Mantras for Daughters, Style Advice for Life

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Share
Mantras for Daughters #4

Erin and Caitlin and Mantras for Daughters #4

Welcome to Mantras for Daughters!

I heard Roseanne Cash interviewed a few days ago on Michael Krasny’s radio show, Forum, on KQED. She talked about the list of 100 essential songs her father, Johnny Cash, gave her.

What an incredible gift to give your daughter!

I’ve been thinking about it every since. What gift could I give my daughters that was essential, personal, and might last longer than a news cycle?

This morning it came to me: Mantras for Daughters, Style Advice for Life.

It was Office Tuesday. My youngest daughter, Caitlin, works with me here in my Sonoma home office on Tuesdays. She’s my administrative assistant. I shared the idea with her as soon as she walked in the door. Our to-do list got pushed aside and we worked together instead to create a series of Mantras for Daughters images.

If you read the caption, you’ll see this one is #4. There isn’t a #1, #2, or #3 and there won’t be. I don’t know why I can’t start at the beginning. I asked Caitlin what her number was on her basketball jersey when she played in high school. Her answer? #4. Erin, her big sister, also played basketball and her jersey number was 15. So we’ll start with four and go from there.

I have one precious mother and two precious daughters. I’ve learned a lot from Mom. Maybe my daughters would say they’ve learned a thing or two from me. Not sure, but I can leave them some mantras in case they ever want to check back.

I’ll keep posting ones we make. And in the meantime, I invite you to send me pictures of you and your mom or you and your daughters. I’d love more pictures to play with while sharing style advice for life. Just email your picture, best quality you have, with “mantras for daughters” in the subject line to bkinsel@brendakinsel.com. Tell me a little bit about the people in the picture too, okay?

Enjoy!

 

Cowboys, Brenda and Beauty Bundle

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Share
Travis, Wade Earp, and Brenda above; my beauty bundle below.

Travis, Wade Earp, and Brenda above; my beauty bundle below.

One of my favorite weekends in Sonoma is when the Sonoma International Film Festival takes over the town for four days and nights in April. The day before it starts I study the festival guide and make my early selections. There’s no way to see everything but one thing I know for sure is that I’ll see films that are memorable and informative (I seem to gravitate to the documentaries) that live with me for days, months, even years.

This year was no exception. One of those films, Queens and Cowboys: A Straight Year on the Gay Rodeo, was riveting. It had several main characters it followed throughout a year of rodeo competitions all over the US and Canada. The director, Matt Livadary, a straight guy from Hollywood, saw a strong story and followed it. Out of 800 hours of film, he created a 92-minute documentary that culminated in the World Finals at the end of the rodeo season. The winner of those finals last year was Wade Earp (yes, a descendant of Wyatt Earp) who is standing next to me in this photo taken after the screening. I feel lucky to have met Wade and Travis (standing next to him), another cowboy in the IGRA rodeo circuit.

How do I make a segue to fashion? That’s going to be as tough as staying on a bull for 6 seconds. Okay, not really, but I don’t think I’ll even try. I just like these guys so much and I’m glad Russ asked if I wanted a picture with them so I have this memory. But what I’ve been meaning to talk about for awhile is how my wardrobe and accessories are changing as a result of cutting my hair off and growing out my natural color which I haven’t seen in at least ten years! Some of you have asked me about the process and although I’ll save some of those details for another time, I do want to share how I managed the transition without having to buy a lot of new things.

The beauty bundle–it’s key! Once my hair wasn’t red anymore, I needed clothes and accessories that were softer than the high contrast I was used to wearing. Most of my new accessories are in the gunmetal family. While I acquire garments in yummy neutrals like mushroom, dusty brown, charcoal, and cool taupe, I can use accessories as a beauty bundle that will tie everything together no matter what color I’m wearing.

In this beauty bundle I have a gray-brown handbag designed by Calleen Cordero (purchased at Robindira Unsworth in Petaluma), a leather studded cuff also by Calleen Cordero, hoop earrings in a burnished charcoal metal from Gallery of Jewels in SF, layered chains from somewhere or other, and a heavier braided leather chain belt that I actually use as a necklace. The scarf is that same gray-brown color as the bag. Whatever I’m wearing, I can put this bundle of accessories on and it pulls the outfit together. I love that about beauty bundles!

So if you’re letting your hair go natural (I love the savings in time and money!), expect to make some other changes. Use your hair color as the inspiration for a palette of accessories. That way you’ll force people’s eye to move up the body and to the top of your head quickly. Not only do you look instantly put together but it’s slimming too. It’s all because of that up and vertical line you’re creating.

If you want to learn more about beauty bundles, check out Brenda Kinsel’s Fashion Makeover, pages 124, 138-143.

Focusing on “thin” is disastrous

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Share

The April 2014 issue of People Style Watch (on newsstands now) has a quote that I’ve been chewing on for days. Susan Moses, a plus-size stylist (responsible for some of Queen Latifah’s best looks) gives a few fashion tips. One of them is Don’t Make “Thin” Your Focus. She says, “Obsessing about being a certain size often leads to too-small clothing and that sausage-casing effect. Instead, work to find silhouettes that play up your assets.”

Focus on style.

Focus on style.

From client experiences I’ve had, thin is one, two, or three sizes down from where the client currently is. “Thin” is unattainable this week, this month, maybe ever.

Wanting to be in a size smaller is an obsession with an insatiable appetite. It feeds off of unkind, self-inflicted, badgering type thoughts, like:

“If only you would…”

“When are you ever going to…”

“When you’re a size smaller, you’ll finally…”

I know about obsessive thoughts. I bet you do, too. Once you’re hooked into that loop, it’s really hard to get out.

My way around that for my clients is to get them to focus on their personal style, first and foremost. I want to know:

What do you want to express about yourself?

What would you like the world to see in you if they could?

There are so many qualities to a single human being and many of those qualities can be expressed beautifully in clothes!

My first appointment with a new client is the style appointment. The client does a little bit of “homework” that starts her thinking about clothes in a new way. Then when we meet, I interview her, learning more and more. We go over her homework and by the end of the session we have her style recipe. Everything we do in a closet audit or in a shopping trip will focus on expressing the words in her style recipe.

What does size have to do with style? NOTHING!

So when I’m dressing someone using their style recipe, I’m focused on qualities that might include Confident, Edgy, Modern, Adorable, Uplifting, Pretty. Then I’m only interested in bringing those qualities into her outfits—all her outfits. For every part of her lifestyle, I want her to be expressing her style recipe 24-7. When she does, she falls in love with herself and that obsession has nothing to feed on.

Ann came to me battling body issues. Nearly fifty-years-old, her body had changed. She was sure all would be right with the world if she could only get back to the size she used to be. Until then, she’d never look good in her eyes.

Her style recipe words were grace, loveliness, and attraction. We were in a store and I wanted to show her quickly just what those words would look like in an outfit. I found her a dress that had a great swing to the skirt, which would surely attract attention as she moved in it. It had grace in the fabric, which was a soft silk. It was a printed fabric on a white background. The colors in the print weren’t bright and bold but softer and more romantic in shades of blue, rose, and pink. They were lovely.

She was sure she knew which size she’d be in and grabbed it off the rack, excited to try it on. When she walked out from the dressing room, she wasn’t wearing a smile. The dress was grabbing her in all the wrong places. There was no grace to it at all. She looked uncomfortable. I didn’t let her look at it in the three-way mirror. Instead I pulled the next size up and handed it to her. “Here, try this one on,” I said.

She came out of the dressing room a minute later and she was an entirely different woman. She was beaming! The dress was swishing as she glided toward me. All I could see was a radiant woman, confident in her femininity, so attractive and utterly graceful. I invited her to look at herself in the three-way mirror and she saw the same thing.

I then accessorized the outfit with some sparkly earrings and necklace and found her some nude pumps. We found a wrap and a handbag. She was dressed in her personal style from head-to-toe. She looked graceful, lovely and attractive. “How soon can you wear this?” I asked. She said, “I’ll wear it this weekend to a birthday party.” If there was a modern day version of Cinderella going off to the ball, this was it! I knew she’d have a great time.

Here’s the beauty of it: when I dressed her to match her style words, she got it. All the chatter about getting back into a size she used to wear disappeared.

I agree 100% with Susan Moses. “Thin” is not the right focus. I say expressing style is where you win. It’s the cure for getting out of that dark, obsessive pattern of focusing on size.  When you see your style, you see the light!

The Upside Down Cardigan Trick

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Share
Mariam shares a cardigan trick.

Mariam shares a cardigan trick.

I was sitting with a client in the shoe department of Nordstrom waiting for size changes when Mariam came walking right toward us. She got our immediate attention in her fabulous black and white ensemble. There was so much to love!

1. The black and white color combination: so classic and dramatic!

2. Her below-the-knee sheath double-knit white sleeveless dress and her long lacy black cardigan shared the same easy line. No fussiness, just clean and simple.

3. Pearls, repeated everywhere but in different scale, kept my eye moving connecting, from wrist to neck to ear lobes. I loved the small, medium, and large mix. Her earrings are actually in a butterfly shape, filled in with small pearls. I adore the fact that they weren’t standard matching pearl earrings.

4. The floral bow at the neck (I didn’t ask, but I assume it was a pin and not a part of the dress originally) was the perfect scale for the large pearl necklace. From a distance, you’d think it was all one piece-the flower, bow, and pearls-but they actually just nestled close to each other at the base of her neck.

5. Her black eye frames and black shoes were like the dark chocolate sandwich parts of an Oreo cookie, holding the white filling (dress and pearls) in-between. The patent toe Chanel-like quilted wedge shoe was perfect. The sheen sent the eye up to the sheen repeated in her frames.

6. I loved the bracelet bundle at her wrist. She had three pearl bracelets and then a cluster of wide and narrow mixed metal bangles. The hard edge of the metal bangles balanced the sweetness of the pearls.

I know Mariam. She works at Nordstrom and is also a clothing designer. When I spoke to her about her outfit she said, “Oh Brenda, you have to see this!” And then she took off her Eileen Fisher long cardigan and turned it upside down and put it back on for me to see the magic trick of this two-in-one wrap. In version two the collar naturally gathered into a shawl collar. Now it was higher in the back and lower in the front. “You can do this to any well-made cardigan,” she said. “If you just want a shorter wrap, turn it upside down!”

So not only was seeing her a total beauty burst, but now I wanted to go home and try on my cardigans and reverse them.

Not even forty-eight hours passed before I was able to use this trick in a client’s closet. We needed a wrap for a new dress she’d purchased while on a trip. I tried the usual things that might have worked but I just wasn’t satisfied. Then I thought of Mariam. “Wait! I have it!” I exclaimed. I went to her cardigans and pulled out three of them. “Let’s try these,” I said and flipped them upside down. It totally worked! The only thing I did was take the label out of the cardigan so you wouldn’t see it in the shorter version. I made a special note on her Wardrobe Chart when I wrote the outfit up so she’d be reminded to wear it upside down.

I love learning new things. Do you have a cardigan that needs to be turned upside down?

To match or not to match

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Share
overmatching

Could this home design quote apply to our outfits?

I was just driving home about thirty minutes ago and heard an interview on the radio with a Norwegian blogger (his subjects are food and crafts but didn’t catch his name) who shared three words that always stuck with him. His grandmother used to say, “Perfection is boring.” At a stop sign I grabbed a pen and notepad to write that down. I loved it! I immediately felt freer when I repeated it to myself. This blogger lives his life with that motto in mind and encourages others to do it, too.

I don’t think it’s a stretch to put the intention of matching earrings to a necklace, a color in a scarf to a top, or a shoe color to the color of a pant as an expression of perfectionism. “It has to match perfectly!” is a phrase I heard somewhere. Was it around my house? Was it from a salesperson in a store?

When I see too much matching going on, I get bored quickly and turn my gaze somewhere else. When someone is wearing a variety of prints or is layering mixed metals, or deliberately does not match a shoe to a bag, it holds my interest. It draws me in.

Now a woman with a classic style might very much like to have things matching: everything looking polished and in its place. But I’m a champion of women showing up and looking youthful and modern and I think too much matching makes someone look old.

We’re going to see “matching” as a style trend this spring. Or at least it’s in the magazine pages. We’ll have to see if it takes off or not. Picture this: a small scale floral print blouse with matching loose-fitting pants and a matching floral print handbag. Yikes! I wonder if this would make sense on a young person. I think it could make a woman over 50 look silly and a bit out of date even if it’s the latest trend.

When I’m styling an outfit for a client, I aim to give her a fresh, up-to-date look whether we’re working with clothes we bought last week or clothes she’s owned for years. I would swear on a stack of Bibles that being matchy-matchy is not going to help me achieve a current look for her.

Maybe you have created smart looks while being matchy-matchy. Will you share? I’m always willing to learn new things! Until then, I’m going to stick to my strategy of not overdoing the matching.

Stye words to create outfits by

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Share
What's in your style recipe?

What’s in your style recipe?

I was poring over the magazines and blog sites for all the commentary on the latest big fashion/celebrity event. As journalists were describing the gowns worn by the likes of Kate Hudson, Sandra Bullock, Amy Adams, Charlize Theron, Meryl Streep, etc., I saw a gorgeous list of style words forming.

Every client I work with has style words. In that first appointment I have with her, I give her exercises to do and I ask lots of questions. By the end of it, we have what I call a style recipe. It’s her personal recipe that describes her current style. These words will influence every item we purchase plus every outfit I put together for her.

It’s so creative! Like fingerprints, there is no style recipe that is ever the same. It’s usually not just one word or two. It’s up to five, sometimes more. Sometimes it’s a short phrase. For instance, one of my client’s style recipe is Quietly Powerful. As soon as I started dressing her to match those words, every one around her started treating her differently. It was quite dramatic!

Instead of following the trends or walking into a store and seeing a mannequin and telling the sales associate, “I’ll buy those things,” try on clothes and ask yourself: Does this fit my style recipe? If you’ve been in a rut for awhile, you may end up trying on several things before you can actually answer “YES” to that question. Of course, if you can have an image consultant help you with that interpretation, that’s the most efficient way to do it.

Find style exercises in Fashion Makeover

Find style exercises in Fashion Makeover

A simple way to start thinking about your style is to flip through magazines and pull out pictures of things you love and just stare at them. Ask yourself what you love about them and then listen to the words you’re using. I write about this a lot in my books. Brenda Kinsel’s Fashion Makeover has lots of exercises aimed at helping you discover your style words.

In the meantime, check out this list of words I discovered from reading the descriptions of celebrities in their dresses. See if any of them fit for you!

Style Words to Try On

easy glamour

powerful in a soft way

bold

quiet cool

classic/punk

cool, chic, ultra modern

simple, yet elegant

feminine and different

timeless

effortless

inspiring

edgy and classic

Does anything resonate? I hope so! Next step is to try something on, look in the mirror and ask yourself if those words and the image you’re seeing reflected back at you could be a match. Tell us all about it!

Chapter Six has lots of style exercises

Meet JoAnne, jewelry artist

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Share
JoAnne Brooks

JoAnne Brooks, jewelry designer

We needed a hope and a prayer to think we’d find six open seats on a Saturday night in the bar at the Girl and the Fig in downtown Sonoma. Friends were gathering to celebrate two Pisces birthdays in the group and it seemed like a great idea to meet for cocktails before dinner.

It took a little bit of a wait but we gathered around the end of the longest table in the bar to enjoy some birthday cheer. As we were finishing our cocktails we noticed a couple eyeing our seats just as we had done forty-five minutes earlier. Someone from our group got up to pay the tab and we encouraged the woman standing close to us to sit down and claim the spot before it got away from her.

Accessories have a way of opening a conversation and hers did just that. Several people in our party at once noticed her necklace and asked about it. “I design jewelry,” she said. “These are my designs.” We started asking her about the materials she used: copper, beads, semiprecious stones. John commented on her use of copper and she wanted us to get a closer look at her bracelet.

That must have been when she mentioned that she had polio because she slipped her left foot out of a sandal and brought it up to her wrist. She used her big toe to separate the copper cuff from her wrist and slipped it to the table’s edge. Then she leaned over and took her left hand and gripped the cuff. I then took it from her to examine it and try it on.

Her name is JoAnne Brooks and she’s been designing jewelry for the last seven years. She has use of her left hand and her foot and that’s how she creates her one-of-a-kind pieces. One of the people at our table said, “Have you been on TV? I think I’ve seen you on TV!”

“Yes,” she said. “If you google my name and the word polio you’ll see some clips.”

She’s from Texas but now lives in Pacifica. She invited us to come and have a jewelry party. She’d provide the jewelry and we could bring the wine.

Her passion for jewelry is so pure, her spirit so buoyant, truly a one-of-a-kind woman — just like her jewelry.

 

 

 

Bust Up

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Share

There’s a really important piece of real estate on your body that should have your focus every day whether it’s winter or summer. That area is from your bust up to the top of your head. If you think about it, we often just see this part of a person in our day to day life. If we’re having a meeting in someone’s office, they may be sitting behind a desk the whole time. If we run into someone at a coffee shop, we’re chatting with him or her at a counter or café table. If we’re enjoying dinner out with a friend, their focus from across a table will be from the bust up.

Even if we are entering a room, we want people focusing on the top third of our bodies. We connect with our eyes and communicate with our voices. When I’m dressing a client, I want attention to travel to their face as quickly as possible. Every detail from the bust up will help accomplish that. It can include color or pattern in jackets or tops, collars, necklaces, earrings, makeup, glasses, hair, or hats.

So let me introduce you to three people who inspired me with their ‘bust up’ presence.

ENE FROM FARGO

Before I left Fargo, I was thrilled to meet my niece Jessie for some conversation and treats at Nichole’s Fine Pastry. Plus, I planned to take home a scone to enjoy with my morning coffee back in Sonoma the next day.

As Jessie and I were saying our goodbyes and putting on our warmest coats, gloves, scarves and hats, I couldn’t help but notice Ene who was sitting at the table next to us.

I loved her passion for the color green. She wore her green t-shirt under her cable knit cardigan and added two-toned green beads in another texture. Her purple-framed glasses added a modern edge to her outfit. She looked so bright and attractive. She didn’t mind me taking a picture of her. As I thought about it later, I never did see what she was wearing below her waist. I only saw her from the bust up! She was so inviting. Her pretty lips in a great shade of lipstick and her bobbed hair kept me focused on her face. She’d covered all the bases!

Ene from Fargo at Nicole's French Bakery

Ene from Fargo at Nicole’s French Bakery

NICOLE FROM SONOMA

I met Nicole at a very favorite store in Sonoma called Chateau Sonoma. She was standing behind a counter so I didn’t see what she was wearing on the bottom half of her body. But she expertly created so much interest from her bust up. She had her black and white striped tunic under her black puffy vest. She wrapped a long narrow black and white striped scarf around her neck and added silver earrings and a silver pendant. I loved her berry shade of lipstick. Doesn’t she seem interesting and creative? I wanted to know more!

Nicole at Chateau Sonoma in Sonoma

Nicole at Chateau Sonoma in Sonoma

MAGGAN FROM STOCKHOLM

Maggan is a dear friend from Stockholm. We met when she was the editor of Tara magazine, a popular Swedish magazine for women over 40. She brought me to Stockholm twice to do makeovers for readers of the magazine. She and her partner Anders have had Thanksgiving with us for the last ten years in a row. They’re family! Our tradition is to spend the day after Thanksgiving shopping and eating in nearby towns in the wine country. We were headed to another favorite store of mine in Sonoma called Bess Nathan Rice Jewelry Studio Collections when I snapped this picture. I just loved her ‘bust up’ look. She was wearing a graphic print jacket and black button clip-on earrings. She had a red tote bag over her shoulder. I complimented her on her glasses, which were vintage. I love how they add warmth and contrast to her jacket. Her hair is short and so soft. Her lips are beautifully defined. Maggan is quite tall and striking yet approachable at the same time.

Maggan from Sweden outside of the El Dorado Hotel in Sonoma

Maggan from Sweden outside of the El Dorado Hotel in Sonoma

WHAT THEY HAVE IN COMMON

I bet you’d agree that each of these three woman look like they enjoy getting dressed and give thought to how they’re going to put themselves together each day. I love how they express themselves in unique ways. They dare to show up. They show us that they care and in turn, we care about them.

When you get dressed tomorrow, think about how you’re dressed from the bust up. Are you creating a plan for bringing attention to your face? I hope so! You’re so fascinating and I encourage you to share your beauty with those around you.

What’s in your spring fashion stash?

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Share
Gardens at Cornerstone Sonoma, March 18, 2014 photo by Caitlin Kinsel

Gardens at Cornerstone Sonoma, March 18, 2014,
photo by Caitlin Kinsel

We’re getting hints of spring here in the Bay Area. The wisteria is blooming on arbors, the hills are temporarily green, and fresh pedicure colors on toes glistening in flip-flops aren’t far behind.

It would seem like a great idea to find a patch of sun and sit in it. But don’t get too comfy there because there’s wardrobe work to be done!

I’ve started it with my clients and it’s time for you to start too. Why? Because the first chance you get, you’ll want to be sporting a spring outfit feeling confident that it’s working for you. And if your spring pieces aren’t working, you’ll need to go shopping. That’ll take some scheduling on your part so give yourself the gift of time to sort, concentrate, and plan.

I’m going to ask you to pretend we’re working together. First step: Carve out a few hours for you and your spring wardrobe to get reacquainted after these long months of winter. Make a true appointment with yourself. Don’t allow interruptions. You’ll want to try everything on (yes, I mean it!) and take an inventory. Your mission is to discover what stays, what goes, and what needs replacing.

It’s easiest to work through items in bulk: pants, skirts, dresses, tops, jackets.

For example, try on all your pants. Are they fitting? Are they still in good shape? Are you still in love with them? If you answer “yes” to each question then hang them up or fold them on a shelf, depending on the fabric, and know that these pieces are good to go! Then ask yourself: Is there a pant style that’s missing? This is a good time to brainstorm your needs. Start a shopping list of things to look for during your upcoming self-disciplined shopping appointment.

Great! Now tackle the next clothing category of choice. Take breaks as needed but try to work through as much as you can using the full time allotment you gave yourself. If you need more time you can schedule another session.

Don’t give up! I know it can be laborious but the end result is peace of mind. If you give every piece of clothing this little bit of attention, you know they are there and ready to work for you as a team in April, May, June and beyond.

Consider the consequences of not doing this step. Instead you pull out your spring things and toss them on shelves, in drawers or on hangers without knowing what condition they’re truly in. Every time you grab something in a hurry to get dressed, you take a risk. It’s no fun to realize you put away those white linen pants at the end of the summer and they have a tear in them that you hadn’t noticed until now. Or you discover your cropped colored jeans are actually a wee bit too tight and you were planning to be out the door in five minutes. Oops!

Get all the information at once in your private closet sessions so you can get dressed with confidence in a calm way, not last minute when you could be facing a wardrobe emergency.

If you’re reading this and there’s still snow outside, please don’t make a snowball and throw it at me! I have faith that spring will find you fairly soon. And if you take this step, you’ll be ready when it does!

Happy Spring!

Shopping with Girlfriends — a good thing?

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Share

shopping bag JennyA client confessed this week that she’d gone shopping with a couple of girlfriends and came home with a few items that she hoped we’d like (Erin and I, her wardrobe coaches) but regardless of whether we did or not, she was convinced she needed to find a way to handle the situation differently in the future.

Maybe you can relate.

The situation: A friend says, “You’ve got to check out this store I found. It’s great! Let’s have lunch and I’ll take you there!”

The particulars: This shop owner is very enthusiastic about her point of view. She’s dressed very dramatically and no matter who comes in the store, she thinks everyone can do what she does. In fact, there’s no other way! You’d be silly to even try!

Complications: It’s a store that doesn’t keep regular hours. It has a no-return policy. What you purchase is yours forever, unlike major department stores like Nordstrom or Macy’s where you can think about it and change your mind without losing any money.

Shopping psychology: Friends just love helping friends spend money.

I’m not pointing fingers because I have some of this in me! Although I don’t believe one store will suit everyone, I do enjoy it when I’m shopping with friends and we ALL buy something. We each walk out of the store with a bag in hand and all is right with the world.

What is that? A ritual that dates back centuries? A bonding experience? Making memories?

I don’t get a chance to do it very often. I do personal shopping as part of my wardrobe and style services. I’m not much of a shopping-as-sport person. I’d rather be hiking on the weekends than shopping. But I must admit that I did bring two friends to a store I love in Sonoma last Saturday and I was thrilled when one of them purchased a dress and the other one was considering a handbag. I bought a bag as well, with their encouragement, and I’ve used it every day. I can’t wait to see my friend wearing her new polka dot dress. It will bring back the memory of poking around the store together that day.

But for my client, it was a mixed experience. One sweater was good and will be better in December because of the color. One sweater was not so good. Not a great color even though her buddies were saying, “Oh, you have to have that!” And a necklace was too large scale but I figured out a way to redesign it so we’ll make it work.

“I just don’t like being in those pressure shopping situations,” my client said. “I think I need to either avoid them or say I’ve just done some shopping and I’m not going to purchase anything today.”

What’s your experience with shopping with friends? Is it a good thing? A bad thing? If it’s not a great experience, how have you handled it so you have a better outcome?

All content on this website © Copyright 2008-2013, Brenda Kinsel. All rights reserved. Illustrations by Jenny Phillips. Photographs by Russ Gelardi,
Gurpreet Kaur and Caitlin Kinsel.