For All Women
Supporting Fair Trade April 21, 2017 12:22
Supporting Fair Trade
The longer I operate my store, the more educated I become concerning ethics in retail. For me, I think it has been a slow start, but now, I am really absorbing the ramifications of what I buy for resale in my store effects global humanity.
Obviously, I am a tiny store with a tiny footprint in this industry, but I don’t care. My choices add to others and as a collective, we make a difference and hoping a huge difference in people’s lives.
As a buyer, it is very tricky to work with honest companies from outside countries. There are now many labels that they proudly display in their booths. “Fair Trade” is a big one and has been around for years.
I have learned to sniff around a bit, ask a lot of questions, play detective. Sometimes I can read the company as they skirt questions and are too aggressive with their rote answers. Sometimes I fall into a treasure of a small business and stick with them forever and ever because of their values.
I am always sourcing new products, both weighings supporting Fair Trade Organizations with the costs of the products. Obviously, companies manufacturing in the bowels of China are impossible to trail. Any company producing in Bangladesh is off my list. Inexpensive products can help a small retail store like mine with better profit margins, but I keep asking myself, at what cost?
So just a heads up with this global market of retail. If you buy a disposable garment for $5.00, ask yourself who made this and under what conditions? Stop bragging about how cheap you found something. Your purchases are hurting many people and businesses at home and globally. If you must limit your spending, buy less. I must do the same when I buy for my store. As I go out on my buying walkabouts, I ask myself, “Who am I helping and who am I hurting?”
I am going to mention one of my favorite companies, A People United. This company supports SantiSchool.org. Their mission “of educating children, building classrooms, and improving the quality of public school teaching in Nepal”. They literally just finished rebuilding all the schools that were destroyed in the earthquake 2 years ago. Your purchase of A People United clothing from Marjory Warren Boutique has helped raise money for this huge project. Congratulations! I thought my customers should know this. You have helped! Just wanted to thank you 😊
You can follow their progress: http://www.santischool.org/our-work/blog/
Dressing an Apple Shape The apple shape is the most common shape of women after menopause. Tummy fat keeps thickening our waists as we get older because of hormone change, and it is extremely difficult to keep it at bay.
The apple shape woman generally has an average bust, her tummy is larger than her boobs, her butt is flat and her legs are average, and can be longer and thinner.
The Top Half
Because an Apple Shape figure is full around her middle, focus on the top half, away from your tummy. Look for shirts with an open front. A button down that can open the neckline, just above the cleavage. An empire waist is fitted underneath the boobs and is very flattering. This is the smallest measurement of her torso. Invest in a good bra and lift those girls up and away from the tummy. All tops should be loose enough to skim the tummy, cap sleeves loosely cupping the top of your arms, if you are comfortable with exposing them, and a wider v neck with a ruched waist
Avoid oversized or tight tees.
Look for jackets with an open neck and a tie at the waist creates camouflage and breaks up your torso. Jackets with open fronts look great on you too!
The Bottom Half
Again, the Apple figure needs balance and linear lines running vertically to visually break up the solid round torso.
Look in the mirror again. Start understanding your silhouette.
Your torso is solid and round, with all of your mass distributed center stage. If you throw on a pair of leggings, what do you think you would see in the mirror? So many women make this mistake. They try to put their thinnest feature forward but in doing so, their thick middle is over emphasized.
Balance, balance, balance is the answer!
The Apple figure needs to balance her figure. Always wear a fuller trouser; fullness around bottom works wonders and with less is more hardware around the middle. Find pants with a deeper waistband to help rest on the belly. Side zippers and flat front pants are really helpful which de-bulking the middle.
Skirts should also have a flat front and side or back zipper.
An inverted pleated skirt works great on an Apple's figure.Make sure the front is flat and the pleats start below the belly.
No bulky pockets to add weight and business around her middle.
Using color, pattern, and texture to break up her solid middle is a key to dressing an Apple figure type.
Layering your top half, perhaps with a sweater of cardigan will refocus the eye on two elements instead of one. Add pattern or texture to one of these tricksters, and it is a
If you wear a solid color or print without breaking up the another layer, your torso can look larger than it is.
Another trick is vertical lines. Layer a top with an open jacket or cardigan with not closures
This will elongate your middle as this illusion helps break up your solid core and tricks the eye.
Accessories can be extremely helpful!
Remember, the Apple figure needs to keep her neckline open, with a V-neck or a deep scoop. When adding accessories, keep this in mind. Absolutely use a scarf to break up your middle, but keep it either very loose and open around your neck, showing a lot of skin below the neck or leave it draped down, paneling both sides of your chest.
Necklaces can be of great help. Use them the same way as scarves. Longer necklaces will break up your torso and, again, lengthen your line and trick the eye to a slimmer middle
Footwear for an Apple figure is simple. Don’t go clunky and don’t go over petite. You need a little weight on your feet for balance but too much just adds more bulk.
Good Ideas To Follow for an Apple Figure
👗Use Color and texture to break up your middle
👗Wear v necks and deep scoops
👗Layering pieces on top can break up solid middle
👗Empire waists and a good bra are your friends
👗Fuller trousers. Fuller on bottom works well
Bad ideas Not To Follow
🙋No bulky anything around your middle! No pockets, zippers, etc..
🙋Nothing fussy on your top half.
🙋No big lapels or no double breasted coats
(outfit put together with items in Marjory Warren Boutique)
Those Women We See in Magazines!
Most of us are not included in this selected few.
Mostly, these women are young deer-like fawns with wide bright eyes and no hips…. We will pass on these thoroughbreds. They do not need my help.
Let’s Talk Fruit
Stylists keep calling you a piece of fruit! Are you an apple, a pear, maybe a dragon fruit? (Ha! Ha! Maybe when your hormones are jumping)! Usually, the first two are the main sweet luscious shapes we identify with. They are simple shapes and easily transferred to our own silhouettes.
Stand Tall Soldier
The first order of business is to look in a full-length mirror. Enjoy who you are and gaze at the wonderment of you! Ok, put the wine glass down and twirl around, front and back. Ok, now pick up the glass of wine and carry on.
We Are All Special
So, how special are you? Are you a special pear? A super special apple?
You may be neither, but we will start with these two tasty shapes. Both shapes take a little styling illusion and eye trickery using very specific clothing choices. Once you get the hang of it, dressing to look your best will become a lot easier.
....so, until next time, do your homework. Stand in front of a mirror and study your shape. Take some notes. Do it alone or with a friend! Have fun with this or cry in a corner....it's all up to you :)
Stop Coloring Your Hair? March 21, 2017 21:12
Sitting outside and collecting my thoughts at a local restaurant last summer, I was upset with myself for chickening out! My intent on this Friday night was to head straight to my hair salon, get a pixie cut and grow it white. Instead, I was eating a cheeseburger and drinking a beer.
Valentines Day, Katharine Hepburn & Full Cut Pants February 13, 2017 18:48
O.K. I am thinking.
I am thinking of Katharine Hepburn all week and for a few reasons. Firstly, tomorrow is Valentine’s Day.
Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy had a 26-year love affair and that is 26 years of Valentine celebration for the two of these love birds. Not ignoring the fact Tracy was a married man and laying down no judgments on my part, love is love according to cupid.
Katharine epitomized the modern woman of the 20th-century U.S.A. Unconventional, fiercely independent and possessing a spirited personality until the day she passed, she was a beauty I loved to watch in black and white as a young girl.
I always loved the way she dressed.
This leads me to Katharine popping up in my mind every time I see these springs full cut pant. As I was gazing in the window at Bloomingdales last night, there they were!
Obviously not for all woman’s body shapes, but many of use can make them work. If not, there are a plethora of choices this summer for all to choose from.
They remind me of pants I have on order from Iridium. The Alison pant is coming in March. It is a full cut pant with and elastic/ drawstring waist in sand dune-black stripe. A fun pant for the summer. So, to recap, Valentines Day with Katharine Hepburn and Big pants!
Happy Valentine's Day to all of you from me at Marjory Warren's Boutique.
Childhood Role Models- Mary Tyler Moore February 3, 2017 13:36 1 Comment
I am reflecting on my youth. I am trying to recall female role models I admired as a young girl who inspired me to be better, stronger and more willful. Other than the determination of my mother and one female grade school teacher no one fills this vacancy. No one except female TV personalities I grew up with.
My early childhood was bombarded with 1960’s television shows. Like most households in my hometown, once settled indoors for the night. this was the entertainment of choice. Ice skating during the winter and swimming for the cost of a dime at Eddie's pool in the summer, my childhood was a constant outdoor adventure and I was incredibly fortunate to live beside a river. My indoor time, especially in the cold Canadian winters was my TV time! The weeks were ruled and planned by the arrival of the TV Guide. This small little magazine was taken very seriously in my household.
Other than my own mother and female teacher in my school, the female identifiers in my life were between the covers of the weekly T.V. Guide. If one of these actresses made it on the cover, I would stare at their flat shiny faces for the entire week. Firstly, when the Guide was virginal, still shining and smooth, and lastly, I would offer it my final gaze. The now puffy and coffee stained pages barely survived the week in our household, housing my grandfather, mom and dad, sister, myself and three younger brothers.
My television programming was filled with women comedians. Lucille Ball, Mary Tyler Moore, Marlo Thomas, Elizabeth Montgomery to name a few.
Lucy’s character in I Love Lucy was my first identifying role model. She was curious, silly, adventurous and brave. She never listened to her husband and always figured a way to pursue her goals. Although her character was dated, I loved how she always come away smarter than those around her. The show was aired between 1951-1957, but the wide eyes and full skirted dresses didn’t fool me. Wits in my book equated to female brain power.
That Girl with Marlo Thomas inspired character Ann Marie, boldly moving to Manhattan to pursue an acting career was another female inspiration. Ann Marie was the first woman character to move out of her parent’s home and live on her own without a husband. Marlo Thomas specifically chose this script for its feminist message. At the end run of the show, she chose to have Ann not marry her boyfriend Don, sending the message that finding a husband was not the ultimate goal. Women can be allowed to pursue their own dreams and aspirations. That Girl ran between 1960-1969.
Mary Tyler Moore Show, I think was the most influential for me. It ran straight through my teenage years, thus having a huge impact on my teenage view of women.
I did love Mary Tyler Moore’s character, Laura Petrie in the Dick Van Dyke Show. Some comedy mirrored from I Love Lucy, her person was brimming with her own stuff and her own identity. When she was given her own show, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Laura Petrie was to be single. Originally, the writers wanted her to be the first divorced woman on TV but the network had a meltdown. Instead, to explain why a beautiful single 30 year old woman was living by herself in a big city was explained with the ending of a long term relationship. She now didn’t have to maneuver her way around a husband. She now had to maneuver her way around her boss and the exploding feminist identifiers of the seventies. The Mary Tyler Moore Show aired between 1970-1977.
I so Loved her, as did all of us. Thank you Mary for all of your talent, all of your honesty and all of your warmth.
Below, a fun article I found exploring how Mary Tyler Moore shaped working women's style and its resurgence in the upcoming 2017 fashion season.
Uncertainty January 1, 2017 17:22
Hope everyone had a wonderful New Year's and enjoying some down time before we all head forward to 2017. Some of us, including a few of my customers, are full of trepidation. I keep asking myself how bad can it be? I am for the most part a very positive person and I almost never go down that rabbit hole of uncertainty and insecurity. Sometimes I push the peddle really hard and just go!. Some of my customers and vendors are holding their breath. I actually have told them they have to keep functioning.I am nervous of the new politics. I am also challenged. More obstacles. This is life. Oh God!
2016 The Year of Women's Body Image December 22, 2016 13:16
I mainly work with women, and my focus stands firmly with body styling and body image. Therefore, reflecting this past year's events, two news announcements stand out in my mind’s eye. I am a firm believer in women support, therefore I am vigilantly against all forms of misogyny, whether the source is from men or women. We need reinforcement from the massive engines feeding products into our lives, creating overwhelming impressions in our culture.
Mattel made a huge decision this past January. Helping to support all shapes and sizes of women, the doll company launched their Fashionistas Line of Barbie dolls. The dolls range in different body types and offer seven different skin tones.
This is a start with normalizing women’s bodies in the eyes of our new generations. Sadly, it is going to take all of us to support this viewpoint. It must be held by the fathers and mothers of these kids, by the school systems and the government.
WGSN Emily Spiegel says,
“The shocker with the introduction of these new Barbie types was that – according to the researchers at Mattel – girls as young as 5 were participating in body-shaming while playing with the new Barbie types (undressing curvy Barbie, for instance, and laughing at her stomach).”
We have a long way to go!
Mattel stands firm stating they have been focused on female empowerment through their brand for many years. To rebuff years of criticism directed to the 18” waisted Barbie, the company states,
”Barbie was a businesswoman in 1963, an astronaut in 1965 and a surgeon in 1973 when 9% of all doctors were women. “Our brand represents female empowerment,” argues Dickson. “It’s about choices. Barbie had careers at a time when women were restricted to being just housewives. Ironically, our critics are the very people who should embrace us.”
When I was a little girl, I don’t remember ever, ever seeing a business woman, astronaut or surgeon Barbie on a store shelf. Maybe I don’t remember or maybe, just because Mattel made these dolls does not mean the stores stocked them in significant quantities. If my childhood was any indication of where my head was, Barbie in girly, pink gowns were the top of my list. The culture I grew up in and how I was wired did not lend to me being a 5 year old feminist.The thought of playing with Astronaut Barbie would never have entered my head.
The second event of 2016 taking the lime light is Plus Model Ashley Graham’s full body adorning the cover of Sports Illustrated. She was one of three women sharing the cover in 2016. This brought on a few discussions with my own daughter, focusing on body image and health. It creates conversation. It introduces normalcy of a woman’s body into our culture.
Obviously, I have bypassed all other memorable and historical events from this past year. I am grandstanding body image only. Hopeful it will not get lost in the year’s news. It is way too important to the mental and physical health of half of the population of this country. This is a good thing.
Rememberance November 22, 2016 08:05
Thanksgiving is here. Most of us across the country are going to be feasting with our family and loved ones just days after large sections of our country stopped breathing. I live in NYC. My business is in NYC. We are all in a strange place in our hearts and our minds because the election did not go the way we desperately wanted. It seems like all the air is vacuumed out of our lungs, out of our days and out of the city. Not their city. Our city.
The polarized future is going to be really scary for many of us. This is not a political piece I want to write today. This is a note of remembrance. Thanksgiving Day reminds us to think about what we are thankful for. This year, it may be reminding us what we should have been thankful for. It is going to remind us never to take anything for granted. It is an American personality trait. We must stop.
I pride myself trying to be a positive person. In my mind, there always is an escape. If I try hard enough I can fix anything. Even if given less, I am thankful for what I have but never stop trying to make it better. This Thanksgiving reminds me that if I bottom out; if we bottom out, the only way to go is up!
My life, my business and now my city and my home all have this commonality. This is life. You just keep going and keep trying and keep strong and keep loving life.
Wanna Wear a Poncho? November 8, 2016 15:52
Wearing a Poncho is not supposed to be difficult! I admit, I love ponchos. I am a very lazy dresser and any type of garb that I can throw on in two seconds, wear with different outfits and take on or off in a moment’s notice is a winner for me!
The poncho came in with the Boho look a few years back so if you are young and thin and tall you will look like this woman wearing a poncho. If you have a face like hers as well, you are all set for the runway. You can even hold your own fan to achieve that slight wind-blown look :)
What if you do not look like this woman in the picture? Most of us don’t BTW! Don’t be intimidated! We all can wear a poncho this season. In fact, I am wearing one right now…. you will just have to trust me on this…..
Ponchos have a lot of fabric. Some can be played with and worn at different angels. Stand in front of a mirror for a few minutes and experiment. Wear it asymmetrical and the diagonal line will cut your fuller hips and give the illusion of a slimmer bottom.
Any age woman can look fantastic in a poncho and they are easy to wear. Hot flashes? Rip if off before you can say Poncho! Want some confident coverage? Wear a poncho!
Now, for fun, I want to surface some horrible memories of my past. Let me remind you of how far we have come regarding the poncho. Just looking at this picture makes my finger- tips recoil. Remember the synthetic fibers of the 60’s! They would melt if a cigarette ash landed on your beloved poncho most likely croqueted by your mother while chain smoking Kents.
So, let’s admit, we have come a long way. Wear one. Enjoy the versatility and stylish edge that ponchos offer!
The Aging Entrepenuer October 27, 2016 15:06
A few weeks back while riding the subway, I started reading the overhead advertisements. Plastered throughout the car was an offering of free adult education in NYC. Turns out I can take PhotoShop for free. I am a 56-year-old small business entrepreneur. I have been schooling myself behind the scenes of my retail store for years. At the moment I am trying to conquer SEO. This will be a while! Honestly, there is no excuse nowadays not to take advantage of what is available to us. It takes a little digging, a lot of time and the internal fight with night time Netflix and red wine:)
Sometimes I get frustrated with my age limitation. Not that I am incapable of running a small business, but I definitely feel the clock ticking. Sometimes I fantasize I am 30 years old and I have an extra 26 years to play with.I had to rework my thinking. I obviously have to accept the fact that 60 is getting closer and closer. What I now ask myself is what do I, as an older entrepreneur have to offer myself and others? In my discovery, I was surprised with an almost instinctive bag of tricks and tools I kept heavily guarded in my aging brain, I even questioned myself. Why do I know this? How am I capable of figuring this out? I don’t remember anyone teaching me!
The positive aspects of being an older entrepreneur are two-fold. We can still have the enthusiasm of our youth but we also have the experience of our life.
My self-discovery is just this. I am grateful for my longer life. I am at ease with myself. I innately know cool stuff and don’t second guess myself like I did as a young adult. I am thrilled that I can be in control of my own responsibilities. If I question why something isn’t working, it is me and only me that will rework it until it does.
So, back to my Photoshop class. I absolutely love it! I have wanted to learn the program for many years. I can’t hire someone to do all the photo editing for on my website, so now I get to do it!
I am including a few links to help with contacting resources.
A great place to begin is the Encore.org site, ‘a leader in the work-retirement ecosystem. It features a calendar of local encore career events’.
directory of local organization resources
Small Business Development Center
Working with the General Public October 12, 2016 14:05
There is a new Gyro shop down the street from my store. It has the most amazing food. It has a tiny weeny little space with a walk up take out window. I have been watching the progress of their business since they opened just a few months back. The location is excellent; just a few yards away from a very busy cross town bus stop. I watch the woman working at the window. She always has a smile on her face. I ask myself everyday what is behind that smile? The constant barrage of customers she deals with hour after hour on a busy day, separated by a small counter must be, in my mind, exhausting by the end of the day.
We ran into each other on the subway and rode to work together. She told me she is having so much fun working at the gyro window.
Her sincerity stayed with me. I questioned myself. Could I still be having so much fun by the end of my day?
What I have discovered with working in retail over the years, dealing with the general public is much much more than just putting my hand out for their credit card. Over time, a parade of regulars become part of my day, part of my business and part of my life. Some exchanges are very business like, others become endearing and special. Obviously, I have to stand my ground with the occasional mentally ill person or the shoplifter that keeps eyeing me.
Other times, I am included into the lives of my customers. I feel honored. We have over time created a camaraderie that is special between us. They share a little of their life. A great trip they just took. Family visiting. An awesome play I should see. Other times, someone has had a very bad day, or week, or month. They confide in me. Again, I feel honored. This can be difficult. I remember vividly, many years ago, a regular customer of mine told me she was dying of cancer. She wanted to choose an outfit from my store to be buried in. As she tried on different outfits, I watched her husband hovering outside my door. He never took his eyes off her. It was heart wrenching. When she left, I went into the storage room and cried. I never saw her again.
The reason I am writing this is because of my past week. A very sweet woman came in and bought a sweater. She started to share with me her current loss of a loved one. She was in so much pain. I had no words to comfort her. I gave her a hug. I hope she comes back, not to buy anything, just to get lost in my store of knicknacks, listen to my music and try to not to think.
Working in retail is difficult at times. It is also a pleasure. It is an open window to the public, good and bad. I guess, depending on your own disposition, it is up to each one of us how we absorb and deal with it.
My friend working the gyro window at the end of my street has a constant barrage of characters everyday, a flash mob of the general public…..I really believe she has the a strong disposition for working her counter. We all need that.
Transitional Clothing September 14, 2016 16:58
Department stores totally change inventory months before a new season is to start. I am going to Kmart tonight hoping to find Christmas twinkle lights for my store. It is the middle of September! Since shopping for winter clothing in July is psychologically impossible, I have been bringing in what my vendors call
Transitional clothing can also mean layering. Saves on money! If you are hot, take off a layer. If you are cold, add a layer. In the retail world, fashion gets in the way of being practical. Our clocks are set for the next season way before the climate changes. What to do when it is 85 degrees outside but you want to wear fall in September? Addition to climate change affecting our buying patterns, I believe the change of seasons is a yearning for renewal. To start over. The change it for the better. To buy new cloths! :)
For the last few years I have brought in transitional pieces into the store and the move has been a great success. Going forward through fall/ winter blending this seasons colors and textures look and feel great with these new additions.
Small Business Negotiating Skills August 10, 2016 07:46
It seems most of us negotiate everyday in our businesses. Some of us have had formal training, some of us have had to jump in and hope for the best right from the start. My last post of dealing with a vendor over terms I think is a seed to a broader skill we all have to acquirer to succeed in all business. This also is a major skill we need not just with B2B but B2C. A successful negotiation requires the two parties to come together and hammer out an agreement that is acceptable to both.
I never gave this much thought until my business a few years back kicked into survival mode. I realized I really needed to practice and hone this skill to stay in business. It was like negotiating boot camp back then :)
- Problem Analysis. ...
- Preparation. ...
- Active Listening. ...
- Emotional Control. ...
- Verbal Communication. ...
- Collaboration and Teamwork. ...
- Problem Solving. ...
- Decision Making Ability.