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