Archive for the ‘Features’ Category


Quote of the Week:

How to make a dramatic impression.

You can start by wearing this black chenille fedora hat from Pia Rossini. You will need not utter one single word. You will, more than likely, need to establish a social media account just to keep tabs on all the pictures you will be asked to pose for, as you wander about the streets of our quaint small town. With backdrops like the water’s edge, stunning local murals or a certain water fountain, there will be someone on every corner and around every bend stopping you and asking for permission to snap a photo. The woman in a black chenille fedora. Charisma abounds!

Me thinks my ruana needs a companion. What better friend than a fedora.

Just exactly what is a fedora as opposed to some other hat? What makes it a fedora? Burning question of the day!!

While we typically associate the fedora with such dashing men as Gregory Peck and Humphrey Bogart, believe it or not, the fedora hat was first worn by the actress, Sarah Bernhardt, after appearing in a play called Fedora in which she played Princess Fedora Romazov. The hat soon became a common fashion accessory for many women, particularly among activists campaigning for gender equality during the late nineteenth century. The fedora was eventually adopted as a defining symbol of the women’s rights movement.

Maybe we should establish a Woman’s Day where we all wear our fedoras.

We can be just as ‘dashing’ don’t you think?

Two black chenille Pia Rossini fedoras still remain at Sound Styles. Did I tempt anyone?

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Quote of the Week:

Hope all of you are having a wonderful fall season, enjoyed the fun of Halloween and are looking forward to Thanksgiving Day.

What a happy surprise last Saturday when she returned that beautiful ruana that I’d been wanting for my own and thought I’d missed my chance to take it home to my closet. Ah Fate!! Sometimes it goes your way! No sooner out of her bag and into mine was that ruana

Now that we’re in the middle of the fall season, are you possibly looking for new ways to add a layer, stay warm and look cute at the same time? There are more choices than oversized sweaters or mid-weight jackets, you know. Or do you? How many of you have a ruana in your closet or dresser drawer? That’s like asking how many of you would like to have a teddy bear hug in your closet or drawer? And. . . I hope you would and do! (have the ruana, that is)

Just what is a ruana you might ask? It’s confusing, I know. There are shawls, wraps, capelets, ponchos, and now ruanas. It seems like there are dozens of different names to describe knits that you drape over your body and they all mean the same thing. The truth is that, while the line can be blurry at times, each of these are distinctive articles of clothing with unique, defining features.The ruana is a relative newcomer to the world of yarn trends.

A ruana is a poncho-style wrap – it’s basically a blanket you can wear! They originated in the Andes mountains of South America, and the word means “Land of Blankets” in the native Chibcha language. Ruanas are extremely versatile as they can be worn in many ways. Like shawls, wraps, and ponchos, ruanas are layering pieces for added warmth or protection from the sun, wind, or snow.

Typically, a ruana is rectangular in its construction with an opening in the middle for the head, and the front piece split down the middle to drape over the shoulders. From there, the ruana may be buttoned or pinned closed, and the ruana may be cinched with a belt underneath the arms to create pseudo-sleeves or, the ruana can just lay freely to drape and flow as they like to be.

Just how does it differ from a poncho is a burning question from many of you.

I kid!

That is not a burning question but I’m going to answer it anyway. After all, this is your fashion lesson for the week.

Ruanas are distinct from shawls because of the opening created for the head, but how exactly do ruanas differ from ponchos? Ponchos, unlike ruanas, lack the opening in the center that gives ruanas that cardigan-like appearance. While both may or may not contain designated armholes, ponchos typically are closed in the front. Additionally, ponchos may be either circular or rectangular, whereas ruanas are almost always rectangular.

The traditional Irish way to wear a ruana is to throw both ends over your shoulders to form a double cowl neck. The shoulder can easily be secured with a brooch. (don’t laugh at me! Just how long has it been since you heard that word. . . brooch.? Vintage, I know but they are making a comeback.) Ruanas can be worn just as is by placing the label at the back of the neck and letting the ruana drape like a shawl only it stays in place because of the opening for the head and shoulders. Or, you can throw just one end over a shoulder and let it be or secure it with a pin(brooch). You can also wear the ruana as a belted wrap, placing the belt under the back and over the front pieces, or belting the entire thing, creating a sort of jacket.

Last but not least! Ruanas can add drama, beauty and purpose to your wardrobe. Whether worn over a silk blouse, cozy sweater, even a coat, they hug you with that extra teddy bear warmth and create drama with the beauty of their patterns, color and texture. We ladies should all “stand out” with a ruana in our wardrobe. Sound Styles has many beauties to choose from!

How’d you know that I was “going there?” Of course we have ruanas in the store for this season of giving and receiving.

P.S. My new ruana has a distinct feel for the fall season. Big surprise! I’m going to wear it later this week and secure it over my shoulder with a beautiful jeweled brooch in the shape of a maple leaf that has been languishing in my jewelry box for far too long and I’m excited to wear it again. Hope to see you in the store soon! Let us show you some of our new ruanas and demonstrate how to style them.

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Quote of the Week:

“Love the hat. It and you grabbed my attention.” I told her.

“Thanks,” she replied. “It was a gift from a friend who lives in Europe.”

“Well your friend has great taste and you know just how to wear it. I also noticed the unique way you tied the scarf. Could you share with us your technique?” I asked.

“I’d be happy to show you what I did, if I can remember what I did. I love to experiment and never know where one fold-over is going to lead me.”

So began a conversation between us. . . all because of her red hat and fringed scarf. 

As conversation starters go…

Weather? Kinda boring!

Politics?  Who wants to go there these days?

The Picasso hanging on the wall? Not too awful if there really is a Picasso hanging on the wall.

But the tilt of a hat and the unusual way she tied her scarf? That’s a winner in my fashion world and easily started our conversation.

Ah accessories!!

They really do pack a punch and are as equally important as the basic outfit you are wearing. They punctuate the overall look as your clothing and your accessories work together to create a harmony that expresses your style and who you are.

They are the last layer that can bring magic to an outfit. A simple outfit can have a million dollar look with reasonably priced accessories. They are creative and a fun way to play with your clothes. You can wear the same two articles over several days and change the entire look with different accessories. Accessories can bring attention to those features you want highlighted such as the face, hands, neck, ears and hair. 

Not to mention: accessories make for the perfect gift. They are reasonably priced with no worries about size, etc.

My post today is meant to give just a bit of word power to Jenny’s last two videos which showed you how the store is full to the brim with beautiful scarves, gloves, socks and many more fun accessories. Think Christmas gifts and think about how you might want to add a little extra zing to your own wardrobe.

By now one thing you know about me is my penchant for finding just the right quotes for each post. That “penchant” often spills over into greeting and gift enclosure cards. I’m just imagining what fun it might be to pick out an accessory for a friend or family member and write on the card something like the following:

“Did you say exercise? I thought I heard accessorize!!”

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Quote of the Week:

I’m asking you to “bear” with me for I’m on a bit of a trend roll, as I’m eager to share with you another trend that has been flourishing and growing since 2013.

One that I must admit my own reluctance to understand, let alone embrace. Trends usually have patterns. If it appears once in the fashion scene, who pays much attention. But, when it keeps cropping up and coming back and fluorishing by taking on new dimensions then we start to wake up and ‘smell the coffee.’ The first teddy bear coat to make its mark was the Max Mara Teddy Bear Icon coat rocked by Kim Kardashian and Katie Holmes way back in 2013.

Ouch! A mere 3.7K back in the day. Well, it is still around and still running true to price.

Since then, there have been many variations from the original tan, long length coat – proving this is a wardrobe staple that’s here to stay and now comes in a fabulous range of colors from pastels to bold and also comes with much more bearable (pun intended) prices.

Coats, jackets, pull-on 1/4 zip tops or pull-on mock-necks are all part of the teddy bear trend. Most commonly this means outerwear but the trend also includes comfy, cozy cuddle up by the fire items of clothing that embody fleece or faux fur which wraps us in warmth and teddy bear love we all remember from childhood and the favorite teddy bear we held close. Imagine cuddling up to your first cup of coffee in the morning donned in slippers and a warm, cozy, shaggy, fleecy pull-on.

As for my reluctance, my first reaction was that it’s one thing to love Fozzie Bear but another to want to look like him. As with so many trends of late, I may be slow to the plate but I’m going to hit it out of the ballpark once there and, I think that I am there.

Fashion rarely offers us something with equal doses of cozy and chic but the teddy bear checks both boxes. The vast array of colors and patterns, the options for low or high fleece (low or high fuzziness) and the big selection of different silhouettes… not to mention how cute they appear on real people in all the many pics I’ve looked at the past couple of days are mellowing my initial rejection. Now for the fun part. Which one to pick!!!

We do have several to choose from in the store right now. There’s a full length black teddy bear coat or the 1/4 zip pullover that has warm cuff sleeves and comes in three colors.

I’m leaning in the direction of the zippered pullover from Funsport. I love the zipper and I love it unzipped because guess why? I can layer with it. Big surprise! Me the queen of layers. But I can just see a pink or red or teal turtleneck or mock neck popping the grey fleece. Also love the banding at the bottom cause it gives some shape to the silhouette as does a banded sweatshirt. Oh…. and pockets. Who doesn’t love pockets? Love to see this with jeans of any silhouette from skinny to bootcut.

Bottom line however. . . All I gotta do is put on a happy face and find myself a teddy bear coat to warm the chill in the air and then just go hibernate somewhere.





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Quote of the Week:

Any item in your wardrobe should satisfy one of two criteria: utility and joy.”

~ stacy london

Let’s step that up a notch, shall we? How about one item that can satisfy both utility and joy. I’ve got just the one for me and perhaps you too.

There’s been a trend emerging for several years now that I have adopted for the utility of layering with warmth in mind and the joy of loving two items in my wardrobe that have been considered “opposites” for what seems like forever. This trend might seem an oxymoron to most, as the two clothing articles involved usually hang in opposite corners of one’s closet and would duel for time spent alone with you and never consider being seen together.

But, thanks to the boys (Alas!) of the basketball world, blazers and hoodie sweatshirts have come out of those opposite corners of the closet and now “hang together.” It started years ago on the college campus where prominent players of basketball began combining their blazer with their hoodies. As the best of the best got recruited into the NBA, they carried their wardrobe with them and hence….. wearing a hoodie under a blazer concept was not only born but flourished and found itself as the favorite fashion model’s “off-duty” look.

That leaves me loving one of my most favorite articles of clothing…. a navy blazer that has a sweatshirt grey hoodie liner attached so that I get the best of both looks without having to actually wear two items. And even better…. I can wear another layer that gives it a third dimension like a patterned turtleneck or a plaid flannel blouse. Is it loungewear or real clothes? Layering a sweatshirt under a blazer combines the benefits of comfy, relaxed leisurewear and put together, structured tailoring into one effortless look.

AND. . . surprise! surprise! Wouldn’t you just know where this post is going?


Our signature boyfriend blazer with removable hood is now available in a beautiful knit tartan plaid. Versatility at its best! Perfect for the woman who keeps it casual or the woman who means business. 

Removable zip hood panel  Please note: Hood is not an actual sweater. Easily zip the panel off if you prefer to wear just the blazer without the hood. 

Front flap pockets

Composition: 78% Polyester, 18% Rayon, 4% Spandex

Casual Fridays to night out is just a zip away! 

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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!


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.


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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