Archive for February, 2022

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QUOTE OF THE WEEK:

FAREWELL AND SO LONG. . . TO WINTER THAT IS!!

I know! I know! Don’t even say it. There’s still a month to go. I just can’t help but feel a touch of spring in the air.

I realize that I’m being quite optimistic here and while I don’t know who Hal Borland is. . . I’m pretty sure he’s not from the Pacific Northwest as I do believe that Spring, over my many years of living here, has skipped one turn or two.

However, there was a sunny day last week that buoyed my hopes. My early blooming tete-a-tete daffodils are about to tap dance in the garden and make a show of it. The sarcococca (vanilla plant) is in full aroma and even grabbing the attention of the instacart shopper who was delivering my groceries.

“What is that heavenly aroma?” she wanted to know. I explained that the warmth of the sun brings out that delicious aroma in my beautiful ground cover.

Found myself outside that day watering a few pots here and there…. you know, the ones that don’t get rain water. Hope “springs” eternal! And, miracle of all miracles, my hands weren’t white from the cold.

Today I choose to believe that spring will come sooner rather than later.

Then there’s those pretty floral prints in the store right now. Feminine, romantic, happy prints that may definitely be Spring’s best au revoir to winter.

Pair the floral with a bit of embellishment on a crop denim. All you need is some white tennis shoes.

Pair the floral with white jeans and add a Birky sandal.

And yes! The floral is sleeveless. So what! Just add the coral boyfriend cardi or a denim jean jacket with either the denim or white bottoms and you’ve softened the look and covered the arms.

One last “word of wisdom” (presumptuous on my part, I know!) But bare with me!

If you think that curtains, pillows and wallpaper wear print and pattern well but you wouldn’t consider wearing them yourself, you’re not alone.

Don’t reject prints for fear of looking too young or too matronly ’cause that puts you in a never ending state of simplicity. Believe it or not, prints can be the spice of life without being a megaphone for fashion don’ts.

Keeping in mind that rules can be broken and have exceptions, here are two simple and very general rules to follow for the wearing of prints.

Wear a pattern under something more neutral. The easiest way to incorporate a print into your current wardrobe is to find a print that you can put under something—for example, a printed top underneath a boyfriend sweater or denim jacket or polished blazer.

And: pay attention to the scale of the print so as to match it to your body shape. Large prints increase volume, whereas small prints decrease volume. If you’ve been graced with the gift of height, then larger scale prints are good on you. Whereas, they might overwhelm a shorter lady and she should find prints that have a smaller scale.

Don’t let it wear you. . . you wear it!! That way you can gravitate to any pretty print and design and find a way to incorporate it into your closet.

Happiness!

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Sound Styles welcomes a new team member, a new vendor & lovely new colors!

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QUOTE OF THE WEEK:

Once upon a time, Marie Antoinette, weary of her heavy and thick brocades, lovingly and happily embraced her new found freedom in the airiness of toile. At last. . . she could breathe again.

Sad to say but history knows how long that lasted!!

However, until her beheading, she enjoyed the comfort and freedom that the fabric of Toile du Jouy gave her and her fashion sense greatly influenced the popularity of toile in the 18th century.

Shall we take a step back. . . before your head spins too far off its axis?

In a world of brocade, be a toile!

We think of toile as the pastoral life, mythology, exotic travel, flora and fauna prints on the fabric but, actually, way back in the 18th century, toile was the light and airy linen fabric itself. While it was first made in Ireland, yes Ireland, the town of Jouy-en-Josas in France came to be its permanent manufacturer. In French, toile du Jouy means fabric from the French town Juoy.

Toile du Jouy is a mouthful so it got shortened to “Twahl” for short.

The original German designer of prints on toile fabric was influenced by Chinese nature drawings and drew those pastoral designs that we come to associate as “Toile.” They were single color prints on a white background. Today those prints appear on a multitude of colored fabrics as well.

Toile is delicate, romantic and artistically beautiful and pops up in fabrics, wallpaper, china, bedding, masks, cell phone cases, etc. You get the idea!

While toile design is classic and not going anywhere, like most fashion styles, it comes and goes in popularity. The past two years have seen a surge in its popularity in everything from tops to bottoms to accessories. It rides the wave from romantic dresses to sneakers and sandals.

Toile on sneakers? I gotta go find me a pair of those, as the thought of having a flowy, romantic toile top and some sneakers to go with, uplifts the imagination. Well my imagination is uplifted at the thought.

And, of course, toile is on the racks of Sound Styles, as shown in Jenny’s weekly video dated. . . January 13th, 2022.

Want to partake of this French remedy for stuffiness? “TWAHL” anyone?

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QUOTE OF THE WEEK:

Not to be too melodramatic or anything, as Shakespeare can be daunting, and my post topic is anything but grandiose enough for Shakespeare.

But, dang. . . how often have you been wanting to shout out loud at those tiny “pills” that blemish your clothes. . . “Hence, be gone away”? Those ugly, annoying little fibers that pop up from the surface and form a tiny ball that begs to be cut off. However, carefully snipping off pill after pill of fiber. . . how long would that take you?

Just “give it away” is my philosophy. Extremely painful when I’ve paid an arm and a leg for said garment like one I purchased a few years back from a”hoity toity” catalogue and expected the best of quality. Much to my dismay, after just one wearing, the jacket was pilling here and there and everywhere.

I’m going here with this topic because it has “popped up” (pun intended) recently from many of you who shop our store. Jenny and I got a bit curious about what exactly causes pilling and if it means the garment is defective or less than stellar in quality.

And, much to our surprise. . . pilling is not a defect of said garment but a natural result of fibers that meet with friction in that they don’t get along with one another in a multitude of ways including our own daily ways of wearing and washing them.

Hence: up pops a pill!

Are you surprised with our research? Me too! I’ve always equated garments that pill with less than quality fabrics. Turns out that most all fabrics are prone to pilling and it has less to do with quality of the garment than one would think. Having said that, however, cheaper synthetic fabrics are known to pill more easily and often. Of course knit fabrics are more prone to pilling than their tightly woven counterparts. And clothes made from wool, cotton, polyester, acrylic, and other synthetics tend to develop pills more readily than silk, denim, or linen.

PILLING 101:

There are a few things you can do to remove pills from your garments and make them look new again.

Use a laundry detergent with cellulase (often labeled enzyme detergent) which is an enzyme that breaks down fibers to remove stains. But this ingredient goes beyond stain-fighting, as it can also help loosen and remove pills in the wash. Combined with a gentle, cold-water cycle, this type of detergent may help reduce a pilling problem.

Because pilling is such a common problem, many companies have invented actual pill shavers to remove the pests. My favorite pill/lint remover is made by Conair. Works great and wish I’d discovered this little miracle tool before I gave away that jacket. Just click the link to see the details.  

There are a few things you can do to prevent pills from happening in the first place:

All these suggestions regard the care of fabrics when you do the laundry. I’m going to suggest that you do as I say NOT as I do. I’m the worst when it comes to being a good laundress.

Always follow care instructions on a garment. They are there for a good reason. . . to give your garment a long shelf life.

Sort laundry carefully. And sort your clothes not only according to color but also by fabric type. This way heavier fabrics will be less likely to damage lighter ones in the wash.

Turn garments inside out. Fasten zippers, buttons and hooks. Pilling is a result of abrasion and rubbing against these metal and plastic surfaces can damage the fibers.

Don’t overload the machine. If clothes are not able to move easily in the washer and dryer, they will rub together, causing more friction and more pills.

That’s it for my little tutorial this week. Hope you learned something new and it can be useful to you.

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QUOTE OF THE WEEK:

THEY MAKE US HAPPY!!

She walked through our door a few days back, declaring “I need some retail therapy.”

Following close behind was said husband who offered up “I’m just the chauffeur.”

Now we all know what “retail therapy” means. Let’s get a little or maybe even a lot “high” with something new. This moment of euphoria could come from The Wooden Spoon or The Papery or The Edmonds Theater or. . . well, you get the idea!

We at Sound Styles are always euphoric when you choose us for your therapy. On that day, this particular lady got a retail fix that made everyone happy.

Well. . . said husband? . . . maybe not so much. Except that I got the distinct feeling that he too wanted her to be happy and, if new additions to her wardrobe would do the trick, then he was happy to oblige. What a great husband is that!

While doing some poking around for this week’s topic, I bumped into one of the biggest fashion trends for 2022. Have you heard of it? It’s called “dopamine dressing?” You know. . . named after the happy hormone in our brains that when set loose by a great movie, book, meal or new sweater makes us feel good and gives us an emotional lift.

Turns out, however, that those happy hormones begin their fashion journey when we first begin to think about going shopping. So, it’s not just the purchase of something new to wear. . . it’s the window shopping, the stimulus of being in an environment full of color, texture, design, etc. And, of course, it’s both the anticipation of and then the actual wearing of something new. All along that journey, dopamine is flowing and raising our happiness level.

Bright colors are big for spring and play a huge part in dopamine dressing. We all know for certain that colors can lift our moods. Fashion is a language and color is a way to communicate. There’s an entire psychology of color available to us. Red is stimulating. Yellow can boost our energy. Green is soothing and blue tends to be peaceful. Color is powerful but one needn’t overanalyze to know which colors we gravitate to and which ones lift our moods. There is no right or wrong, as each of us is unique in what color choices “float our boats.”

Spring is spilling out all over. All over the racks and rods of Sound Styles. Colors are bursting out of boxes and the multitude of styles is ringing all our bells.

Feeling terrific in an outfit of our choice can set free those happy hormones. From the feel of the fabric to the cut of the clothes and the color of each item, how we dress has an incredible impact on how we feel.

Please come visit us soon for a little lesson on dopamine dressing. We’re up to the task!!

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