MindFULL Fashionistas

I know I have been writing a lot about clothes lately. I don’t normally pay this much Mind to them, but as I clean out my closet and switch seasons, I am becoming more MindFULL of what I buy and how it fits. The bummer is that I am not a great shopper.

Luckily, two of my friends are terrific at it. Both have great taste and carry women’s clothing lines that can be seen, tried on and purchased without ever stepping foot inside the Mall.

My friend Rebecca carries the line ETC.

Etcetera is a New York designed clothing line that is not retailed through store locations, but through consultants.  Unique to Etcetera is the reuse of their color palettes so that customers can refresh their wardrobes by adding additional pieces to the ones that they already own.  Most of the fabrics are from Europe and they are known for extraordinary detailing.

Etcetera is for the person that loves high quality, fashion forward clothing. There are four seasonal collections per year.  Each show has around 300-350 different pieces which range from shorts and blue jeans to professional and cocktail.   Clothes are displayed in a “boutique” fashion in her home, complete with dressing rooms.

Rebecca started representing Etcetera about 5 years ago at the suggestion of an Etcetera customer who knew that she was interested in bringing home some additional income to her family.  Today she has a loyal customer base that rarely misses a collection.

The 2012 combined Fall and Winter/Holiday Show will be in her home from Friday, November 2 to the end of the day on Wednesday, November 7.  Please call or email for an appointment.  Nights and weekend appointments available, too.  Rebecca Howard at 303-718-1015.  rahventures@yahoo.com.  1945 E Chenango Ct., Cherry Hills Village, CO 80113.

You can view all of the clothes on line at www.etcetera.com.

My other friend, Eilin, also has an in-home line. Carlisle.

There are two lines under the concept Carlisle. One is Carlisle and the other is Per Se, which is the edgier line with a bit more pizzazz to it. She shows the line 6 times a year in her showroom in Cherry Creek and books by appointment only.

Elin has been showing this line since 1996.  She mainly got into because she used to buy the clothes. When the women from whom she was buying decided to move, Elin inherited the position for fear of having no where to shop.

Elin’s client base is every type of woman. The collection runs from traditional to very contemporary. The clothes are casual, for the work place, and dressy as well. She sells “to many professional women and many women who have a passion for fashion!”  Elin loves to add a twist to the outfits by mixing textures and fabrics up a bit, which makes the clothes all the more interesting. She loves working with people one on one and getting to know what they like so that she can keep an eye out for what looks good on them, becoming more like their personal shopper.

You can view the Carlisle Collection at www.carlisleclothing.com. For more information you can also call Elin about shopping with her at 303-440-1950.

For those of you here in Denver, you can call Rebecca and Elin directly and see these fabulous lines in person. For my readers in other cities, check out the websites and then let Rebecca or Elin know what you would like. You will be amazed at the Customer Service and quality these ladies bring to a daunting task. You may never look at yourself in the blue glare of dressing room lighting ever again.

How have you MindFULLY found new styles in new ways? Let us know!


A few weeks ago I went to hear Dr. Andrew Weil speak. For those of you who don’t know him, Dr. Weil is a Harvard trained doctor who brought Integrative medicine around as a new way of thinking about how we age and support our bodies. In 1994, he founded The Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, becoming a leader in the transformation of health care by creating, educating, and actively supporting a community that embodies the philosophy and practice of healing-oriented medicine, addressing mind, body and spirit.

Dr. Weil was in Denver promoting his new restaurant True Food, where the food promises to be fresh, flavorful and healthy. I can’t wait to try it!  There is also the True Food: Seasonal, Sustainable, Simple, Pure cookbook. He had a lot to promote and talk about. You can read about his philosophy and check out his advice  – http://www.drweil.com/

I was a little bummed during the talk; he didn’t really say anything new. I was hoping to be re inspired. For me, it’s not a question of whether or not I know what to do take care of my mind , body or spirit…but whether or not I do it. I guess I was hoping he’d wave his magic motivational wand.

However, there is often a pearl to be found when we think all we have is an old clam shell. For me, the pearl was remembering to breathe. Something so simple and yet, so easy to forget. Just notice for a day how often you catch yourself holding your breath. You might be surprised.

Dr. Weil claims that the simple exercise listed below, done when you wake up in the morning and go to sleep at night, will change the way you process stress and will give you peace and insight. Try it for a month and then let us know if it really works!

  1. With your back straight, sit down, lie down or stand
  2. Put your tongue behind your front teeth
  3. Breathe in through your nose and count to 4
  4. Hold your breathe and count to 7
  5. Blow air out of your mouth loudly to the count of 8

Do it three times, each time.

 How do you MindFULLY integrate your mind, body and spirit? Let us know!

MindFULL Men’s Essentials

Years ago, I had a debate with my friend Tony about men and their shoes. I claimed it was the first thing people noticed and thought good shoes important to a first impression. He called baloney. But as the years went on, he agreed. To our list we added a nice watch and good teeth.

Last week, I wrote about “turning my closet” and offered a checklist of clothing must haves from Anne Christensen, executive fashion director of Glamour. So this week, in a salute to my guy friends, I am posting an article I found in my in-flight United magazine.

According to Brian Spaly, CEO of Trunk Club, an online men’s clothing service, “There are six items of clothing that every many should have in his closet. These classics will serve as the foundation for an everyday wardrobe, and they are particularly helpful when traveling.”

  1. Navy Blazer – “A simple classic piece that says, “I’m sophisticated – this is not my first plane ride.
  1. White Shirt – “Clean, crisp and elegant. Versatile white shirts are timeless and offer a nice contrast to any sweater or blazer.”
  1. Belt – “Look for high quality, robust leather. Coordinate color/finish with your shoes. Advanced style points: match the buckle with your watch band.
  1. Gray V-Neck Sweater – “solid layering piece fro handling different climates and circumstances. Works with nearly all trouser /denim options.
  1. Jeans – “Invest in a great pair of high –end denim. Cleaner washes/rinses look better with blazers and dress shirts. Avoid skinny cuts unless you are selling creative work.”
  1. Shoes – “Rich brown or caramel colored shoes (with matching belt) are a staple. Unless you wearing a formal suit or reffing a game, stay away from black shoes.”

What MindFULL essentials do you rely on? Let us know!

MindFULL Style

This weekend I “turned my closet over.” I brought all of summer wears to the basement, fluffed up my sweaters and dusted off my boots. Fall is in the air, and I love it.

For my birthday this year, my friend Colette gave me a great book., Advanced Style. I wasn’t offended. Rather, I was inspired. Growing older is a blessing. Not everyone gets the chance. And so I plan to take the coming years with grace and wear clothes that reflect life. My grandparents were in the retail business and my Zadie always said that the feel of the fabric was most important. As I grow older, I appreciate owning one well made garment; I think it adds to a style and brings in a little story, as well.

As I perused my closet and figured out what still fit and what wasn’t working any more, I remembered a column of “clothing basics” sent by another friend, Erica, marking this pivotal fashion year. I’ve reprinted it below.  Next week, I’ll do a list for my favorite male readers. Some of them are so cute, they too, inspire style.


1. Skinny black jeans. You need a pair. Dress them up for the office or down for day.

2. A crisp, white button-down shirt. It suggests clean, cool confidence in the workplace, but unbutton two buttons and it’s the ultimate in sex appeal for night.

3. A go-to dress. It doesn’t have to be a little black dress. It’s even better sometimes if it’s not, because color makes a bolder statement. But it should fit perfectly and make you feel beautiful.

4. A classic black pump. It has to have at least a four-inch heel to boost your height and confidence. (Okay, fine. A three-inch heel if you must.)

5. A bright mini. It’s great to have one that’s a really bright color because it makes you stand out in a crowd. You can wear it for day—just pair it with an oversize men’s white sweater—or nighttime, with a silk camisole.

6. A bold piece of jewelry. Think: necklace, bangle, large ring, large earrings. I have a big necklace that I keep in my drawer at work, and it dresses up any outfit. A statement piece allows your personal style to shine, especially if the rest of your outfit is conservative.

7. A fitted blazer. A great-fitting blazer is a girl’s most invaluable staple. Pop the collar, roll the sleeves, or add a cool brooch to make it your own.

8. A colorful clutch. This one’s especially crucial if you have a closet full of blacks or neutrals. A splash of color will liven up the simplest outfit—not to mention your mood.

9. Black opaque tights. They’re so warm and practical, and they instantly make a dress look professional.

10. A lace tank. Wear it underneath your V-neck during the day or peeking out from under a jacket in the evening.

11. Ballet flats. They’re feminine and comfortable, and you can wear them anywhere and always look pulled together. I personally love a blue ballet flat.

12. A soft, luxurious white T-shirt. It has to be a great-quality one that feels good on your skin. You can wear it with everything else in your wardrobe. And if you find one you really love, buy three.

Anne Christensen, forty-five, is the executive fashion director of Glamour. She has also served as fashion director of The New York Times’ T Magazine, and her styling has been featured in the American, Italian, and Chinese editions of Vogue.

What do you MindFULLY wear that makes you feel stylish and comfortable? Let us know!