POSTED ON AUGUST 29, 2007:
City's fashion scene is evolving in hip, affordable ways
As I impatiently wait for the fall television season to arrive, dreading yet another rerun, I have been re-watching my favorite episodes of Sex and the City. During one episode, leader of the pack Carrie Bradshaw comments about purchasing a $7 dress to go with her $300 pair of shoes. Guffaw at the price of both items all you want, but the logic behind it is ingenious.
In a perfect world, clothes would cost nothing, since society requires that we wear them, but since that's improbable, the next best thing is to find clothes that cost next to nothing. The things you wear are put through the ringer, with constant wash and wear, spills, rips, torn seams, missing buttons, pilling on sweaters or, my personal favorite, discoloration or shrinking. And, if they can withstand all of that, there is the possibility that they are out of fashion within a handful of months. It makes you rethink purchasing expensive clothing, so a $7 dress is just the ticket.
And those shoes? While you might think of them as overpriced, you'll never be too fat for them, and they probably won't go out of style. Same with purses. Investing in a great bag means you won't have to buy one for a while, although you probably still will.
So, with this cost combination logic in mind, it is time to put this theory into practice, and I've found just the right places in Tulsa to do so.
The first stop is a store I mentioned in passing a few weeks ago, which was not yet open. It is now and it's a gem. Tulsa, let's warmly welcome Modo, 1604 E. 15th St. on Cherry Street.
This boutique offers fresh, cute looks at costs so low it shocked me. Owners Angela Horn and Carolyn Herndon have found a selection of designs that are easy to wear and very modern. Aimed at the women who yearn to constantly shop and have the newest looks in clothes, but aren't quite high rollers with grand bank accounts (i.e. women in their 20s), this store hits the mark. I wouldn't say the clothes are cheap, because that translates into shoddy workmanship. No, these are affordable and that translates into time to go shopping.
So what can you expect to find here? One of my top picks is the colored denim they have. The brand couldn't be more fitting: IT jeans, a perfect name for the IT denim of the moment. Although I've heard some natives get restless about the return of colored denim, it is back, so embrace it.
Modo has given Tulsa two options on the skinny colored denim route: the safe path of the grey denim and the adventurous salmon/coral shade. Both are a great addition to your wardrobe and Modo has a selection of tops throw with them.
You'll find neutral black and white tops in great shapes to pair with the salmon or you could be ballsy and find a pattern or a color completely off kilter. Both combinations are being pulled from the magazines to the city streets.
What else? The focus is to ease the women of Tulsa into looks that are fashion forward without overwhelming them. They've struck a balance with pieces edgy enough for the risk takers and conservative enough for the office.
In that first category are pieces from a Japanese label, Sijifeng. This line won't make you a Harojuki girl, but it it's probably edgier than the regular Tulsa trends. Check out the "I Love Kate" dress or t-shirt with a snail. Bizarrely fantastic. Another great line is Nick and Mo, whose items, like short-sleeved sweaters with eyelet patterns, are more timeless and ageless.
The collections mesh well together, with girlish themes of ruffles, bows and delicate details that take an item from typical to terrific. A short-sleeved velvet blazer with tiny metal buttons and chains on the breast; pastel pink jersey dresses with rose details; sheer canary yellow dresses with bright blue ribbon bows. These looks are refreshing, especially when you look at their inventory. With only a handful or less of each item, you'll be one of only a handful of girls to own these pieces.
Modo's choices in exclusivity also involves carrying Tulsa's own vintage couture line Ra$pberry Grunt.
If you haven't heard about Ra$pberry Grunt, you apparently haven't been keeping up on your UTW reading (see Just Your Style in the August 2-8). Needless to say, it's worth checking out.
Continuing with that old meets new theme, Modo also offers previously worn designer goods. New or used, the prices are unstoppable. Throughout the whole store, shirts start around $8, jeans cost around $60, and dresses round out the highest costs at no more than $80.
What truly excites me, about this store, besides the tiny numbers that I just divulged, are the hours. Let's face it; not a lot of local boutiques are opening their doors on Sunday or late into the evening during the week, leaving those 9-to-5ers who hate battling Saturday crowds pretty much screwed.
Thank goodness Modo has its doors open seven days a week, Monday through Friday 11am-7pm, Saturday 10am-7pm and Sunday 12m-5pm.
And get this; they also do free consultations. This means that if, after reading my articles, you still find yourself fashionably challenged, you can schedule personal one-on-one time with Angela for fashion advice.
She'll help you determine what looks best on your body type, advise you on how to wear the latest trends or ease your transition from one season to the next.
Once you've spent next to nothing on a terrific outfit or two, it's time to accessorize. Might I suggest a new purse to go with your new ensemble(s)? Look no further than Felix and Jayne. If you're ahead of the curve, you might know of this company by its previous alias, Plain Jayne. The name might have changed, but the bags are still great, created in a variety of styles and colors to match or more interestingly, not match any outfit you might have.
The Felix and Jayne bags are another locally created collection that caters to shoppers who love the unique. Less than a year ago, Tulsan Cristi Martin came into the possession of a large amount of vintage fabric. She put the sewing to the machine and created her own style of bags as gifts. Soon after, Dwelling Spaces picked up on this hot commodity and this is just one of the places where you'll now find the assortment of Felix and Jayne bags.
The Felix and Jayne line can accommodate however much junk you need to carry around with you. There are totes, small handbags and little clutches that serve multitudes of purposes. First off, who doesn't love a tote? A bag that could carry everything you could possibly need and plenty of things you don't. Felix and Jayne make one that is roughly 15"x17" which makes it just the right fit: plenty of room for all your stuff, but still small enough to rest comfortably under your arm.
The small bags are great for a girl who's less high-maintenance, and if you can pick it up soon, there is a great bag with hoop handles. The smallest bag, the clutch, has a variety of functions. Use it as your bag for a night on the town or use as storage for things inside your purse.
If you're putting everything you own in your Felix and Jayne tote, store those small, fall-to-the-bottom-and-get-lost items in the clutch. I use my mine as a mini make-up case, but I also find that it holds sunglasses, could be used as a wallet or could hide your more personal items. It's almost Mary Poppins-esque with the amount of stuff you can fit into the seemingly small bag.
But you already knew the function of a purse. The reason to invest in a Felix and Jayne bag is in the look. As the moral of my column goes, fashion is about being unique and Felix and Jayne have that covered. Except for a handful of totes, which are in vintage knits, the cotton bags are hand-crafted from a kaleidoscope of prints that will satisfy whatever your tastes are.
The colors stretch from one end of a rainbow to the other, including the ever-important element of the metallic. The bags are accented with a random collage of brightly colored stitching and a graphic patch. The graphics remind me of the things I attempted to draw as a schoolgirl, but are created almost geometrically so that they still look cute, without looking cutesy; recall your girlhood with hearts, bunnies, stars, mushrooms, flowers, cherries and birds, just to rattle off a few.
What you will find is that no two bags are alike; Martin admits that even if she wanted to duplicate a bag, the elements just couldn't add up to an exact replica.
Felix and Jayne prices range from $20 to $40, a moderate cost in the stratosphere of purse pricing. Like anything else hip today, this label has its own MySpace page, but you should really venture out of your home and see them for yourself. You've got their original home, Dwelling Spaces at 2nd and Detroit, or mosey on down to the Jenks Riverwalk where they are also displayed at the new store X&Y. Tell your friends in OKC to look for Felix and Jayne at Blue 7.
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