Care for your boots and shoes

Care for your boots and shoes

Do you have a pair of boots or shoes that are classics, well made and that you love to wear? You can extend their life and save money by caring for and storing them properly as well as making inexpensive repairs. I had this amazing pair of black leather motorcycle boots that were an unusual splurge for me. I wore them a lot and could walk for miles in them. The heels were wearing down so before it got too late I took them to the shoe repair shop and for $20 got new heels! Good as new and comfortable as ever. In addition I try to polish and condition the leather 2-3 times during the season (which is probably not enough if I wear them regularly). When I put them away I stuff newspaper inside. This absorbs odor and moisture and keeps them upright in my closet.

What is your favorite shoe care technique?


Appearance and Income

Appearance and Income

Studies show links between personal appearance, employment and income that I find fascinating. Google personal appearance and income and you will find some interesting articles.

Malcolm Gladwell did a survey on the height of Fortune 500 CEO’s and found that the average CEO is about 3 inches taller than the average American man. (And you note that he was studying men).

This article discusses results of some of those studies and ponders what that means.

This study from 2006  came up with three transmission channels for the beauty premium.

  1. Physically attractive workers are more confident and higher confidence increases wages.
  2. For a given level of confidence physically attractive workers are (wrongly) considered more able by employers.
  3. Controlling for worker confidence, physically attractive workers have oral skills (such as communication and social skills) that raise their wages when they interact with employers.

Don’t be discouraged or blame our looks for our luck in life. There are tricks you can use to create appearances that match society’s ideal even if you are more towards the average (which is all of us) appearance. You can dress to appear taller and more slender. You can wear clothes that fit. You can learn to create confidence from the inside out that will make anything you wear look better.

The mind perceives (even our own) before logical thinking takes over. Test yourself throughout the day today and observe those background thoughts that you don’t usually notice about the people you meet, see on TV or in the media.

Were you surprised?

As much as you may wish to fight this and stay the way you are if you have dreams and goals, being able to confidently make a good impression visually, with your actions and with your words (including voice) is so important.

Who do you want to be? How much do you want to make? I encourage you to dress as if you are already there.

Be memorable doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot

Be memorable doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot

Buying items at thrift and consignment stores is good for the environment and your wallet. Another inexpensive source of clothing could be some of the neighborhood groups, Facebook marketplace and free cycle groups that have been set up to share items no longer wanted. There are even online used clothing sites such as Thred Up and Poshmark where you can buy used items or items from others closets.  A site called The Real Real calls itself a luxury consignment sales shop.

Being a beneficiary of someone else’s buying mistakes can save you real money.  On a recent shopping trip I made to the local Salvation Army on 4th Ave in Seattle I found some great buys.

The outfit on the left is made up of an Eddie Bauer goose down vest $7.50 , Acrylic/wool blend green sweater $4. The scarf is one my mother knit for me and the shoes and jeans are a thrift store find from a while ago.

The berry colored cardigan on the right was $4. The navy knit jacket in the  middle was from another thrift shopping trip and was  a splurge for me at $15.

You don’t save time shopping this way and you may not find what is on your list without making several trips. Here are my tips for Goodwill and Consignment shopping.

  • Go with a list. It will save you time and you will avoid those same frivolous purchases you make at real stores.
  • Go prepared to easily try things on without a dressing room if need be. This means slip on shoes, leggings and a camisole.
  • Know what your colors and styles are so you don’t get discouraged. Since these stores are filled with items from many different brands a size 10 or 14 is not necessarily a size 10 or 14 – if you know what I mean. Limiting yourself to only try on silhouettes and colors that you know should be a flattering choice for you will save time.
  • This can also be the place to pick up something you aren’t sure about. It is an inexpensive try. Like the sequin jacket in the middle – would I really wear it? Fortunately I love it.
  • Get a cart. Everything that fits and is the right color should be taken to a window usually in the front of the store where you can hold them up and closely inspect for rips, tears, pilling and stains. An item that looks worn out is not a good addition to your wardrobe.
  • Ask about the return policy. In spite of following all the rules you may get home and find your great deal is not as great as you might have hoped. Our local Salvation Army and Goodwill currently offer a 7 day exchange for store credit if the tags are still on.
  • Read the labels to make sure you aren’t going to have to spend a fortune on dry cleaning.
  • Be prepared to run everything through the wash once you get home.
  • Remember to take the price tag off (especially shoes). I once walked into a meeting and fortunately a fellow thrifter pointed out the tag before I took the stage. 
  • HAVE FUN and allow yourself time.

People ask me “Aren’t you worried about someone seeing you in their stuff they gave away?” My answer is no. Everything that is manufactured is made in multiple units. This means there are already multiples of whatever you buy running around with someone else wearing them. There is no way for a person who donated an item to know if this is what they gave or not. 

I would be happy to make a Goodwill or consignment store run with you after we meet to sort our your style and needs. If you have the patience it can be an amazing source of unique finds.

What is the best thing you have found this way?

What makes you memorable?

What makes you memorable?

There are times when you want to blend into the crowd and times when it pays to be memorable. Attire is an easy way to do that and your attire reflects to the world what you want to happen.

What you wear doesn’t need to scream “look at me” unless you want it to. Like Lady Gaga and Madonna. Screaming clothes can be a great gimmick that certainly worked for these 2 smart business women. If that is part of your plan then I applaud you and would love to help.

But you can also wear clothing that fits, that complements your colors and you can wear silhouettes that emphasize all the right things to be memorable in a different way. You can take just a moment to put on a little makeup. You can seek out a new hairstyle and find the perfect stylist to execute it.

Your style is your own. Make it memorable.

What times matter for you to be memorable?

How do you do your part?

How do you do your part?

By now you must be aware of the cost fashion can impose on the environment and workers in the fashion industry. Or maybe you thought it was all “fixed”.  Things have improved. You now have choices about how and where your clothing was made and who made it. Yet fashion is still an industry that is about churning out more because stockholders and everyone employed needs to make money.

 I’m not sure what would happen to the economy if consumers began buying less items of a higher quality that are made or refashioned locally. There would probably be some turmoil if it happened all at once. I do think if we all start to make better and more thoughtful choices companies will respond with less and better quality product and hopefully higher worker pay. It may cut off my flow of thrift store finds because now everyone has things they love, that fit them well and they aren’t shopping for entertainment anymore which would result in less to get rid of.

I tend to take the easy way out and shop thrift and consignment stores. I am also the one that picks up fabric and sewing notions from thrift and fellow seamstress give a ways.

How do you make sure your clothing is a responsible choice?