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A wardrobe strategy for the executive (or aspiring executive) woman

A wardrobe strategy for the executive (or aspiring executive) woman

My new work wardrobe strategy involves a stylist, designer clothing, and a commitment to buy only what I love.

While representing Terracon last year at a business dinner and moving through the crowd with my typical “hello, great to see you” language, I was introduced to Maria Copeland, a standout in her strong patterned and well-made blazer. We dove in -- I have a fashion blog, and as it turns out, she was a stylist (oh, and the wife of a Mayor in a Kansas City suburb). Love at first sight! “You must come to my next trunk show,” she said. We exchanged phone numbers, and a few weeks later, I was being styled in between meetings at the office.

It wasn’t easy for me to get out of the office. I’m busy – like really busy. Constant meetings, travel, and other demands consume my world as an SVP. Perhaps you can relate? But she was all too accommodating, answering my “I’m going to be 15 minutes late” texts (over and over) with grace and patience. I soon discovered this is the value she provides to women at work. She dresses business women who don’t have the time to shop but want fashionable, high quality, wardrobe pieces that work together. She’s my connection to New York -- offering a private label women’s wear designer called Etcetera. And let’s face it, great executive dress for ladies is exceedingly important and hard to find as we don’t have a “suit uniform” like men do.  

My first visit to the Etcetera trunk show was filled with trepidation because it was above my normal price range for clothing. As I tried on several things I noticed the difference in the design and cut of each piece; they fit like a glove. This is the result of a dedicated design house with advanced degrees in fashion and years of experience from couture fashion houses.  I decided to choose one piece to start, a beautiful navy blouse, which is what I’m wearing in my LinkedIn picture. I’m now adding other quality pieces to my wardrobe, and the advantages of shopping with an Etcetera stylist for high quality clothing are indeed numerous.

Check out my top picks for fall below.

  • Personal styling (at no charge) on your schedule. You set an appointment with a stylist during the trunk show when it suits your schedule. This allows you the flexibility to be styled during the work day, evening, or weekend and the stylist will work hard to pull the most flattering styles for your body type and coloring. The pieces you choose are ordered and delivered directly to you, sometimes in as little as a week.
  •  Versatile wardrobe meeting all aspects of your life. Etcetera designs have consistent color matching from season to season and between collections – the color standards (reds, blues, whites, blacks, creams) match so your clothes coordinate and transition well. I’m striving for a much more versatile wardrobe that makes it easier to get dressed every day. Now I’ve been able to buy pieces that complement existing favorites in my closet and I know they will work together. 
  •  Planning your wardrobe to save money, time and the environment. After cleaning out my closet and throwing away half of my clothes, my new strategy is now to buy only what I love (meaning fit, quality, and affordability). You can actually save money by buying fewer things and wearing them more.  Investing in the best quality fabrics and well-made garments means they will be in your wardrobe for years to come and not shuffled off to second hand shops and eventually landfills. There is also savings to be realized by focusing your shopping to four times per year and building your wardrobe with pieces that work together. Etcetera collections are offered at a much better price than if they were in a typical retail setting because the overhead is eliminated. 
  • Look thinner instantly by buying clothing that fit your body type and style. Stylists study design details, fabrics, and body types and use this information along with your purchasing history to help make personalized recommendations. A great amount of attention is given to make sure the clothes fit and flatter a woman’s body, look amazing, and are comfortable. You will look like a new, thinner you just by choosing clothes made to fit your body type and with the best fabrics.
  • Year-round options and ease for frequent travelers. Stylists across the country (and Maria in the Kansas City metro area), host four seasonal trunk shows per year (Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter).  Maria also assists traveling clients by building online shopping lists for those that are not able to attend the show in person. The Etcetera website keeps you up to date on the latest look books, styles, and trends and you can follow Maria on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.  

My Etcetera Hit List

Etcetera designers have access to the world’s best fabrics, many of which are custom and exclusive to Etcetera. They are part of the world’s largest apparel company which means you have access to the best fabrications and latest apparel technology available. Clothes are made by artisans who take utmost care and pride in their work.  Even their t-shirts are amazing!

The fall trunk show is coming August 18-28. Make an appointment with Maria to see how fun a personalized shopping experience can be. With Maria there is no purchase pressure as she focuses on consultative wardrobing.  You can also be entered in Etcetera’s national $1,000 shopping spree promotion just for coming and setting a future appointment (no purchase required). If local to Kansas City, contact Maria Copeland at 913.269.4903 to set an appointment and let her know you read about Etcetera here, or if outside Kansas City, visit their website for stylists across the country.

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