Monday, December 3, 2012

The Career Wardrobe - Dressing to Impress

As D&M’s, we know everything about style “dressing for success,” but the real experts are found at the Career Wardrobe, a leading Philadelphia based organization that provides unique solutions for women gaining a second chance in the workplace. The Career Wardrobe’s mission is “to empower women in transition by providing programs that inspire the confidence necessary to achieve self-sufficiency and pursue a productive career.” It’s about a lot more than just the clothing: “We do this by providing professional work attire, educational programs, and networking tools and opportunities.” It is a total package design to Impress.

Dressing to Impress clearly includes professional attire, but it is about a lot more, being confident. Trained stylists use each appointment as an opportunity to educate women about the importance of professional appearance, personal responsibility, and business etiquette.  They help each client select an interview appropriate outfit suitable for their desired position. Once a position is secured, the client can return for several other mix and match pieces to begin a work-appropriate wardrobe.

Gently worn professional attire and  uniforms are accepted through an ongoing program of clothing drives. Items that are not suitable for professional purposes are sold through TheWardrobe Boutique. Offering everything from formal to casual clothing at discounted prices, the boutique is located at the corner of 19th St. and Spring Garden St. in Philadelphia. 

In addition they provide other services and workshops, such as Suit Up! and Gateway to Success. If you have a keen eye for styling and love shopping this is the perfect place for you to volunteer. The Career Wardrobe offers a variety of volunteer opportunities: fundraising and event planning, facilitating workshops, and my personal favorite, becoming a fashion assistant, aiding the clients in their search for their perfect interview ensemble. The Career Wardrobe needs you and your donations to continue to strive and succeed in helping women to dress to Impress.For more information on how to donate and/or volunteer visit the Career Wardrobe.

First Fridays

Philly has so much art, culture, and fashion in which to indulge. It’s all about getting out and experiencing what this great city has to offer. A favored event to jump into the action is called “First Friday”. “First Friday” goes down monthly on the first Friday of the month from 5-9PM in Olde City. This neighborhood has many galleries and every street has something going on. Vendors are always showcasing their latest goodies, boutiques are bringing in new customers, and the restaurants are some of the city’s best. The scene is causal, light, and the options of entertainment seem endless. Attend “First Friday” you have nothing to lose and all to gain.
Drexel University’s Design and Merchandising alumni have a strong presence in Philadelphia.   
Two stores in Olde CIty, Smak Parlour located at 219 Market Street and Sioux Zanne Messix located at 54 N 3rd Street are both owned by D&M alumni.

The event is so successful that even Northern Liberties has gotten in on the fun. Check out the NoLibs site to get a feel for the Northern Liberties scene. Here you can see which places are offering a 10% discount from 5-9PM. In NoLibs a D&M Alum works for Duke and Winston located at 633 N 2nd Street and a D&M instructor owns Arcadia Boutique located at 819 N 2nd Street. This really is one of the best events to happen in Philadelphia. Not only is it FREE, but it happens all year round rain or shine. So get out there and experience it at first hand, you won’t regret it.

Monday, November 19, 2012

What's all this interest with Sherlock Holmes?

There is no doubt that the classic trench coat needs no introduction it is ubiquitous and the "must have" item for men and women in the know this fall. Why the renewed interest! We blame it on the current cultural fascination with Sherlock Holmes. From Robert Downey Jr.'s steampunk inspired style in the film franchise, to the lack of fashion in the  Fall 2012 CBS series Elementary to the fashionable and stylized British television rendition, Sherlock.  Starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Holmes and Martin Freeman as Doctor John Watson, the BBC's Sherlock has recast Holmes as a fashionable heart throb who rarely gets the girl. Each season consists of three 90 minute episodes leaving the viewers wanting more. For an interesting discussion of Holmes and Watson attire, check out Hello, tailor.

Sherlock in any era is an unusual man, so it is not surprising that he would wear an alternative trench.  Combining features from the classic trench and dress military coats, Belstaff's The Millford Coat strikes the right note of practicality, tradition and eccentricity. Cumberbatch wears it well leading those with a more ordinary physique wondering if it will work for the rest of us. Maybe not this exact coat, but the variety of trenches and military coats is vast and there is one for every body. Options include cropped, long, military inspired, single breasted, double breasted, belted, and unbelted on offer in traditional gabardine, cotton-nylon, leather, wool, and poplin, nubuck, nappa leather, suede, raglan and plaids keeps the trench up to date for contemporary wearers.  

For a functional and fashionable Fall look, wear a lighter trench layered on top of tees, shirts and knit sweaters.  The desired streamlined look inspired by Sherlock is still achievable even with the added layers.  Winter calls for a heavier trench or perhaps just heavier layered pieces such as shirts, cardigans and blazers.  Classic colors for Fall and Winter are navy, black, grey or camel.  With this in mind, a trench is sure to be a staple piece for years to come.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Boxers or Briefs--a short musing on men's underpants

A man’s underwear can say a lot about who he is. But the real question is, do men really care about which underwear they’re putting on each morning? Shaun Cole who is an expert on the matter helped us answer our questions and gave us the rundown on the history, brand labels, and how advertising plays a key role for customers. Do men really shop for underwear with the same care as women?

The big question was taken to the streets of the city of Brotherly Love. We questioned the men and women on which style they prefer, specific brands they like, and what they look for in men’s underwear.  At the end of the day we found results were split 50/50. There was no real sense of brand loyalty and more importantly most of the men said they didn’t care for brands but were attracted more towards comfort. Of the men we encountered, they preferred boxers over briefs. Shaun Cole was right after all; those David Beckham and D&G ads are really just eye candy to give the girls something to talk about.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Welcome to PhillyWears (wares, wheres)

The Design & Merchandising program is please to present our new weekly Fashion spot, Philly Wears (Wares,Wheres) on Time Out with Phillip Silverstone. Our first segment aired on November 9th. Phillip produces and hosts Time Out With Phillip Silverstone on WWDB TALK 860, Philadelphia. Full show podcasts can be heard at:  (you can also listen live from that address).

Phillip interviews TV and movie actors, film and theatre directors, sports legends, authors, and international and regional stage actors. There is a weekly “Wine Chat” with Jill Weber and Phill’s music selection is eclectic, to say the least! Seth Reichgott presents “Centre Stage” a weekly overview of the region’s theatre.  Juliet Goodfriend, president of Bryn Mawr Film Institute, co-hosts Projections every week, with Phillip, and looks behind and in front of the movie screen.

Launched on November 9th, 2012, four students from the Design & Merchandising program at the Westphal College, Drexel University, in Philadelphia, present "Philly Wears (Wares, Wheres)", the show’s weekly fashionable feature. Joseph Gembala, Ashley Gregal, Emily Farrara and Naomi Izen represent four editorial teams of students enrolled in the D&M course eFashion Promotion working to produce the radio segments and extended web media posted right here.