The Best Places to Find Modern and Affordable Suits for Men and Boys

Welcome to the holiday season. It’s a time for love, gifting and of course, dressing up, whether one wants to or not. As a personal stylist, I get asked for all sorts of advice. Recently, there’s been a major uptick in questions about dressing the fellas in our lives. While Poplin doesn’t currently provide personal styling for men or kids, I do spend a whole lot of time doing both in my own life. Answering a real client question:

What are the Best Places to Find Modern and Affordable Suits for Men and Boys?

Shop Small Seattle: Pick a Neighborhood. There's Something Just for You.

Well hello there, Dear Reader!

I trust you are gearing up for the holiday weekend. If you are on the Poplin email list, you received word earlier this morning about some hot spots for Small Business Saturday. If not,

What are Some Super Cool Products Made by Veterans and Their Families?

Veteran's Day is a thing at our house. Our 7 year old is a big fan of patriotic songs and sings them often. Veteran's Day is his, "favorite singing holiday." We also try to call up vets that we know, including my Dad, to just check in because we're thankful they are home.

On the fashion front, it's a good reminder to check out the wealth of businesses owned by vets and their spouses. Moving every year or even more often can be brutal on a spouse's career, so I'm a HUGE fan of the innovative businesses that allow spouses to work from home wherever they happen to live. This ensures that they won't miss out on income or job stability from a move. And, if you are a long time reader, you are familiar with my adoration for the folks at Combat Flip Flops- a local company started by two former Army Rangers who had served a number of tours in Afghanistan started with a mission to, "To create peaceful, forward-thinking opportunities for self-determined entrepreneurs affected by conflict." It's incredible and produces equally inspiring results: 

  • Every product Combat Flip Flops sells puts an Afghan girl into secondary school for a day.
  • Each Peacemaker Bangle or coinwrap sold clears 3 square meters of Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) from a region rocked by long-term war (those are landmines, folks)  - saving lives and providing economic opportunity. 

You can hear all about it from one of the founders and friend of Poplin in his TedX talk. SO good. 

Flip Flops are only the beginning. Check out the high quality products (we have several including a necktie my husband wears regularly) and pick some up as early holiday gifts for the ones you love and, naturally, a little something for you. 

Combat Flip Flops, affectionately known as CFF, is just the beginning. 

Very Cool Products Made by Veterans & Their Families. 

Last Minute Father's Day Gifts/ Glorious Gifts for the Fellas. Go!

As you know, Dear Reader, I'm a personal stylist for women primarily in the Seattle area. But, that certainly doesn't keep me from diving into all sorts of super cool menswear options. I'm always keeping a list of noteworthy options for the men and at some point is just gets too long to keep to  myself any longer. Lucky for us, Father's Day is a nice excuse to share a sea of awesomeness that will be helpful to you now and in the future. Let me know what you think!

10 Places to Shop and Things to Buy for

the Fella in Your Life.

Stop. It's Slipper Time.

If you read this blog with any regularity, you know how much I adore my rubber Birkenstocks as the ultimate, "house shoe." After all, in the Pacific Northwest, most people don't wear shoes indoors. But, because we have wood floors, going barefoot simply isn't an option for me. The Birks provide support and look adorable.

Well, times are changing, my friend. 

I have become completely enamored with CP Slippers. Let me tell you more.

Why I Heart CP Slippers.

Chloe + Isabel Ups Your Style Game & 100% of Proceeds During October Go To Fight Youth Homelessness

Without question, my very favorite combination is fashion and purpose. Whether it's the upcoming fashion show for the Ruby Room that raises money to ensure local teens have hip prom dresses or re-souL's generous donation of brand new shoes for homeless youth, looking good makes everyone feel better. 

So, I am THRILLED to partner with Mitra Ramen from Chloe + Isabel for the month of October. If you haven't checked out Chloe + Isabel, now's the time. Representatives host pop up shops each month that bring stylish, classy accessories into your life. Mitra is an engineer who channels her love of fashion through her work making us all beautiful with Chloe + Isabel. AND she donates 100% of her profits each month to a different nonprofit. Seriously. 

This is officially the perfect time to check out the brand, up your style game in a way that is authentic to you AND help end youth homelessness. Every dollar counts and it feels amazing to show off your pieces while sharing a few words about the impact you've made. Enough talk! Below, I'm highlighting some of my very favorite pieces. This is only the beginning, be sure to peruse the site on your own. No special codes needed. Every purchase supports YouthCare. Happy shopping!

 

Some Things to Keep in Mind When Doing Your Shopping With Chloe + Isabel

The Perfect Northwest Slipper.

As a personal stylist for women, I spend a great deal of time in other people's homes. I get to see each client's personal style expressed in her home decor. As I prepare for each visit, I also plan to take off my shoes as soon as I walk in the door. Sure, there are plenty of folks who allow shoes indoors. But, there are plenty who don't. Better to be safe than sorry.

Our simultaneous adoration for a shoeless house and the ability to walk outside effortlessly is in constant conflict. Want to run something to the trash? You need to go from slippers to shoes. No more! 

Seattle Sunday: J.Hilburn. Custom Menswear without Leaving your Home or Office.

Few things are as satisfying as feeling confident in what you are wearing. That moment when you look in the mirror and you know that you look exactly as you should. You look like YOU. As a personal stylist for women, I spend my time helping clients achieve that goal. Of course, men should also have that opportunity. And, when I come across something too good to pass up, I have to share.

Enter J.Hilburn, a men's bespoke clothing company that maximizes the fun and creativity of custom clothing, while minimizing the back-and-forth between the client and the clothier. We recently had a custom shirt made for my husband, and we were thrilled with the results.

 

How it works.

The process starts with a J. Hilburn representative coming to your fella's office and taking his measurements. The client then chooses fabric and details for his custom shirt. We worked with Ashley and I'd recommend her, for sure. Lucky for me, that also meant I got to help mastermind the shirt. After all of this is done (it takes less than an hour depending on how indecisive you are), she sends off the order. The shirt is made by hand to the client's specifications. Ashley also gave background on the factory, etc. so that we were assured of the working conditions of the tailors.

Then, you wait as in you sit and fantasize about the shirt (or pants, or blazer, or suit) of dreams that is about to come your way. It's not long, about 2-4 weeks, depending on your specifications. When Ashley returns (that's right, the stylist personally delivers the order) she's carrying the one shirt (or pants, or blazer or suit) to rule them all. (More on that later.) She meticulously checks the fit and if anything is slightly off, back to the tailors it goes. Then, ultimately, back to you. 

 

Why I'm Loving J.Hilburn

Because French Kids are Just as Glamorous as French Women.

We had the pleasure of spending the evening surrounded by French people... in Seattle. It was lovely. In fact, the entire experience felt like a vacation. It began with local beer at Standard Brewing on South Jackson. The beer is brewed on site and the ambiance is reminiscent of my neighborhood bar in Brooklyn. (Rest assured, they have growlers to go when you are short on time.) Then, off to a spectacular dinner on the patio at Marjorie in Capitol Hill. (Any restaurant with a turntable in the restroom and a shaded outdoor patio is the place for me.) Really, it was the perfect evening to celebrate our very good friend who happens to also be French. 

The entire event reminded me of our country's obsession with French women. We celebrate our impression that they take great pride in how they look and insist on continuing to find time for themselves after they have children. It's not easy, as we all know. So, it's certainly logical that we'd be big fans of this behavior. 

They also seem to manage dressing their children in clothing that most adults would be thrilled to own. As your very own personal stylist for women and kids, I had to ask: where does it all come from? Thanks to my good friend and birthday girl, Helen, here are some suggestions if you'd like your child's fashion to be a little more French-inspired.

Even better? They are both having massive sales right now.

 

Helen's Favorite French Retailers for Kids

(and the Rest of Your Family, too)

Last Minute Father's Day Gifts. It's Not Too Late.

Happy Father's Day, Dear Reader. 

Holidays are a nice time to reflect on life with the ones we love. Personally, I'm a huge advocate of surprises, so there is much planning that goes into these seemingly innocuous holidays. Although, I must admit that I'm not above the last minute gift. So, before you make that call home, let me just make a few quick suggestions in case you are just realizing you neglected to send something over to dear old dad. 

 

Last Minute Father's Day Gifts that are Still Right on Target

Must Know Now: Zara, Uniqlo and Nordstrom.

One of my favorite parts of living in the Northwest is the ramp up in spring and summer. Let's face it, we all have Seasonal Affective Disorder. Need proof? Check out your social calendar. I expect it is jam packed. The challenge during this time of year is choosing what to share with you, Dear Reader. 

As your very own personal stylist for women and kids, I'm so overcome with joy about a long list of developments. I'm opting to focus on big news with three large retailers that I love: Zara, Uniqlo and Nordstrom. I hope you are on the Poplin email list as there will be more good stuff to come in this week's email. Off we go!

The Biggest News (for us, anyway) from Zara, Uniqlo and Nordstrom.

The Dapper Man and Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is designed to take some time to enjoy the ones we love, or at least that's what they tell us. I like to think of it as a nice opportunity to put in a little extra effort to look and feel smashing and ensure that if there is a fella in your life, he has the opportunity, rather than the obligation, to do the same.

Sometimes, that can be effortless. Frequently, it is not. So, if you or the gentleman in your life is struggling with February 14th, let me offer some guidance. 

The Dapper Man and Valentine's Day: From the Perfect Gift to Creating the Ideal Look

Good Stuff For YOU Now.

Let's face it, the season of giving can get a little stressful. I've been thinking about this quite a bit. As your very own personal stylist, in preparation for this month of excitement and exhaustion, I've prepared a few special somethings for you, Dear Reader. After all, you've been good to me so I'm going to be very good to you. 

Seattle Sunday: It's Time for Some High Quality Shoes (and Accessories) from re-souL.

It may or may not be obvious, but I think long and hard about the subject of each Seattle Sunday post. What are clients asking me about? What's my favorite new discovery? What do readers NEED to know right now?

With that sort of attention, it's been excruciating for me to hold off on this post. But, it was worth the wait!

My hands down favorite shoe store in Seattle is re-souL. That's right.  Hands down.

Because of this adoration, I wanted to kick off the holiday season with a post about this Ballard boutique filled with high quality Italian-made shoes for men and women. But a post just isn't enough. My interview with owners Maggie and Legh Burns resulted in so much valuable information that you'll be seeing tips and tricks from them throughout December. And, read on for more information about how YOU could win your very own pair of men's or women's shoes from the re-souL collection. Off we go!

 

Why a Visit to re-souL is at the Top of your Holiday To-do List

Shop Small Saturday, because YOU are cool like that

 I heart local boutique  The Finery CoLab  which highlights local designers, incredible jewelry and swanky housewares. Plus, you'll get $10 back if you use your Amex on Shop Small Saturday!

I heart local boutique The Finery CoLab which highlights local designers, incredible jewelry and swanky housewares. Plus, you'll get $10 back if you use your Amex on Shop Small Saturday!

Sure! We all know Black Friday and Cyber Monday. But if you love your local boutiques and makers, remember Shop Small Saturday

Local boutiques band together to remind shoppers about the benefits of supporting our local neighborhood businesses.

The gifts are unique, you are supporting our local economy and of course, you also get some serious street cred. So make a point to check with your favorite neighborhood boutiques for Shop Small deals this weekend. 

And, if you use an American Express card, you can register to get $10 back three times when you shop at three different boutiques. Translation: Now you've got $30 to pick up a little something special for yourself, or to add $30 to your gift giving budget. 

Wondering if your favorite boutique is part of the $10 back program? Click here to find out. 

Strategies for Success on Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Beyond

Happy Black Friday!

Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, most people have one thing on the brain: shopping. So, without delay, please enjoy a few quick strategies for you, Dear Reader, from your very own personal stylist. 

Strategic Shopping Right Now

Seattle Sunday: The Guide to Accessorizing the American Man at Hammer + Awl

It's just as cool outside as it is inside. Man, you are going to love it.

One of my very favorite gifts for men is a subscription to Esquire magazine. Trust me. It's never a mistake. 

But as we head into prime gift giving season, I thought I'd help you, Dear Reader, find the most perfect gifts — besides a magazine subscription — for the man in your life. No matter his age or income, the American man has a plethora of tools at his disposal to look impeccable. Of course, a great coat and a high quality pair of shoes are paramount. But what's next? As a personal stylist, I hear this question all the time. 

I'll tell you what's next: accessories. And you can find every one you need, for every man you know, at Madrona's Hammer + Awl. 

Three Phases to Accessorizing the American Man at Hammer + Awl

Simple (and Inexpensive) Steps to Up Your Game.

Few things are as inspiring and pleasing as seeing a really put together person on the street. It's like a little surprise. You're walking along and unexpectedly you see something (or someone) dashing, perhaps even a bit glamorous, that freezes the moment. When this happens, I often want to take a photo to document such a glorious display of fashion sense and personal style. Usually, I keep it to simply complimenting the person, which I'd encourage. Everyone leaves happy. After all, we all benefit from seeing something beautiful. And to me, fashion is a form of artistic expression. Anyway, enough of my musings. Let's get to the practical portion of this post, shall we?

In stark contrast to this euphoria, is that moment when you notice that the sophisticated fella who looks like he just walked out of an issue of Esquire is carrying a floral reusable grocery bag.  Recycling- sexy. Carrying a super feminine woman's reusable grocery bag- not so much. (Unless, of course, he's carrying it for the woman he is walking with, which is pretty much the most attractive thing ever.)

As your personal stylist, I want to help prevent you, Dear Reader, from making these mistakes that keep you from realizing your true, very stylish and authentic, potential. Don't worry, they don't cost much.

 

Ways to Up Your Game Right Now. 

Fashion & Function: Essentials for the New Parent.

Our son recently turned four and I'm continuously amazed at the evolution of maternity clothes over the last five years. Lucky for me, I have the opportunity to work with pregnant women and women who've recently gone back to work. 

Both of those life stages can be especially challenging for a number of reasons. But, clothes, should not be one of them. So, I thought you (or someone you know), Dear Reader, might enjoy hearing about some new developments for new parents. FYI- That means moms AND dads. 

 

Essentials for the New Parent

Seattle Sunday: Trendspotting at U Village Means Free Stuff for YOU

Ah, University Village- the place you go shopping when you are entertaining out of towers.

It's relaxing, can technically be counted as time "outdoors" and has an array of destination retailers without fighting for parking downtown. 

September offers up thirty plus excuses to get to U Village fast. 

 

What's Trending at U Village and Why it Matters to YOU