A Healthy, Balanced Wardrobe

Is your closet not feeling so great? Too many trendy pieces, not enough basics? Get on the road to wardrobe health with this helpful wardrobe pyramid:

The Wardrobe Pyramid

The Wardrobe Pyramid, brought to you by the folks at SeamBLiSS

*Note: Have shoes and jewelry in your wardrobe that can fit into each of these clothing categories. For example, have a formal pair of earrings, as well as basic studs you can wear everyday.

Everday Basics: These are your wardrobe “carbs” – you need them to have a functioning outfit! Includes basic camis, tanks,  comfy tees, simple cardigans, black leggings and layering items.

Casual Items: The stuff you wear every day to go about your biz. Includes jeans, cute blouses, sweaters, etc. These items aren’t particularly trendy – you could wear them from season to season. They are stylish, but highly wearable.

Work/Professional Clothing: If you work in a professional environment, you need enough of these items to get through the week! Includes pencil skirts, work-appropriate blouses, button-up shirts, and blazers.

Accessories: Not talkin’ jewelry here, as jewelry could have its own pyramid. This category includes belts, scarves, hats, gloves, etc. These add both function and style to your outfit.

Trendy Items: This includes most of your H&M, Zara, and Forever21 fast-fashion finds. Cheap and disposable, but also fun and useful for trying out trends without spending a lot of money.

High-Quality Basics: These are the classics that will last forever and never go out of style. Includes: little black dresses, timeless blazers, high-quality handbags, etc. These items cost a lot, but make up for it in durability.

Outerwear: You shouldn’t own a lot of outerwear, but what you have should be durable and functional. Includes trench coats, raincoats, puffers, ski jackets, etc.

Formal Wear: These are your own “red carpet” pieces! They should be classic, elegant, and stunning!

Did I miss anything? How do you organize your wardrobe? Let us know in the comments.

Kristen P.

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What the Heck is my Body Type??

measuring tapeA lot of fashion magazines and blog posts give style recommendations based on body type/shape. They say this type of neckline is good for apple shapes, this type of skirt is best for pear shapes, and so on and so forth. And guess what? These bloggers and stylists are right! Certain styles of clothing are definitely more flattering on certain figures.

However, if you don’t KNOW your body type, all of this styling advice is kind of moot. So, how do you figure out your shape so that you can be super stylin?

What are my Body Type “Options”?

There are five basic body types: Apple, Pear, Hourglass, Rectangle and Wedge (aka Inverted Triangle).

If you don’t feel like taking your measurements, try this: Stand against a white wall in front of a full length mirror. Wear either skintight black clothing or none at all! Consider the general “shape” of your body in the mirror. Notice which areas seem wider or narrower than others, specifically the bust, waist, and hips

Apple shape = wider upper body, including bust, shoulders, and waist. Hips are narrower. Celeb example: Jennifer Hudson

Pear shape= wider lower body, including hips and thighs. Shoulders are waist are narrow. Celeb example:Beyonce

Hourglass shape = hips and bust are the same width. Waist is well defined. Celeb example: Scarlett Johansson

Rectangle shape = Shoulders, bust, waist and hips are about the same width. Waist is less defined. Celeb example = Natalie Portman

Inverted Triangle shape = upper body is wider, including shoulders and bust. Waist is more defined, but hips and legs are slim. Celeb example = Angelina Jolie

If you DO feel like measuring yourself, you’ll want to measure your bust, waist and hips. It helps to have a friend help you out. If you’re not sure how to perform these measurements, check out the videos below (featuring yours truly and her girl Alana!):

Bust Measurement

Waist Measurement

Hips Measurement

Compare the measurements you got with the descriptions above. And keep this in mind: you might not fit “exactly” into one of these body type categories, and that’s fine. I myself am sort of in between a “pear” and an “hourglass”! Simply keep these variations in mind when styling yourself.

Also, keep your own preferences in mind! For example, some stylists or bloggers would say that if you’re pear shaped, you should wear clothing that will “minimize” the appearance of your rear. But if you love showing off your booty, go ahead and accentuate it!

Hope this helped! You can also check out this helpful WikiHow article for more info on how to measure yourself.

Kristen P.

Three Holiday Looks, Three Indie Designs

What do you think of when someone mentions “indie” or even “handmade” fashion? Do you think of something that only the most cutting edge fashionistas would dare to wear? Maybe you go the other way and think of hand-knitted Weasley family-style Christmas sweaters. In either case, you don’t see yourself in these kinds of fashions.

However, indie fashion can be extremely wearable, and you don’t need to be a fashionista or hipster to give it a try! You can mix items from indie and emerging designers with whatever you already have in your wardrobe to get a look that is both unique AND accessible.

Check out the three holiday party looks below, each featuring an item from one of SeamBLiSS’s indie designers!

Look 1 – Classic and Elegant

Indie Item:

Red Cashmere Dress

Women’s Luxurious Red Cashmere Dress by Augus Tan, SeamBLiSS

Style With….

Necklace: Bloomingdales.com; Shoes: Isabel Marant, Bracelet: Jade, antique; Earrings: Luna Scamuzzi for Lucifer Vir Honestus; Clutch: La Ragale

Necklace: Bloomingdales.com; Shoes: Isabel Marant, Bracelet: Jade, antique; Earrings: Luna Scamuzzi for Lucifer Vir Honestus; Clutch: La Ragale

Amp up the style of this elegant and simple red sheath dress with a statement necklace! Keep the number of bold accessories to one; pair the strong necklace with simple but classy earrings, and finish the look with black pumps and a sleek black clutch. Perfect for the company Christmas party or a holiday night on the town!

Look 2 – Boho Chic

Indie Item:

Dress in Wool

Dress in Wool by Elena Vasilevsky, SeamBLiSS

Style With…

Boho Styling

Bracelet: Floral Fabric Bracelet, Forever21; Belt: Sandra Women’s Belt; Earrings: Ava Triangle Earrings, Fab.com; Ring: Gara Danielle Boho Ring; Bag: Mango Women’s Bucket bag; Boots: vintage

If your love the boho style, this dress is for you! Add some structure to this flowing garment with a solid leather belt and vintage-inspired lace-up boots. Give the look a bit of color with an oxblood bucket bag, and a bit of fun print with a floral bracelet. Feel free to go a lil’ crazy with the accessories, and layer on some statement rings and earrings. This look would rock for a casual gift exchange or a stylish shopping trip.

Look 3 – Tough and Edgy

Indie Item:

Black Edgy Holiday Dress

Black Edgy Holiday Dress, Strip Panels, by Desiree Voight

Style With…

Edgy Styling

Earrings: Charming Life Sterling Silver Art Glass Vanilla Cream Earrings; Shoes: Rockport Faye Interwoven Flat Shoes; Clutch: Etsy.com; Ring: Art Nouveau Pearl Set Flower Ring, Etsy.com

This leather dress will be focal point of an eye-catching outfit! Since the dress is such a statement, style it with simple, feminine accessories such as a single cocktail ring or classic drop earrings. Finish the look with two-tone flats and a black clutch. Wear this to a New Year’s Eve party and turn some heads!

Well, there you have it! Anyone can pull off some indie style for the holidays!

Got a great holiday look? Share it in the comments!

Kristen P.

Dress A Celeb Interview: Ana Berry

This month marks SeamBLiSS’s first monthly Dress A Celeb competition! The designer who creates the garment most suited to our celeb’s style and needs will be the grand prize winner! So designers….get ready to rock!!!

Our very first celebrity is media personality, host, and spokeswoman Ana Berry. Ana is a world traveler, having lived in such diverse places as Tulsa, OK (her hometown), Chicago, London, Paris, and New York City. She has also worked abroad as a spokeswoman, actress and journalist, traveling throughout the Middle East, Europe, and India. Ana is a cultural concierge, and encourages fans to experience the world around them through her site, GetOutThere.me.

Not only is Ana a world traveler, she is a world-class talent as well. She speaks several languages, excels in several forms of dance, writes for several publications, and is a certified yoga teacher.

Want to see Ana in action? Check out this video showcasing her talents!  

Also, be sure to check out her website, anaberryinternational.com!

Ana is a stylish and successful woman, and was kind enough to give us some insights into her personal style! Check out our interview with Ana below…

1.  How would you describe your personal style?

Gypsy Chic. I am a world traveler and love exotic colors, fabrics, textures but also love very classy elegant pieces.

2. What brands or designers are your favorites?

Ralph Lauren. Diane Von Furstenburg. Louis Vuitton. BCBG. Theory. Tahari

3. What’s the biggest “fashion challenge” you face?

Finding a suit that fits well. Pants long enough. A dress that acentuates my curves but also makes me look trim and elegant while being comfortable. That is why i love the DVF wrap dress…

4. You travel a lot for your job. What clothing items are your “must-packs” for a long trip?

Comfortable shoes! Love Cole Haan with a small heel. Tight Jeans! I love J Brand/7 Jeans so I have to have those with me so I can dress them up with a sexy top- I love fun colorful blazers or a a button down for a biz meeting.  I love a DVF wrap dress. I like to be fancy but also practical, so I like a dress I can wear to ameeting and also to dinner. Tahari and DVF and BCBG make good ones.  Also a good jacket that is warm and also great looking and flexible for all occasions- my favorite is my Burberry or Massimo Dutti.

5. Fashion and everyday dress vary so much from culture to culture. Do you try to reflect the culture of the country you are visiting when working abroad?

Yes! When I travel in India, I wear colorful flowy clothes- even saris and kultas. When I travel in the Middle East, I cover my body to be respectful and even wear Jillabas and head scarves. When I travel to exotic places like Spain and Mexico I wear more sexy fun clothes that I can dance in. In Europe I am chic- I love European style. Its comfortable, practical yet elegant. In NYC, it is whatever I feel and whatever the situation brings- cold or hot weather- out on the town all day and into the night…I dress for the occasion and have freedom to express myself.

6. What is your “dream” piece of clothing?

A great tailored suit along with What clothing items would say are classics that every woman should have?a fitted shirt! A Hermes belt or scarf.

7. What clothing items would you say are classics that every woman should have?

A great pair of jeans that fit and are comfortable. A fitted blazer and light jacket. A scarf that is elegant. A comfortable and versatile shoe. A bag that fits everything but also adds to the glamour of the outfit. That is all 😉

8. Do you have a personal style mantra or tip?

Ask yourself: How do I feel today and what do I want to get OUT of my day?  From there, you dress yourself. Color matters, materials matter, comfort and sexiness matter – each item you put on will effect your day so dress to how you feel and want to feel. OLE!

We at SeamBLiSS want to thank Ana for being our first Dress A Celeb celebrity! We couldn’t have asked for a more enthusiastic, fun, and fashionable person! Thanks again, Ana!!

Kristen P.

The History of Black Friday

We at SeamBLiSS hope that all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and filled with great food and the delightful company of family and friends. And if you went out shopping on Black Friday, we hope you had a great time and found some good deals.

I myself decided not to go out on Black Friday this year, mostly out of laziness. However, a few of my relatives went out to hit the sales, many of which were starting as early as midnight on Thanksgiving. I thought it was crazy that some sales were even starting on Thanksgiving Day, which got me wondering where the heck this whole Black Friday thing came from.

So of course, I decided to research it a lil’ bit! According to BlackFriday.com (who even knew that was a website?), the term “Black Friday” has been around since the 1960s, but the Friday after Thanksgiving has been considered the start of the holiday shopping season ever since the first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade waaay back in 1924. So, why is the Friday after Thanksgiving called “Black” Friday? Well, one meaning has to do with the phrase “in the black”, meaning profitable. This is pretty much what all retailers hope to be after Black Friday! Also, the Philadelphia police were complaining about the crowds and general craziness of the Friday after Thanksgiving back in the 60s and gave the day the moniker “Black Friday”, which stuck.

Since the 1960s, however, Black Friday has become even crazier! Retailers realized that they could make a heck of a lot of money by offering limited time deals, so they all started jumping on the Black Friday bandwagon. Today, BF is the biggest shopping day of the year.

Black Friday has undergone some other changes since the 60s. Deals are starting earlier and earlier, with some even beginning on Thanksgiving Day! Also, with the growing popularity of online shopping, some Black Friday deals don’t even require you to wait in line freezing your ass off to get a deal – they pop up right in your inbox! Many of these online discounts are also part of Cyber Monday, the day of online shopping deals.

Well, there’s a lil Black Friday history for ya! Did you go out on Black Friday? What was your best bargain buy? Let us know in the comments!

Kristen P.

Day of Reckoning: Demo Day!

As many of you know, we at SeamBLiSS recently completed the TechLaunch business accelerator program based out of Clifton, NJ. The twelve week program was very intense, and it was all leading up to our “final presentation”, aka Demo Day. The phrase “final presentation” makes it seem like a school project, but Demo Day is mad real – it’s a chance to pitch your company to potential investors who might be so inspired by your presentation that they write a real-life check 🙂

TechLaunch’s Demo Day was originally scheduled for November 1, but was pushed back to November 14th due to Hurricane Sandy. Despite the date change and the recent storm aftermath, turnout at the event was fantastic. The SeamBLiSS founders got the chance to speak to many wonderful mentors, investors, fellow entrepreneurs and even members of the press at their “networking table” pictured below:

Notice the SeamBLiSS measuring tapes. How cute are they??

We are also very pleased to say that our pitch went very well! Shawn did a fantastic job, and the audience really responded to his personal custom design story. He was even wearing the custom-fit sweater he discussed in his presentation! Check him out prepping for his pitch and lookin’ dapper:

All in all, Demo Day was a great success! SeamBLiSS wants to say thank you to TechLaunch for a great program and event, and thanks again to everyone who attended. Also, congrats to all of our fellow TechLaunch companies – we did it!

To read more about the event, check out the articles below:

New Jersey Startup Incubator Shows Off its First Batch of Graduates

The Future of Innovation Showcased at Montclair State

TechLaunch, Accelerator for the Garden State, Holds its First Demo Day

Kristen P.

Is Fast Fashion Fizzling?

Yesterday I came across two thought-provoking articles on a common theme: the potential decline of fast fashion. What is “fast fashion”, you ask? My best friend Wikipedia defines fast fashion as follows: “a contemporary term used by fashion retailers to acknowledge that designs move from catwalk to store in the fastest time to capture current trends in the market”. Basically, fast fashion is clothing that is trendy and affordable, or “cheap chic”. Still not sure what “fast fashion” is? One word: H&M. Two more words: Forever21, Zara. That’s fast fashion in a nutshell!

Fast fashion has come under fire for encouraging over-consumption of cheap clothing. It has also been accused of “cheapening” fashion itself! The first of the articles I read yesterday was an op-ed piece from Business of Fashion entitled “Making the Case against Fast Fashion Collaborations”. The author, Eugene Rabkin, claimed that fast fashion isn’t even fashion, at least in the more traditional sense of the word. Fashion used to be synonymous with craftsmanship and artistic expression; however, the fast “fashion” that is popular today does not meet either of these criteria – it’s mass-produced and frankly, unoriginal. Collaborations between fast fashion retailers and high-end designer brands, such as the soon to be released collab between H & M and Maison Martin Margiela, end up “watering down” that high-end brand.

Although the claim that fast fashion isn’t “really” fashion seems a bit of a stretch, I can kinda see the author’s point. Fast fashion certainly seems to have altered the way consumers, especially young ones, see fashion. The focus of fashion seems to have shifted from quality and timelessness to convenience and trendiness.

Of course, this focus could always shift back. In fact, this was the thesis of the second article I read yesterday, entitled “Trend Forecasters Calling for ‘Fast Fashion Fatigue” and appearing on Racked.com. Apparently, peeps are kinda getting sick of the fast fashion thing, and are starting to value quality over quantity once more.

That’s good news for SeamBLiSS.

As a company whose mission is to sell and promote handmade, one-of-a-kind, and custom- fit apparel, SeamBLiSS is of course glad that consumers are valuing craftsmanship and quality clothing once more. However, we realize that not everyone can afford to buy all custom, all the time! You might be passin’ by an H&M one day and decide to buy something cheap and convenient, and that’s ok! I think fast fashion is probably here to stay, even though it may decline in popularity. I also think that fast fashion items can be part of a “balanced” wardrobe, that includes both high-quality, elegant items and cheaper, trendier ones!

Do you guys like fast fashion brands like Zara and H&M? Do you think they’re on the way out, or only growing more popular? Let us know in the comments.

Kristen P.