October 21, 2013 Finding the Perfect Coat for Your Shape

‘Tis the season to layer-up, but that doesn’t mean you have to bury your fashion sense under a frumpy, unflattering coat.  We put together an easy guide to help you find the right winter topper to flatter your shape. To make a sweet deal even sweeter, take advantage of our $25 rebate towards the tailor of your choice!


If you’re a Pear-Shape…

Then fit-and-flare shapes are your best bet.  Look for styles that slim through the bodice and flare out through the hips, like our Mireille Maxi Coat.  These concealing shapes give you the room you need without compromising your smallness up top.  Another trick to balance out wider-on-bottom shapes is to add volume up top, with details like wide lapels, big fancy buttons, breast pockets and double-breasted plackets.   Don’t forget to look for coats that hit below the hips! Check out our Belgravia Trench and Black Forest Wrap Coat, they add volume up top, cinch the waist and A-line past the hips for a flattering fit.


If you’re an Apple-Shape…

Then A-lined, looser-waisted coats are for you!  Think Car Coats and Cocoon Coats.  Their boxier shapes help conceal wider middles, giving you the extra space without sacrificing a great fit everywhere else.  Silhouettes that A-line from the shoulder really help showcase your smaller frame up-top.   Check out some of our best Car Coats: the Excursion Coat and the Hamburg Coat.  What’s more, these coats are the most flattering length for your shape—past the hips.  To keep attention off the middle, you don’t want a coat that hits right there.  And let’s not forget our vintage-looking Cocoon Coat, it tapers in slightly at the bottom, to help keep those hips looking slim.


If you’re an Hourglass-shape…

Then shapely waist-cinched coats are the way to go!  Look for something with a waist seam or even a belt to show off your small waist (like our Black Forest Wrap Coat and Belgravia Trench).  Long coats shouldn’t be ruled out (as long as you’re not petite!), but for the most part above-the-knee shapes will most greatly flatter curves without hiding them.  Styles like our Swallowtail Coat that have a tailored, fitted bodice and an A-lined hem accentuate all the right spots without overemphasizing those curves.


If you’re Straight Up & Down…

Then seek out curve-creating styles.  Seamed bodices, double-breasted plackets, peplums, defined waists and pleats are all your friends! You want shapely details, not fill-you-out bulkiness. Fit-and-flare shapes with a nipped-in waist will give you a curvy look without the bulk.   Unless you’re petite, longer lengths can also work for you.  Check out our ankle-grazing Mireille Maxi Coat and Rivoli Coat.   Let’s not forget defined shoulders!  We’re not talking jumbo 80’s puff shoulders, but slight padding, epaulets, or even seaming create even more shape up top.  Our Swallowtail Coat has everything you need to create flattering shape while maintaining that slim, tailored look.


If you’re a Petite “Short Stack” (5’4” or below)…

Then go no further than your knees!  Long coats (past the knee) will only shorten the look of those legs!  Worst of all is a voluminous long coat…nothing will dwarf you quicker.  The most flattering, elongating style is a knee-length coat with an empire waist, belt or fitted bodice, all of which create a taller illusion (like our Belgravia Trench and Winter Ombré Coat).  Another trick of the trade is to draw eyes upward with details at the neckline, such as fur-trim or an extra-wide collar, such as our Anatolian Coat



Carrot artwork courtesy of http://www.artisticrealism.com/paintings/carrot-oil-painting.jpg

Then look for coats that don’t put the focus on your chest—opt for details at the neck or hem and avoid big pockets at the bust.  Coats that A-line from the shoulder can help balance things out by bringing more volume to the bottom without putting more on top.  Our Excursion Coat does just that, plus it has a zipper so you won’t have to worry about the gaping-button syndrome!  Not that buttons are a bad thing.  For the most part, a single-breasted placket will be the most flattering, as double-breasted plackets tend to emphasize the bust.  Long lengths help draw the eye downwards, so go for coats that are hip-length or longer.  We recommend the Cocoon Coat or the Black Forest Wrap Coat!

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Scarf it Up

The Cityscape Shawl, artfully knotted over the Borealis Pullover.

The Cityscape Shawl, artfully knotted over the Borealis Pullover.

There are at least as many ways to tie a scarf as there are days in a month, and judging from the popularity of scarf tying on Pinterest, they’re hotter than ever.  There’s the waterfall, European loop, double rainbow, mira, infinity, boa, vintage housewife, and the list goes on. Scarves are the perfect transitional accessory for this October weather when it isn’t really cold, but not quite balmy either, adding a touch of warmth, color and a boho vibe.

There are a dozens of tutorials and how-to pages on YouTube- with more than 20 million views and clever editing, this one will get you up to speed on the latest and greatest in under 5 minutes:   25 Ways to Wear a Scarf in 4.5 Minutes!

Hermès, famous for their fabulously luxe silk scarves, even has a scarf tying app, Silk Knots.  If you splurge on an iconic Hermès scarf, you will receive set of scarf knotting cards, with 21 Ways to Tie an Hermès Scarf.

For scarves of alpaca, silk, wool, mohair and super-soft blends, see our Fall/Holiday scarves.




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October 7, 2013 PC’s Favorite Photo Shoot Locations

Biddy and Annie Hurlbut on Canaan Farm in the '70s.

Biddy and Annie Hurlbut on Canaan Farm in the ’70s.

Over Peruvian Connection’s 37 years, we’ve trekked to some magical places, searching for the perfect backdrop to photograph our globally-inspired collections. The first few catalogs were shot in the backyard at Canaan Farm, where the company began. Founders Biddy and Annie, as well as their family and friends, modeled the latest styles. Soon after the catalogs were shot in the parks of Kansas City, in the dusty canyons of Santa Fe, then Mexico, Central America, South America, Europe and the Mediterranean, and the United Kingdom. Photo shoots evolved into more sophisticated productions, taking an expanded roster of talented crew further from home.

Annie & Yfke

Our model with Annie (in typical Turkish attire to beat the 100 degree heat) overlooking the bay in Kekova, Turkey.

One of the most memorable locations was one that was completely unplanned. Intending to shoot in Istanbul, our efforts were thwarted by huge crowds that made it a logistical nightmare.  We scrambled to find a new location, and after 5 hours of travel by plane, car, and water taxi, we finally arrived in a mysterious new place under cover of darkness. We photographed our Resort ’08 catalog on the remote island of Kekova, Turkey, where the ancient ruins of a Lycian city rose from the turquoise water.  The villagers of Kaleköy may have been initially surprised by our eclectic entourage of photographers, stylists, models and equipment but they quickly adopted us during our stay and made us feel right at home. We were especially enamored by their menu of eggplant with fresh-picked basil, local fish, yogurt, warm crusty bread and fruit.
See the video from our photo shoot in Turkey.

Mariachis serenading our model in Oaxaca, Mexico.

Mariachis serenading our model in Oaxaca, Mexico.

The lively culture, welcoming people and local cuisine of the various locations are etched in our memories as much as the gorgeous scenery. The fiestas and flavors of Latin America have enriched many of our catalogs, with shoots all over Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia, Argentina, and of course, Peru.

In the altiplano near Urubamba, Peru.

In the altiplano near Urubamba, Peru.

Cuzco, Peru is the real birthplace of Peruvian Connection, where Annie Hurlbut visited the markets and first encountered sweaters handknit of luxurious alpaca. Every few years we return to Peru for our photo shoot, where the Andes and the ancient Incan walls set the scene for our newest collection.

Quechua women spinning yarn in the village of Chincheros, Peru.

Quechua women spinning yarn in the village of Chincheros, Peru.

In an effort to dodge the Fall hurricane season in much of the southern US and Mexico, we have ventured to the Mediterranean for many of our Spring catalog shoots. The spectacular scenery, old-world charm, sunny clime, and of course the amazing food have put Italy, Greece and the south of France near the top of our list.

Shooting amidst the grandeur of Italian frescoes.

Shooting amidst the grandeur of Italian frescoes.

Tuscan allee

A Tuscan allée of cypress trees, made famous by scenes in Gladiator.

A model poses precariously on the rocky cliffs of Gallipoli.

A model poses precariously on the rocky cliffs of Gallipoli.

For a closer look behind-the-scenes, check out the videos from our photo shoots.

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September 23, 2013 We’ve Got the Blues


A look at our beautiful blues.

Literally.  We’ve got the blues throughout our Fall and Winter collections—from pale ice and steel blues to vibrant sapphire and true blue.  Not only is blue one of the most universally flattering shades, but it also promotes feelings of calmness and confidence (it’s no coincidence that blue is the corporate business-suit color).  With all it has going for it, it’s no wonder that blue was chosen as one of the colors in the Pantone Fashion Color Report for Fall/Winter 2013.


A glimpse of the Pantone Fashion Color Report for Fall/Winter 2013. Image courtesy of pantone.com

Every season, around the time of New York Fashion Week, the Pantone Fashion Color Report is released, giving a detailed overview of designers’ use of color in their upcoming collections and how these colors work together.  Click here to see the latest Fashion Color Report! What started as a small company manufacturing cosmetic color cards in the early 60’s, Pantone has become one of the highest authorities on color—influencing color trends and color combinations all across the fashion world.  After being named one of the color trends of the season, the color blue exploded on design boards, runways and sales racks.  Although many shades of blue are a hot commodity this season, the Pantone Report specifically named Mykonos Blue—a rich, classic shade of blue—as the shade.


Mykonos Blue Pantone Color Swatch and our Miramar Jacket

At Peruvian Connection, every season begins with the selection of colors, which we have developed exclusively for our collections.  The inspiration for colors is far-reaching—from seat belts (yes, seat belts!) to feathers, leaves and flowers.  Most of our colors may be selected before the Pantone Fashion Color Report is released, but that’s not to say our use of color isn’t influenced by the Report (because it is—just look at all our blues!).  So, if you’re looking to add some trendy color to your wardrobe, while keeping it classy and cool, take a look at our Winter Blues Collection!

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September 9, 2013 Artisan Knitters of the Andes


A knitter switches colors as she crafts an intricate handknit pullover.

Countless hours and often a lifetime of experience go into the creation of our art knits. Only a handful of knitters in the world have the skill to transform the intricate and original designs we come up with into exquisite wearable art.

knitter in hat

Artisan at work.

The Andean knitters who knit our designs are lifelong artisans, like their mothers and grandmothers before them. Unlike factory employment, hand knitting blends in beautifully with daily life in the Andes. Skilled hand knitters can earn an income as they travel on a train or bus, sell in the marketplace, take a break from harvesting a crop, or watch over their children at home.

Kitzbuhel design

Kitzbühel Tunic: as a design sketch, and the finished product.

It is a brilliant collaboration when these skilled knitters in Peru team with our in-house designers. The first prototypes are developed in our collection colors. Once the initial design concepts are refined, it may take a knitter several weeks to finish one of the more elaborate designs. At times the hand knitters are managing four different stitches at a time, keeping track of multiple yarns streaming down in tiny bobbins.

Huari design

Huari Cardigan design and final piece.

The hand knitters work with fine-gauge needles, changing colors and stitches several times each row. Some of our sweaters use dozens of colors – one best seller had over 70. Once the knitting is complete, there are hundreds of strands of yarn dangling inside of the garment that must be worked back into the fabric or carefully tied off.

Red Mesa

The inside of Kaffe Fassett’s Red Mesa Vest, revealing the careful finishing of dozens of yarns.

Almost as daunting as hand knitting, many of our art knits and collectibles are hand framed or hand loomed. While this is done on a machine, it is an extremely complicated manual process involving no automation.

When you choose an art knit, not only are you choosing a beautiful piece of clothing, you are helping to preserve a remarkable and ancient cultural tradition. Click to browse our current art knit collection.

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