Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Lesson from a Bag Lady

I had coffee today with Chris Brondel at Starbucks on Chagrin. She graciously agreed to give some quotes for my book. Chris is a respected licensed career counselor, so her advice will be useful for my readers.

After hanging out with Chris, I strategically went into my favorite TJ Maxx in Woodmere. Someone told me once that it’s the top grossing TJ Maxx in the country. Why? Because they have the market for designer clothes and they get the best of what TJ Maxx has to offer. Only the big city stores – Manhattan, downtown Chicago, etc get the higher-end goods like this store.

Since I have a self-declared moratorium on buying clothes as my body changes a bit and I have no need for anything new right now – I was just there to look.

I’m not buying anything now so I can invest in a few Armani, Anne Klein and Elie Tahari suits before my book tour next year. No reason for new clothes right now, so I’m not buying any. Needless to say, I am NOT happy about this! After all, I have more than enough clothes in my closet to last me the next year!!

I noticed I was very attracted to bright orange-reds today. Even when I went into the housewares section, it was red that kept catching my eye. Hmmm…..I know color psychology. Red means power and confidence, two of my personal favorite attributes – but I’m usually not that into wearing it. Two of the items I was really interested in were orange-red shirts. Wonder what Coach Joelle would say about that?

Since this month is supposed to be Bag Month for the newsletter, I saw someone who gave me an idea.

This particular lady had a long Navajo-style orange knee-length jacket on. I would guess it was probably quite expensive. It had a big and bold pattern on it and was honestly very overwhelming. One would think that was all the accessories she needed, right? Well she complimented this with a lime green faux-snake rather large bag.

What was wrong with this picture?

For one, it was overkill. Too much wild color for one outfit. My biggest problem with it was that the pattern on the bag was fighting with the coat.

I had this same challenge over the winter when I was carrying a rather unusual Kathy Van Zeeland bag. It was both faux snow leopard fur and brown leather and a bunch of gold hardware. A strong piece to be sure. If I wanted to wear anything with a pattern, I needed to have a plain bag at the ready to switch. I compartmentalized my wallet and my little makeup bag I carry, plus my notebook and pen, so I could just drop them into a plain black or brown bag and I was ready to go. I have a lot of wild shoes, and the same thing applied when I wanted to wear my fun shoes.

Plain outfit, plain bag, wild shoes

Patterned outfit, plain shoes, plain bag

Plain outfit, plain shoes, fun bag


Thierno said...

I agree Elie Tahari suits are so sophistcated and still really feminine. If you sign up on their website they will let you know about sales. http://www.elietahari.com

fashion fairy said...

Will you have stops in northeast Ohio on your book tour? Will you sign copies?

Kristen Kaleal said...

Of course, I'll probably be speaking and signing books all over the place!