Friday, February 26, 2010

Fashion for the “Golden” Girls

Boy, I really can’t help myself. Since I work with fashion, I find myself critiquing what people wear, no matter where I see them. And that includes the 2010 Olympic games.

What was the deal with the ski outfits that the female freestyle skiers wore in their events? Guess they must have lost the coin toss with the Alpine skiers. That cute Hannah Kearney (didn’t she look adorable with her pigtails!) looked like she was wearing a pair of baggy old pajamas while Lindsey Vonn and her teammates looked all sleek and glammed up in their skiwear.

Does anyone know how the USA team picks their gear? And if there’s some reason why the Alpine skiers got the better part of the fashion deal? Are they dressed for speed and the free-stylers dressed for protection? Not that it seemed to matter, both women won GOLD even if one of them, in my opinion, didn’t hit the jackpot style-wise!


Dress for work success

When we go out what we wear tells the world who we are!
Today the trend is towards a more relaxed atmosphere in the workplace giving us more options about what to wear. Since our choice of clothing has an impact on our personal reputation, we need to be careful not to be too free when it comes to our work attire even when we have the option to be very relaxed. This can leave room for a misstep.

For example on an episode of "How Do I Look?" the other evening, the
mid-twenties woman was wearing things she had since age 4.
She was a graphic artist, and the host presented her work to a group of
Industry professionals. They loved it. However, when they met her, she
was dressed in her typical child's clothing and had cat ears in her hair.
They immediately discounted her as a potential candidate.

Though we are dressing for comfort we can still be very stylish. We can assert a little bit of individuality and personal style while at the same time staying one step ahead of the expected. It’s ok to throw in some fun, unexpected pieces. Know the trends. Keep an eye out for the special trend that is just right for you. This can boost our confidence.

“While clothes may not make the woman, they certainly have a strong effect on her self-confidence - which, I believe, does make the woman.”Mary Kay Ashe

I thought the styles below would be a great choice for a graphic artist.


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Fashion Week (weak for fashion!)

Right now in the Creative Department, where we design the catalogs & emails you receive (and also where I work), we are just wrapping up all of the summer books and starting to come up with ideas, or as we call them internally, concepts, for fall. And let me tell you… there is some good, no GREAT, stuff coming your way! Because we work ahead of the actual calendar, I often find myself brainstorming about swimwear stories during Christmas and writing about holiday gifts in mid July. It is a funny way to work that does take some getting used to, but once you do, it is a blast!

So I guess, In my mind I’m right in line with the Fall 2010 Fashion Shows that have been showing in NYC and London these past two weeks. I already have a mental list of my must-haves for this coming fall & winter (a shearling jacket!). Like this one, on sale now at Chadwicks

But before I get too ahead of myself I am going to enjoy the warm weather and work on my spring shopping (getting the items I’ve been scouting since last September…finally)! And first on my list: this fun Python-Print Dress, it's a sophisticated way to embrace the safari/tribal trend and lucky for me it's also on SALE... let the spring shopping begin!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Shoes, shoes, shoes...

I only own 5 pairs of shoes, some dress shoes, casual shoes, sandals and sneakers. My wife on the other hand, has more than I can count. Shoes in the kitchen closet, shoes in the bedroom closet, shoes in bins stored in the basement. I understand the argument (well, maybe I just accept the argument), that she needs multiple options depending on her mood and outfit styling- but when do you reach the limit of options. At some point, she just starts re-buying the same type of shoe that is only slightly different from another pair she owns.

Meanwhile, I wear the same shoes until they no longer function- then I’m forced to go out and replace them. My shoes get years of use, hers get maybe 6 months before they are put away.

It’s great that Chadwicks has such a wide variation of shoes for her to browse. She can even find style of shoes she doesn’t already own.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Reunion Outfit

My 8th aunt called me the other night for a family reunion that will take place in this coming summer in Toronto. In my memory, a family reunion is usually a serious event in which we all have to dress up 80% formally and 20% casually. Since I will be representing my parents, who are only willing to take flight within 2-hr distance, I’d better start thinking about what I am gonna wear for the family reunion.

According to my mom’s rules, I should wear dress/skirt that can cover my knee during the family reunion. No jeans, no pants, no sleeveless top & no open-toe heels.

Here's my outfit plan:

Skirt Suit: Even though those flower sandals look amazing with the skirt suit, I will have to pick other heels this time :(

Here are the heels that I am thinking about....

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Name Your Color

Ever wonder how retailers determine the names of the season’s colors? I know I have! The name can tell so much about the product. Daffodil is one of our new spring colors, and it just screams SPRING IS AROUND THE CORNER! The color Palm reminds of a beach with swaying palm trees, very far away from Boston. Clover makes me think of green grass and Red Pepper sounds spicy! All of these are so appropriate whether it’s for new spring styles or sassy sweater dresses.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A Weekend of Celebrating and Loving You

A major event this weekend is Valentine's Day. So it gets me thinking, even though it's not as important of a holiday as the other one's, it's about the celebration of love and all of it's variations. We are not just celebrating our relationships with our boyfriends or husbands, but sisters, girlfriends, cousins or whoever we provide caring, love and support for all year long. (Our parents already have designated holidays so that's why they're not listed and everyday seems like a holiday for our children so they do not count.) What about loving yourself? I mean really, who provides love and support to you more than yourself?-YOU! All too often we get caught up caring for others and not ourselves. It is not selfish to recognize our own self worth once and a while and to celebrate it, indulge a little!

To pay homage to loving myself, I will have a weekend of "Loving Me" and treat myself to a few things I've been wanting for a while now and just haven't had the excuse to indulge. Of coarse I will have a few little surprises for some loved ones this weekend but I will spoil myself a little this weekend as well. I think you and I both deserve a little me time once in a while and this Valentines Day is the perfect occasion! So let's celebrate. I cheated and started early this morning on my first self indulgent treat. I made myself a red velvet Valentines Day cake!! Since no one in my family likes this cake I made it for me and me only! The cake is quite easy to make and the recipe and directions are as follows:

  • 1 yellow cake mix
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 Tbsp. white vinegar
  • 2 oz. red food coloring (2 large bottles -- yes, the whole bottle)
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup frozen whipped topping (such as Cool Whip), thawed
  • 2-4 Tbsp. water
  • Valentines day sprinkles
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray two 9-inch round cake pans or a 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray.
  2. With an electric mixer, beat cake mix, eggs, sour cream, buttermilk, oil, vinegar and food coloring together on high for two minutes.
  3. Pour batter into prepared cake pan(s). Bake 28 to 32 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  4. Let cool completely, then frost.
For Frosting:
  1. Beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth.
  2. Beat in powdered sugar. Stir in whipped topping.
  3. Add just enough water to make icing spreadable.
This is I certainly did enjoy eating this cake!

My second gift to myself will be purchasing a new outfit or two! It's been to long time since I've indulged on new clothing and I can really use a new spring wardrobe. Chadwick's has just released their New Spring Collection featuring over 150 NEW STYLES and you can bet today is going to be one of those carefree easy stay at home shopping days! The New Collection can be seen here. Happy Valentines Day ladies! Enjoy and indulge a little, you are worth it!

I would love to hear ideas of things you do to celebrate you.

Friday, February 12, 2010

spring fever!

I'm not sure about any of you, but I am starting to have a case of Spring Fever! While I am very happy to have several more weeks of skiing ahead of me, I am itching to pull out my spring dresses. I think I'll even be cheating in the next few weeks and layering them over long sleeve tees with boots and leggings. When the weather warms up I'm excited to try them with desert boots or a nice gladiator sandal.
Bring on the Spring!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Tickets please!

Valentine’s Day is coming up and there are a couple of movies that are totally date night worthy. The two choices are “Dear John” and “Valentine’s Day” and depending on what type of mood you’re in both of these movies should make for an enjoyable evening. I was hoping to get my husband to take me to see “Dear John” but I am pretty sure it’s going to be a tear jerker so I need to be prepared…pockets full of tissues. And I am also pretty sure I am going to fall in love with Channing Tatum after watching this movie! So, if you are in the mood to cry "Dear John" is definitely the way to go but if you are looking for more of a romantic comedy I would go see “Valentine’s Day”

By: Coco

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Commercials during The Big Game

Like the rest of America, I love watching commercials during the big game and critiquing them. Working in marketing here at Chadwicks, I enjoy seeing what other companies are doing out there even if during a football game is not a time where women’s apparel is really advertised. Regardless, here is my opinion on my favorites and the failures of these companies’ million dollar advertising initiatives.

My Favorites:
My favorite Doritos commercial was “Dog Gets Revenge” where a man eating Doritos tells a dog he has to bark in order to receive a dorito, however the dog is wearing a “no bark” collar that would give him an electric shock if he did bark. The dog ends up taking his collar off, putting it on the man, barking, and then eating the Doritos while the man is getting zapped.

Snickers Betty White commercial showed a group of men playing football and telling one of their friends that he is playing like Betty White. Betty White then takes a bite of a Snicker and magically turns into the man. I found it odd that Snickers was promoting eating their candy bar to play football better (something that Gatorade might advertise) but overall Betty White definitely made the commercial what it was. I hope I am as funny and hip as her when I am 88 but chances are I will be drooling in my wheelchair or long gone.

As the majority of people in America have punched someone or gotten punched at least once in their life after driving by a Volkswagen, I thought this commercial probably had a large likable factor across the board since people could relate to it. And of course the ending with Stevie Wonder definitely made the commercial what it was and had me cracking up.

The Failures:
I thought Monster could have done a better job promoting their site to be a more credible source of finding a job besides showing a beaver playing a violin.

There are many other things I would like to see before a number of middle aged, out of shape men in their tighty whities. However Dockers noted to go on their web site to receive a free pair of pants. I checked it out and their site has an area for you to enter your email address for the chance to win one of the thousands of pairs of khakis they are giving away.

In the end there were many more favorites than failures!
What commercial did you like best/least during the big game?


Monday, February 8, 2010

Getting there is half the fun!

Whether you call it a holiday, a vacation, or “my time”, a break from our 9 to 5 routine is essential for healthy mind and body. Planning your vacation can be an exciting time, but it can also be a time of stress as well. Deciding where to go and what to see is daunting enough. Do I take a week or two weeks or even just a weekend? Do I stay in a hotel, condominium, or bed and breakfast? How much will it cost? All these questions, in time will need to be answered. Planning is essential to a successful and low stress vacation.

Putting aside these questions, in preparation for a trip myself, I realized I had overlooked an essential question. What do I wear? And how much to pack? I thought this would be easy, I am an average guy with a healthy fashion sense. so I googled it. I was utterly amazed how many people struggle with this question. There are many blogs, travel websites and books written on this subject, all giving advise, some good, some great, and some just odd. Then it hit me. Keep it simple and have fun! Here are just a few examples how to make your wardrobe functionally fun and vacation ready.

• Most airlines charge for baggage and have size limitations, so know before you go!

• Research your destinations weather and plan accordingly. A wool sweater in Bermuda need I say more?

• Mix and match separates. Shirt, shorts, pants…oh my!

• Keep clothing comfortable and have a good pair of walking shoes.

• Coordinate colors so you can maximize your outfits. Basic colors can make this easy. Don’t wear a shirt that can only go with one pair of short or pant.

• Limit the amount you pack. Unless you are Mrs. Howell or Ginger from Gilligan’s Island, packing a steamer trunk for a 3 hour tour might be a bit excessive. If you are going for two weeks then pack for one week. Some clothing can be worn twice.

• When in doubt, leave it out!

• Treat yourself, before you go, add new colors, new shorts or a special bathing suit to freshen up an existing wardrobe.

Just remember, it is a your vacation, is not a fashion runway. Most people are too busy enjoying their vacation to worry what you are wearing, so why should you? Enjoy and happy traveling.


Friday, February 5, 2010

And the Winner Is...

Looks like it’s a win for jewel tones this award season. Although there were a few actresses that went with pastels and looked sensational. Or at least that’s what I got by watching the award shows like the Golden Globes, the SAG awards and the Grammys. Here are my favorites in those dresses that glowed like the jewels they are named for:

At the Golden Globes: I loved Ginnifer Goodwin’s short, electric blue dress;
at the SAG awards: Lea Michele, (from TV’s Glee), took home the gold as far as I was concerned; that emerald (or was it teal) dress was a gem; and at the Grammy’s: I liked Fergie’s neon blue dress with the gold snakey stripe. In the pink/purple range, Mariska Hargitay worked a fuchsia gown and Anna Kendrick showed up in royal purple at the SAG awards, they were a close second in my opinion.

Speaking of the Grammy’s, my local radio station was giving away a free trip and I got to thinking about what to wear if I won. I can dream, can’t I? It would be from Chadwicks, of course and it would have to be jewel tone. I just wonder if jewel tones can be worn by someone who’s a bit (oh, alright, I’ll admit it—a lot) older than these actresses. Can anyone help me out?

by AEL

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Striving For Improved Service

Many of you may shop strictly on-line, but if you ever need to talk to a live person to answer a question or to place an order, we have now fully transitioned to new call center locations. This took quite some time and a lot of teamwork. We have a specialized team just 15 minutes from us over in Taunton, MA and we take many of our orders over the phone in Kansas City, MO. This is an exciting year for us as we have dedicated associates focusing solely on our brand. Our prior call centers were taking orders for many different catalog companies and were not as familiar with the products we offer and what we stand for. They were good at what they did, but we feel we have made significant improvements in service and will continue this trend over the months to come. Have you called lately? Do you feel a difference? Chadwicks order line is 800-525-6650 / Chadwicks customer service line is 800-525-4420 Oh, and we're working on a new and improved website as well! Stay tuned... by ROBB

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Caring with Heart!

Have you ever really looked at those care labels in your garments? Well, don't be so quick to cut them out before reading them. Why you're thinking? Every day in my department, there is alot of work that goes into providing those care instructions. Believe me, it's a long process that involves everything from fabric development, color approvals and garment testing. All this is done so that the best possible care is provided to our customers. What's more important is that when you care for your garments as instructed on the label, they last much longer. Who doesn't want their favorite pair of jeans, sweater or tee to last? Let's face it, we all love to shop for new clothes but still have our favorites we go back to. I call them my comfy clothes.

So, during the month of February which is typically known for the big day of the heart, Valentine's Day, put some passion into caring for all your garments. There's definitely a "Passion for Fashion" here at Chadwicks and we put our hearts into it every day. We offer many great styles with easy-to-care for instructions such as the twist front mesh tee (purple is my favorite color). What's your favorite item and color?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Day in the Life

As our 2nd book of the season is in home (and in all of your hands). I thought to myself what do our readers and customers really want to know? How about a glimpse of a Day in the Life of a Chadwicks Associate? Today is the day that we analyze and dig into the 2nd Spring book. We compare actual sales versus our plan for each item in the catalog and make any recommendations for future books. It is amazing how different the performance can be for an item based on the color it is featured in or even the actual shot of the item. For example this shirt to the right, when it was featured in a purple colorway it actually perfomed better than the yellow. We adjust our plans to reflect the differences in each shot, and we are constantly analyzing and making sure that each catalog is as best as the next. We are monitoring our inventory levels to ensure that you are not on backorder for considerable lengths of time, and to ensure that we are offering enough of a particular size! The tasks and decisions we make today truly affect the future books of the season! This is just a glimpse of our day....Do you have any questions that you have been dying to know about what we do at Chadwicks? If so...let me know!