Friday, 20 June 2014 11:16

July Style Notes: La Vie en Orange; Sparrow Boutique; Hot Mama

Written by  Missy Black
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Pink Floyd dress from Hot Mama Pink Floyd dress from Hot Mama COURTESY PHOTO

Your underwear and Kori Jock need to talk. Jock, who is based out of Kalamazoo, is the underwear fairy Godmother taking forgotten T-shirts and turning them into handmade undies made from recycled and eco-forgiving materials that are also hand screen-printed. Jock has been making her own undies since 2005, and pretty much hasn’t had a wedgie since. Her underwear fits like a glove—and puts a party in your pants with bright colors and fun prints. At La Vie en Orange she offers 8 Days a Week undies (from Monday to Sunday with a bonus Hump day pair free of charge), custom underwear from your favorite old T-shirt, the underwear-of-the-month club and a hot bootie guarantee: if the drawers don’t fit you can send them back for alterations. Having studied fashion design at Western Michigan University, Jock’s undies are an intersection of her values, taking a love of fashion and mixing it with a body-positive aesthetic, even utilizing unbleached plastic so there’s less chemicals in the environment. Owning an underwear biz and having a sense of humor goes hand in hand, as you can see by the collection of period panties, appropriately named Aunt Flow, Code Red, Crimson Wave and Shark Week. The same sense of humor is highlighted during her thrift shop trips. “I found a Rod Stewart T-shirt at a thrift shop so I can put Rod Stewart in somebody’s pants,” she said. Other inspirations come from childhood T-shirts to risqué shirts moms can’t wear publicly anymore. Add a little custom-fitted joy to your life by checking out korijock.com or grabbing some undies at Cakes Boutique in Kalamazoo.

Sparrow Boutique owner Kristi Kettler was “wanting fashions I could wear to work and also transition those key pieces to weekend wear.” From blazers, skirts and dresses, Kettler’s wish list touched upon items that served the working woman with quality pieces that were affordable, modern and versatile. Sparrow Boutique in Spring Lake was her solution and the online store offers a variety of women's clothing and accessories. You’ll find trend-setting choices, as well as its own private label merchandise. Sparrow also carries Michigan Awesome T-shirts and the widely popular State of Michigan Love necklaces. With a background working In Chicago retail for major apparel companies, Kettler has styled for photo shoots and catalogs and loves interacting with customers—so much so that she features the Sparrow Stylist option. Fashion advice and styling tips are as easy as shooting an email to stylist@shopsparrow.net. Kettler digs details such as pleating, lace embellishments and mixed materials and the line at Sparrow has those small touches for a specialty shop feel. A perfect example is tassels. From scarves to necklaces, bracelets and earrings, a little tassel detailing will be big for summer. In the shopping mood? Try shopsparrow.net.

Call it 'grocery glam' if you will, but make room in the cart among your cereal, fruit and trash bags for bold coral sandals, Essie nail polish and lace dresses. There’s been a fashion upgrade within Meijer's apparel department and this means the assortment “is more modern—we’re not walking away from our traditional customer, but watching trends in New York, L.A. and across the country,” says Lynn Hempe, group vice president of Soft Lines and Baby Center. It’s one-stop shopping for things you need at home and want in your closet including crazy-affordable gladiator sandals, flowing maxi skirts, striped maxi dresses and loungy palazzo pants—“It’s a very flattering style that’s easy to wear and you can dress it up with a chiffon top and statement necklace or dress down with flip flops and a T-shirt.” Sunglasses, jewelry and handbags are improved as well. Get used to cool mints and warm corals as this season’s color palette cues. You’re strongly urged to investigate the super educational meijerstyle.com for the closet changers section, styling ideas and blogging personalities. Men’s fashion gets stirred up as well with more color and synthetic and performance fabrics coming back in a big way. No joke — as of this printing, I’m up to my third pair of shoes and bracelets.

Groupies and rock goddesses will want to check out the Scrapbook brand line of tanks and dresses at Hot Mama in East Grand Rapids. Vintage rock T-shirts are repositioned onto easy and comfortable tanks and dresses in versatile gray and are exclusive to the store only. You can head to all of your summer concerts in the appropriate attire, adoring David Bowie, The Grateful Dead, Pink Floyd—you get the idea. Style the tanks with a “cute pair of distressed denim, rolled up with a wedge sandal for height that’s a little sexier,” said Lisa Jabara, co-owner and investor. Tanks run $78 and dresses are $98.

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