excellent opportunity to actually see the item and try it on.  A customer can tailor their Sympli wardrobe to their individual likes rather than being limited to what we buy for our store.  Additionally, Sympli offers each item in about 30 colors.  At the trunk show, many of the colors available will be sampled so the customer can see exactly what the color looks like in production and hold it up to their skin and see how it looks.

Sympli is a travel knit line that offers items that won’t fade, bag or wrinkle.  The fabric is a beefy 12 ounces so it drapes beautifully rather than clings.  Both pictures on this page are examples of new looks available in the Spring line.  These items will be arriving in the store in January or February just in time for spring break vacations!  This line has quickly become one of our top sellers at the store, so if you haven’t tried it yet, this Friday and Saturday is your very best opportunity.  And, as a little extra incentive, we are offering 10% off all in stock Sympli during our trunk show!  That’s an amazing savings!  Bring a friend a get a free gift! Don’t live in Casper?  No problem.  You can purchase Sympli on our online store at http://www.Fashion-Crossroads-Inc.shoptiques.com

Ankle: The New Hip Length

When I mention an ankle length pant to a tall woman, she usually responds with a pained look and a determined shake of the head indicated she’d rather die.  At only 5:2, I can only imagine what it would be like to fear short pants.  I’m on the other end

Ankle length pant from Lisette L. Pantalon.

Ankle length pant from Lisette L. Pantalon.

of the spectrum and at that wonderful height where petite is too short and average is too long.  That’s why I LOVE ankle pants. I can usually get an ankle pant to be just the right full length for me.  But, if I want to wear the hippest new length for the season, its off to the seamstress I go to get my pant hemmed to the perfect ankle pant length.  So you lucky tall ladies, this blog is here to encourage you to put aside your horrific memories of too short pants when you were a kid, and embrace a new trend this season.

So let’s talk about the right length.  The picture on the left shows the optimum length for an ankle pant.  You want that hemline to fall an inch above your ankle bone.  Any higher,and your pant becomes a cropped pant.  Any lower, and the look is all wrong. This style looks great with heels, as pictured or with shoe boots.  See my blog from last week for more information about these.  Notice that this style usually coincides with a slim legged 60’s inspired cigarette pant.  Wider legged ankle pants look better with tall boots, and are trickier to pull off.

Full length hemline

Full length hemline

Conversely, the picture on the right shows the optimal hemline for a full length pant.  Hopefully this will help you visualize the difference between the two hemlines. Notice that the full length pant falls about midway down the back of the shoe or at the bony part of your heel. This is the perfect length for a slim legged pant because the fabric won’t pool or “break” too much on the top of the foot, creating extra and unnecessary bulk.

I find that ankle pants work better on me if I wear some type of a heel, wedge or dressier shoe boot.  I think its important to keep your shoe sleek and not boxy. Too chunky of a shoe creates a “cankle” (when your calf goes right into your ankle) and ruins the style.  Taller ladies can get away with more shoe options like ballerina flats, for example.  They already have the leg length to make the look work perfectly for them.

Fall is the perfect time to wear this style as the temperature is dropping but there isn’t snow on the ground forcing us into boots and socks.  This style can be a great work look, as it is dressy and chic.

Don’t know where to buy an ankle pant?  Check out our Lisette L. ankle pant on our online store at Fashion Crossroads Inc. This is a great jet black, all stretch, pant that will fit slim through the legs just like the styles shown in this blog as well as tuck your tummy.  The fabric is dressy so it can take you from work to evening to travel.

The Making of an Excellent Travel Wardrobe

This picture shows the Suympli Chakra Tunic layered over the Keyhole tunic and paired with the Diva Legging.  The legging is available in the store or online at http://Fashion-Crossroads-Inc.shoptiques.com

This picture shows the Sympli Chakra Tunic layered over the Keyhole tunic and paired with the Diva Legging. The legging is available in the store or online at http://Fashion-Crossroads-Inc.shoptiques.com.  The Chakra Tunic is currently in stock and can be purchased at Fashion Crossroads.  

How do you design a great travel line?  You create pieces in a wrinkle free fabric that can be washed in the sink and hung to dry and that can layer together to create totally different looks.  That is Sympli in a nut shell.

Having carried the line now a little over a year, I am just now beginning to understand the myriad of ways you can wear it.  The versatility is actually quite astounding.  Take, for example, the picture on the left.  It shows the Keyhole tunic layered over the Chakra Tunic.  The Keyhole is a sleeveless tunic with an uneven hemline and “keyholes” that have been cut around the bottom.  The Chakra Tunic is a long sleeved tunic with a layer of mesh at the bottom.  Although it is hard to see in this picture, that layer of mesh shows through the keyholes and peeks out under the uneven hem of the Keyhole Tunic creating a multi-media look with depth.

Reversing the same two pieces creates a completely different look.  Now, the

The Chakra Tunic layered over the Keyhole Tunic and paired with the Diva Legging.

The Chakra Tunic layered over the Keyhole Tunic and paired with the Diva Legging.

Keyhole tunic peeks out from underneath the mesh of the Chakra Tunic.  You get the the same multi-media look with a completely different presentation. From these same three pieces, you can create four different outfits.  The Keyhole and Chakra Tunics also look great by themselves paired with the same legging. Add one more bottom like the Diva Capris or Skess (skirt/poncho) and you now have eight outfits with only four pieces.  This is the genius of travel clothing and of Sympli.

It takes some practice learning what pieces pair together, but I’ve found numerous ways I can combine the pieces in my own wardrobe to create different looks.  It’s actually a whole lot of fun seeing if I can come up with a new outfit that I’ve never worn before from the same pieces.   Every time I add a new item from Sympli to my collection, I think about how I can layer it different ways with what I already have.  As we buy the line, we keep this in mind for you too.  Just come in an ask us to show you the different ways you can layer what you already own to create different looks.  If you’ve never tried Sympli, there has never been a better time.  Our collection just keeps growing as this line is quickly becoming a customer favorite.  And remember, any piece you see here can be special ordered in nearly 30 different colors.  If you don’t live in Casper, you can check out Sympli on our online strore at http://Fashion-Crossroads-Inc.shoptiques.com