Regularly, around this time of year, every year….
I ask my clients this question. When was the last time you bought a new coat?! And regularly the response is….I don’t need a new coat! I have a closet full of coats!! Exactly!!! That is why you probably need a new coat! And it is especially true this year. This is the year of the Coat. Your top coat is the garment that sets the tone for your whole look! Recently I have actually wanted to wear a jacket/coat. I have a new coat for this year. It is the thing that helps me to push my look out of my comfort zone…it prompts me to try something new. And generally, that is such a great feeling! It puts a bounce in my step every time! I don’t understand why we buy lovely, new clothes and then we go and cover up with a tired, old coat!? Why do we do that? I see it in the grocery store, the mall, just about anywhere and everywhere I go … all winter long. When I see the lady across a crowded mall in that big old coat, hanging down to her ankles, (and she is trying her best to navigate the escalator!) and with big old shoulders, with great big epaulets….I think, Oh Dear! She has had that coat a LONG time!! I know …. because I had a coat like that when my children were babies!! And they are in their late 30’s!! Come on Ladies, let’s get with the program! We can do better than this!
Around this time is when the client says to me….Oh, I can’t part with that coat!! I love to walk the dog in the bitter cold Wisconsin winter!! All right. All right! But don’t wear that coat any place else…once the sun comes up it must be back in the closet!
Some days you will be plenty warm enough with a beautiful, pebble knit capelet. Maybe a ginger fur trimmed vest…with a ginger wrap? Maybe a mixed media black vest? Or maybe a new tweed coat? Or my favorite, the jacquard jacket with a funky underpinning for good measure…the funkier the better for this coat! And, maybe, depending on where you live, the reversible wool animal print/multi print will be just enough….to take you from the garage to the office.
How can you tell if you should keep this coat? Or that one? Try the FFF test! How does it Feel when you touch it? Does it feel good on your skin? Does it make you smile at the thought of wearing it? Does it Flatter you, and your physique? Is it modern and contemporary? Are you prompted to think…Hmmm….How will I wear this? Where will I wear it?? And, last but not least…does it Function the way you want it to? Will it take you to the places you want to go!?
Think about it! Take a quick glance in the mirror as you are walking out the door….what do you think?? Is your look Fine? That’s Great!
Have a Great Day!
I saw the most attractive woman tonight on my way home from the city.
We have the most beautiful lakefront here in Milwaukee. It has been a long day, so I came home by the lake. I was going along with the crowd, not really paying much attention to what was going on around me…on this GORGEOUS, FALL DAY…down by the beach!!
All of a sudden I noticed this woman jogging/walking/taking her daily constitutional walk…you could just tell! She was stunning! I don’t know her…at all! She was a big, tall, black woman…maybe 6′ tall. Her hair was black and shiny, pulled back and she had the most beautiful look on her face. She was plugged into her tunes and completely enjoying her moment! She was a big woman. She had a curvy shape, bigger breasts and full round hips….but she didn’t “jiggle” anywhere! It was so amazing! I guess one reason I found her looks to be so alluring is that she didn’t fit the “usual” definition of beautiful. And yet I was just mesmerized by her demeanor. She seemed so happy! So strong and confident! I wish I had had the opportunity to meet this woman.
I decided I just HAD to write about her, because she made me think about how do we actually define what is beautiful? Alluring?? Captivating?? What is the elusive thing that we call beauty. Take a minute out of your busy day and think about it. I’m guessing, like me this afternoon, when you really think about it, it will probably include characteristics that might surprise you. Confidence, strength…physical size and general coordination. In this case, this afternoon, it was NOT about what the lady was wearing….or….what she wasn’t wearing! It was all about everything else…..and it was fascinating!
Think about it. What do you find attractive….watch the people living their lives around you. Is there something that stands out?? Something that you might notice…and find attractive? In a new way??
Think about it! I think you will be glad you did!
….and wear it often! Those are words to live by!!
Why is it that when we go out to buy new clothes, we buy new clothes, presumably that we LOVE and then we SAVE them! I don’t know why we do that! When we buy new things that we love….we should wear them! They do us no good at all when they are hanging in the closet!
There are lots of reasons to wear them often! I guess one of the most important reasons is because wearing our new look is one way we can become comfortable in our own skins. It gives us a chance to practice wearing them different ways. I always advocate for buying the LOOK…as opposed to a piece at a time, because that is how we build a great wardrobe. Right now I am experimenting with some of my new Fall clothes, mostly because just now it is finally cool enough to wear them comfortably! Last night we went out and I wore my new giant paisley pants….and the tweed jacket/coat in the same group. It was a LOT going on at once, but after all that is what we are seeing all over the place for Fall 2016! This is definitely a season for More is More! Well, I’m so glad that I tried it….because I didn’t like it at all! It was way too much for even me! So, the learning was…stick with one novelty at a time….either the giant paisley pattern OR the tweed jacket. It is more predictable, but it is also much more comfortable for me. I couldn’t wait to get home and take my clothes off! And that rarely, in fact almost never, happens to me.
Earlier this week I was called for Jury Duty. What to wear?? Did it matter?? I’ve been on a jury before, and the answer is it makes NO difference what you wear….unfortunately! But I generally make it a point to wear my Doncaster clothes everywhere I go…..so I decided to Get Up. Dress Up. & Show Up….in Doncaster. The first day went pretty much like I expected. It was long, it was boring, I wasn’t picked for a jury….and I was exhausted at the end of the day! The second day went much better! I marched up to the font desk in the jury room, handed over my summons to the No Nonsense jury manager….and she said…You look so pretty! (Imagine my surprise??!!) I was dumbfounded, but I smiled, and said Thank You! Then she went on to say….and, by the way, you looked beautiful yesterday too! Again, I was dumbfounded…and I just said Thank You. But this time I decided to chat it up a bit with her…..she would become my new best friend! Making a long story short, I decided to ask her if I could be excused to have lunch with my husband….and she said YES! And she dismissed me entirely! Hooray! I’m sure it was all because I was dressed up!
So….the moral of the story is, we have these clothes so why not wear them!? Why do we go to the old, tired looks that we have been wearing forever…when we have pretty, new things in the closet!? When we wear them we discover how to make them valuable to us…these pants, with that jacket…or this one?? Try them both…then wear them each, one day at a time….then decide which is your favorite…or Not!? Which look is better suited to which occasion.
I bet if you try it, you will like it.
This week it’s Showtime!
In Milwaukee ~ Come See What’s New!!!
10/6 – 10/8 Thursday, Friday, Saturday @ WCW
10/11, 10/12, 10/13 Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday @ Home
Please comment & share your thoughts about style & fashion!!
are my Best Advocates! Isn’t that terrific?
This is how it usually goes. The lady comes to look at the Doncaster Collection. She tries on this, and then that….looks at her self in the mirror….can’t get over how Great she looks….and says….Oh! My Husband Will Kill Me!? For Pete’s Sake….no he won’t!
Think of it this way. Your husband likes it when you look Great! I know that, because your husband tells me so! He tells me….when she wears Doncaster she looks great, feels good about her self….and radiates self confidence! I just Love it! When she spends the day at SHOWTIME! with you she comes home looking and feeling wonderful! I love it when she comes to you! Isn’t that nice?! Then he will go on to tell me….do you know know what I Hate? I hate it when I get home and see bags of clothes, usually with SALE tags, still in the bag, tossed into the back of the closet….never to be seen again! That is what I hate! And, that is when I say…..Me Too!
When I first started with Doncaster I met a woman that lived in Michigan. She was a lovely woman, married to a wildly successful man. They had a few kids in Middle School and High school. As I got to know her better, I learned that her husband did a lot of business entertaining. He was very social. I thought that sounded like so much fun! Well, she said, I rarely go out with him…generally I stay with the kids, have pizza, work on the homework, keep things under control at home so he doesn’t have to worry about us. Do you know why she didn’t go with him….for real? Because she had nothing to wear!! Isn’t that a shame!? She had a difficult time shopping before Doncaster Womens came along. I know that to be true because there are Lots of women like that! It didn’t take long for us to find her some Fabulous looks! She began to wear a little lipstick, get a new haircut, and one day she said she would like to go out with Don and the clients….and Don was thrilled to pieces!
He wrote me a letter just after that to thank me for introducing his wife to Doncaster Womens. He said she is looking wonderful! And then he said….You know, I love my wife. I don’t care what size she wears! All I ever wanted was for her to come out with me….and my clients, sometimes. I want, and always wanted, for her to share her life with me….and vice versa. Thank you from the bottom of my heart …. because now we seem to be doing just that.
The moral of the story? We have to find clothes that fit us and make it easy to….Get Up. Dress Up. Show Up….so that we don’t Give Up! Life is too short to beat ourselves up about what size we wear….or don’t wear! Or how old we are….or aren’t!
SHOWTIME! IN MILWAUKEE…..
THURSDAY – SATURDAY, 10/6-10/8 @ WOMANS CLUB OF WISCONSIN
TUESDAY-THURSDAY, 10 11-10/13 @ HOME
If you are having trouble finding looks that You like…
Whatever size you wear…Come See Me!
I think you will be glad you did!
Please comment & share your thoughts about style & fashion!!
Trunk show Shopping?
If the answer is NO, and even if the answer is YES, there are a few things you should know about the Trunk Show Shopping business model.
There are 3 prominent trunks show companies, Doncaster, Carlisle/Etcetera, and Worth/WorthWear. Doncaster was established in 1931 so you know the business has been around for a while! When I started in the business I really didn’t know anything about the business because I really had not ever shopped this way before. I learned how to make the best use of my Fashion $$$ from my clients!
There are 2 essential elements to Trunk Show Shopping. One, is that you spend more money at one time, generally early in the season…. and the other is that you will work closely with a consultant to make smart choices that will work for You!
My first client, Linda, was delighted with the Doncaster choices when I was the beginner. She was a thoughtful, careful shopper….and we picked out 2 complete looks for her….which came to about 15 pieces of clothing. I was surprised at the bill and thought for sure she would change her mind when I told her the total price. She picked a couple of looks of a basic jacket, pants and skirt, basic underpinning (blouse), novelty blouse, novelty pants….and probably a novelty jacket….and a variety of accessories. She was so excited about her choices!! She assured me that this was a great purchase for her, because these clothes all worked together, she could wear them everywhere she was going. They were classic, updated looks that will make all the clothes in her closet feel like new again! She explained to me then that she had been shopping this way for awhile….and she was convinced that even though she takes a big hit to her bank account once, 4 times per year….she doesn’t waste a lot of time and money wandering around the mall looking for Clothes! Serious Clothes…..clothes to wear hard….and to wear often! Clothes that will take her to all the places she goes….which is a lot of places! She explained, I get so much more for my money by buying looks instead of pieces. When you shop early in the season you can really wear your clothes often, so when the next major season opens, you will be ready for some new clothes!
When you work with a consultant you will likely establish a close relationship with her. She begins to know you….actually a lot about you! A good consultant will know her stuff! She will know what the trends for the season are going to be, even though they might be new to you….and her, sometimes! She will get to know a lot about you because she will know what you like….where you are going, what kinds of places…..she will know about your business and what your needs are for your daily routine….where you are going for vacation….who is getting married, and where….and what’s happening with your family! And because she knows those things about you and your life, she will be able to guide you to making smart choices for your wardrobe. Most women want clothes that are classic and well made, but have a touch of novelty….maybe newer color choices (for Fall 2016 think Pine & Wine!) She wants clothes that fit in her comfort zone, but have a modern twist also. That’s where the consultant is worth every penny! She will guide you in the right direction. And if she doesn’t….maybe it’s time to look at a different line!
Generally speaking, if you limit your sale shopping jaunts, and stick to the tried and true looks you choose with your consultant you will find that your Doncaster clothes are worth it! They will be your Go To looks that take you to the places you go to, and you will be so glad that you have them! Don’t beat yourself up about the price! Realize that you get what you pay for, and what you really want are beautiful clothes that take you everywhere you go….looking and feeling like a million $$$.
What we both want is to make it easy for you to Get Up. Dress Up. & Show Up…..and look like a woman who knows what she is talking about! That, my friend, is worth a lot!
Try it! I bet you will like it!
Please comment & share your thoughts about style & fashion!!
2016 is a big year in Fashion!
The styles are cutting edge, the colors are new & bold….think Flamingo, Pine, Wine and all shades of Blue! I think even how we wear our clothes is changing. I am considering wearing different kinds of looks to the usual places I go. Different colors then I am used to…even different jewelry than I am used to. I am embracing the new menswear trend by choosing loafers instead of ballet flats!That’s a first for me!
So…I have been home sick with a nasty flu for 2 weeks! Because of that I have been watching a lot of TV.
One thing we have been glued to in my house is the U.S.Open in NYC. Did you notice that _____ has been doing so well in the mens singles tournament has been wearing Flamingo all week! Serena was wearing Wine with a “cold shoulder”, and Venus, a tennis dress in a bold, floral print. Very trendy…all of them. This is a great example of mixing up the looks that we are comfortable in to accommodate the newer more modern and seasonal fashion trends.while wearing them to the places we go.
I have been talking some of my consultant friends about how are we (as consultants) going to embrace these new looks and trends so that we can encourage our clients to give some of them a try! It is difficult for us to encourage our clients to move forward in their closet, if we don’t/can’t do it ourselves. Sometimes we are just too “used to” the same look…you know, the look that you are as comfortable in today as you were when you went for your first interview!
Ladies…it is time for us to mix it up!
Last night I got caught up in the Presidential debates….specifically Hilary Clinton…and even more specifically, her look/her presentation. Did you see it? Hilary looked nice. She was wearing a red jacket with a jewel neckline, a gold chain link necklace and gold button earrings. Her hair looked nice, nice shape….really good color. But as I was looking at her trying to decide what I thought of her look….I thought she looked really old, her outfit was very dated, yet she was steadfast and confident in her presentation. She should be a woman that has lots of smart, stylish wardrobe choices, yet she is still choosing the same old looks…looks that were stylish and current in the 70’s!! So, why is that? I’m not so sure that I want to support a woman who is stuck in the world that “used to be”…just because she is most comfortable wearing what she is “used to”.
Let’s decide not to be that woman! Let’s choose be modern, forward thinking, smart and sophisticated women! So, how do we do that? We just decide to! We just decide to spend some money on ourselves, update our looks to include some New things. Then we have to Just Decide To…wear those new clothes….so that you can wear them with confidence when it is important for you to do so!!
We are a generation of strong and confident women…and we are Very Good at what we do! Now the challenge is to look like it!
Think about it! Try something New! I think you will be glad you did!
If you need some help with that new look…call me! The Doncaster Design Team does a great job of modifying the current trends for today’s modern woman!
Please comment & share your thoughts about style & fashion!!
…..but keep the old. One is silver, the other gold!
I was driving around town this morning and had the radio on. They were talking about time….and the different meanings of time. How we are pressed for time today, in the 21st century, and we have to make time to see the people that are important to us and to do the things that are important to us.
And then there is the conversation about Time….where did it go!?! How is it possible that so much time as passed us by?!? It was while they were talking about “where does the time go” that the conversation got really interesting. The son was trying to convince his Dad to invite a new friend out to dinner. Dad replied….oh no, I can’t! I don’t have time! The son said Dad, why not ask her for tomorrow night? I don’t have the time he said…again. And the son said Of course you do….again!
It turns out that the son was talking about ask a friend to dinner…make a new friend. The Dad was reluctant to try to make a new friend because he felt he didn’t have enough time left in his lifetime to develop a friendship like those he already has….and cherishes so deeply.He felt that his old friends that hold a special place in his heart/life were irreplaceable and he would be tossing them aside if he chose to develop new friends along the way. And I thought…..that’s true! As we age we become so much more attached to the old friends….those friends that you have had for years! Those friends that you have had for years, even if you haven’t seen, or spoken to them, in years! They hold a very special place in our hearts and we should cherish them dearly.
But that doesn’t mean that we should continue to reach out to people that we meet, people that we think we might like to know better. Our lives will be so much richer if we continue to add new people to our ever growing roster of friends.
One of the really good things about my job as a fashion consultant is that I meet new people all the time! And sometimes, I have reason to renew my old, cherished friendships too. I LOVE that! I love to introduce them to each other! They love to meet each other…..and we all learn new things about one another. You might remember me talking about reconnecting with some wonderful old friends earlier this summer?
It was such fun to connect some of the new people in my life with some of my dear friends that I known had for decades….literally decades! If you have a dear friend that you hold close to your heart, call her! Make the time to reconnect with her. Share with her what you are doing now. Introduce her to the people you see now….the things you do now. And on the other hand, take a minute, make it a point, to reach out to the woman across the way that seems interesting to you. Ask her for coffee. Find out more about her. I am sure she will want to know more about you! After all, think of it this way, why wouldn’t she want to know more about you!?! And before you know it you will have a healthy roster of friendships….of all sorts! That will make your life more interesting….and I imagine…..hers also!
So, don’t forget…..Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver, the other gold. I know you will be glad you did!
We are all busy, but we really aren’t that busy….are we?!
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dress or look that you bought this Spring/Summer 2016? Have you worn it? Have you worn it enough!?!
If you are a regular reader of BBDStyle you will know that I have already shown the Doncaster Fall 2016 Collection here in Milwaukee. Which means, that I have already started wearing Fall. Here it is mid-August and there are some Spring/Summer things in my closet that have become favorites! I have been wearing them a lot….and am comfortable and relaxed wearing them because they aren’t new anymore. But there are a few things that I haven’t worn enough…yet! I will make it a point to wear some of those this week!
Yesterday I got up and put on one of the looks I have been meaning to wear for the longest time, but for whatever reason I haven’t actually worn it much at all! You might say I went shopping in my closet! I separated the skirt and jacket, and just wore the skirt with another t-shirt…and voila!…I have a new look!! Just in time!! It’s about to be Fall 2016….for real! I can wear the new Spring/Summer looks that I know I will find in the closet for awhile still. After all, it is still August! When you buy new things from me I like to remind you to “Wear it in good health….and wear it often!” This is an example of what I mean by that…..the more we wear the clothes we have, the better we feel about wearing them.
I was wearing a new Fall blouse the other day and commented to a client of mine that I didn’t like the white camisole under it…..next time, I will know better….and choose a nude or charcoal underpinning. It wasn’t Awful…not a faux pas or anything….it’s just that I prefer the look of a color other than white. I wouldn’t know that I felt that way if I didn’t wear it that way and decide I didn’t like it after all.
I am going to take this opportunity to remind you to go shopping in your closet…this next week! Wear those clothes that you haven’t had a chance to wear yet….make them favorites…it’s not too late! I think you will be glad that you did! Then, when I get the collection back in October, you will be ready for some new looks! Ready to try some New Looks. I’m sure of it! Fall Fashion 2016 is bold and different from what we already have. Come see what’s new….and be ready to try some new things!
Please comment & share your thoughts about style & fashion!!
if Nothing Changes!
I have just finished selling Doncaster Fall 2016 here in Milwaukee. Now that we are settling into a little bit slower pace, and lamenting the fact that summer days will be a thing of the past way too soon, this is a great time to think about your look for Fall 2016. Have you been thinking about a new look? Trying something a little bit different than what you….and your friends….are used to? This is a great time to start that journey.
Take a few minutes to peruse the July and August magazines on the shelves now. I think you will be surprised at the bold, new looks that we are seeing this season. We are seeing Wine, a pretty burgundy red color…..Pine, a rich dark, forest green…..which is being shown with a blushing pink…..Ginger & Pumpkin are a fun and classic take on the fall classics. It’s a must have for you if you went to Princeton….or a school whose colors involve Orange! I think these colors are a really nice alternative to Black….from head to toe! The usual cold weather staple that we tend to go to. I am not suggesting that you get rid of your Black favorites….but I am suggesting that you at least look at some of the beautiful new colors that are available now.
This is a good time to think about mixing up some smaller prints, and some bolder stripes, or plaid. Just think about it for now…and consider if you might be able to think of something different. The Doncaster Collection for Fall 2016 is a very different look from what it has been, which was too jarring for some clients that I have had for a while. But it is a reflection of what there is out there in the market place….in the world of Fashion. So, do yourself a favor and think about how you might modify your look this season. You might be surprised at what you might decide to try! Be Bold! But start by just thinking about it!
Nothing Changes…if Nothing Changes.
For now, just think about it!
I had the nicest thing happen to me this morning!
I had a phone call this morning from a fellow we have known for a while now. Lately, he has been hunting me down, as we have been playing phone tag for awhile now…a few days, I think. It seems that he recently met a woman that he thought might like to work with me and know about Doncaster! He proceeded to tell me how he met this lady…she is a friend of friends, they had gone to dinner together with mutual friends. Apparently, she is a beautiful woman, with a fuller figure and she is new to town and was lamenting that she can’t find anywhere to SHOP! So Randy said…I have just the solution for you!
Barbara Drake! Doncaster!
I know she will be able to help you!
So we took a minute to talk about my business. Although we have known each other for a few years, at least, we had not had the opportunity to talk about the specifics of my business. Yes…we have all sizes (0 – 24), or sometimes referred to as Petites, Misses, Womens. Yes…the look of the collection is nice clothes, that take most women to at least most of the places they want to go. Yes…some people think the clothes are expensive, and that means that the average price is about $195/piece….and that includes scarves to leather jackets. The average price per pant is about $295, per jacket is probably about $395 and the average price per dress is about $350….yes, some pieces are more than some others…but generally we have clothes that we just WEAR!
Barbara, he said you always look nice!! (How nice!) Well, I almost always wear Doncaster…and because of that I always wear make up and jewelry, and try my best for a good hair day! I try to make it a point to look in the mirror before I go out the door. I’m going for FINE. I just want to look FINE. I have issues, like everyone else does……or worse! But if I feel I look FINE. everything seems to go ok. It’s easier for me to take care of business….pay attention to doing things right the first time. I wear looks that go from the gym, to lunch with friends, to an appointment of some sort….and home (or out!) to dinner with my husband. I want and NEED clothes that will take me to all those places….with out having to change clothes all day long! I expect my clothes to look Fine. all day long and perform for me! And I expect them to be comfortable enough to wear all day long. Because I expect great performance from my wardrobe, I don’t expect to get it for nothing. I suppose if I had no where to go and nothing to do I might be more interested in wearing the cheapest thing I can find…but I don’t. The quality of my life is more important to me….at least at this point in my life….and so is the quality of my clothes.
Not to mention how nice it is to have a gentlemen friend shower me with compliments on any old Saturday morning! And refer new clients my way also.
Doncaster Fall 2016 Showtime! in Milwaukee
July 20 – 23 @ Woman’s Club of Milwaukee
July 27-30 @ Home