Monday, February 28, 2011

The Three 'F's (no...not that one!)

Hello Ladies (and gents), let's take a short intermission from discussing Spring Fashion and switch topics over to Online Shopping! We all do it, it's an epidemic.

You know the drill. You find something you absolutely love online, place an order quickly without your husband (or parents, or whoever watches over the finances) knowing and you anxiously await the package to arrive (because it's exciting and because you need to make sure you intercept the package before someone else sees it). It's like Christmas without a big fat hairy man and cookies. Well, we don't know what your FedEx or UPS driver looks like, but ours isn't big and hairy; and he's never asked for cookies! And thank goodness, because we don't bake.

Many of us, when shopping for clothing online, don't pay quite enough attention to the way the clothing fits on the model, the fabric the piece is made out of, nor do we take into account that model may be built much differently than we are (and this is true in most cases, if it's not, then you have been blessed by the skinny model Gods!). We have three tips for you to keep in mind when online shopping for clothing. We like to call them the three 'F's!

Let's talk Foto (it's spelled with a 'ph' normally, we know, but then that ruins our three 'F's, plus it looks cute spelled with a 'F')...
For those of you who have never worked in clothing retail, you probably don't know about the tricks stylists and photographers use when photographing a model in a piece of clothing. Their big secret to make, let's say, a baggy dress fit tight on a model is using a clip. Yep, a clip. They pull the fabric back and clip the dress in a way that makes the dress appear like it's fitted and it flatters the model's body. Sometimes, when stores really want to get crafty they use their other secret weapon, their hands! They have the model pose awkwardly with one hand behind their back pulling the dress tight. To the untrained eye, you may think the model is just making another one of those weird artsy modely poses, but really they're pulling a fast one on you.

Here's a great example (for those who learn visually):
 Such a sweet innocent pose, looking all model-ish and stuff... BAM, you've been fooled! This girl doesn't have a bad back, she's no granny. She's pulling that dress back with her hand. Perhaps she's too skinny for it or perhaps it blouses awkwardly on the sides and she's trying to hide it. We added the back view as well so that you can see she's doing it at a different angle as well.

Buyers beware. Watch how models are standing! Don't say we didn't warn you! You can't always detect a clip but you sure can detect the 'hand pull'.

When we post pictures on our Facebook page of Jennifer in a piece of clothing, She always stands 'normal'. We want to make sure you know how the dress will fit just by looking at the photo so that you can be confident with your purchase.

Speaking of Jennifer, want to know why she's such a great model for our clothing? Because her body is just like yours! She's in shape and slim but she has curves and she looks great! She's not another skin-n-bones model who makes a pouty face just to make her cheek bones appear higher. She's the real deal Holyfield! When you see Jennifer modeling clothing, what you see is what you get. Which brings us to discussing, THE Fit.

A BIG mistake we women make when shopping online is assuming that dress we love will look the same on us as it does on that 5'10", 100 lb model. First of all, these lovely underfed (that's a guess, not a fact!) ladies do not typically have large chests, or any ta-tas for that matter. They also, typically, don't have big hips or big booties. Their legs go on for miles and they have no arm fat that jiggles when they waive 'hi'! They're not like you and me. They make clothing look fantastic, true story, but they don't reflect how the product looks on a real woman. When online shopping, make sure you keep this in mind. If there are reviews under a product, read them! If they have measurements, jot those down too. There's nothing more dissapointing than getting that gorgeous ruffled front dress in the mail, only to try it on and it doesn't fit or it's unflattering.

Here's a comparison, Twiggy vs Jennifer:
Okay Twiggy, if the dress is that tight on you, how on Earth is my junk in the trunk (and the dashboard) going to fit in that dress!!? Get the point?

Now, here's a simple tip all of us can understand easily, always try to examine or find out what Fabric a piece of clothing is made out of. Typically you can tell from looking at a photo what fabric the item was made out of, but when in doubt, ask! Some of us look great in knit or cotton, while others of us prefer jersey or a poly blend. We all have different bodies and our bodies look better in different fabrics. Personally, I choose items with more 'give', fabrics that stretch a bit so that when I eat too much and have a food baby, I don't feel like I'm suffocating! Come on, you all know what it's like to overeat and about pass out at the table!

So there you have it, three great tips to keep in mind when shopping online. You can thank us later, or just come in the store and do it in person! :)

Happy Shopping!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Kitten Heels, Open Toe Boots, & Clogs... OH MY!

We're slowly but surely inching our way to Spring. Wouldn't it be cool if seasons lasted half as long and occurred twice a year instead of once? Whenever we got sick of a season... BAM... there's a new one. No one would complain saying "ugh I am soooo ready for scarf weather!" and others wouldn't be able to say "I got these super cute flippity flops that I've been waiting all winter to wear!". I don't know about y'all, but I think this idea is genius. I'm thinking about calling a meeting with God, Mother Nature, and The Fashion Queen (Gwen Stefani of course), to negotiate the seasons. I'm sure we can figure something out. I'll keep you posted.

Anyway... No offense Winter but we're over you. I know harsh, but it's the truth. Spring fashion has made it's debut and we're ready to embrace all of it, even the new shoe styles coming back into style. Our toesies are ready for some pampering and pedicures... oh and to see the light of day again. Poor little fellas, always stuck in socks and suffocated. Pale toes are not cool.

We're super pumped about the early 90's Miss Bliss (throw back to Saved by the Bell, the early years for those of you who watched) kitten heels making their return! Wait, scratch that, kitten heels are a no-no unless you're over the age of 40 or want to be modest about your height.

Don't know what they are? Here's a peek...

For those women who never stopped rocking the kitten heel, more power to ya, your time to shine has finally returned. Now we ask... Love or Loathe? We want your opinion as well! 

Jennifer: Loathe, I prefer my heels to be at least 2"!
Carly: Loathe, except if Suri Cruise is wearing them, she pulls them off well, but she's also what, 5?

Not to leave kitten heels in the dust or anything but a bigger, badder, and... clunkier shoe is back in town. May we present to you the CLOG *dun, dun, dunnnn*
GOEDE DAG! That's 'hello' or 'good day' in Dutch. That's the language of the clog you know... if clogs could speak. These bad boys showed their wooden soles on the runways of designers like Chanel and Louis Vuitton, recently. Their clunky goodness is making a mark this Spring... will you be stepping out in a pair?

Jennifer: Love! So cute and beautifully reinvented for 2011!
Carly: Love/Loathe - leaning more toward loathe. I'd rather be light on my toes!

Speaking of are typically a heavier pair of footwear, wouldn't you agree? Well not when they're OPEN TOE BOOTS! Say What?! Ladies & Gents, allow us to introduce to you the new trend for Spring, open toe boots. They're so hip that even Victoria's Secret is selling them.

There's really not much to say about these. They speak volumes for themselves. Sooooo... what are your thoughts? Love them, or Loathe them?

Jennifer: Absolutely not, Loathe! I don't think boots are okay in the spring, or summer for that matter, in any form, closed or open toe. No thanks!
Carly: They're like leg warmers and hoochie stilettos in one... a stripper's delight! But for me, I'm going to have to go with Loathe.

No worries y'all, along with the above mentioned stylish Spring shoes, cuffed sandals as well as wedged sandals are still in this Spring. We've seen wedged sandals for a few years now, and cuffed sandals last year. Which ones will you be wearing the most?
You can find these lovelies in our store!
Jennifer: Love them both and will be an 'equal opportunity employer' of these two types of sandals this spring and summer!
Carly: I don't understand the whole 'keep the ankle warm' campaign this spring. Between the open toe boots and cuffed ankles will be losing lots of water weight! Love the wedge sandals of course, always adorable and flattering to the calf muscle!

Which Spring shoes do you love or loathe? Are we off our rockers with our opinions? Should we bring some kitten heels into inventory?

Check us out HERE for some Spring Shoe Fashions that are starting to arrive in store!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

"Nice Stems..."

Spring is coming and we couldn't be more excited here at Blake & Brady. With Spring comes, arguably, the best weather of the year. Yes, we know Fall is just as beautiful BUT (and that's a big butt...errr... but) Fall leads to Winter and that's absolutely no fun (well except for knee high boots). Now think about Spring. It leads to Summer and that makes us all happy. So, your honor, in conclusion, Spring weather is the best! ...I rest my case.

Aside from the weather, Spring brings some great fashion! Our next few blog posts will be outlining spring fashion trends and how we feel about them. However, please note that if we are going to share our opinions, we want to hear yours as well. It's only fair! There's a cute little 'comment' box down at the bottom of the page, please put it to good use!

After sitting down with Jennifer and compiling spring fashion trends we saw a common theme among a few of the new looks for spring. We'd like to call it the 'Clueless' trend! Channel your inner Alicia Silverstone because the outfits she made famous in the mid 90's are making a come back! Well, not completely but there are a couple pieces that we feel are inspired from that era. Let's take a look...

Knee High Socks
There's no denying it, they're back. They made their debut in Fall 2010 and they're taking over the World in Spring 2011. Will you be welcoming this trend with open arms or will you be making a big 'L' with your hand accompanied by an 'As If!'?

Jennifer Says: Love them! I can totally see myself rocking knee highs this spring. I'd probably stick with sheer knee highs for my open toed shoes though.

Carly Says: I'm on the fence. I get a 'tacky tourist' vibe from this style however if you pair the right socks with the right shoes you can probably pull it off. I'd say, pair wisely!

Pleated Skirts

One thing is for sure about the movie 'Clueless', they loved their P&P's (Plaids and Pleats). We're not sure about plaid skirts coming back ("they're like soooo last decade!") although they tried really hard last spring, but pleats have absolutely made their selves noticed on the run ways. The type of pleats you'll be seeing on skirts are either over sized or accordion style. A modern twist on a 90's fashion.

Jennifer Says: I'm not sold on the idea of pleated skirts coming back. They're cute and feminine but I'm not sure I like them in my personal wardrobe.

Carly Says: Bring on the Pleats! I think they're adorable and a fun and flirty way to mix up your wardrobe. I'm all about some preppy-chic.

Now as for the matchy-matchy blazer, skirt, vest combo, we're pretty confident we won't see that Clueless fashion coming back anytime soon. To that we say, in Cher's words, "Do you prefer "fashion victim" or "ensembly challenged"?"

You've heard our opinions now what do you think? 'As If' or 'Absolutely' to knee highs and pleated skirts!?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Well Hello There!

Welcome to Blake & Brady Boutique's first blog post! We're beyond excited to share with you our inner most fashion and fun thoughts.

If you found our blog from our facebook page, website, or store front we welcome you and thank you for your continued support. If you just stumbled upon our blog or heard about us from a friend, we thank you for stopping by and can't wait to get to know you and have you get to know us! Is this starting to sound like one of those awkward Academy Award thank you speeches? If so, disregard this whole paragraph. Moving on...

Allow us to introduce ourselves (does anyone hear trumpets?). We are a vibrant yet relaxed clothing boutique located in Downtown Anderson in the wonderful state of South Carolina. Although our actual store is located in the South it does not limit us to shipping only in this region. We sell and ship to customers all over the United States. Yes, it's true. We were established by Owners Chris & Sissa Sullivan who named the store after their two cutie-patootie daughters. Don't worry, neither Chris nor Sissa are writing these blog posts so we (I) get to brag about their little ones without being called a boastful parent. They really are cute, seriously, I mean it. Chris & Sissa are accompanied by their absolutely gorgeous (see there I go bragging again about something that isn't mine, which makes it okay!) store manager Jennifer. Chances are that if you have commented on our Facebook page or stopped in the store, you've spoken to miss Jennifer. She's also the girl who models all of our wonderful new arrivals for us in the photos we post on Facebook. Somedays she may rather not be in front of the camera but we twist her arm until she screams 'uncle'! Okay maybe not but that sounds like it would work well!
 Jennifer in one of our quickest selling dresses!

We, at Blake & Brady Boutique, do not take ourselves too seriously. We're the type of people who trip walking up the stairs, spill drinks on ourselves even though we were sure we had the cup to our mouths, we wake up with bad hair days sometimes, and we sing Mariah Carey in the shower when no one is around. We are real, normal, every day people, just like you. We are silly and aren't afraid to make fun of ourselves.

You know those cute clothing boutiques that have just the most adorable clothes that you fall in love with and then you look at the price tag of that cute top you were eying and it's priced at $180.00 instead of around $60.00 like you assume it would be? Ya... that's not us! Whew! Scared you for a minute didn't we? All of our clothes are priced fairly and as low as possible so that when you purchase from us you don't feel like you broke the bank. You will walk away happy... and looking fab-u-lous! 

Let us make one thing very clear right now while we have your attention (you are paying attention aren't you? hmmmm?). This blog is not to persuade you to purchase from us. The main purpose of this blog is to interact with YOU (don't look behind you, yes, we are talking to you) and start conversations with and between our followers and friends. We want to hear from you and post about what you might find informative. We want this to be fun and carefree just like our store. We promise to leave you smiling each time you visit our page. If you're not smiling, well then you better go grab a piece of chocolate and maybe a glass of wine (21+ only please!) and get in a better mood! This is a happy place  :)

Do you have anything you'd like to know more about or subjects you'd like us to post about? Let us know! Like we said before, we want to hear from you!

Now back to our awkward Academy Awards speech..... We thank you for stopping by our blog and hope you'll return again soon to read our next post, and our post after that, and then the one after that, and the one following that one. It will only get better! You can also subscribe to our blog so that you're automatically notified when we write a new post. Come back and see us soon y'all (we did say we were in the South didn't we?)!

Peace, Love, & Affordable Style,
The Blake & Brady Team