In this Episode, Lessons From Linda shares the story of a Linda who wanted major change but also wanted to keep everything she owned.
Drop Shoulder is the Word of the Week, and it’s the last sleeve in our vocabulary series. Does this one make you look like a linebacker?
In Current Event, we discuss Gloria Vanderbilt’s denim legacy, and how I really feel about Costco jeans.
Finally, a big welcome to Veronica Staudt of Vintage Meet Modern in our Visiting Professor segment. She shares her knowledge and love of all things vintage, and the importance of accessories.
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Read the full episode transcript below! – Ep 09 Veronica Staudt of Vintage Meet Modern
Hello Hello!! Thanks for joining another episode of the Everyday Style School Podcast where we believe that style should be easy, and getting dressed can be fun.
Today I am so excited about our first Visiting Professor. Visiting Professors are experts in a style related topic, who can go more in-depth than I can and bring you a ton of knowledge and value. In a little while, Veronica Staudt from Vintage Meet Modern will be joining us to share her knowledge and passion for vintage jewelry, and all things accessory related.
We’re finishing off our sleeve series today, talking about the drop shoulder, and in Current events, we’re going to talk about the passing of a legend.
But first, Let’s do a quick check of your homework–last week, I talked about 6 style mistakes that age you and challenged you to go through your wardrobe and see if you were perhaps guilty of any of them.
I also challenged you, if you wanted a little extra credit, to go for a bra fitting–I’m curious to hear in the style lounge if anyone did it–and what were the results?
We’ve got a lot to talk about today, so let’s just dive in with today’s Lessons from Linda
A few years ago, a Linda called me and said she was so over her hodgepodge, mismatched wardrobe and she wanted to get rid of what wasn’t working, and create a flattering, cohesive, mix and match wardrobe. She was ready for a major change! This was actually before I created Capsule Guides, but helping women create this kind of wardrobe has always been my jam.
I was SO excited to work with her, as she was, quite literally, my ideal client.
I got to Linda’s house, and we were chatting, and I always ask my in-person clients “how brutal do you want to be?” I know that some people are ready for baby steps, and other people want a wardrobe makeover that uses gas and a match–and I want to respect wherever my clients are on that spectrum.
Linda told me she wanted to go all out and really change her wardrobe and the way she approached shopping and getting dressed. She wanted minimalist, she wanted high quality, she wanted to mix and match.
Girls, this was my dream client. I love clients who are ready for real transformation–not becoming who they’re not, but rather, getting rid of what’s not working so they can become who they truly are.
I was so excited to get started.
We kicked off, as we always do, by pulling out the pants. It wasn’t long before we had our first pair of ill-fitting, worn out, dated dress pants, and because Linda asked me to be brutal, I told her so. Her response was, “yeah, but I only wear them on Fridays. I’m going to keep them”.
Right then, I saw the writing on the wall. She rationalized keeping everything–from pants that didn’t fit (well, I’m going to start Whole 30 next month), to pants that were seriously out of style (no lie–I only wear those when it’s cold).
The tops weren’t any better. Not only did she have the same top in multiple colors–a big pet peeve of mine–but she had multiples of the same top. 3 of the black, 3 of the gray, 3 of the white–you get the idea. They were all ok, nothing wrong with them, so she kept them.
All of them. No wonder she was overwhelmed by her closet, and underwhelmed by her style. She literally wore versions of the same uninspired outfit, day after day. Nothing special or noteworthy, or really anything that she loved—and yet, she was drowning in clothes.
Normally, I help my clients make a list of the pieces they need to buy to achieve the style and wardrobe they want, and quite honestly, Linda needed a whole lot of stuff to get where she wanted to be. But, every time I’d say, “I think you could use a good pair of black pants”, she’d say, well, I have a few–I don’t think I need more”.
So, not only was she unwilling to part with anything, she was unwilling to add the things that might get her closer to her wardrobe goals.
We didn’t shop together…because why bother, but a few weeks later I got a strongly worded email telling me how my services aren’t that useful, and she didn’t feel like she got value out of her time or money.
That one cut me deep because I really want people to walk away from our time together feeling good about their investment in me…and their wardrobe.
I sent back an email that was a slightly more professional response of “no, duh” and explained that, if you are unwilling to do anything different, or part with things, or add things, you cannot expect monumental results, or any result at all.
We parted ways, but a couple of years later, Linda called me again, claiming she was ready for a transformation. I will admit to being a little more than apprehensive. I was downright skeptical. I said “really?” she said “really”. I said “really, really?” she assured me “really really”.
So I went, not truly believing, but with an open mind. This time around, every single piece I said “it’s fine, but not great” she got rid of. She refused to keep anything less than best, and we pretty much decimated her wardrobe. Then we made the list and went shopping.
Linda ended up with probably ⅓ to ½ of the number of clothes that she had before, but she had a gorgeous wardrobe that looked so much more expensive and high quality, and appropriate for the job she had now. She also had a smile on her face that told me I was worth it the second time around.
I’m so glad this Linda story ended well, and here are the lessons I want you to take away.:
Be honest with yourself about the changes you want to make in your wardrobe, and understand what it’s going to take to get there. If you want a major overhaul, you have to do a major overhaul. If you want to get rid of 5 things, you can’t expect your wardrobe to look, or function, any differently.
2) The second takeaway is this- You cannot have great style, if you are unwilling to part with “eh, it’s fine”. Gorgeous wardrobes have never been built on “it’s fine”. If you were to section out your closet into “love it” “hate it” and “eh, it’s fine” that last section would probably make up the biggest percentage of your wardrobe.
Women call me to help them get rid of the “hate it”, but what they don’t understand is that it is the uninspired, “just fine” clothes that they collect on the cheap and easy, and refuse to part, with that are standing in the way of what they want. If you don’t love it, don’t buy it, don’t wear it, don’t keep it.
Focus on filling your closet with pieces you love, and see how your style changes.
Let’s move on to our Vocabulary lesson and finish up our sleeve series, shall we?
So far, we’ve covered the Vertical Set-in Sleeve, The Cap Sleeve, and the Raglan sleeve, and the Dolman sleeve. Today, we are talking about the drop shoulder sleeve.
Here’s what a drop shoulder sleeve is. Instead of having a vertical seam at the edge of the shoulder, the shoulder seam is placed lower on the arm and usually ends up to be horizontal going across the top of the arm. Some of you are putting 2+2 together, and thinking, hmm, I bet that doesn’t do great things for a big bust, or broad shoulders.
You’re learning grasshoppers, you’re learning.
What I want to mention is that this sleeve is intentionally down on the arm and is not just a set-in sleeve on a top that’s too big, so it’s falling onto the arm. It is meant to be there. Also, sometimes drop shoulders are paired with dolman sleeves to create a bit of a hybrid.
Drop shoulders have a casual 80’s vibe and usually give a little more room in the bust and shoulder than a set-in sleeve.
If you’re having trouble picturing drop shoulder sleeves, there’s a link in the show notes for example.
Again, you’ve got to take all the factors of the top into consideration, but with drop shoulders, you’ve really got to think about the texture of the top, where the drop shoulder seam hits, and how much volume there is under the arm.
I had a chunky knit cardigan, which is not the most flattering on me but paired with the drop shoulder sleeve, I looked like I was hoping to enter the next NFL draft.
However I have a lightweight jersey top with a diagonal drop shoulder, and I don’t look like I’m hoping to win a Superbowl ring. So, with this one, you’ve got to experiment a little bit.
Also, for women with large busts, a horizontal sleeve that hits right at the bustline is going to make your bust look bigger.
Finally, drop shoulders aren’t the best for women with small, sloping shoulders, or round, broad shoulders. It’s kind of the Goldilocks of sleeves–not too big, not too small–you’ve got to be just right. I encourage you to try this one in a variety of styles to see if it could be best for you.
That’s it for sleeve types- I really hope this series has helped you understand why some tops work for you, and some don’t. Just like the body type series though, my advice should always be taken as a starting point–take what works for you, and leave the rest. And what matters most, is that you wear things you love.
There was a big loss in the Fashion community last week, so let’s head to current events and discuss!
Last week, Gloria Vanderbilt passed away at the age of 95. Now, you may know Gloria Vanderbilt only from the jeans at Costco (and we’re going to talk about that) but her contribution to fashion was SO much bigger than that.
There are a ton of articles out there that talk about her life, and her history, so I don’t want to talk about that, but, if you wear jeans and a cute top to date nights, or if you remember having to have Guess jeans, or the 7 A’pockets because of the status, or if you’ve got a pair of jeans that make your butt look amazing, you’ve got Gloria Vanderbilt to thank for that.
Until the late 70’s jeans for women were for counterculture hippies, teenagers, gardening, or to be worn very casually. Designer denim wasn’t a thing, and they weren’t for dressing up. They were largely designed for men, with a few changes for women’s bodies.
Gloria Vanderbilt was a self-taught fashion designer who was approached by a New York City garment manufacturer who wanted a famous name to help sell jeans. By the way, this also paved the way for other celebrities as fashion designers.
While she wasn’t the first–socialite Diane Von Furstenburg beat her to it–she was the most well known.
Gloria Vanderbilt wanted to create jeans that actually fit women–thank you Gloria!–and especially jeans that fit women’s butts’, or, “really hugged the derriere” as she said. She wanted women to be able to buy jeans right off the rack and have them fit with no alterations.
While we may not have perfect fitting jeans every time, she was the pioneer of ready to wear denim.
Then she did something revolutionary, and something that changed denim and fashion–she had her signature sewn right across the rear pocket, and her swan logo embroidered on the coin pocket. Just in case you’re a nerd like me and like trivia, the swan logo came from her first theatre part–in a play called The Swan.
And that, my friends, is the story of how designer denim was born. She also pioneered designer pricing for denim At the time, a pair of Levi’s cost $15. Gloria Vanderbilt jeans were $32.
She marketed jeans as classy, and upscale–not just to be worn with tees and sneakers, but with blouses and heels. She also was the first to use stretch denim–again, thank you Gloria–and black denim–both of which had a huge impact on the way we wear jeans.
So, next time you’re feeling smug in your Paiges, or Hudsons, or AG’s, thinking “I’d never wear Costco jeans”–remember that you may not be wearing your pages, or Hudsons or AGs if it wasn’t for the women who pioneered designer denim.
And now, let’s talk about those Costco Glorias, shall we? I’m not saying that they’re bad jeans. But I AM saying that I’ve never seen a woman look good in a pair of Costco Glorias. Maybe it’s because you can’t try things on at Costco, and bringing home one pair of jeans hoping for a perfect match is pretty unlikely.
Maybe its because you’re not taking my advice to buy your jeans tight, and anticipate the stretch? Maybe they’re the wrong fit for your body. I don’t know.
I’m not telling you to trash your Costco Glorias, but I’m asking you to take a good long look in the mirror with a critical eye, and see if they’re doing you any favors–and if, in Gloria’s dream of how denim should fit, they are, in fact, hugging your derriere.
If you don’t know how to buy denim that fits, first of all, you’re in good company. It’s one of the biggest struggles my clients have. Second, I did a Facebook live video sharing 3 tips for finding denim that fits, flatters, and doesn’t fall down–I’ll link to it in the show notes.
All right, when we come back, we’re going to be sitting down with Veronica Staudt of Vintage Meet Modern–and after this Gloria Vanderbilt segment, that seems pretty fitting. But before we do that, I want you to hear a message from Kristen, a Capsule Subscriber.
Thank you for your message Kristen–trust me, your style is all you, but I’m happy to help you get there.
Hey, If you want what Kristen’s got going on, head on over to my website and use code podcast at checkout to save $15 on your first Capsule purchase. Don’t wait though–the summer capsule is retiring July 15. Link, as always, in the show notes.
I want to thank Veronica again for being on the show today, and teaching us what Vintage means, and how we can curate a wardrobe that is special and meaningful. In the show notes, I’ve got links to connect with Vintage Meet Modern.
That’s all for today friends. Your homework this week is to focus on sleeves! Go through your closet and look at the tops you like best–do you see any commonalities in the sleeves? Look for those pieces that always seem off–maybe it’s a sleeve issue.
Then, when you’re out and about this week, look for sleeves on women, and how they’re helping (or hurting). Don’t walk up to strangers, or anyone, really, and say “you know that sleeve isn’t as flattering as it could be”, but noticing these things around you helps you hone your own style eyes.
I’ll see you next week!