Archive for the ‘Feature’ Category



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.


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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.


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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I, for one, am thrilled to see the return of Rapti scarves to Sound Styles. Possibly some of the most beautiful scarves I’ve ever worn and loved, they have already added warm texture, vibrant color, handmade art and excitement to our store.

Notice the self-contained shawl. A new style we’ve added from Rapti.

If they can do all that to four walls and some mannequins, just imagine what one of these beautiful scarves can do for your outfits. We all know how a scarf can change out an outfit but turn it into art? Well, that takes real talent and Rapti exudes by adding sophistication and uniqueness in both pattern and design and combinations of color.

Maybe that’s why I’m finding myself in PJ’s, cooking dinner, with a Rapti scarf still tied around my neck. Came home from work today, changed to my favorite comfy jammies but just couldn’t remove that scarf. Not yet anyway!

With a great selection to choose from, some are 100% cashmere and some are a combo of silk and viscose and they range in price from $34 to $80. Handmade in Nepal by skilled artisans representing generations of those trained in tradition.


A quick FYI: I know that tying a scarf can be a bit intimidating. There are so very many easy ways to get fantastic looks. Here is a link to a great video that Nordstrom provides. It is both fun and entertaining to watch but also very informative and helpful. One caveat: it transpires so quickly that you simply must go back and watch a few times, pick a favorite look and pay close attention. But, for the first time viewer, simply enjoy!

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