Tag Archives: fashion

Firecracker – The Store

Firecracker - The Store logohandmade candleholders at Firecracker - The StoreI spent last night in the arms of a girl in Louisiana. Not really. Once I started that line, I just couldn’t stop. (See Garth Brooks’ Callin’ Baton Rouge, if you don’t get that one.) In reality, I spent last night setting up a booth of curated finds in the wonderful Southern Style Antiques. Matthew, Ashlee, and I worked hard and late and it reminded me of some of my fondest memories from the old Salt & Pepper.

It’s time to tell some secrets. For over a year now, I’ve been cooking up ideas for an online store. A part of me deeply misses the hunt for beautiful things and I needed an outlet for that. This love-child online store of mine was to be called Firecracker – The Store and would offer curated goodness (both new and old) that I sourced from all over the world. We’ve worked on this idea and nurtured it for over a year and planned to launch late last year, then early spring, then possibly in this fall. Needless to say, life happened and that sweet little idea kept getting pushed to the side.

vintage belts at Firecracker - The StoreThen, a booth came available in one of my favorite antique stores on The Alley and I knew this was the right way to launch this idea for the time being. It’d be tough to pull a booth together with my schedule at the time but I needed to do this. So, on a Friday night, April 29, my dream team and I ordered Johnny’s pizza and worked our fingers to the bone getting what we had ready.

The truth is, I’d been collecting pieces for almost a year, a good bit of which was ruined in the flood. Of course that’s when a booth would become available – after the great flood of 2016! We searched high and low and fast to pull together enough fun stuff to open and prepped to be ready by the Spring Open House. Let me be clear though – if you make a visit right now, I want you to be warned that it’s not my best work. If you’re familiar with my previous retail escapades, you won’t see displays of that same grandeur. Yet. This is what we’re calling a “soft open.” A time where we “make it work” for just a bit until things level out some. It’s a period of getting back into the grove and buying myself some time until I can replace all that was lost recently. Nonetheless, I am THRILLED to be back in the game.

antique mirrors at Firecracker - The StoreIf you’d like to go by and check on Phase One of the Firecracker story, feel free to. The booth is located in Southern Style Antiques at 215 Trenton Street, West Monroe, La. You can also follow @firecrackerthestore on Instagram. There is one thing I know for certain, even as we’re just dipping our toes into the water, it feels like home. Having this project to think about and dream about gives me an outlet for my creative energy and a break from what has been my crazy reality. It feels like we’ve awakened a sleeping bear…and I’m back!

How to Start a Capsule Wardrobe

How to Start a Capsule Wardrobe. Read more at pamelapetrus.comThe Internet has been buzzing about capsule wardrobes for a while now. If you’re not familiar with the concept, take a gander through this description. Basically, a capsule wardrobe is supposed to ensure that you have only items that you love so that you can create outfits quickly and easily.

At first, I wanted to run the opposite direction from a capsule wardrobe. Not having a ton of options seemed scary and daunting to me. After all, I’d worked for years to build a rather extensive wardrobe and thinning it just felt like such a waste. After I looked in to the KonMari Method, I began to look at my closet differently and got rid of over 5 large bags of clothes. (I went from 44 miscellaneous tshirts to just 20 if that gives you an idea of how much I thinned.) I also pulled out items that didn’t bring me joy, even if I’d spent large amounts of money on them. Once I began looking at things differently, I was housing a lot less clothes in my closet and the concept of a capsule wardrobe didn’t seem so foreign.

Do you have trouble getting dressed in the morning? Do you find yourself wearing the same few items over and over? Do you just need a fresh perspective on what you wear? Maybe a capsule wardrobe is for you. Here’s how to get started:

    1.  Create a Pinterest board for styles and outfits that you like. Don’t overthink this step. Pin everything that you like, even if you’re not sure why. If you already have a fashion board, that’s a good place to start. Add more pins based on things that appeal to you. Again, be sure not to spend too much time on this. Scroll and pin without thinking too much about it.
    2. Scroll through the Pinterest board and identify common elements. Scroll through the board you created without focusing too heavily on any one pin. It’s best to do this a day or so after last pinning items. This will help you see the collection as a whole instead of focusing too heavily on what you just pinned. In this step, you’re looking for items that pop up time and time again. Do you see a lot of a similar color? Is it mainly flare jeans or dresses? Are the accessories what seem to stand out most? When you see things popping up over and over again, these will likely be the elements that you want to include in your capsule. Remember, don’t focus too heavily on one item. There will most likely be outliers and maybe you can include elements or use them in a later wardrobe.The main elements I saw in my board were cuffed jeans, blazers, stripes, plaid/flannel, professional-style dresses, and bold accessories. Identifying these as my favorite looks helped me to see why I hadn’t been wearing a lot of my wardrobe (it wasn’t the look I wanted) and to subsequently get rid of a lot of extra baggage.
    3. Clean out your closet. If you haven’t already, get this pared down as much as you can, while keeping in mind the elements you identified from your Pinterest board. Go ahead and get rid of the items that don’t bring you joy or are ill-fitting or tattered. If there’s something you’re not sure you want to part with yet and it doesn’t match your look for this season, put it in a separate pile to be stored and dealt with later. If you miss that item, you can bring it back. If you don’t, then it’s probably time for it to go. The purpose here is to pare down to only the clothes you love.
    4. Buy the missing pieces. Now that you’ve thinned your closet, it’s time to buy the pieces that you’re missing to create the looks from your board. If you identified that you like a lot of looks including a leather jacket and don’t have one, then you need to purchase a leather (or faux leather) jacket. Keep in mind, I’m not suggesting to go out and buy a ton of new clothes. Instead, you’re buying just the key pieces that are missing from the looks you want to create. For me, that meant I needed to look for a plaid button up, ripped jeans, and a neutral blazer. Be careful to not overbuy during this step or you’ll end up defeating the purpose of a capsule.
    5. Create a photo album of outfits or lists. Now that you’ve identified the look you want, pared down your closet, and purchased the key items you were missing, it’s time to create some outfits. If you struggle to find inspiration with your outfits, go ahead and photograph items together or make lists of what you’ll put together. If you struggle to create outfits, make yours very similar to your Pinterest photos. If a photo you pinned has a blue sweater with a brown leather jacket and gold necklace, make your outfit option look just like that. The individual elements don’t have to be identical to recreate the look. The purpose of this step is to eliminate time putting together the outfits if you find that you often get stuck. There are plenty of apps out there that allow you to save outfit details and photos if you’d like to give that a whirl. However you approach it, just remember that this step is here so that you have an immediate idea of how you’ll wear that adorable striped blouse.
    6. Get dressed and look/feel amazing! Creating a capsule wardrobe means doing a bit of work and investing time on the front end. You’re doing this, though, to eliminate time standing in front of the mirror guessing what to wear. You’re also putting in the prep time so that you leave the house feeling amazing everyday instead of bland. By intentionally creating outfits that you love, you ensure that you feel and look you best each and everyday. You save yourself time and frustration getting dressed, and you increase your self confidence dramatically. All of these rewards are entirely worth the time and effort required to get started.I can’t guarantee that starting a capsule will be easy. As a matter of a fact, I’ll warn you that it’s quite difficult. However, I’ll also say that it’s worth it. I firmly believe that we should invest a bit of time (and even money where necessary) to look and feel our best. The benefits of looking and feeling great spill over in to all aspects of life — our careers, relationships, and even our productivity.

That being said, absolutely do not expect to walk into your closet and leave with a perfectly trimmed capsule a few hours later. It’s taken me MONTHS to even gather the courage to try this approach. Then, it took me several weeks to do a bit at a time. It’s not an overnight transition. However, with a bit of dedication and intentionality, you can transform both your appearance, the way you shop, and the way you feel. Is that worth the time required? Absolutely!

P.S. I’m starting to offer personal style consultations again. If you need a bit of guidance or encouragement, email me at pamela AT pamelapetrus DOT com!

Where to find small (and large) shoes!

small shoesLet’s start this post with a few fun facts about me.

  1. I really, really like pickles. And no, it doesn’t mean that I’m pregnant.
  2. As a kid I wanted be a horse rancher in Montana. It’s safe to say that I didn’t really understand what that meant.
  3. I cannot whistle. It’s possible that I could make some sort of a whistling sound should my life depend on it. I wouldn’t bet on it though.
  4. I have crazy amounts of adrenaline and freaky fast reflexes. If you were going to drop your baby, you’d want me standing nearby. Just sayin’.
  5. I have a tiny, tiny foot. Thank you, Mammaw Bryant.

That last one there is what brings me to today’s post topic. I have always had such a small foot. At this point, my ten year old niece wears a larger shoe than I do. Even six and seven year olds have been known to pass me up in the shoe department. What size shoe do I wear, you ask? A women’s 4.5. (That roughly translates into a kid’s 2.5 or 3, if you were wondering.) If you’re thinking that a women’s size 4.5 doesn’t exist, you’re partially right. You’ve probably seen a size 5 on a sale rack a time or too, yet I doubt you’ve ever seen a size 4 or 4.5 lingering about. What does this mean? I often have to special order my shoes.

small shoesAs you may know, I have a bit of a thing for shoes. (You can see a bit of my collection here and here.) My collection of shoes comes partly from the fact that if I ever find a pair of shoes that actually fit, I buy them. Don’t have anything to match them? Doesn’t matter. Have two other pair in a similar color? Doesn’t matter. If they fit, I buy them. Finding shoes to fit a tiny foot isn’t something that happens every day, so I purchase anything that fits, knowing that someday I will need that exact shoe and not be able to find it.

Without further ado, here are links to my favorite places for finding small shoes. If you know anyone who has a small foot, please share this post with them. I guarantee that they’ll be appreciative.

  1. Sole Society: This was one of my latest shoe-shopping discoveries. Sometimes their inventory might be a bit low in the small sizes. However, some of my favorite heels came from here, so I recommend checking their site often. If you purchase anything from this exact link I get a $25 credit, so please do that!!
  2. Nordstrom: This retailer offers quite a few styles in smaller sizes. This is actually how I stumbled upon Sole Society. Sometimes these are a bit pricier, so I recommend Nordstrom for those high-quality basics that you’ll use for years to come. This is one of the sites where you can usually find a good selection of larger sizes too.
  3. Cinderella of Boston: This was the first company that I found that made smaller shoes. Prior to finding Cinderella of Boston, I just had to get lucky and find shoes that ran small. They actually go all the way down to a women’s size 2! Some of the styles aren’t very youthful or trendy. However, they usually have a few great options each season, like these and these. I signed up for the catalog and get very excited when it arrives in my mailbox.
  4. Gap Kids: This isn’t a joke. Most of my favorite sandals come from here. Obviously, you don’t typically find heels or wedges in the kid’s department. However, their sandals are usually very cute and more adult looking than most. Actually, the sandals that I get compliments on most, usually come from Gap.
  5. Dillard’s: Dillard’s offered an “extended sizes” option several years ago. Again, you have to weed through the less-trendy styles a bit. However, sometimes you can still find a few good options. They go down to a size 4 and up to a 12.
  6. Leatherhood: I just recently stumbled upon this Etsy shop for leather sandals that are HANDMADE IN GREECE! You have to admit, that’s way cool. The prices are totally reasonable for a handmade, leather shoe and shipping costs aren’t bad either. I haven’t ordered from Leatherhood yet, though I plan to soon. If you beat me to the punch, let me know what you think!

So there you have it. I sometimes stumble upon shoes here and there that by chance fit my small foot. However, these resources are where I get most of my shoes. Having a small foot certainly comes with its own set of frustrations. For example, I usually can’t just run and go pick up a shoe to go with a certain outfit if needed. It was also incredibly frustrating when I owned a boutique because I’d order the cutest shoes and not be able to wear most of them. I have a rough life, can’t you tell?

small shoesAll joking aside, if you know of someone who has a small foot, be sure to send them a link to this post. I can promise you that they’ll be overjoyed for some new resources and will be forever grateful to you. You should also send it over to anyone who wears larger than a size 10. Those sizes are also difficult to find and several of the resources above do offer larger sizes too.

As always, thanks for reading along and if you have any other suggestions for places to find extended sizes, PLEASE leave details in the comments. I am always looking for other options, and would love to check out some new places!

(You might recognize that top photo from last week’s trip to Natchitoches!)


White After Labor Day

White After Labor Day 2Before I even begin discussing wearing white after Labor Day, let me first tell you what I think the number one most important fashion rule of all is. Get a pen…you’ll want to right this down. Are you ready? Rule number one is…WEAR WHAT YOU WANT. Yes, I love keeping up with the latest trends. And yes, there are certain guidelines that you can follow to look your best. However, the most important rule that you can follow in regards to fashion is to not take all of those rules quite so seriously.  

So, let’s talk about Labor Day. I think it’s safe to say that most people know that I don’t really enjoy following the rules. After all, rules are made to be broken right?? I think the no-white-after-labor-day rule might be one of the longest living and most strictly followed fashion rules of old. People who still follow this guideline usually stick to it pretty firmly. Today, I want to offer some tips for ways to wear white after Labor Day in a trendy and acceptable way.  

  1. I never wear white shoes after Labor Day or before Easter. Honestly, I don’t really care for white shoes that much at all. However, I usually reserve my creamier colored options for the spring and summer months. (Actually, you should be very careful with true white shoes, as they can sometimes look cheap. Usually, something with a creamier color to it will look more expensive and classy.) Now certainly, there could be some exceptions to this rule. None of the tips I’m offering today are meant to be followed religiously. There are always exceptions and it’s always okay to bend the rules a little. Have a fabulous pair of cream heels like these? Wear them! They’d look fantastic with a pair of cuffed jeans and a baggy sweater.
  2. When wearing white pants out of season, I always wear dark colors or heavier fabrics with them. Wearing a bright color or summery printed fabric with white pants will make your outfit look a little out of season. However, pairing the pants with an oversized sweater or deep fall colors, looks perfectly acceptable. Similarly, I usually only wear dark colored shoes with white pants after Labor Day. Wearing a dark shoe instead of a light-colored one helps bring the white pant on into the cooler seasons. One of my favorite looks for winter is white pants with black riding boots and a heavy wool sweater. Following this guideline helps ensure that you won’t look out of season. Instead, you’ll look crisp and trendy!
  3. In addition to not wearing light-colored shoes with white pants after Labor Day, I’ll also seldom wear sandals with them. The exception to this rule for me is wearing a sandal that’s dark-colored and more substantial like the one in my photo from last week. I try to avoid wearing a simple sandal with white pants after Labor Day unless I’m wearing a long sleeve or bulkier top. I usually opt for a closed toe flat or boot instead. Again though, don’t take this rule too seriously. There are almost always exceptions.

White After Labor Day
While these are a few of the parameters I use when breaking the no-white rule, I don’t even follow them exclusively. As I said above, there are typically exceptions. What I tend to do when planning to wear white after Labor Day or before Easter is ask myself….does this outfit look like fall or does it look springy? If I think it looks a little springy, I’ll try to darken it up a bit. If it looks like I could be standing in a pile of fall-colored leaves holding a steaming cup of coffee, then we’re in business. 

As for white purses, if your handbag has an ivory or cream tint to it, then I think it’s acceptable year round! I would, however, reserve a true white purse for the spring and summer months. Again though, be very careful with true white accessories. You always want your clothing and accessories to look more expensive than they actually were, never the other way around. 

So there you have it…my thoughts on the no-white rule. As I’m writing this, I can’t actually think of any fashion rules that I follow exclusively. I think I’ve created my own list of “rules” and I like the flexibility of those rules so much more. 

Do you have an outfit idea that you’re unsure of? Or a question about how to wear your white accessories after Labor Day? Leave a comment below! I’ll be happy to offer some thoughts/suggestions. 

Let’s go break some rules! 

My Favorites: Blazers

When I’m “all about” something, I’m “all about” it. Take colors for instance. If I’m shopping, I’ll gravitate to one color all day. If it’s gray, everything I notice, look at, and want will be gray that day. During my last shopping adventure, the color of the day was teal. Absolutely everything I wanted was a pretty blue color.BlazersThe same thing happens with trends. My favorite right now is blazers. If you follow my fashionista board on Pinterest, you’ll see that the majority of outfits I’m pinning include a blazer of some sort.I think my new obsession with blazers comes from my desire to bring my wardrobe to a dressier level since launching my real estate career. My favorite look right now is tattered jeans, heels, and a blazer with a big, chunky necklace. I haven’t mustered the courage to wear tattered jeans to work yet, but it might be happening in the near future.BlazersThe funny thing about the blazers I’ve acquired lately is that several of them even have shoulder pads! I’ve never been a fan of them in the past, but for some reason, I’m liking them lately! Basically, I can’t get enough of blazers in all colors, styles, and patterns. I’m looking forward to slightly cooler Louisiana weather so I can wear them without risking a heat stroke.


Left to right: cream lace and denim polka dot (TJ Maxx), navy floral (Gap), red/orange (Kohl’s) 

My other fashion obsession right now is leather. (Faux, of course!) I’ve only invested in one leather-trimmed item so far, but I’d expect to see some leather items from me very soon!
What are your obsessions lately?? I want to hear about them!

What I Wore: To Work

The transition from one career to another has been a fun ride. In addition to the millions of other things that I’m learning to do differently, I’ve also had to make some adjustments to my personal style. I’m still experimenting with what the real estate look is going to look like for me, but here’s what I’ve learned so far.

  1. I don’t want a stuffy, strictly-business look.
  2. I want to show my edgy/fashionable/fun side while still looking professional.
  3. I’m enjoying mixing dressy and casual elements to create looks that provide a dressy/casual vibe that’s a nice middle ground.
  4. Dresses are my outfit of choice as this Louisiana weather gets warmer and warmer.

For this outfit, I chose a burnt orange, sleeveless dress. This dress has a great, flattering fit and is nice and breezy for these hot, summer days.

orange dressThe dress came with a camel-colored belt, but I really wanted to add a different color to make it look a little brighter for summertime. My first choice was to pair it with a new, magenta belt, but the belt was too big for the waistline of the dress. Instead, I settled for this creamy white option. Adding the lighter colored belt still gave me the brighter, more summery look that I was going for. Plus, this braided belt added a slightly more casual element to help me achieve that middle ground I’m going for right now.

braided beltTo coordinate with the white belt, I added these cream & gold earrings (my new favorites) and layered my orange Lenny & Eva leather cuff with a white Lenny & Eva beaded bracelet. (There are just so many options with Lenny & Eva!) I added a pair of nude sandals, and I was good to go.

gold & cream earringsLenny & Eva braceletsThis outfit gave me the professional, yet casual look that I’ve been gravitating to lately. My personal style will continue to transform over the next few months, but I like where its headed. When I first started this new career, I quickly realized that my style had become very casual while working at Salt & Pepper (a far stretch from my business suit days as a marketing director).  Don’t get me wrong, I loved my tattered, vintage, boho style…but it’s just not what I want for this career. I also liked my business suit style from working at the Monroe-West Monroe Convention & Visitors Bureau. However, I’m very excited to develop a new style that’s somewhat of a combination of the two. Here’s to a new look!

The dress, all jewelry, and belt are from Salt & Pepper.

More on my personal style here and here.

My Favorites: Pinks & Patterns

This season has brought with it lots of new favorites for me. It’s almost like I have become a brand new person as the season changed. Some of my new favorites are completely atypical of me.

me wearing a pink scarfpink scarf & jewelrymy pink pursePink: I have never, ever been fond of the color pink…not even when I was a little girl. As a matter of a fact, I sort of despise it. Prior to this spring, you wouldn’t have found a stitch of pink anywhere in my closet or home. (Other than nail polish, of course. Everybody likes pink nail polish.)

pink nail polishThis season, though, I’m finding myself being drawn to more pink things. Don’t get too excited…it’s mainly the neon or almost coral shades of pink that I’m gravitating to. Everything is ok in moderation right??

Note: My new pink scarves, jewelry, & purse are all from Salt & Pepper, of course! bold patterns

pretty patterned dressBold prints: The next thing that I’m absolutely in love with right now is bold, bright prints. I have always been more fond of solids and earth tones. If you look through my clothes, you will see very few bright colors and even less patterns. My signature was solid, neutral clothing with bold accessories. However, this season has brought some of the wildest patterns and brightest colors we’ve seen in a while…and I’m LOVING it! I just can’t get enough of the neons and crazy, wild patterns. I’m not planning to empty out my collection of browns and grays anytime soon, but I’m certainly adding a fair share of colors and prints to my wardrobe lately.

Note: The photo of the patterned clothing was taken at a vendor’s booth at market, and the patterned dress is available at Salt & Pepper.

Maybe you should try something new this season too! Are you feeling drawn to things outside of your comfort zone? If so, go for it with me! Tell me about new things you’re excited about. What about spring trends? What sorts of things can’t you get enough of? I’d love to hear about it all! And as always, if you’re feeling stuck in a rut, swing by and see me at Salt & Pepper, and I’ll be happy to help you find some new things to excite you.