Style A to Z

Sorry, Wrong Number

” I’m a size 6.”

Guess what? Maybe not.

The fashion industry, as well as clothing, shoes and accessories, is one of my greatest passions. A portion of that, is being able to provide that to you. My staff and I really love what we do.

One of the greatest tools for change lies within the sizes of clothing.Gone are the days of being a size 12 … 8 … 2. Designers today are often creating styles using a different sizing scale, one that American designers are starting to follow as well. Subsequently, at Couture Closets, a luxury consignment shop, we offer a wide selection of custom design that have been altered. In addition, all of our pieces on our website are featured with exact measurements, so that you know precisely what the fit will be. Bearing that in mind, we offer these three words of wisdom.

‘TRY. IT. ON.’

We have two beautiful dressing rooms that often reveal some new ideas and transformations. You know your body better than anyone. As you are shopping, you will see something you REALLY love, but then you put it back because ‘no … it’s not my size.’ Please. Take it off the rack and, all together now: ‘TRY. IT. ON!’ Quite often, I have seen guests come out of the dressing room, wearing an absolutely beautifully sized garment. SURPRISE! It fits; looks absolutely fabulous; and opens up your mind to variety. Finally! You have ‘moved out of your box’, and have the opportunity to increase your wardrobe.

Shoes are often the same way. If you love a pair but they could perhaps a half-size larger, or smaller than what you would usually wear, try them on. They just might be JUST RIGHT! However, if they feel too small, or too large, it depends on a few factors. There are a number of accessories that can make shoes fit and feel more comfortable! I ordered a pair of shoes online, that upon arrival, were a little too snug. Off to Sarge’s for a good week of stretching (give your shoes that are being stretched at least 8-10 days), and they fit great.

Hopefully, this will give you the ability to augment the joys of shopping! Come visit us at our brick and mortar store front at 192 E. Main in Spartanburg, or browse our online shop to find the right fit for you. If you have any questions, please call us! (864) 582-8272

~Kiss of Couture,
Amy xoxo

New York Fashion Week 2014

Amy in Carmen Marc Valvo Spring 2013 at his office in NYC

The biggest names in high-fashion have descended upon the Big Apple, ready to send their Spring collections down the catwalk at the highly anticipated, 2014 Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week. A frenzy of strappy sandals, bold prints, and mermaid gowns dominated the runway as famous designers debuted their take on what’s in and what’s out this season. Here are a few highlights from some of our favorite collections:

Donna Karan: The DKNY designer debuted a collection laden with cinched-waisted crop tops, heavy belts, and pops of color. With a transition to evening wear, Karen showed off flattering and romantic mermaid gowns and skirts, paired with bold, tops and plunging necklines. This line is the definition of sexy and sophisticated.

 

Carmen Marc Valvo revealed his take on Spring ’15 with flirty  sheer fabrics, bold prints, and sexy strapless tops. This line covers all the 50 shades of grey; colors that were very popular at the year’s Fashion Week.

The highly anticipated  Alexander Wang show did not disappoint. This collection, which Wang claims is “inspired by tennis-shoes” is funky, flirty, and fashionable. The high-waisted, tailored trousers, and wildly-printed tops are great for work and social hour. Pair this playful look with a cute clutch and some strappy sandals and you are ready for the evening!

Trends to Love and Trends to Hang Up:

IN: High Waisted- let the midriff show! This fun and flirty style made a comeback last Spring and is here to stay, but with a more updated, refined look. Bring this trendy look up to fashion code with a higher fit and a bold belt to accentuate the waist!

OUT: Asymmetry- This look is SO 2013. This Spring is all about the tailored look, with clean necklines and hemmed drapings. Go strapless or opt for the plunging neckline instead, and you’ll be the eye of envy at the next soiree.

IN: Tweed- Where vintage Chanel and modern fashion meet. It’s a beautiful thing…So get those form fitting tweed blazers and pencil skirts to the dry-cleaners ASAP, or update your wardrobe with some new takes on this classic design. Vintage or modern, there’s no way to go wrong with this look.

Turning back the clock…one layer at a time.

There are countless new ways to repair skin damage. Now, more than ever, people are becoming more aware of protecting their skin. SPF is included in so many products, cosmetics, even hair care products & that is such a great advancement. However, there are other professional level procedures, that do not include invasive operations. Many are performed as outpatient routines, like the one I am getting ready to tell you all about.

I recently found myself in a discussion with my friend, a local plastic surgeon Dr. Shawne Birchenough, about a particular laser procedure I had heard about, unofficially called “The South Beach Peel”. I had been admiring his wife’s beautiful skin as well as another friend of mine. She just happens to be the wife of  Dr. Micheal Orseck, Birchenough’s partner. I thought, ok these wives have a secret and I want to know what it is. After seeing before and after pictures I decided to take the plunge. Honestly, I was rather nervous & somewhat scared. I did it anyway.

My main target was repairing past sun damage and improving the area under my eyes. We all have sun damage, but it appears on different areas of our skin, primarily face, neck, & décolletage. After reviewing the pictures that are taken of you before you have the laser treatment, it confirmed the area I need improvement on was removing the sun damage.

Obviously these pictures have not been photoshopped or altered in any of my favorite apps like Facetune so brace yourself! #nomakeup #nofilter

First stop…numbing station! Once this took effect the laser treatment began. It lasted maybe 30 minutes and I did it without any medication. If your the nervous type, you may want to take a mild “happy” pill and have friend drive you home. Just warn them by showing them my picture of what you will look like when you come out.

I knew I had something in common with Faye Dunaway, portraying Joan Crawford in Mommie Dearest, numbing cream!
I knew I had something in common with Faye Dunaway, portraying Joan Crawford in Mommie Dearest, numbing cream!

Days 1 & 2 – Aquaphor was my new best friend. My pain level was alleviated by simply taking a few ibuprofen. Sleeping with Aquarphor is a bit tricky, just be prepared to wash your pillow case!

Day 1 shortly after treatment

 

Day 2: I had swelling under my eyes and extreme fighting of the skin. Brown spots from sun damage surfaced.
Day 2

Day 3 – different areas of my ‘previous’ skin, just began to slough away. I was excited to see the condition of my new skin being exposed as the day progressed! Say goodbye to brown spots!

Day 3 in the morning...by the end of the day I had shed all the brown spots that had surfaced!
Day 3 in the morning…by the end of the day I had shed all the brown spots that had surfaced!

Day 4 – my shedding was almost 100% finished! My skin was glowing, vibrant, & felt like a babies bum!

Day 4: most of the old skin had peeled away exposing beautiful skin asking for a second chance.
Day 4: most of the old skin had peeled away exposing beautiful skin asking for a second chance.

By the time Day 6 rolled around my skin was on cloud nine and so was I. All the worry I had put myself thru before the treatment was a passing memory…all that was left behind was skin like a new born and plump tight new skin that gave the impression of having cheek implants.

Day 6: no filter...just the amazing transformation!
Day 6: no filter…just the amazing transformation!
Tip: have on hand a tinted moisturizer with a high SPF. My favorite was Bobbi Brown tinted balm SPF50
Tip: have on hand a tinted moisturizer with a high SPF. My favorite was Bobbi Brown tinted balm SPF50

So, as you can see, doing this drastically improved my skin. FYI – ALWAYS use an SPF of at least 30-50, everyday. Just one more reason to wear big hats & big shades!

I say let’s bring back the parasol!

Kiss of Couture

xoxo Amy

For more details on this procedure contact:

Magnolia Plastic Surgery (Dr. Birchnough & Dr. Orseck)

Spartanburg, SC office (864) 560-6717

Greenville , SC office (864) 849-9330

or visit this website

http://www.sciton.com/products/bbl.html

http://foreveryoungbbl.com

3thicklines

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Get Lifted at the Barre

If you haven’t touched a ballet barre since your elementary school days, don’t panic! I want to introduce all my followers and friends to my newest obsession: Pure Barre. If you’ve already heard about it, then you’re probably one of the women in my classes because you’ve gotten hooked. If you haven’t hopped on the Pure Barre train (or should I say medicine ball) yet, then get ready, I’m about to rock your world and your getting ready to get a butt lift.
Pure Barre is a new breed of fitness class, designed to tone and strengthen you, but in a different way than traditional gyms. I’m all about staying healthy and maintaining good habits, but I’ve never been a “going to the gym” person. I need something that’s fun and in a group setting. That’s why Pure Barre has become my new favorite hangout! What makes it unique is that all the exercises are centered around a ballet barre. All the workouts are high intensity, but very low impact, and are done using the barre for balance.

I know what you’re thinking, you’re not too sure about this. Lacing up pointe shoes wasn’t really your idea of getting in shape, but it isn’t Pure Barre’s idea either. There’s no dancing (and thankfully no tutu…well not always) involved, just tiny isometric movements meant to lift and tone. If you see someone walking around with a perky butt and your wondering where how they do it, I’m willing to bet it came from the barre! Keep an open mind ladies, banish all the negative thoughts and try out a class! Pure Barre is something anyone, of any shape or size, can do because it puts little to no pressure on your joints. Their 55 minute, full-body workouts target women’s problem areas and even incorporate a stretching segment so as to create long, lean muscles. I have personally seen woman transform their bodies and attitude.
Block out the rest of the world for an hour and focus on you! And as they say, “a transformed body and a clear head… it doesn’t get much better than this.”

See for yourself! Find out more about my favorite place by going to http://www.purebarre.com

 

Bohemian Rhapsody

The return of summer signals the return of one of my favorite looks: Bohemian Chic! Warm weather for me means sunny days, Farah Fawcett hair, and getting to wear fun, creative outfits. I love the bohemian look because it’s all about being comfortable. It’s not often that you can look great while feeling totally relaxed in your clothes.
Boho chic combines loose, breezy clothing with light, neutral colors. Some of my favorites for this “village-inspired” look are printed maxi dresses, large floppy hats and oversized tunics. You can easily convert lace pieces and items with beading as well. Throw in a bag with the same trademark name and you’ve got it!

#Bohemian #Style like the the colors of the shirt and the bag is nice

I sent this cause it reminded me of something your mom would like

I’m all about being original and creating an outfit that no one else has, and this can be done with jewelry… jewelry… and more jewelry! True bohemians know that layering is essential and we can mimic this by adding on funky odds and ends we find in our own jewelry boxes.
Bangles, natural stone rings and long necklaces make for the perfect boho pieces. And when in doubt… add some more! When it comes to this trend, there is no such thing as overdoing it!

Channel your inner artist by sculpting a look that is unique and fun, but most of all comfortable.

Layered Boho Necklaces | Bohemian Jewelry

I like my money right where I can see it, hanging in my Closet.

“I like my money right where I can see it, hanging in my closet.”
Carrie Bradshaw said it best. You want a to-die-for wardrobe and a designer closet to show it all
off, but having them both can get expensive. I know I would rather spend my money on clothes and
accessories, so I’ve figured out a way to have both your dream closet and the wardrobe to fill it.
Ikea is known for making clean, minimalist furniture at a great price. They build things that can be
sold as a single item to make a room pop or you can buy whole sets that fit right in. You might not be
able to pronounce the names of their pieces, but you don’t need to be able to speak Swedish to see that
their whole goal is helping to create rooms that exude beauty and quality. Now, that’s a company I can
stand behind (or a closet I could stand in!).

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What do all these images have in common? Other than the fact that I want my own home to look
like this! These closets are functional and beautiful at the same time. It doesn’t take much to create this
look. All you need are a couple of simple tips…
● Stay organized – Have separate spaces for jewelry, clothing, shoes and accessories.
Ikea closets have plenty of storage space for all your special items.
● Add molding – Create a sophisticated look and clean lines by installing molding around
the edges. Go from unfinished to completely redone in a flash!
● Don’t overcrowd – A closet like this is all about displaying your fashion choices. Space
your shoes or your handbags so as to show them off.
● Go with white – White is the best color to highlight your wardrobe. Its an
understatement that goes a long way. Your clothes are colorful enough, don’t let your
design show them up.
When you’re not spending a fortune on hiring an interior designer, you have more room to add
that special wardrobe piece you’ve been longing for. Make an Ikea closet to fit your lifestyle. That way
you can have style and storage and be able to afford it too.

Couture Closets also offers closet makeovers & clean outs….it’s our White Glove service. Book your appointment today, get ready for Spring and Summer!

Kiss of Couture

Amy R. Zimmer

Statement Shades

Whats the one item #AmyAdores for spring? Chic eyewear!

With spring fast (and finally) approaching, I’m ready for some serious sun and a bold statement. What
better way to combine the two, than with a pair of bold, fashion-forward sunglasses. They instantly add
style to everyone’s face and are probably the easiest accessory to grab when glamming up an outfit.
Whether you are just running some Saturday errands, or are dressing to impress, your look isn’t
complete without a pair of “glam-glasses.”
My favorite pair lately are my Tom Ford cat-eye sunglasses and my vintage Dior “Butterfly” frame
glasses!

These cat-eye frames are my new favorite because they’re a daring choice, yet sleek enough not to be
overwhelming. They create a polished and put-together look, no matter what I decide to wear.
Bonus…the “cat eye” effect offers an instant lift..you know the kind I am talking about.
I love taking a simple accessory and turning it into my own signature piece. Think of others that have
changed the way we look at sunglasses, like Iris Apfel with her big, round frames and Anna Wintour, who
wears her signature shades to all the hottest fashion shows. Besides having impeccable fashion sense,
these women have taken sunglasses from being just something we use to shade us from the sun, and
turned them into a tool for defining your style.
With so many different styles on the market, it can be overwhelming deciding which pair is right for you.
Here are a couple tips from me about how to choose this spring must-have…
● Decide what look you’re going for. Do you want your sunglasses to say classic, sporty, or
trendy?
● Decide on a frame color. Black, tortoise or colorful?
● Make sure you know your face shape and what styles work best with each shape.
● What do you want your sunglasses to accomplish? Do you want everyday wear or a statement
piece, or both?
Don’t be afraid to try many pairs on, it’s important to find the right fit and what looks best on you. If you
want to make sunglasses a permanent part of your style, it never hurts to have as many pairs as
possible!
A Kiss of Couture,
Amy R Zimmer

 

Thanks for Sharing your picture Allison Ezell, your aviators look fabulous. LOVE Brigitte Bartley’s choice of Shades.

     

 

Deidre Merrill Waldrop has on her Go to DG shades. Thanks for Sharing.

Starbucks is the new accessory!

“I’ll have a grande half decaf soy latte.”
Everyone knows what I’m talking about; ordering at Starbucks. And everyone has their own
specific drink order that they can rattle off in three seconds flat. My favorite drink may not have a
name as long as others, but I consider it a personal signature!

My husband and I were having a conversation the other day and he said to me that “Starbucks
created the coffee culture that America was missing.” And thinking about it, he’s exactly right!
Starbucks has created it’s own culture and filled a huge gap that was missing in ours. Nowadays, you can’t walk two blocks without seeing that famous green and white sign and
everywhere there are photos of celebrities either walking into a Starbucks location or drinking
from one of their signature cups.
It got me thinking…

  • Starbucks is the new accessory!

Like pampering yourself with a manicure or trying out a new hair style, splurging on your daily cup
of coffee can be something that makes you feel good about yourself. Most women, myself included,
don’t feel complete without making their morning Starbucks run. I know for me, having that cup is
a routine and, now that I think about it, a trendy accessory.
Like I said earlier, Starbucks is everywhere. Here are some places where it’s mandatory to bring
your signature drink and even possible to use it as your own accessory…

* The gym – Nothing wakes you up more than a morning workout, but you need a little something on the way there to get you going!

*The office – Everyone needs a little caffeine to keep them alert during their busy day. And since business settings are often “less is more,” this is the only ornament you’ll need.

* A lunch date – Oops! Forgot your favorite sunglasses? It’s alright, as long as you have your
favorite blend, you won’t feel like you’re missing anything!

* A meeting – Bringing Starbucks to a meeting has become a way to say that you’re ready to
work, but able to still look stylish while doing it. (Plus you’ll get major points for bringing
along some for your coworkers!)
It might be silly to think that something as simple as coffee can be a status symbol, but it is.
Starbucks has become so much more than a café… it’s become a fashion trend. Just look at the fact
that the company is now sponsoring my idol, Rachel Zoe!
So the next time you order that tall, white chocolate mocha with an extra shot, just know that you’re
silently saying, “I’m here, I’m in charge,  and I’m stylish.” What woman doesn’t want that?

A Kiss of Couture,

Amy R Zimmer

Accessorizing

Jewelry ~ “it takes the eye away from wrinkles so pile it on”

Jewelry is a very personal, whether it is your grandmothers’ vintage brooch, your mother’s diamond or that “must have” piece you scored at the market during your travels. This is what makes the art of accessorizing fun. Get creative by layering your pieces or adding that pin to a fun set of beads or pearls you bought at the market. I wear lots of gold but you can modify to silver. Here are a few of my favorite pieces you may want to add to your arsenal:

  • long pearls you can layer or wear short (real if you can afford them, if not there are so many good fakes)
  • a fabulous vintage Chanel gold necklace or for budget reasons a good chunky gold one
  • a thin gold layering piece (stella & dot has good options)
  • Statement necklace – any piece designed by Colibri Collections. A mix of stalactites, geodes, quartz & onyx etc.
  • 3-4 bold cocktail rings. An edgy one for black, a large pearl one, a fun colored stone set in gold and a chunky gold piece
  • bracelets- lot’s of fun layering pieces in leather & beads, layering pearls, chunky gold link (J. Crew has good options), “Made is Sable” agate bracelets by Colibri Collections in neutral color palettes.
  • earrings – diamond studs (real or fake), I love my long drop cross earrings in brass & silver combo, chandelier earrings in neutrals and blues, Van Cleef’s clover drop earrings in pearl (or something similar) and my current obsession is geode & stone earrings by Colibri Collections.

Scarves ~ Oui. Thick and thin scarves, silk and wool, brightly colored or muted classics. Use them to keep your neck warm during the dead of winter or to liven up your outfit in the middle of a rainy spring day. Cashmere ~ Don’t leave home without it.

Scarves and cashmere are a fun way to add instant color, style and warmth. Have fun with scarves, wear them around the neck, in your hair, as a bracelet or belt and tie one on to your bag to change up your look. My favorite’s are anything by Missioni, Pucci, Hermès or fun ones I can pick up Target or street markets during travels. Large cashmere scarves & poncho’s are a must when I travel.

A Kiss of Couture…ARZ

Beach Attire 101

Beach Attire 101

As we all start to shed layers of heavier cashmere and fur, it’s time to start planning for that perfect beach attire. If your anything like me, you went from freezing temps to hitting the sand and 80’s in one day! I take that challenge openly, as I know what awaits me behind those glorious mirrored doors is a selection of kaftans that would rival royals of Ottoman Empire in a rainbow of colors, fabrics and lengths.

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They are the ultimate beach coverup, glamorous pool dress, elegant evening dress- whatever you want to call it, they are my “go-to” for summer.

ImageImageImageThe only accessories you need is a great beach hat for the day (leave ball caps in the tennis bag please), head scarf for evening ( if your daring), bold shades~ give cat eyes a try for a retro look, fun bag, incredible pair of earrings & drama ring for the night! Please don’t forget the sunscreen~ leather skin is OUT!

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If you are not comfy with kaftans than you can always rely on the white linen pant or a white jean legging or shorts. They are also a staple for beach attire and look fab with tunics or a flowing silk blouse. Brands such as Lilly Pulitzer, Trina Turk and Tory Burch offer great selections.

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Image May your journey begin to the perfect beach attire. Spread your wings and be inspired with a kiss of couture! XOXO~ Amy

For more inspiration visit us on Pintrest.