June 6, 2014 It’s Up To Hem…

by style contributor, Julie

There’s no skirting the issue, a woman’s hemline has always said a lot about her. And oddly enough it has also said a lot about the state of our union. When things are good our gams come out, and historically when we’re facing some national drama, our dress hems take a drastic drop. Thank goodness ladies have been liberated and can now go to any length they deem necessary to conquer the world. Here’s a short recap of the lengthy history of how hemlines have evolved from floor grazing get-ups to eye-popping thigh height and back again. The No-Nonsense 1900’s: The turn of the century was a pretty posh era. Elegance was opulence and a lady was expected to conduct herself in the most honorable of ways. For the upper class, anything that accentuated more than the ankle would have ended up in what we know now as “Page 6” SCANDAL! 1900s

Anaïs Dress $239, Julius LeBlanc Stewart: Portrait of Mrs. Francis Stanton Blake

Nearly To the Knees 1910’s: Prim and Proper started to become slightly unpopular as we faced the First World War. A little air of independence was starting to tickle the senses of women who once wore modest fashion as a sign of womanhood.  And those hems flirted with almost hitting just below the knees. 1910

Bennet Dress $179, Sabine Shift $118

The WOWing 1920’s: One word…Flappers! This decade was all about glitz, glamour, and social independence. Anything over the top that pushed the boundaries of boring was in vogue. Those knees were out and proud for the first time and it was utterly fabulous! Flapper

Zelda Dress $320, Mademoiselle Rhea stashing a flask in her garter

Much More Modest ‘30’s: The crash of the market also meant the crash of the hemline. As the nation became more conservative with their dollars so came caution with their morals. So it was Sayōnara knees, here we come calves!Fotor0606104239

Agra Pima Cotton Dress $189,  Borneo Dress $139

The Fabulous ‘40’s and ‘50’s: Post war meant women went feminine once again. Sophisticated didn’t mean short, it meant flare! The Mid-calve A-line was everything and became an iconic style “throw-backers” mimic today. Flare

Ikat Skirt $89 , Arabesque T-Shirt Dress $118

So Short 60’s: The sixties were ripe with newfound freedom, newfound wealth and a newfound interest in flamboyant fashion. Enter Madam Mary Quant, the mother of the Mini Skirt and thus the movement of MOD. With fashion on her side and a youthful hunger to rebel, hemlines were brought to a new almost nosebleed height.Fotor0529140244

Tendrils Skirt $129, Talia Sheath $129, Petra Skirt $139

The Sultry 70’s: As quickly as they ran up, the seventies saw the hemline hustle right back down. This time however, it wasn’t the same kind of long that our sisters before us donned. Nope, these were body-hugging hemlines that were all about swank and sex appeal. The maxi was born and we “couldn’t get enough of their love”.

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Cozumel Skirt $379, Anjali Skirt $169

The past ups and downs of these not-so-long-ago decades were instrumental in deciding the lengths of our dress – from the 1980’s until now, women have enjoyed a “wear what makes you feel good” attitude. The bridge of independence was built and we sashay across it in any skirt length we choose. The only requirement, accessorizing with confidence!

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May 22, 2014 Please Remain Neutral

by guest blogger, Julie

There’s no question that black is the global beacon for chic, considered très jolie in any language. But aren’t we sick of being either so ultra posh that color can’t handle us, or experiencing such sensory overload when searching through our closet that black is our fall back? I know I am!

Summer is coming, my friends, and it’s time to push your black to the back and make room for the new shades of swank…its time to go NUDE!

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Cropped Flamé Cardigan $118,  Panthera Sheath $218

Hues like blushes, tans, creamy nudes, and dove greys make some ladies shiver in their stilettos. Maneuvering into neutral territory to most means washed out, unexciting and unflattering.  Yes, this can be true if you’re not careful in the colors you choose,  but when executed correctly there’s nothing more inherently feminine, nothing more elegantly understated, than a good ‘ole buttery beige!

If you keep these helpful hints at the forefront, you’re sure to make your black blush with no problem at all!

  1. Go Ahead, Mix Your Lights and Darks: Always pick a pale that is opposite from your skin tone. If you’re fair, select a shade that’s several levels darker and vice versa. Contrast is key.
  2. Keep it in the Family:  If you love the all-over neutral look (which we do), be sure to not stray to far from your chosen color family. Beiges, Bronzes, and Nudes go swimmingly together…remember that!
  3. Don’t Fall Flat: Drama in your social life is a hassle but drama in your dressing is oh-so interesting. Adding texture is a tricky way to keep your nudes and blushes from going blah. So go ahead, “ruffle” some feathers.

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Windswept Cardigan $118, Lace Racerback Tunic $169

We all know it’s an ultra-extravagant indulgence to drink a crisp, jumping-with-bubbles champagne, but what’s even more decadent is a champagne that’s very well worn. It’s never been so luxurious to remain neutral!

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May 19, 2014 Springtime in Mrs. Miller’s Iris Garden

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Peruvian Connection’s headquarters is situated on a family farm, amid the rolling hills and lush woodlands of Eastern Kansas.  Here on Canaan Farm is where CEO, Annie Hurlbut, grew up, and co-founder, Biddy Hurlbut, gallivanted through her mother’s iris garden.  Long before Peruvian Connection came into existence, their backyard was well-known for its exquisite flower garden.

iriscollageBiddy’s mother, Corinne Miller, developed a passion for iris in the 1950′s. Charles Miller, Biddy’s father, was a pilot and flew her mother around the country to visit iris hybridizers.  In Iowa, the Millers admired a burnt red iris named Pepperpot. When Charles asked if he could purchase it, he was told no, because there were just a couple of the experimental plants.  But he persisted.

“She gave him a plant and charged him $125 for it,” Biddy Hurlbut said.  The plants thrived in the Tonganoxie garden.  As did many more.

Mrs. Miller tested new varieties every year in partnership with national iris hybridizers.  At one time, the garden had approximately 2500 different varieties of iris and was a part of the National Iris Society’s tour.

collage2Today, Mrs. Miller’s garden is less diverse than it once was, with several hundred iris varieties, but has been recently renovated and is as enchanting as ever.  In addition to iris, there are loads of colorful poppies, peonies, columbine and other perennials. A popular site for painters, photographers and Peruvian Connection employees over their lunch hour, this time of year is the most special as the iris are in all their glory.

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Mrs. Miller’s Iris Garden was a favorite subject of Kansas landscape painter, Robert Sudlow.

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May 7, 2014 Cutting It Short

by guest blogger, Julie

Sometimes summer weather can be a little less SUNsational in the a.m. and p.m., yet it’s not enough brrr to make you want to bundle up whilst eating alfresco. So, what’s the perfect fit for this goosebump-provoking dilemma?  Thinking inside the box and covering up with a lightweight cropped jacket or cardigan, of course!

For many women C.R.O.P. preceding “jacket” is the worst four-letter word to ever leave one’s lips. But this nose-crinkling aversion is just a knee-jerk reaction to not knowing how to properly wear this figure flattering (YES! I said figure flattering) piece of apparel.

The most important key to keeping yourself from looking like a Jane-in-the-box when striving for shorter cut wraps, cardigans and jackets lies in one magical phrase…”Waist not, want not!”  When your Waist is not clearly defined, you’ll look more like a linebacker than a lady, and thus will not Want to wear said wrap.  Here’s some advice on how to keep everyone’s eyes on your hourglass and help you take command of the crop!

Proportion Control: Most cropped cover-ups tend to be on the less structured or boxy side, which means they add volume. And sometimes volume is not our friend. I said–SOMETIMES VOLUME IS NOT OUR FRIEND! Keep it under control by avoiding equally unstructured bottoms. You don’t have to reach for your pencil pants, but slimmer fits flatter much better in this situation, no matter your body type.PorportionControlBlog

Romana Jacket $299,  Mojave Pants $169 

Long Road to the Top:  Layering a longer-bodied top under your short-waist jacket not only will make you look taller but more lean as well. And no one ever hated that! Like slimmer fit pants, long-line tops will balance out the boxy and soften your silhouette, creating a more streamlined style.LongRoadtoTopBlog

Cropped Flamé Cardigan $118

Accessory to Fashion: Whatever you do when wearing cropped, don’t commit the crime of carrying a petite purse, and at all costs avoid short statement necklaces. Instead, try accessories that add a little longevity to your outfit. For example, a lightweight summer scarf that is long enough to wrap the neck and hang down below the waistline, or build your biceps by lugging an oversized bag. These finishes to your outfit will keep you from being thrown off balance!AccessorieToFashionBlog

Navajo Lace Cardigan $149

With these 3 tidbits of solid silhouette advice, you’ll have no regrets about showing up to summer evening cocktails with bare shoulders: we guarantee you’ll be confident and comfortable in your cropped jacket!

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April 30, 2014 Style Shrink: Peel Back the Layers

by guest blogger, Julie

In the fall and winter, there’s nothing nicer to beat the brrrr than slathering yourself in toasty layers of comfy cover-ups, superbly soft sweaters, mile long scarves, and any other garment your frame can manage, sans toppling over.  You see, in those not-so-sunny seasons, our kryptonite is cold and the only mortal combat we have is to get cozy! But what if you want that same security of style in the Spring and Summer? After all, who said less is more, and pardon us, Ms. Coco Chanel, but sometimes we don’t want to take off one accessory before we leave the house! Layers make us feel as though we’ve completed the masterpiece that is our outfit, as if we’ve put the finishing touches on what would otherwise be a blah expression of who we are to the world! No worries ladies, you don’t have to sacrifice style just because it’s sizzling outside!

Here are four easy tips to help lighten your layers and keep you looking like an effortless ingénue and less like an overly-fashioned melting mama.

Call in the Lightweights! Lush, lightweight fabrics can be layered all day long. Super supple pima cottons can help a girl breathe, not to mention these lightweights lend themselves well to thought-free, gorgeous draping that flatters every figure.white

Get this look

Find Your Prints! Everyone reaches for the neutrals, which trust me, is natural…it’s safe! But if you’re willing to cause a little outfit commotion, an interestingly patterned piece layered with light neutrals will make ‘em gasp in glory!

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Get this look

“Successorize” Yourself! We’re no stranger to the phrase “Go Big or Go Home” and when it comes to your Spring/Summer layering strategy, don’t ignore the almighty accessory. Keep it simple with your apparel, but adding some chunk with a necklace, bag or bracelet can mean the difference between chic success and a fashion fumble.

 

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Get this look

Don’t Blow Things Out of Proportion! No one wants to look like they’re wearing their father’s “Too Big For You” clothes. Try to maintain a clean, streamlined look for warm weather. If you love wide legs it’s probably better to steer clear of that tent-like top and vice versa.

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Get this look

So now that you know the 4 rules of  warm weather layering, go forth, my friends and don’t be afraid to lay it on thick!

 

 

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