I’m a lucky girl!

Do you, or did you, have a mentor? Someone who touched your life …. sometimes when you weren’t even looking?! Or maybe you are a mentor, and you don’t even know it!? Think about that for a minute.

Not too long ago Harry and I were talking about my early days with Doncaster. I guess it was around 9/11. It’s such an emotional time….for most off us I think. But for me it was early in October of 2001 that I bumped into the Doncaster opportunity. A lot of you already know this story, but some don’t! I was invited to a luncheon downtown, at the best hotel, by people I didn’t know, some inform out of town, to hear about something I had never heard of, and for some reason I said YES! There was something about the people and the opportunity and the way they presented the opportunity that intrigued me. I wanted to know more.

What I didn’t understand at the time, was how important those women….and a couple of men….would be in my life from that day forward. They inspired me along the way, over the years…..to do one more thing and make a difference. And you know what?? I did! I loved my job! As it turned out, I was really good at it! And I learned so much….from these people that I just, almost literally, bumped into. What if I had not said YES to that luncheon event??

Jackie, JoAnn, Susan and Dave,….and Al, too. They taught by example. At that time everything about the business was new to me. I knew NOTHING! They taught me things like…..

Clean out your closet and Dress Well. You don’t need a lot if what you do have fits and takes you to the places you want to go to.

Be that woman you WANT to be. Let your wardrobe help you and give you the confidence to be the Best You Can Be.

Be Smart. Meet new people and tell them what you do….there is every chance that they will want to know more.

Be smart again…things cost what they cost. Accept it, pay for it and move on. Don’t waste a lot of energy fussing about the price. If it isn’t valuable enough for you to pay for it, then it probably isn’t valuable enough….so you probably don’t need it.

Once more, Be Smart. Save your energy to do the things that you love, the things that you do best, and find other people to help you out by doing the things that you need help with. We can’t do everything, even if we want to, so find people you can rely on to help you out….and use their expertise….to show you the way!

And….nobody is perfect! What we all want is to accentuate the positive. Find ways for those people around you, and close to you, to accentuate the attributes that they do have. Their issues might not be the same as yours….but you can rest assured that they do have issues they want to camouflage. How do I know that?? Because I know, my mentors taught me, that everyone has something!

So, life goes on….life patterns change…..opportunities arise…..and, life goes on. It has been a long time since we all have seen each other…..but it doesn’t mean that we don’t think of one another and love the good old days when we all worked together….doing different things, showing each other the way…..to great success. The funny thing is, I bet those good old friends/mentors of mine were not even aware of the impression they made on my life. How my life has been altered in all kinds of ways because I call them friends. So ask yourself….who is my mentor/mentors?


The more interesting question is: who am I mentoring today, that I might not even know it? Hmmm…I wonder?!

Why now?? Why am I pondering these life choices now, so many years later?? Well, one of my good old friends passed away last week. And although I haven’t seen her in A Very Long Time, I’m going to miss her. I never got the chance to say Thank You…..for showing me the way.

Holiday Champagne

Let us “raise a glass” to those giants that walked before us….those men and women that showed us the way. Let’s vow to be the best we can be for the young people coming up behind us. Next time you think….Who cares what I think? Who cares what I’m wearing? I’m not going anywhere important so “Who Cares”? Think about who might be watching you….that you don’t even know about.

Make it a great day!


Ready or Not…It’s time to go Shopping!

It’s time to start thinking about putting away the pink, orange, yellow and spring green favorites that we have been wearing all Spring and Summer! It’s not that the weather has turned, it will still be warm (maybe even HOT) for a while.

BBD Style
Photo from Talbots.com

For the last twenty (or so!) years I have been beginning to wear my new Fall clothes in July….because I was selling Fall!! When I actually wear my clothes it reminds me of why I love it so much…and why I needed to sell it to YOU…so you can appreciate the features and benefits too! 🙂

BBD Style, Barbara Drake

So, here we are, mid-August, and even I am still wearing pink and green!! So, I am going to promise that by next week, I will modify what’s in my closet so that I will be slowly but surely nudged into wearing denim, navy, novelty prints and changing up the look that I will choose for now.

BBD Style, leopard print blouse
Photo from Talbots.com

There are a few trends you will want to be aware of. Most important is our old friend…Abstract Animal Print! It’s back in a major way!! If you prefer to dabble in AAP think about adding some to your new Fall looks with a purse, a pair of updated shoes, a knit top maybe? Think of it for now anyway as a touch of Fall…..an easier transition sort of thing!

BBD Style

Green, in almost any shade except Kelly Green is also among the must haves for Fall 2019. Right now I am liking a Rich, Dark, Forest Green. And if you just can’t embrace any more AAP think about Army Green….maybe some Camouflage added in for a kick? My favorite for this year is a Dark, Rich, Royal Purple. I am finding that by adding a little bit of these new trends to my old favorites I am putting together lots of great outfits from the clothes that I already have that look NEW to me!

So, take a minute to take stack of what you already have, think about adding a few new things to your “Favorites Pile”…..and what those new things might be…..and Get Up. Dress Up. & Show Up!! And make it a Great Day!


BBD Style

Sale Shopping!?!

On the streets of NYC

Generally, I recommend shopping early in the season….and paying full price for your new clothes! I always advocate for shopping for a whole look, not just a 1 piece of a look, and then wearing that look hard!! Wearing it over and over and over again…all season long! So that when the next season comes along you will be ready for some new things. I really think that this is the way to get the most out of your money….to have your clothes work for you!! Makes perfect sense doesn’t it?!?

Well, lately to everyone’s surprise I have been Sale Shopping! As it turns out, I have learned a lot! I saw some things on line that were available for 75% off….and even more!! Because they were marked down so far (75%) I decided to try a few things…denim that is! I haven’t worn denim in YEARS! I bet I haven’t bought any denim since I’ve been married!! It’s been a really, really long time ago!! And, guess what….I LOVE them! My new jeans fit perfectly, they are comfortable to wear (over and over again!)….and I am so glad that I have them in my closet!

In fact, because I love them so much I am actually considering buying another pair!! I think they are marked down even more! So, why not!?! Sale Shopping is the perfect way to add to that beautiful outfit you bought early in the season! That fabulous pair of black pants that have become must have pieces in your closet. This is the perfect opportunity to replenish those pants into your wardrobe….nobody will know if they are Sale pants….or not! What they will notice, is that you look Great!

Remember….Wear Them in Good Health, and Wear Them Often!

Denim….2019 style!

I decided to go ahead and try something so new, and out of my box, so to speak, because they were on Sale. I’m not sure I would have done that if they were regular price, early in the season. I tried what is a new color for me….just because….why not!

Something new for me!

And, just one more thing! when we shop at the end of the season, and indulge in a second pair of favorite pants….and when we shop locally, we really support our local merchants and their business. It helps her to move forward and shop and plan for the next season, insuring that our favorite business will continue to be there for us to frequent!! And that is a good thing all the way around.

So, as soon as the Polar Vortex passes you by….get out there…..and Go Shopping!!! I predict that you will be glad you did!

My favorite NEW 75% off sweater!

Please comment and share your thoughts about sale shopping!! Where are your favorite sales…?!

Barbara ~ bbd@bbdstyle.com

Merry Christmas!

And Happy New Year, too!

To All…and To All a Good Night !

These last few weeks I have been busy going places and doing things with good, old friends that generally I only see at this time of year. It’s always good to connect with good friends…new and/or old!

Connecting with good friends….old & new!

What I have noticed recently is that lots of the people I know are changing things up for Christmas 2018. Why?? It seems like lots of us are having to modify our Christmas Traditions for their families….they have to modify the old ways/habits/traditions to accommodate everyone’s changing life patterns. It happens to all of us….it’s not necessarily bad, it’s just maybe, different. And sometimes different isn’t always easy!

Maybe your grown children have to work this Christmas?? Maybe you have one more seat at your dinner table this year. And….maybe, you have one less…and that creates a whole in your heart? Maybe your kids have moved out of town? Maybe your parents have moved to a smaller house and can’t easily accommodate the whole group the way they always did. Or maybe the Christmas Eve tradition needs to change this year to make room for church….and dinner. Because we can’t cook dinner for a crowd, even a small crowd, and be at church at the same time. We are really good at what we do….but sometimes even I have to admit that I just can’t do it all. Darn it!

Are you looking for a new tradition?? Aren’t these cupcakes just the best?

The most important thing to remember this time of year….is to do the best we can to find ways that can include as many of our Christmas Traditions, and family members, and friends, as possible. If necessary maybe we can find new friends to make new traditions with? Maybe even some new places to make family favorites. Maybe we can modify our plans just enough, so that all the family can come, after all? If this year somebody just can’t make it, we will send them hugs and kisses anyway we can….and carry on.

Merry Christmas to you and your family from me and mine!


Freshen Up for Spring!

Are you anxiously awaiting Spring 2017…. well, I think that’s a great plan!Doncaster Fashion

I think a really good way to freshen up your look for this time of year is to add some Navy to your basic looks. Move away from the usual Black…just a bit….to Navy. When you connect the garments you already have in your closet to Navy, instead of Black, you will get a whole new look and feel to your regular go to clothes! White, Winter White and Ivory can be new neutrals with your Navy and/or Black things as well.

Doncaster Fashion

This is a really good time to add a little bit of pattern to your wardrobe also. Something that can blend with Black and Navy is a great choice! You don’t have to have a lot….but choose a big bold print to update your closet! It’s current and on trend, and when it is blended with Black/Navy I bet you will be able to embrace it wholeheartedly! And think of the additional looks you will have!

If you just can’t embrace a lot of pattern, try a new, bold Color! This season some beautiful and New colors are Lollipop Red and Sugar Coral. Both are pretty and bold and will definitely put a bounce in your step! Both, or either, work with Black, and with Navy also!  Choose a pretty pattern in a blouse? A scarf? A dress?! And remember….reptile/animal print is still a perfect update to your new look!

Doncaster Fashion

Doncaster Fashion

This is also a good time to add some new accessories….or dig deep to find the things you already have…and love! If you find some things you haven’t worn in a while, and you don’t love….separate from them!! Don’t hang on to things you don’t love! Life is too short to wear clothes, jewelry, accessories that you don’t like! Everything will be better if you add some new things to update your look for Spring 2017!

Think about it … I’m certain you will be glad you did!

~ Barbara

Barbara Drake

It’s Showtime! in Milwaukee

Doncaster Spring/Summer 2017

Wed – Saturday, March 22 – 25

@ Women’s Club of Wisconsin
813 E. Kilbourn Ave., Milwaukee

Come See Me! And what’s New!