Archive for the ‘Features’ Category

Quote of the Week:

I spent some time late this afternoon on my front deck, legs stretched out in front of the teak bench where I sat in the sun for a couple of hours.

Newest paperback open to page 148.

Tall skinny vanilla latte in hand.

Slight breeze scattered the first falling leaves on some of my many maples and tousled my new bob but I didn’t care. Stayed around until the last of the sun’s rays were trying to warm the inevitable chill that befalls these last days of September. 

Even with the chill, I was quite comfortable.  A blend of layers from my cotton turtleneck to a new pink and grey cardigan from Baciano had me wrapped in warmth. 

Couldn’t pull myself away from the slight smoke-filled autumn evening and watch as the sunset decided to flirt with the last remnants of the day. Magnificent!!

After all, a hundred pages still to go.

Where will the ending find me? I wonder!

Details & Care

  • Full Sleeve
  • Shawl collar
  • 36″ Knee Length
  • Stripe Print
  • Charcoal
  • Front pockets
  • Hand wash, do not use bleach, lay flat to dry.

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Quote of the Week:

While Lagerfeld spoke that opinion many decades ago, back in the 1990s, Jerry Seinfeld echoed Lagerfeld’s lament, advising his friend George Costanza, “You know the message you’re sending out to the world with these sweatpants? You’re telling the world, ‘I give up. I can’t compete in normal society. I’m miserable, so I might as well be comfortable.’”

And I’m in the here and now and ready to disagree with both of them.

Then Again: We could give it a great big shout out and “style” our favorite sweatpants for more than just comfort. If I can do it, anybody can. I got brave today and put together an outfit around my newest sweats from Sound Styles and we have lots to choose from. I kept an appointment and got many compliments on my fashion choice for this beautiful Autumn Monday. Now mind you, this was daring for me, as I’ve never been one to go out in public in my sweatpants. But I took a few of the suggestions that I’m about to offer to you as to how to style a pair and just went for it.

Picture First:

Choose sweatpants that are fitted rather than baggy: If you’re looking to dress up your look, the fit of your sweats can make a huge difference. Baggy sweats may be cozy, but they can be more difficult to dress up. This could be as simple as choosing a size that is smaller than what you normally wear. Sweats are already easy to wear so look for ones that are more slimming to the body.

Pair them with a trendy coat or blazer or patterned sweater or a plaid button down shirt: Instead of reaching for a sweatshirt when heading outside, wear your sweatpants with a blazer or coat that will immediately make them look more put together. Think of all those pretty sweaters on the shelf or those button down blouses hanging on the rod. The coat or blazer or sweater or shirt will give the sweats a more dressed-up feel than a sweatshirt might. 

Dress up the shoe: Yes a sneaker is cute and always appropriate. But consider a sueded ankle boot or a velvet moccasin or even a low-heeled pump to give just a bit more sophistication to your new sweatpant “look.”

Add one “glamorous” piece: This to me would obviously be an accessory or maybe two or three accessories such as a fabulous handbag, dramatic sunglasses or dangly earrings or mysterious beret and always, always, always a wonderful, colorful scarf.

LAYERS! LAYERS! LAYERS! Simply said. . . it often comes down to all the layers we are assembling. They so easily add interest, warmth, texture, color to any outfit you are putting together.

As for me today, I wore my navy jogger sweats with a cowl neck tunic sweater in heather grey, added my favorite for the season, a plaid boyfriend cardigan sweater in navy and grey and just thought my favorite silver, chunky necklace set it off. It was fun to feel dressed up a bit in my sweatpants. My appointment was with the eye doctor and I picked out new glasses in a red tortoise that just complimented the whole outfit. Can’t wait to get those glasses.

Please come in and look at our selection of sweatpants from which to choose. Come with some new thoughts on how to wear them. Comfort is great but to be stylish at the same time you are comfortable is the the best of both.

GOOD GRIEF! Got so wrapped up styling our sweats that I forgot to tell you about the title of this post. Have you ever heard of Tracky Dack Day? On the last Friday in August, Australians ‘dack up and donate’ by wearing tracksuit pants (‘trackies’) and fundraising for sick kids. Everyone, including patients in the hospital, wear sweats on that day. Hmm! Maybe we could take a page from that book!! A holiday for sweats and a good cause!

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Quote of the Week:

And, metaphorically speaking, in this moment Sound Styles is a coat of many colors. Colors that sing and praise the gloriousness of the upcoming season. There is an amber nugget here and a garnet nugget there and one of citrine right over there and then there is the softness of smoky topaz scattered here and there and everywhere. We might as well have been plucked up by the proverbial tornado in the Wizard of Oz and plopped right into some quaint New England town. It’s pure bliss!

I love walking to work and opening the door to the visual that awaits me these days. How often did I hear today. . . “I love the colors”? Vibrant and arresting, they are colors that bring comfort and joy to the eye of so many who also adore the Autumn of the year.

Too many times to recall.

How many “gems” went home today with the happy faces of those who purchased a new sweater or coat or tee shirt in one of Autumn’s colors?

Too many times to count.

“I just love this shade of green,” Susan said when at the front desk.. “I can’t wait to wear my new sweater.” (One of our new sweaters from FOIL)

“Look at all the mustard yellow in the racks,” Molly said excitedly. Of course she meant the color not the condiment, as she grabbed several tops to try on. “Just love this color!”

“Brown is a favorite color of mine and I’ve been waiting too long to see it return,” Staci told me as she brought our new Karen Kane hooded sweater to the desk for purchase.

Okay! So I’m pushing the season a bit. Officially, Autumn isn’t even here yet but here I am pulling all the velvet pumpkins out of storage and decorating the dining room table with leaves and candles and those velvet pumpkins. Not to mention that Shelly is already hard at work on the Halloween scarecrow.

While I will miss the longer days of daylight, I will embrace the candlelight that compensates just a bit.

How am I doing? Have I colored within the lines of an Autumn day enough to entice you just a bit to want to see what’s new in the store? I thought of putting lots of pics in this post to illustrate but then thought again…. the mystery of what those “gems” of sweaters and coats and tops look like might entice you even more.

Then again! One more thought. How about this?

The only way my walk to work will get even better is when the actual real leaves start to change and tumble and paint the landscape with their color.

October awaits!!


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Quote of the Week:

Here we have one of the many profound Sugar Boo quotes that Shelly has beautifully “flowered” the floor of our window with. Intrigued? Stop by and take a look!

AS FOR THE SWEATER. . .

Be still my heart! Where do I begin? Well. . . first off, it’s a sweater!! Who doesn’t love a sweater? After working nearly 16 years at Sound Styles, I can say without question that there are more beautiful sweaters in the store right now than at any other time I can remember. Certainly you have noticed that sweaters are soft on the skin and seem to hug us with comfort. But, have you ever noticed that they are also soft on the eyes of both the wearer and the beholder making us appear friendlier and more approachable. Not only do they keep you warm both inside and out but they, more than any other garment in our wardrobe, remind us of long ago special times. I still clearly see the sweater I was wearing on the Oregon Coast beach walk with my best friend holding one hand of my first born child and me the other.

Secondly, this particular sweater is brown or sienna (burnt that is) as the title of this post suggests. I’m thrilled to the brim that brown is out of the fashion exile that it has been in for what seemed forever. To me brown is the “comfort food” of color. While I don’t want to call it a baked potato, its resurrection deserves more than a dollop of sour cream. It’s a neutral that can give its competitors like black, navy and grey a run for their color “money.” I’ve read that there is a current appetite for minimalism, sustainability and natural beauty and brown is the epitome of all those.

WHICH BRINGS ME TO SUSTAINABILITY. . .

Rather a big word being bandied about a lot these days. And I think the quote above from Seattle’s namesake, Chief Sealth, embodies the essence of its meaning. To sustain means to nourish, not just the body of us but also the environment of us and in the end our planet earth. This means that not only do the designers and creators of fashion but also the consumers of fashion need to be aware of what contributes to our environment and what detracts from its “wellness.” We at Sound Styles are becoming more astute to the vendors that we carry and how they approach this philosophy and practice the art of being sustainable.

Karen Kane proudly embraced the concept and is using fabrics that practice what they preach and are having them made into beautiful garments right here in America. Masai from Copenhagen is proud of their viscose fabric that is grown with particular concern for the environment and leaves the planet in a better place. Glyder is one of our newest brands of active apparel and they vow: “we are in the process of researching and developing new fabrics made from recycled and organic materials, and plan to greatly expand our range of products made with these Earth-conscious practices.” 

In the end, Chief Sealth, a hundred of wisdoms ago had it “right on.”

“Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.”

Please ask us about what our vendors are doing to help nourish this planet earth. We are just beginning this journey but will do the best we can to become more and more aware and informed.

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Quote of the Week:

The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman is seen in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides. True beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It’s the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows. The beauty of a woman only grows with passing years.” ~ audrey hepburn

Have you noticed how the wearing of a mask draws immediate attention to the eyes? Of course you have, as that goes without saying.

Except that I needed to say it! 

Since I returned to work last April, I’ve looked into the eyes of so very many ‘beautiful’ women shopping in our store. This virus has literally changed the “face” of all of us and, at a time when we need most to see fellowship and hope in one another’s facial expression, we’re denied access.

However. . . I’ve seen determination and affirmation. I’ve seen both acceptance and frustration. I’ve seen a tear or two and I’ve seen many a smile. Yes! All that in all those beautiful eyes.

We all know and experience the discomfort of wearing the mask. That feeling of ripping off your bra or taking off those shoes is equivalent to tearing off the mask. It’s pure relief!

However. . . please keep smiling behind that mask. I will too! There is a twinkle in the eye when we smile that outshines the mask. 

We wear a mask to protect one another. It is an act of kindness.

“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.” ~ audrey hepburn

This is a thank you from us at Sound Styles for helping to keep us all safer by the wearing of a mask while indoors at any establishment and we are grateful.

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Quote of the Week:

And this week’s quote comes from so very many of you, our beautiful customers. How many times have I heard those words spoken just in the past couple of weeks? Too many to count and I count myself right in there with the rest of you. I too love fall clothes.

There are a few mumblers and grumblers out there. You know…. about not wanting to “go there yet!” Well, they don’t have to go anywhere yet as the fall clothes are in the store and summer is still “out there.” So, rest easy, and take it at your own pace.

But, seriously, dear friends?

I can’t believe anyone wouldn’t look forward to the fun that is fall fashion. And, believe it or not, we are selling sweaters and down coats and fall dresses in the midst of summer’s heat. The one certainty in the Pacific Northwest is that fall will definitely make its appearance, as opposed to spring which can be fickle.

Two words: Sweater Weather! Is there anything better than a size-too-big cable knit sweater over your favorite jeans when it’s 50 degrees out? I think not!

From the blessing of boots to silky scarves, from the wale of corduroy to the warp of wool, the clothes I get to wear from mid-September through the end of November include my most loved pieces. Long live the boots + jeans + sweater ensemble and all of its wonderful variations. Have you noticed in fashion layouts that the sweater vest is making a revival? Pair it over a collared blouse or mock turtleneck and voila! Then there’s my favorite word: Over-sized! Everything from a jean jacket to a tunic top to a dress from Europe is now “fashionably” over-sized. What a relief. Comfort and fashion in one garment.

As for me, my heart races each time I enter the front doors of our store and see styles, colors, textures, patterns and layers just waiting my attention. The biggest question is “will I take home a paycheck this month?”

Let’s see…. I’ve already bought one Masai orange down coat and one Masai winter white sweater and one FDJ patterned turtleneck to go under my new rich brown Necessities hoody. Oops! Almost forgot the Renuar heathery, wheat colored soft turtleneck sweater dress. Maybe I should be asking Jenny for more work days in which to wear all my new belongings.

Then again, I’ll just take Shelly’s advice and dress for coffee at the Café Louvre. By all means, don’t forget to accessorize your new outfit with a pumpkin spice latté. In your weekend wanderings find a great location where you and your favorite outfit will photograph amazingly against a colorful fall backdrop.

As I began with a quote. . . so shall I end.

“As long as autumn lasts, I shall not have hands, canvas and colors enough to paint the beautiful things I see”. ~ Vincent Van Gogh

Julie’s humble offering:

As long as autumn lasts, I shall not have days enough to wear all the multitude of textured, colorful layers that I can think to combine.

Alas! Big Sigh!

Please come by and discover all the store has to offer in new selections for the fast approaching autumn season.

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Quote of the Week:

Alice is right and I feel vindicated when, in a previous post of mine, I mentioned that a day for me goes better (even when feeling not so great) if I make the effort to wear something pretty and “accessorize” it with a little make-up.

Just recently I bumped into somewhat of a scientific study that validates my observation and even has a name to go along with the study.

Have you ever heard of Enclothed Cognition?

It’s no secret that our clothing is an artistic mode of expression. A way of conveying to others a sense of ourselves. That’s why there are designated “fashion personas” and most of us embrace at least one or two of them in the way we select and wear clothes. What we wear can be an implicit non-verbal way to express our unique personalities to others.

Turns out that science now suggests that the clothes we wear affects our own behavior, attitudes, personality, mood, confidence, and even the way we interact with others. This is “Enclothed Cognition“.

Fascinating stuff!!

Let’s put it to the test, shall we?

What are you wearing right now? How does it make you feel? Does what you wear affect your behavior? If I go there with this new “science” then I can say “yes to the dress” which I wore last week in the store. It was a bit out of my comfort zone to even wear a dress but it elevated my sense of self and gave me confidence. Didn’t hurt that it sent several compliments my way. So, of course, I’ve already bought my first dress for the upcoming Fall season and can’t wait to wear it with tights and boots.

Then there is this:

Joules Harbour long sleeve jersey top in cream, navy, red and blue. Famed for the fit and the fabric, wear it anywhere . Boat neck, long sleeves, relaxed fit, breathable, 100% cotton, machine wash and tumble dry low.

Can you see yourself in this essential, easy fit top sitting on an Edmonds beach eagerly awaiting tonight’s sunset? Add a navy turtleneck for that extra coziness.

What would you be feeling?

Are you in a good mood?

Here’s hoping the answer is YES ’cause the Joules stripe is just waiting for you now at Sound Styles and it is eager to witness a fabulous sunset.

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FYI: Who out there knows of Alice Temperley (the author of this week’s quote.)?

Nor did I.

So….. I did the research and it turns out that she is a well-respected English fashion designer who lives and designs and creates in her home called “Cricket Court” in Somerset England. I’m already a puddle!! The “banner” that surrounds her quote is really a hand-embroidered scarf which she designed. Gives you a slight sense of the romance of her collection Would that I had a home called Cricket Court in Somerset England. Where’s a good Englishman when you need him?

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Quote of the Week:

“Sweaters need to be imagined, dreamed over.” ~ Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (well-known writer and knitter extraordinaire)

So… picture this

Sleeping Lady, Leavenworth.

Waiting beneath the chadeliered terrace, she slips on her favorite long sweater and offers her hand. Madeleine Peyroux sings quietly in the background while an October rain softly pelts the roof of their cabin.

“Dance with me?” She asks with a smile he knows all too well.

Earlier in the day, on the ride up, she confessed that modern, hectic life was catching up and she was tired of texts, emails, phone “jingles” and must see photos on social media pulling her down and demanding her time. Turns out, he had just the prescription – a week-end of ‘Austrian’ charm and at least 48 stems of edelweiss awaiting their arrival.

Who doesn’t love the comfy charm of a sweater dress?

Sweater dresses are cute, comfortable, can be dressed up or down, and they keep you warm and cozy. What’s not to love about these closet staples?

Another great thing about sweater dresses is that you can easily use them for layering your clothes. You are free to wear shirts underneath, fur vests atop, or choose bombers or leather jackets or long coats to layer with them.

We have a new one in from Tribal. Rich tobacco color in a ribbed soft t-neck style. Just long enough to cover the knees and be great with boots or tennis shoes. Picture yourself in the photo above on a beautiful Edmonds Fall day in a soft, feminine sweater dress.

Perhaps on the way to Leavenworth for October Fest? Or just for a pumpkin latté at your favorite coffee shop.

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Quote of the Week:

Okay. . . so  maybe it took til almost three o’clock this afternoon, but this day’s sky did become quite a glorious one with the colors of yellow and orange enhancing the beauty of its milky blue.  I think Van Gogh meant that blue becomes its most vibrant when it is enhanced by its complements (opposites on the color wheel) yellow and orange. That seems to be especially true at sunrise and sunset. 

The “fashion” colors of this year are turning toward a palette fit for a painter.

From lemon yellow to tangerine orange to bubblegum pink, these deliciously bright pops of color bring a feeling of joy and happiness. And that was purposely planned by fashion designers, as they wanted to exude a sense of optimism and positive spirit into their 2021 seasonal runways. 

I love color so choosing a favorite is impossible but orange is right up there in my color wheel of favorites. For goodness sake…. I have an orange sofa in my living room. Not at all what I was thinking when I walked into the showroom of the furniture store… “I want an orange sofa” was not on my agenda. But, there it was right in front of me and I was stopped in my tracks by its happy energy, its warmth, and its evocative feelings of Autumn. 

Since the rest of the room is relatively neutral, I felt safe in adding a pop of color with this sofa. It worked out great and I and my kitty, Gracie, love that sofa. I had to find an orange throw blanket to drape over the top so Gracie could curl up and sleep without leaving too much “debris” behind. Doesn’t hurt that Gracie is an orange calico so she fits right in. Designer kitty!

And then there is this! A spring birthday bouquet of exquisite beauty with one bright orange parrot tulip as its centerpiece.

Oops! I digress! But… you know how one picture is worth a thousand words and, in this case, make it two pictures. It’s definitely impossible to write an essay on such a vibrant color, or any color, without visuals. So. . . perhaps we can learn a lesson or two from my living room decor, minus Gracie, of course. And from a birthday bouquet of definite distinction.

Yes! By all means, orange is a bold, attention-getting color not to be worn by just everyone. If you can, DO! But, if you can’t, then go for just a touch of orange in an accessory that pops the more neutral outfit and, by all means, don’t be afraid to wear orange, if only just a touch. And no. . . orange is not the new black, at least fashionably speaking. But it is out there in force and represented by nearly all the fashion vendors so, if you need to brighten your day, bring some orange into your life. It evokes happy and energetic feelings that just lift you up and help you find and embrace life’s vitality.

WOW! Just to showcase my little essay on orange: here is one of Shelly’s “Van Gogh” moments in her photo of an Edmonds skyline on an Autumn’s evening sunset. Spectacular and makes me happy to be in our small corner of the world.

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Dolce Far Niente

QUOTE OF THE WEEK:

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