Thursday, September 29, 2011

Fall Fashion Alert: CLOTHING EDITION

How many of you have gone out and gotten yourself some riding boots since our last post? We sure have, but we didn't have to go far ;)  We're not the type of people to wish for cold when it's too hot outside (and vice versa) but this season we do have to admit we're ready for the cooler air. Why? So we can rock our skinny jeans with boots, fur lined sweaters (faux of course), and over sized scarves. Don't get us wrong, we love our backless dresses and 4" peep toe pumps, but who doesn't love a change once in a while?

Personally, I look forward to bulkier clothes so I can hide my muffin top a bit better. What?! At least I'm honest! More to love right?

So we've discussed fall trends in shoes, now let's focus on our body's favorite accessory, CLOTHES! This Fall seems to have hotter fashions than any other Fall I can remember in recent history. Natural colors, even gray hues, are in in in. But there's also two major pops of colors to watch out for... Red and Jade Green. BAM! Becareful wearing them together though, you may look like a Christmas Wreath. Wear them separately and you're the cat's meow and stuff like that and such as...and stuff.

 Whether it's a top, dress, scarf, jeans (yes jeans), etc... if it's red, it's Fall. If you don't look good in red (like myself) then enjoy being 'out' this fall, at least with this trend. Boooo. However, those of us who don't look good in red typically can pull of green real well...

We haven't received much jade green yet in store but it's coming, it is cominggggg. This color is flattering on most skin tones and with most hair colors. Have green eyes? That's a plus! Work it girl. My fiance doesn't like me in green but I tell him I have green eyes and it makes them look pretty and that's all that matters. But come on, we dress to impress other girls, not our men. It's the truth.

Let's dive more into actual trends than colors... this is our personal favorite trend this Fall, the dolman sleeve blouse (or anything dolman). Love love love... l.o.v.e. (like Ashlee Simpson love, and we all know that's hardcore)
 The definition of a dolman sleeve is open to interpretation. The classic definition is a top with a wide arm hole and narrow around the wrist. However, with current trends, dolman sleeves are coming in shorter sleeves (as seen above) which cuts out the 'narrow around the wrist' part. Regardless, they're fun a breezy and figure flattering. Whether it's a sheer top, button down blouse, or cape coat, dolman sleeves look great.

If you cut the section off between the arm hole and the bottom of the blouse, what do you get? A Poncho of course! Back again for another Fall, ponchos are going to be everywhere and on everyone. If you're pregnant, this is your go to piece. If you're drinking a lot of beer while tailgating, ponchos are your answer.
 Ponchos come in so many different styles and patterns that the possibilities are endless. Let's say you can't find anything to wear, you just have a white long sleeve tee and jeans and have to cart your kids around all day. You feel boring and drab. This is where a poncho comes in. Throw one on to instantly transform your outfit. Oh and don't forget a great pair of earrings! DUH.

Going with the whole biker boot vibe (as discussed in our previous post) leather is a huge trend this Fall. Are you surprised? We're not either. Find yourself a great leather coat, lined with a fun pattern and you're set. Leather skirts are also showing their faces in a lot of boutiques recently as well, but we're on the fence. Want do you think... would you want one?
These are three styles we've gotten in so far this Fall. All three fabulous. Pair them with your favorite boots and you're set! Put a little edge in your wardrobe

There's so many more new trends this Fall but we'll save them for another day, so stay tuned and check back for 'Fall Fashion Alert: Clothing' second edition. Man that makes us sound so cool and important, huh? ;)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Fall Fashion Alert: SHOE EDITION

As if you all didn't already know... Fall, glorious Fall is upon us! It is that awkward time of year though when it's chilly in the morning and warm in the afternoon so it's difficult to coordinate outfits. However, this is where layering comes in. Also, when else do you have an excuse to wear a long sleeve shirt with cute little shorts? Or riding boots with a little dress?  So much cuteness with so little time to rock it, such a shame. Let's take advantage of the new Fall trends while we can, shall we?

Let us help you stay ahead of the Fall fashion curve with some trend alerts. Strap on your boots ladies and let's begin with our SHOE EDITION...

Riding Boots. Two words that carry so much style. These were big last year and even bigger this year. They're comfy and multi purpose and look good with just about everything. Perfect for tailgating and walking up and down all those stairs at the stadium. If you don't have a pair of riding boots, well... you're behind the times my friends.
 These are three of the styles we currently have in stock although they've been flying out the doors. Most coveted colors? Brown, camel, ash, and any natural tone that looks worn. Riding boots are typically worn over your favorite pair of skinny jeans or leggings. But with the beautiful weather we have right now you can also rock them with a cute dress and cardigan (work in a quarter length sleeve cardigan to wear when it's chilly and you can remove when it gets warm out).
What do you think of riding boots? What's your favorite way to wear them?

Staying on the boots topic... wedged knee high boots are super 'in' this fall. These are great for us girls who need a little height but need better traction than we'd get from a heel. Any color goes in this style and you can wear them the same as the riding boots. They're easy to dress up as well. 
Oops almost forgot to mention the best part of these boots, buckles! They're everywhere this fall on all kinds of shoes. Who doesn't love a good buckle?

Moooving on... rev your engines ladies because our next boot trying to make it's way into our wardrobes is the biker boot. I guess the bikers felt left out when the cowboy's boots became so trendy. Many celebs are rocking these but we're on the fence about them. They're a bit 'Clarissa Explains It All' if you ask us. Who knows though, next Fall, they may really be 'all the rage' and we may be biting our tongues!
Lace 'em up, over, in the back, on the side, whatever floats your boat. I wonder what Melissa Joan Hart thinks of these babies coming back in style?

The next shoe we're super pumped about... call us closet prepsters but we love love love that Oxfords are showing their beautiful faces back in shoe stores. They're revamped, have higher heels, and so stinkin' cute.

 Whether you want them two toned or slick camel leather, high heeled or flat, they're up for grabs. You can wear them over tights, under denim, or with a flirty skirt. Do you love them as much as we do?

Much like last year, booties are all over the place and on everyone's feet. Booties are basically boots cut off at the ankle. They're easy to wear and quick to slip on and zip up. Wedged or a 4" heel, take your pick!

We have the adorable gray wedged booties currently in stock. They're so comfy and versatile. You're going to love them!

Only because we know you're wondering and we get this questions every year, yes Uggs or Ugg knock offs are still 'in' but please wear them thoughtfully. If we catch you wearing them with a skirt or shorts, you're getting a big ticket from the fashion police! If you're sick and wearing sweat pants and your toesies are cold so you throw on your uggs, you go girl!

Fashion first ladies! Comfort is a close second ;)

Stay tuned for our Fall Fashion Alert: Clothing Edition! And comment and let us know your thoughts on all the shoes mentioned above. Which do you love the most?

pssst... we have a secret... we have a super fun contest coming soon that you're going to absolutely love. Keep a look out on our Facebook Page

Monday, July 11, 2011

Here's to MEN...and Khakis!

We talk about your friends and the places that you've been
We talk about your skin and the dimples on your chin
The polish on your toes and the run in your hose
And God knows we're gonna talk about your Clothes...

Toby Keith couldn't be more correct. This is what most boyfriends/fiances/husbands are thinking when they listen to us ladies go on and on and on about ourselves. But hey, we're women, it's what we do, and they know what they signed up for right?? If you know the chorus to the above song, you know Toby is trying to get the point across that sometimes he just wants to talk about ME! (him, not me, you get it). So... in an effort to focus on the men in our lives, this post is dedicated to them!

Here's to the men who deal with us complaining about having NOTHING to wear to dinner although our closets are chock-full of clothing. Here's to the men who deal with us whining about feeling fat and asking them on a weekly basis if they think we look pretty. Here's to the men who love us through all of our insecurities and take darn good care of us...

Us girls at Blake & Brady love our men and your men too! Don't worry, we don't love 'your' men in that way, but we do love your men SOOOO much that we are now providing clothing in our store just for them! If you didn't already know that, now you do. We even have a men's 'corner' with building blocks and legos and those little toys where you have to figure out which shaped hole the square goes into. Okay okay, only kidding about the toys, but we really do have a men's area. It's complete with a big comfy leather couch to lounge on while you're shopping and he's bored senseless. And it also has a big screen TV to watch the 'game', whichever it may be at the moment. Can't beat that!

Let's face it, men typically don't enjoy shopping. That's why we made it easy for you ladies to shop for them while you're shopping for yourself!

How about a slick button down for the fall Clemson games? You can ensure your honey looks better than that other girl's honey, ya, that girl...

Beautifully stitched with a tiny houndstooth pattern. Masculine but stylish at the same time!

Need to dress your man up for that big anniversary coming up, the one where he's most definitely going to remember to send you a big bouquet of flowers to your work and shower you in diamonds as a surprise? We've got you covered!
He'll look quite dapper in this Huntington Button Down from Coast Apparel!

Oh what's that you say? Your man is more of a beef and potatoes man? He doesn't dress up unless his momma is coming over? We have something for him, no worries!
 Grab him one of these Southern Marsh Collection T's when you come by! Perfectly comfy and long lasting. You rock that tshirt mannequin man!

Oh! We almost forgot, we've got polos too! Oooooh yeah. Great for work or play. These have an amazing fit that will cause your honey to ask for 'just a couple more'.

So as you can see we have your man's upper body covered, but don't you worry, we've got him covered down below...with pants...hello! A man can never have too many pairs of khakis, and these babies are in-cred-ible. Yup! Bring him in, and have him try them on. He will walk out with them for sure!
These are called 'Men's Mountain Khakis' ... can't get any manlier than that!

These comfy shorts are only $49.00! Nope, not kidding.
Are you on men's clothing goodness overload? We apologize but we just had to make sure you knew what you were missing! Come on in and see us and see all of this in person, at The Loft (just above our regular Blake & Brady store). Oh and don't forget to pick something up for yourself, because all good deeds must be rewarded! :)

Friday, June 17, 2011

"I think it's fly when girls stop by for the summer, for the summer..."

Ahhhh sweet sweet summer time is upon us. It's nearly 100 degrees outside and you can see mirages of water on the streets. What do you think about when you think of Summer?

For me, I think of the scorching summer dog days growing up in Florida. I remember that fateful summer day of realizing, while going through puberty, only one boob was coming in, while the other was being funny and stayed in my chest. Sick joke boobs, cruel sick joke.

I remember becoming SO bored from sitting in the house that I'd come up with new and creative ways to ruin my older sister's social life. Or I'd lay on the stairs in an awkward upside down angle while holding my breath to make it look like I had a nasty spill so that my mom would freak out. It never worked, sucks having a smart mom. Fake blood would have helped, next time I'll remember that.

Ooooh summer... we have had so many good times together. I remember the summer when boys started noticing me and I decided it was time I put my Limited Too clothing in the back of the closet and start wearing more adult brands, like Abercrombie and Fitch. Who knew that once you grew boobs and boys started noticing you that you'd start caring about fashion? I was 12 years old when I started caring and my bank account has gone downhill since then. Well, I didn't actually have a bank account but I did have a bucket where I put dollar bills I'd steal from my sister's piggy bank. Same thing.

Now look, we're all grown up, summer is still here every year, and it's an unspoken rule that you must redo your summer wardrobe each year to stay hip with the new summer trends. This may be why I love working with Blake & Brady so much. They make it so easy to keep my wardrobe up to date without breaking the bank.

What's your favorite summer fashion this year? My favorite isn't necessarily a fashion trend but a type of clothing... dresses! Is it just me or are dresses becoming more and more popular (if that's even possible)?

Us girls at Blake & Brady love maxi dresses! They have been trendy the past few years and we hope they're here to stay for a few more. They're so forgiving on your figure and can easily be dressed up or dressed down. You can wear them as a cover up or to a wedding.

What about strapless dresses? Cute little flowly, light weight, slip on dresses with fun designs. We adoreeee them and from how quickly they fly out of our store, we think y'all do as well!

If you have not yet noticed, dress designers are taking it up a notch by adding a little flare to the backs of their dresses. When you're nice and tan in the summer, these dresses are perfect to wear around. The only downfall with some of them is that you can't wear a bra. So if you have big ta-tas then you may want to becareful when purchasing. Or you can get one of those sticky bras without the backs but becareful not to sweat in them (right Sissa?)!

Do you have a funny summer story to share with us? Please submit it in an email to us at and we'll compile all the stories we receive and put them in a fun blog post for others to read!

We're going to leave you with this fun music video by an awesome band called LFO because we KNOW many of you girls jammed out to this song in the summer time when you were younger.. so fitting :)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Real Housewives of....Style.

It's an epidemic and has taken the World by storm. It's like a broken finger. It's painful but you can't stop staring at it, in all of it's deformed glory. What are we referring to you ask? The Real Housewives series of course! Obviously...

Many of us hate to admit it, but we can't help but love the Real Housewives of Orange County, New Jersey, New York, Atlanta, D.C., Miami, and Beverly Hills. We know what you're thinking and we feel the same way, there was a D.C. season? Yep, and it was sub par but it did happen. Moving on...

We've noticed, because of our addiction with the show, that each season/city/state has a different 'look'. All the women have their own style. The women of Orange County dress and style themselves much differently than the ladies in New 'lady' the right term'? hmmm. Which style is your favorite? Are you more of a D.C. girl or would you consider your style to match the women in Atlanta?
Here's a little photo montage to refresh your memories of each season's style...

The Real Housewives of Atlanta

First of all, we have to say, how many hours of photoshop went into making this picture possible? If only you could photoshop reality, a girl, or housewife can dream can't she?
Key Points to Atlanta Style:
1. Wear anything that will make your 'twins' look as big and 'in yo face' as possible. Purchase a great push up bra, or new set of twins, lather them with shimmer and you're ready to go to the grocery store.
2. Accentuate your curves, if you've got a 'donkey booty' then flaunt it baby. Curves are a beautiful thing for these Atlanta housewives.
3. Bling bling... wear big chunky jewelry and crystals on your wrists, neck, fingers, finger nails, and even eyelashes. You can never have too much bling.
4. Have your own signature hair style even if that means having a custom wig made for your head. Spike your hair up, slick it back, or put feathers in it. Work it girl...
5. Don't forget your accessory... your man. He must be athletic, tall, dark, or... an ex-con.

The Real Housewives of Orange County

Blonde has quickly become the name of the game in this season/city. Afterall, it's completely natural right?
1. Hair, hair, and more hair...extensions! If you don't have extensions you are soooo not cool. Fake is real in the O.C. Don't forget your fake eyelashes.
2. Tight dresses that accentuate your body, the one you paid lots of money for, are key. Anything with a sweetheart neckline or no straps is perfect. Throw on some spanx and strut your stuff.
3. Along with tight dresses, high heels, at least 4 inches, are extremely important. Flats are a no-no.
4. Big chunky necklaces, with real diamonds, are also important to pair with your outfits.
5. Going to the gym? Make sure you style your hair and put on a full face of makeup. You never know who you might see. 

The Real Housewives of Miami

We feel weird admitting it but this crew may be the most 'normal' as far as fashion goes
1. Trend is everything. Track down the best name brands and fill your closet with them. Ruffles and floral print are perfect for exotic Miami.
2. Being tan is super important, you do live around a bunch of Latinos and Cubans, gotta keep up. 
3. Dress sexy but keep it classy, show just enough skin without revealing too much (well unless you're Cristy, she's does her own thing).
4. Style your hair but don't make it look like you're trying too hard. The beachy salt filled air will make any hair sprayed helmet hair go flat.
5. Strappy flats, or wedged sandals are so 'in' in Miami. Whatever makes it easier to walk from boutique to boutique.

 The Real Housewives of D.C.

If there's one thing constant with these ladies, they're always trying to outdo each other whether it be with fashion or political knowledge.
1. You are in America's Capital so you must dress like it. Being conservative and classy are the two fashion rules you must live by.
2. Keep your cleavage and legs covered up but make a statement with sequins adorned dresses and coats of fur in the winter.
3. Pearls and diamonds are your best friend. Anything that makes you look wealthier than the woman next to you.
4. The way you look isn't near as important as who you know. Drop names regularly and eat lunch at the White House at least twice a year.
5. Your smile is the first thing people see when you walk into a room, make sure it's sparkly white and if that means getting veneers, go for it girl!

The Real Housewives of New York City

One thing we can applaud about these ladies is that they all seem to have their own unique style, similar to each other, but different in many ways.
1. Run to the catwalks and duplicate whatever you see the models rocking. The style may not look quite right on you but hey, at least you know you're hip with the newest trends.
2. Wear what flatters your body best, if you have long legs rock skinny pants with a great pair of boots. Love your collar bone? Wear an off the shoulder top under your mink coat.
3. Blazers are IT in New York City, any style, color, and length. Rock those blazers.
4. Jewelry is popular but wear it in good taste. It must make a statement but a subtle statement.
5. Scarves are a must no matter what the season, and ballet flats are very popular because of all the walking you'll be doing from appointment to social meeting.

The Real Housewives of New Jersey

Let's go out with a BANG! These ladies by far have the loudest style. They have huge personalities that they pair with their crazy fashion sense.
1. Animal print...zebra, cheetah, leopard, you name it, you wear it! Wear it as a dress, on your head as a hat, as a print in your daughter's hair bow, or on your shoes.
2. Leather and glitter are must haves in your wardrobe. Your husbands will die when they see you walk out of your bedroom in something slick and shiny!
3. Coordinate your outfit with your kid's outfits. Matching is all the rage.
4. You're over the age of 40 and you want to wear something loud and skimpy, no problem, you're in Jersey, go for it!
5. Tease that hair, the bigger the better. It will look great with your dark eye makeup and red lipstick.

So... which style do you identify most with? Or do us Southern women have a completely different style of our own? We'd like to think the latter is true.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Here Comes The Bride... and her guests

Wedding season is upon us! That means one thing... shots of tequila and jumping up and down to 'Shout'! Orrr maybe we're just wishing we were extras in the movie 'Wedding Crashers'. Regardless of your intentions at a wedding, you've got to look good. There are important do's and dont's when it comes to picking an outfit.

First and foremost do not, under any circumstances wear white! This means, do not wear a white/ivory/off-white dress, pant suit, skirt and top, etc. The color white, in any and all shades, is saved for the bride and the bride only. There may be rare circumstances in which the bride asks her guests to wear white, but she's probably lost her mind. Just saying.
Adorable Dress? Yes!... Okay for a wedding? No!

Don't be confused though, it's okay to wear a dress with minimal white in it. For example, a dress with some white in the print is fine, or one of those block dresses with a black bottom half and white upper half is usually okay. Rule of thumb... when in doubt, don't wear it! And yes, we're talking to you too mothers and mother-in-laws of the bride! This is not your wedding, it's not your time to shine.
Here's a fun dress with a little 'white' in the pattern, this would work!

That brings us to our next point, what should the mother of the bride wear? Well obviously not white but also not something that will make too much of a statement. If you're a mom, don't upstage your daughter. You're absolutely encouraged to look ravishing but if your daughter gives you wardrobe recommendations, it's best you follow them. You're usually encouraged to look conservative and elegant.

Ladies, try to avoid wearing something that matches the wedding colors or bridesmaid dresses. The bridesmaids have on that color for a reason, to stand out and show that they're part of the wedding party. Don't confuse people. Unsure about the colors of the wedding or bridesmaid dresses? Just ask! Or you can simply look at the wedding invitation. Typically the invitations will give you a good feel for the style and color(s) that will be used at the wedding.
Let's practice... Can you guess what color not to wear?

The time of the wedding is very important to take into account! Attire for a early afternoon or mid-day wedding is usually different than attire for an evening wedding. Sun dresses (in good taste) in bright fun patterns are more appropriate for a day time wedding. Darker colors and sleeker styled cocktail dresses are better for evening weddings. If the wedding is very formal, that's a whole other ball game. The invitation should specify if it's black tie formal. If that's the case, you're typically encouraged to wear a floor length gown.
This is perfect for a day time wedding with some great heeled Sandals
 Great for an evening wedding with the perfect accessories

Here's a word to the wise... do you think you'll be eating lots while at the wedding? If so, don't wear a tight fitting dress. Wear something that will give you room to breathe and stuff your face. I mean, come on, who can pass up the bacon wrapped shrimp, the macaroni cheese bar, bleu cheese stuffed filet mignon, and candy bar?

Going to a beach wedding? Wear something cute, light, and feminine. If the ceremony is in the sand, wear some dressy flat sandals. Try not to throw on your rainbows, step it up a notch. For men, they can usually wear a loose fitted button down, untucked, with the sleeves rolled up, and some khakis. But again, check with the bride or groom to make sure you're not too casual. Men, if you wear flip flops, make sure they're clean and not stained. And leave your black sport sandals at home.
 Pair this with a pair of cute flat sandals then throw on heels at the reception!
 Appropriate Sandals to wear, cute and classy

Rule of thumb when deciding on the length of the dress you may wear...put your hands by your side. If your dress is shorter than the tip of your middle finger, it may be too short. If it's shorter than the joint of your wrist, it's definitely too short!

We'll leave you with these two words to keep in mind when picking out an outfit for a wedding... be "classy & modern".

Monday, May 9, 2011

B&B Spotlight - Elliot Crudup

We love our customers, that's no secret. In an effort to make sure they know just how much we love them, we're going to continue on with our B&B Spotlight posts featuring some of our fabulous customers. We feel we know you all so well but you don't really know each other! Sure you may see each other in passing in the store, or comment right after each other vying for that last size small in one of our new arrivals, but most of you have never actually conversed. 

We're starting off with a gorgeous mother of two who graces us with her presence almost on a weekly basis. She is the epitome of Super Mom with a flare for style. Let's learn more about her...

* Introduce yourself, who are you and where are you from? Tell us about your beautiful family!
 I'm Elliott Easterby Crudup originally from Greenville SC.  I was lucky enough to marry the perfect man, Jody Crudup-my brother's college roommate and fraternity brother- and we have lived in Anderson for the last 22 years.  We have two daughters...Pearce is 20 and just finished her sophmore year at College of Charleston and Alston, 17, a rising senior at T.L. Hanna high school.

* How did you find out about Blake & Brady?
 Sissa and Chris Sullivan-the owners of Blake and Brady- have been long time friends, so when they opened the store I was so excited and wanted to support their "hometown" efforts! But I was bowled over by their selection and their unparalelled prices and customer service!  They know my daughters and me and they recognize what is flattering for each of us!  It's amazing how much help they are!
* Which star's closet would you love to have?
I love Jennifer Aniston's style.  She is the epitome of California cool, which isn't so far from Southern cool!! 
She is aware of what looks good on her and consistently looks great.

* What newer fashion trend would you never give a try and why not?
Super short dresses don't translate well into everyday life.  They make the wearer look cheap...and who wants that???
* What's your favorite current fashion trend and why?
I love strapless or one shoulder pieces.  I have have broad shoulders and they work well for me!
* If a movie was done about your life, who would you want to play 'you'?
I love Gwyneth Paltrow.  She is an amazing talent and can do a "spot-on" southern accent without sounding like she doesn't have a brain in her head!

* What has been your biggest fashion 'oops'?
It has to be trying to fit into pre-pregnancy clothes before my body was ready!  BIG maternity clothes have left me scarred...I can't stand clothes that just hang there!  They make me feel HUGE!
* What outfit of yours is your most favorite and why?
I'm a total jeans kind of girl!  Give me a great fitting pair of jeans, cowboy boots and a perfect one-shoulder top and I'm happy!
* What makeup could you not live without?
Ask anybody...I LOVE some lipstick and lip gloss!

* What's your TV guilty pleasure?
House Hunters International.  Who wouldn't want to see properties in foreign lands! 

* Tell us a fun fact about you that some may not know?
I studied communications with a concentration in television and radio in college.  I tried my hand at both and realized that they are WAY too competitive for me!  I ditched that right away and stayed with writing until I had my children. Later I found my passion which is fitness.  I've been so fortunate to have found my way to that industry!

* How would you describe your style?
I love to try trends that are flattering and fun but not too sexy!

* Anything else you'd like to add?
B & B is great for my family...I can buy something for both my girls and me with ease!  How great is that??!!

We think Elliot's interview speaks for itself... she's fabulous, fun, and a great mom! Oh, and who doesn't love a mom who you can share clothes with?! 

As a side note... Not only is Elliot a loyal customer of Blake & Brady but she is also a great supporter of our new store The Loft at Blake & Brady. If you haven't checked it out, you're missing out on some awesome shoes and even better deals!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Loft at Blake & Brady - Opening Tomorrow!

As many of you know, Blake & Brady is expanding! We will be opening The Loft at Blake & Brady tomorrow, Monday May 2nd, and we couldn't be more excited! The Loft will be located directly above Blake & Brady with two easily accessible entrances; one from Main Street and the other from Earl St.

We've received many questions regarding the new store so we took the time to sit down and answer them for you...

Why on Earth are you opening another store?
With the great success we've had with Blake & Brady, we've been able to order and carry more inventory. This is absolutely fantastic for our customers but our actual store is bursting at the seems. We need more room! Lucky for us, the space just above us was open and available and, after surveyed, looked like the perfect space for us to expand into.

Why is Blake & Brady able to expand when most businesses is this nation are struggling to stay open?
To say we feel blessed to have this opportunity and ability to expand would be an understatement. When we made the decision to lower our price points and bring in more affordable inventory, almost two years ago, we had no idea how successful it would be. It was a big chance we took and it paid off. We've learned that, with these tough economic times, each business must adjust their business model in order to survive. Without the support of the Anderson, Clemson, and Upstate communities, we wouldn't be in this great position.

You've mentioned in the past that much of your success is due to Facebook, can you explain?
We never knew that we'd become a Facebook based store but it has certainly turned out that way. We began taking pictures of our girls in our new arrivals and posting a few pictures on Facebook because we had women requesting we do so. They wanted to make sure they really liked the item before they drove to our store from Clemson, Greenville, etc. to try it on. Once we started posting these pictures on our Facebook page, we were getting numerous comments from many others. That's when we knew we may have stumbled upon a valuable tool. We continued to post pictures on our Facebook page each time we received new product, and it took off from there. It's been wonderful and has become a great way to interact with our customers!

We hear your name all over town, is that weird for you, did you ever think you would become so widely known in town and all over South Carolina?
It's absolutely surreal. Some of our girls who model our new arrivals are being noticed out and about in South Carolina. They have people approach them asking "Hey are you that girl from the Blake & Brady page?". We've even walked past people who are conversing about our store. We don't think it will ever get old. We are so thankful to have become widely known and talked about.

Tell us about The Loft, what can we expect?
When designing The Loft we wanted to make sure it had a lofty, yet modern feel. The space had beautiful old hardwood floors and over 100 year old ceilings. We worked to bring all that old southern charm out in our new space. You can expect to find a comfortable and inviting shopping space detailed with distressed wooden benches, modern and funky lighting, and large custom mirrors perfect for modeling in front of.

What about the product, what will you be offering at The Loft?
We'll have rows and rows of women's shoes to choose from! We can not wait to put them on display and show them off to all of you tomorrow. The best part about our shoes is how affordable they are. Most of our spring, summer shoes will be priced at $50.00 or below! Our Fall and winter shoes will be at about $75.00 and below, but that's because boots tend to be a little bit more expensive than pumps or flats. When choosing what shoes to bring into stock, we paid close attention to their costs. We only want to offer our customers items they'll love at prices they can afford.
In addition to shoes, we'll carry women's and men's denim! We'll still have all of your favorites like Hudson, and Paige Denim, but we'll also be bringing in lower priced lines to accommodate everyone's budget. From white skinny jeans to tailored flare leg denim, we'll have what you're looking for. We urge you to encourage your man to come in and try on a pair of designer denim. He'll never want to wear his Levis again!

We've seen in pictures that you'll have a big couch in The Loft, why is that?
We know most men don't care for shopping, they want to get in and get out but sometimes their ladies drag them out and they find themselves pacing the store floor looking up sports scores on their cell phones. We feel we've solved that 'uuhhh I can't wait to get out of here' longing that men typically have. We will have a large leather couch sitting in front of a 55" flat screen TV for the men to sit in front of and enjoy while their female counterparts are shopping the day away. In addition to a great place to lounge, we'll have a few items men may find appealing. We're talking about the line of custom knives we're bringing into stock in the men's section. What man doesn't love a good pocket knife? One other item we must touch on for men, is the new line of boxers we'll be carrying. They're called Royal Highnies (we know, funny name) but are extremely popular and loved by many men.  They're 400 thread count of heaven for every man's bottom. Once you try on a pair, we guarantee you'll never wear anything else.

Where can we find pictures of your 'new arrivals' at The Loft?
We have a completely new and separate Facebook page dedicated to The Loft at Blake and Brady. We will be posting pictures of our new arrivals on that page, just like we have done on our regular page. Customers will be able to comment under each picture and order through our facebook page, call us at the store and order over the phone, or drop by to see us in person. We would like to note that our FastTrack email will stay the same. There will not be two of these. When we send out an email to our customers on the FastTrack list, they will be notified of new arrivals at Blake & Brady, and at The Loft at Blake & Brady, in one email. So don't worry about having to sign up again! If you are not already signed up for our FastTrack emails, you can do so by clicking HERE!

So, we have to ask, are you nervous about opening a new store?
We'd be lying if we said we weren't a little nervous, but overall, we're extremely excited. Because we are not new to downtown Anderson, we have the confidence in our ability to succeed and thrive here in this wonderful city. The one aspect we're a little 'iffy' about, is not knowing how quickly our new product will sell and whether or not we've ordered enough inventory! If we run out of product too quickly, at least we'll know how much to bring in with our next order. This is going to be an experiment for all of us at the beginning. We can't stress to everyone how thankful we are for your support and encouragement!

Don't forget, Tomorrow is the day! Make sure you 'Like' The Loft at Blake & Brady's facebook page so that you can be the first to see our new products! CLICK HERE

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Hips, Hats, Hair ... and Tribal Print?

Remember those days when summer was coming and you didn't have a care in the World when it came to what to wear and when? You were built like a twig and could throw on anything from last summer and it would still fit.

That was the 'high school' you. Now that you're a grown woman with a figure, preparing for summer isn't as easy. No it's not just you who feels like you're not gaining weight but your body keeps getting wider. This is happening to me too. Those hips we have, they're evil bones. Is it possible to get hip plastic surgery? I know you can get hip replacement but can you get them pulled in closer together like they were before your body decided it was ready to bear quadruplets at a moments notice? I think God should have made it illegal for your hips to spread until you were actually carrying child. That's just me though.

Enough about our flaws... you know what's fabulous about this summer's fashion trends? They're flowy, draped, and ruffly and leave room to a eat a 5 course meal, develop a food baby, and no one will even notice! Ooooh Summer 2011, how we love you!
Go ahead, eat 5 chimichangas girl... no one will know!

Much like the spring trends... nautical theme is going strong but it's not the only theme taking over our wardrobes. Tribal print is here and is hunting you down. Personally, not a big fan, but I think I'm in the minority. I do have to admit, it looks precious on most women and adds that extra 'flare' we're all looking for.
Rain dance anyone? Just need some face paint and spears!

Cropped pants are fab-u-lous... especially cropped skinnies. We all need a few pairs to go with any top on any day. You can dress them up or down; wear them with platform pumps, or flats. They're convertible, comfortable and stylish. The ones with the buttons at the hem line that crawl up the leg, are super cute...and they match well with your nautical tops.

Jeans rarely make the Summer 'must-have' list because they're thick, bulkier, and don't breathe well. This Summer may be a bit different however with the comeback of the wide leg pant. These lovelies tend to be thinner (more trouser like) and allow some room for air to reach your otherwise suffocated legs. Thank you Carole Brady for allowing us to bring the wide legs back from the 70's. Disclaimer: if you find that you have shorter and thicker legs, these jeans may not be a great choice for you because they may shorten your leg and draw more attention to your bottom half.
Paige Wide Leg.. Doesn't get much better than this!

I feel like we've discussed fashion trends quite a bit but what about the other 'trends' that will accompany your new fashion like hair and accessories?

Bangin' bangs, whether you like it or not, are here and popping up everywhere on women's foreheads these days. You saw Taylor Swift with them at the American Music Awards and then you saw Sandra Bullock with them at the Golden Globes (take that Jessie!). They're fun and trendy, but not for everyone. Our advice? If you want to give them a try, take a fashion leap. If you end up not liking them, give them a month or two to grow a bit and push them to the side as a funky side bang, or clip them up in a cute 'poof' (no, not like Snookie's) until they grow out to a more comfortable length. If you have a long lean face, these may be a great choice for you. If you have a strong bone structure or more of a round face, you may want to think twice before choosing blunt bangs. This is because they could leave you looking more masculine than you'd like.
 Who wore it best?

Like many Summers before, beachy wavy tresses are absolutely in. Part your hair down the middle, add some spray gel to your damp towel-dried hair and you're on your way. Sometimes, by doing this, your hair can seem flat. To fix this just tease small sections of your hair around the crown, use your fingers to style it a bit, and you're golden. Need some extra body? Go purchase yourself some clip in hair extensions that are about the length of your natural hair, or a bit longer, and you'll have hair to be desired. You'd be surprised at how many women these days have extensions but hide them well.
Sarah Jessica shows us how you can dress up the hairstyle!

Much like, hmmmm, about 10 years ago, floppy hats are back in! They're so fabulous and functional and we will definitely be embracing this hat trend. Jennifer Lopez wore it best and first and we thank her for it. Now it's our turn to give this trend a test drive. Floppy hats look pretty stunning on just about anyone and they're quite the statement piece. Much better than Von Dutch trucker hats, right ladies? No worries, we haven't seem them making a comeback... yet.
No one wears it better.

What summer trends will you be welcoming into your wardrobe? If you're going o be rocking any of the looks above, send us a picture of you doing so and we'll show you off on our blog! Did you try the blunt bangs? Let us know your thoughts on the experience!

Until next time... Peace, Love, & Fashion