It’s the end of the month and, like I have for the past few months, I am recapping some of the standout client purchases in May to show what my clients have been buying and so you can do a little shopping for yourself.
A Review of Client Purchases from May
I like starting with dresses because they always seem the most interesting. What I found this season is that quite a few clients purchased the same few dresses as opposed to there being a bigger variety in choices. I’m not quite sure how or why this happened. Perhaps it’s that these few styles were such winners that they were more universally appealing.
I’ll start with this fit-and-flare dress from Akris Punto. Three clients purchased this dress and all three of them live relatively different lives. Even more interesting, this dress comes with this cropped jacket but not one of my clients bought it. The jacket is adorable but it just didn’t work well with the dress, despite the fact that it was designed to go together. Something about the combination looked awkward. Two of my clients who bought this dress have their favorite Michael Kors shrugs to wear with it and my other client is one of those rare women who prefers baring her arms. The dress itself is just stunning, versatile and totally feminine while being professional.
The next dress in aqua is from BOSS Hugo BOSS and only one client bought it. However, it’s not the fact that the dress isn’t workable for many that kept it from being a better seller. It sold out at Saks quickly (in the store, not online) and I just couldn’t get any other clients into it in time. The neckline works really well with separate blazers and my client who bought it looks amazing when she wears a white blazer.
This third dress from Giorgio Armani was such a winner for one of my clients. It is in a jersey knit, a great color, packs well and has this flirty yet professional appearance. It looked so good on one of my clients that I selected it for two other clients thinking that they would look equally good in it. However, it didn’t work for those two clients despite the fact that all three of these clients wear the same size and have relatively similar body shapes. The only difference between the client who bought it and the two that didn’t is the client who looked good is much more petite and just a few years younger. I’m not sure if that was the reason, it still has me perplexed.
Lastly, this Michael Kors shift in a bright, festive pink. Three clients purchased this dress. This dress is a stunner and, I think, looks even better without the belt. The gold seems to limit the use of this dress (and you want to get a lot of use from it because it isn’t cheap) and it looks fine without it. If I was to add a belt, I’d choose something slimmer and more sophisticated.
Next up, skirts. Despite the fact that only three skirts stand out in my memory as really popular this past month, I still feel like skirts are making a strong comeback. There is also a huge shift in skirt shape trends to a fuller, either mini or midi, style. This is probably one of the first seasons in a long time that one of my clients has purchased a fuller skirt for work. The pencil is still around, but I’m definitely seeing more variety.
First, this tan pleated skirt from Akris Punto that one of my clients bought. This is the new shape that I am speaking about that needs a very slim look on top of either a slim knit or a blouse tucked in. You also have to be careful with your blazer choices and make sure they aren’t too long or boxy. It took a few seconds for my client’s eyes to adjust to this skirt shape but once she could envision the whole look she bought it.
The next skirt, one of my clients purchased is from Reiss. Even though this client works in finance, she can wear it to work. With the crochet/lace overlay she can also wear it on more festive occasions and nights out. It’s a style with enough personality that a simple top will complement the skirt just fine.
Lastly, this a-line skirt from BOSS Hugo BOSS. This print also comes in a dress. It’s really pretty, soft and subtle. It’s not a huge a-line, just flared enough to give it an easy look. In this case, again, one client looked amazing in it and another client looked disastrous despite sharing many similarities in body type.
Jackets and Suits
The first jacket and two suits above all came from Reiss and one of my clients purchased all three. Before I go on, there is something I want to mention about Reiss’ fit. First, as you may know, the company is British guaranteeing a slimmer cut. Yet, as much as I LOVE Reiss and am grateful to have them as a resource, I find their sizing incredibly inconsistent and even weird at times. For example, one of my clients tried on a size 6 skirt and it was way too tight but found the size 8 to be swimming. It was like she needed something right in between. The other thing I have found is their inconsistencies across the board in terms of how things are sized. For example, in one jacket my client can be a size 4 but then a 6 is tight in another jacket style and she needs an 8. As a former fashion designer, I understand that there can often be inconsistencies in sizing between product and fabrics, however, never have I encountered this much discrepancy. I still love their products, but warn you to purchase a variety of sizes if ordering online and then send back what doesn’t fit.
What also perplexes me about Reiss is how short their skirts can be, especially their suit skirts. This particular client, who bought the pieces above, would have gladly walked out of the store with even more in her shopping bags, but it was the shortness of the skirts that kept her from doing so. This begs the question of who Reiss’ target customer is exactly. Reiss clothes aren’t necessarily cheap and can be a fantastic resource for the established executive woman who wants some good suits in her closet. However, their shorter above-the-knee skirt lengths tend to appeal to a younger customer whereas most 40+ year old women often prefer just below the knee. Seriously, if Reiss just added 1 1/2″ to their skirt suit lengths they’d sell a lot more. It’s not like a woman can’t hem if she prefers shorter styles.
Anyway, back to the styles my client purchased. The first is this blue/black textured blazer. The reason she only purchased the jacket? The skirt was too short. Thankfully, this blazer can work well with navy pants, dresses and skirts.
Next the soft pink suit (link to jacket and skirt). I will caution you, this suit isn’t for everyone. What made this suit appealing is my client’s soft coloring with fair skin and blonde hair. Unless your coloring is like Grace Kelly’s I’d give it a second thought.
The next suit is a classic navy (link to jacket and skirt) with a very subtle pattern. Thankfully, the skirt was long enough and actually fit. With a strong need for suits, my client and I were both grateful that this worked.
The last jacket is from Akris Punto and my client and I loved this style to be worn over dresses due to it’s shorter length and very shaped waist.
Pants, shorts and jumpsuits
Rare is it that I pull jumpsuits for clients. In fact, I have had one client jokingly threaten my life if she found one jumpsuit or pair of culottes pulled for her. Yet, I had this client in May who definitely has a more avante garde sense of style. If anyone could pull of the Vince jumpsuit above I knew it could be her. And, I was right. I can’t find the khaki version that looked great on her anywhere, but this navy is exactly the same in look. At first, we thought she looked like a gas station attendant but it soon grew on both of us. We were both surprised and I appreciated her willingness to give it a try.
Next, a pair of Akris Punto navy pants. Not cheap, but so often these pants work for many of my clients.
Next up, these jean shorts from Kut from the Kloth that a client of mine who lives on a ranch in Montana purchased. While this client has a more corporate job than just branding cattle, her lifestyle is really casual and these shorts were so perfect. The fit is great.
The next pants, the white lightweight cropped cargos, have a bit of a funny story behind them. At the start of working with this client, she emailed me a photo of similar looking pants that she once loved and was on the hunt for again as her original pair had long worn out. Knowing that cropped cargos aren’t as easy to find as they once were, this challenge worried me a bit. I worried if they even existed, if I would find them or if I would disappoint her. These pants needed to be found and, as luck would have it, I stumbled on a table full of them in a variety of colors from Lord & Taylor at a rock bottom price that is so good my client bought several. For her, these are the perfect pants that she plans on wearing casually on the weekend, particularly with her daughter at the park.
Next up, these wide leg cropped pants from Theory. I wouldn’t necessarily call them culottes. They’re just at the ankle, with a wider leg that go great with heels and flats. When worn they give off this chic, business casual look that looks almost French nautical in a super stylish way. These could be my favorite pants of the season.
Last up, boyfriend jeans in white, also from Kut from the Kloth and also for my Montana client. My guess is that she won’t be doing any work with the cattle in these but they will be great for casual weekend plans.
Tops and cardigans
While it shouldn’t be hard, tops have been the bane of my existence lately. So many styles are way too blousy and difficult to wear. I mean, come on, they’re tops for goodness sakes. This should be the easy part. If you have been having a hard time finding tops that look good and give you some shape, trust me, you’re not alone. I did manage to find a few that you might also like.
The navy sleeveless blouse is from Reiss and bought at the same time my one client stocked up on suits. This top has some nice shape is really easy to wear professionally.
The next blouse from Vince Camuto has been a crowd favorite. I really can’t remember how many clients have purchased it. While it is a little blousy, it can be tucked in and worn out. It looks equally good with skinny pants unutucked as well as tucked in with pencil skirts and pants, and even under blazers.
The next top is a striped Breton style from BOSS Hugo BOSS that one of my clients purchased. Stripes are everywhere this season and this particular style is in a t-shirt fabric but is upscale enough to wear to work. It also looks great with the cropped wide leg pants from Theory I showed above.
Next, this cobalt style from T Tahari that is very similar to the Vince Camuto style. It can be tucked or untucked and styled for work and weekend.
Next, a simple knit shell from J. Crew that one of my clients purchased. With the lack of good layering pieces out there, this shell (which also comes with a cardigan if you need) is perfect for under jackets, worn with full skirts, can be worn alone, dressed up and dressed down. It comes in a ton of colors and was bought by my client in navy.
Lastly, this easy cardigan from Velvet. This cardigan trend finally seems to be slowing. In fact, I had one client tell me that she is completely over asymetrical hemmed cardigan styles. This cardigan shape has definitely been around a while but I don’t see it going away anytime soon. It’s just easy and until something better comes along I don’t see this changing.
Shoes are always fun to shop for. This month was no exception and there was a nice variety of purchases from casual to dressy.
First, these slip on sneakers in grey from Keds. They’re made of a soft brushed suede material and manage to not look clunky. They look great with skinny jeans and cropped pants.
Next, these bright pink espadrille flats from UGG. I have been so attracted to this bright magenta color lately and these shoes look fantastic with classic blue and white jeans.
Next, these printed flats from Kate Spade. My client who purchased these was in need of a dressier pair of flats. They work particularly well because the print captures most of the color in her wardrobe.
For metallic sandals, one of my clients selected this classic pair from Jack Rogers which will likely never go out of style. As my client remarked, they have great instep support.
For heels, one of my clients purchased these bright red d’orsay pumps from J. Crew. They are bright, I will warn you. What I neglected to include was this light blue pair from Lord & Taylor that are very similar. As a woman who can’t wear dangerously high heels, my client found the heel heights of both of these perfect.
Lastly, one of my clients purchased these Rockport nude pumps. If you touch the inside of these shoes you will feel tons of padding, almost like sneakers, making these great shoes for anyone who needs to wear heels but is in need of comfort. I continue to be impressed by how Rockport has managed to go from frumpy comfort brand to offering some pretty stylish selections.
Jewelry, scarves and handbags
I don’t do a ton of handbag shopping with clients, but this past moth I did quite a bit with one client who was looking to build her handbag collection. The first style she purchased is the grey Chloe crossbody. It was on her wish list for a while and the shade she bought is really versatile. One word of caution, the bag is super small making it difficult to use a longer wallet with it. Next, she purchased this camel reversible tote from Longchamp that is stunning. While it is reversible, with a blush pink on the other side, keep in mind that the straps don’t change. My client doesn’t see turning it the other way. Lastly, she purchased this classic Prada tote for her more conservative appointments. While an investment, this bag will never give out or go out of style.
For scarves, my client purchased this floral style from J. Crew and blue and green tile pattern from Nic + Zoe. Both scarves are incredibly lightweight and perfect for summer. They drape beautifully. When choosing scarves, follow what my client did and choose patterns and colors in shades found in your wardrobe to guarantee maximum wear.
Lastly, jewelry, a few pieces were bought: these Trina Turk diamond shape drop earrings, these soft green drop earrings from Lord & Taylor and these red disc drop earrings from Lauren Ralph Lauren. Lastly, this pavé tassel pendant from Ann Taylor continues to be a favorite.
I hope you have enjoyed taking a look just some of the client purchases from this past month. I’ll be reporting in the end of June with some highlights from the month to come.