Guys Boxy and Classy!

May 23rd, 2012

I have several men clients and when I first work with them I ask how they really feel about their look. Their answer typically is “mostly frumpy and I lack style.”  Then I ask them how they’d like to look and the answer is almost always the same, “sharp and classy.”  No matter what, everyone wants COMFORT!

I’d have to say when guys shop with me they are fairly open to trying new things and they are very candid which I love.  Some say, “no can do on that color” or “I’d never be caught dead in that print.”  Okay by me!  However, some guys have decided that one look is ok and comfortable for them and then they tend to buy 10 shirts of different colors (in the same style) and will wear them for the next 3 years if not longer.

Guys! I want you to view the pictures below and see how shirts can be both be comfortable and classy. One style makes you look frumpier, shorter and wider (boxier) while the other makes you look classier, taller and thinner.  I help create illusions so in once sense, yes, I’m a magician.  Again, if your style is the boxier type of shirt,  I’ll accept it but I always will ask that you be open to try on different styles.  For instance the Perry Ellis and Boss brands are much more of a European slim fitting shirt and the Faconnable and Michael Kors are a slim look but can be worn easier by a greater degree of men of all shapes.  My advice, be open to trying several brands since they look differently and can give you a boxy, frumpy shape or a classy, slimming, taller look and you don’t have to tuck either of them in if you’re heading for a casual evening out.  Best of all they both can be comfortable!

Boxy Fitting Shirt

Slim Fitting Shirt



Guest Speaker Allison Schickel “The Brobe”

May 16th, 2012


My mother always says, “leap and the net will appear.”  I’ve lived my life with that in the back of my head for many years and I truly do believe if you trust and have faith in what you are doing, someway, somehow it will work out.

My name is Allison Schickel, creator of the Brobe.  Ten years ago I was 23, newly married and about to have a baby.  My first husband became chronically sick with kidney failure just a few months after our daughter Mackenzie was born.  I was forced to stop the plan of being a stay-at-home mom and work not only one, but at times three jobs to make ends meet.  Very quickly, I learned to persevere and just keep putting one foot in front of the other for my family.  Back then I didn’t realize that all those jobs in sales, office management and yes even waiting tables would teach me and lead me to where I am today.  The idea for the Brobe came to me in 2004 while getting ready for work.  Each day I would get ready in my robe but have to always put on a sports bra to refrain from the infamous “boob sweat.”  That is how the idea to build a bra into a robe began.  After 5 years of sitting on this idea, I decided to make a prototype to actually see if this idea would work.  IT DID!! I wore my homemade prototype for 2 years before having the idea for the Recovery Brobe and bringing it to life.  I was having lunch with a client/friend of mine who had a double mastectomy and three reconstructive surgeries a couple years prior.  She was explaining to me the difficulties of finding a post-op garment that was functional and comfortable.  When she showed me what she wore after she got home from the hospital I was appalled.  My initial reaction was, “ If my mother, sister, or friend just had her breast removed, I would want something that was comfortable, attractive, and functional for them.”  I wanted to give women dignity in an otherwise hard and traumatic time.  The Recovery Brobe not only is made out of luxurious fabric (think really nice yoga pants) it also has built in pockets for the post-op drains inside the robe.  The bra that is made similar to a sports bra fastens in front with Velcro and also has pockets on the inside if the bra to hold a prosthetic breast(s) and/or ice packs.

I did a lot of research on what was available to women while in recovery and could not find anything like my idea for the Recovery Brobe.  I decided to take the “leap” and I contacted a local seamstress who agreed to help me design a pattern and sew a couple of prototypes.  I then contact Susan G. Komen of Austin to see what they thought of this Brobe.  They loved it.  Once I had the prototypes made, I brought them in to meet with the Executive Director and Marketing Director.  They brought in a woman who had just had a single mastectomy to try on all of my prototypes.  Once she tried them on she looked at me with tears in her eyes and said “ This makes me very sad for all the women who have not had this in the past.  You HAVE to make these garments.”  That was my confirmation and I knew this was something I had to do.  My hope is that this invention of the Recovery Brobe will bring blessings to women all across this country.


“When your best friend has a radical mastectomy it is devastating.  I didn’t really know how to be there completely for her.  One thing I could do though was provide comfort during a tough time by sharing the Brobe.  My dear friend was able to wrap herself in the soft goodness of the Brobe and feel comfort in a time of fear and sadness.  Thank you Allison for creating a wonderful piece of comfort and goodness to share with friends in times of needs.”     ~Terri Hill

“I love the extra support of the Brobe.  It gives me such relief to know that when I arrive home from the hospital after my upcoming breast surgery, I will have something to put on immediately to help me through the recovery process.  It will be worn a lot before surgery, too.  The Brobe makes a very thoughtful gift for someone going through treatment.  It’s an honor to support a company that designs products for women with breast cancer.”  -Lila Johnson Tenenbown


The Brobe






Dreaming in Color

May 9th, 2012


I went to my friend’s party the other day and when she opened the door she looked stunning.  She’s always happy but there was weightlessness to her.  She wore a   unique shirt, full of vibrant colors.  I told her how gorgeous the top looked and then she began telling me how one day she looked in her closet and all she saw was black…nothing of color; just a plain boring closet.  She said she began to feel the dourness in her closet and realized this wasn’t who she was, nor who she wanted to be.  So she removed her black clothes (yes she could afford it) and vowed to add only color to her wardrobe.  She said she had grown up wearing very drab colors, yet the older she got she would dream of colors and patterns.  She said, “I love how color makes me feel alive.”  Start by looking in your closet and ask yourself if this is who you are and how  it makes you feel?  Safe and boring or daring and alive?

"Dreaming in Color".....Artist Juli Ryan







The Honesty of Blogging. UGH!!

May 2nd, 2012


I have to be very honest with you.  According to my “Social Media” expert Joey McGirr  (who I have the utmost respect for) in order to “connect” with potential clients I should blog now and then my feelings and what I know about my “brand.”  While I can see where Joey is coming from I HATE to write blogs!  You’re probably thinking “why do you do it if you hate it so much, why bring in the negative when all I needed today was a positive word or two”?  A couple reasons why I do it: I tell my clients “try new things, go beyond what you think you cannot do” so I need to practice what I preach.  Right?  So I’m trying something which I fear and have disdain for…. yes I admit, this would NOT be on my list of things I need to do in life but it is STRETCHING my mind and me.  Therefore I’m not expecting to have weight gain or Alzheimer’s due to my blogs!  Secondly, I hear people READ blogs and sometimes judge me accordingly.  News Alert…I’m not a writer…I’m an Image Consultant/Stylist…please don’t judge me, or choose to hire me according to my blog because I would not make a dime!  Thirdly my blogs would not necessarily be about fashion advice (oh yes I do share things that I see in my fashion news), but   many times it pertains to only a percentage of my clients.  My blogs would be related to everyday happenings to me (believe me I see the humor in lots of things); I always feel I’m on candid camera or thinking…this incident that’s happening to me can’t be true or is it just me?  I feel like I’m the “Lucy.”

How do I want you to see me?  I want you to see that I’m not judging you or your situation.  Such as what you have in your closet, your weight, your shopping questions and fears.  No question is a stupid question.  I want you to call me and talk one-on-one about whom you are and what your needs are.  I’m not a fashion snob and have to shop at the high-end places; it’s your money and budget I’m working with.  I am who I am.  I have my style and I know you’ll have yours and I expect it to be different than mine.  I want you to have your unique look.

Beware I will write about fashion info but I will also write about my “happenings” and they may not necessarily be humorous to you…but hey to each his own!

So I profess to the world: I will continue to write my blogs(inspirational or worth knowing, whatever you perceive)…and the rest of the day I will enjoy my favorite things.   How will you get out of your comfort zone?



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