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A Letter For Plum: Willowbrook Mall

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In this new social media age, we get lots of customers communicating to us about their experience at Plum. We share these messages among us but felt that maybe we should share them with you. Occassionally, I will post them on NoGuru. Here is one I thought you would like to read:

 

To Plum,

It's been some time now that I have been meaning to send an email your way.

I just wanted you to know what an asset you have in the Sandra, the store manager at Willowbrook Mall. She is so switched on to what I like and is honest in a gracious way when something isn't right for me. I like that when I pop my head in the door I know she isn't going to bombard me with what I should buy but instead has the knack of showing me what's new and is so excited about various garments that I know I just have to buy.

I love Plum. The first thing I like is that a lot of the garments are made in Canada and are still quite affordable. The second is I'm a gal in her early forties and there is a lot to choose from that's trendy but still good for my age bracket. Third is I like that you give a $20.00 coupon once in a while. Fourth, I love, love, love your website.

Anyways, Sandra is the best I've ever had in customer service that is truly sincere and not put on. You can tell she loves her job!

Keep up the good work.

Yours truly,


Jayna

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Plum has clothing for many different personality style types. All of our clothing is comfortable, functional and good value. We really like to help you dress with purpose, so we take a long view on building a wardrobe that goes the distance. In this entry, we’ll take a look at some of the items that go well with different personality types.

As I mentioned in the previous entry, The Active Thinker loves things that function well, are of good quality and hold their value. They love the best quality they can afford and their style is simple, tailored, sporty and elegant. As a result, here are some of the items that they might love best:

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1. An easy overcoat   

2. A crisply tailored jacket (in merlot or charcoal to go with the other pieces)   

3. A neat buttoned shirt

4. A beautiful scarf

5. A pair of great fitting slim slacks

 

The Easygoing Comfort Seeker, on the other hand, likes to keep it simple, but enjoys a little slouch and softness. They love natural fabrics and they love to dress comfortably.  Here are some pieces they might enjoy wearing:

 

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1. A coat with big pockets

2. Well worn jeans

3. A long, soft sweater

4. Something to keep warm, with a minimum of fuss

 

The Lover of All Things in Moderation

This personality type loves being well-coordinated, choosing beautifully tailored pieces that go well with one another. They love style rules that they can follow and they also love to ‘do things properly’.  Here is an idea of what they might love to wear:

 

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1. A filigree or delicate earring

2. A classic necklace

3. A well-fitting skirt

4. A beautiful silky top

5. A simple dress

Of course, this is just a small sampling of what’s in stock. Even the most conservative, value conscious customer likes to add some interesting, fun and feminine things to her wardrobe, so we’ve got a good stock of unusual pieces with a bit of extra flair to finish things off.

 

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1. A silky wrap

2. A bag with retro flair

3. Some bling

4. A little asymmetry

5. A fun sweater

 

Tell us which items you like best in store today – from what you choose, we can tell you a bit more about other kinds of items that might best suit your unique personality type and get you dressed with purpose.


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Now that we’ve talked about colour and body type, there’s one more factor we’ve been learning about to help our customers dress with purpose and that’s personality style. We asked a series of questions about what our customers prefer and we found that they have three things they like best when it comes to their clothing: functionality, comfort and a dash of style.

When we work with individual clients at ICU Image Consulting, we do a detailed personality style analysis and a series of exercises to help our clients really dig down into what they love most so we can help them make the perfect choices for them. There are six personality style types that we work with and we find that people typically reside in one and have a secondary influencer.

Here’s a quick bit about what each one is like:

Dramatics love being seen, love to live in the best place in town, are high flyers and so would drive a noticeable vehicle, either something brightly coloured, uniquely detailed or expensive! They live for cutting edge trends and are often seen in the latest thing.

Aristocrats (Elegant Sporty) really like using their intelligence for achievement and would love to live on a spacious country estate. The Elegant Sporty loves function, so might enjoy a sturdy SUV that’s not too flashy but good for heading off-road if necessary. They love high quality and things that last.

Natural personality types are very much ‘what you see is what you get’ and their fashion is always comfortable and they don’t care much about how things look, although they do like to dress with attitude, given the right opportunity. They are the freedom loving, bargain hunting nature lovers! They would be living in a cabin in the woods, off the grid, at their most extreme.

The Classic is mainly concerned with being appropriate and they like rules and order. They live in nice houses in nice neighborhoods with white picket fences at their most extreme and they love order. They like to blend in and love things that are simple, elegant and tailored. They love simple clothes that are neither too trendy nor outdated.

Creatives like to break the rules, as one of their favourite things is self-expression. They love eclectic homes, and unusual pieces with a story. In their fashion, they like to put odd things together.

Finally, the Romantic personality style type is the one who loves luxury and beauty the most. They love to live in opulent spaces, with lots of soft throws, pillows, crystal and chandeliers. They are the lovers and are really motivated by relationship and they love to wear things that are feminine, flowing and soft. They need to have things that feel good against the skin. In their fashion, they enjoy sheer fabric, lace, jersey, cashmere and things that drape well.

People can exhibit traits of different personality style types at any time, but they generally feel most at home in the one that meets the majority of their needs. We spend a lot of time getting very specific on all these details, but we know that you might be pressed for time when you’re looking for that perfect outfit at Plum.

We want to make sure that we know as much as we can about what you need, so the outfit we help you find works not just for your colouring and body type, but also for your personality. In our next blog, we’ll talk about what kinds of Plum fashions suit each set of characteristics best. We’ve found that the traits of a few different personality style types to better fit the majority of customers.

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Here are the three basic personality types and their characteristics– see where you fit best! 

The Active Thinker

This type loves things that function really well, are of good quality and hold their value. They will pay more for things that they expect to last. They love things that make sense and meet their needs. They don’t like to think a lot about their clothing. They love the best quality they can afford and their style is simple, tailored, sporty and elegant.

They love to influence others and are sophisticated, yet approachable. In their ideal world, they’d live in a spacious home with a large groomed acreage or yard and would take active vacations that would include things like skiing or golf. They might drive durable SUVs of good quality that can get them to places like the ski slope or tennis court equally well. At work, you might find them in traditional industries such as finance or politics. Think Princess Kate and you’re on the right track.

The Easygoing Comfort Seeker

This personality type is extremely direct, loves freedom and doesn’t generally care about fashion. They enjoy functionality and have high economic value, so everything they buy needs to be a good deal, practical or comfortable and preferably all three. They aren’t especially concerned with material possessions but are very concerned with authenticity and being real. Their style is also simple, but much less tailored – if something fits, that’s a bonus. They love natural fabrics and they love to dress with flair and attitude while still remaining comfortable.

Naturals really enjoy a casual lifestyle, love to live in homes that are very eco-friendly and love to be close to nature. They would drive a hybrid or have no car at all. They would vacation in nature, either camping or travelling to places to go on safari and see more of the world’s natural beauty. You’ll often find them in careers that allow them to make a difference and make the world a better place. Cameron Diaz and Jennifer Aniston are great examples of this personality type.

The Lover of All Things in Moderation

This personality type loves being moderate and neat. Safety is one of their chief concerns and being appropriately dressed for any occasion is of primary importance.  They are very well mannered and like to practice good etiquette. They are refined, poised and well-coordinated. They don’t like to stand out, are often found in supportive roles and like to make sure everyone gets along.  Their style is much the same – they like to blend in and keep things harmonious, choosing beautifully tailored pieces that go well with one another. They love style rules that they can follow and they also love to ‘do things properly’.

You’d find these lovers of moderation living in nicely appointed homes in safe neighborhoods; a white picket fence would suit them perfectly. They would drive a beautifully cared for (but not flashy) family sedan and would vacation in places where the itinerary is carefully laid out and organized. At work, you’ll find them in careers where they can use their organizational skills to their advantage and support others in a team environment; they are fantastic administrators and managers. If you’re thinking of Michelle Obama, you’re on the money!

-Katherine Lazaruk of ICU Image Consulting

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Big Sisters' Fundraising Event on October 20th

Plum is a long time supporter of Big Sisters and every year we do our annual drive to fund matches because we know the difference this organization makes. Check out their facebook page, if you would like to learn more.

On October 20th, "Love, Loss and What I Wore", a play written by Nora Ephron and Delia Ephron is being put on at the Arts Club Theatre, with all proceeds being donated to Big Sisters.

It is a play of monologues and ensemble pieces about women, clothes, and memory covering all the important subjects - mothers, prom dresses, buying bras, hating purses, and why we only wear black.

 

Buy your tickets here and support Big Sisters!

 

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You might be wondering how exactly the elements of design in your body match elements of design in your clothes to create harmony. After our last post, you may have been inspired to take a good look in the mirror to see just what your elements of design might be! Not only that, but we hope you’ll take a look in your closet too and make a note of how the pieces you love reflect the elements of design that exist in your body. You might also notice that pieces that don’t work just don’t match who you are, which makes it easier to let things go!

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Here are some good guidelines to help you out, keeping in mind that this is general advice and your personality and lifestyle still need to be taken into account (more on that later!):

  1. Scale – are you tall or short or somewhere in between? If you’re tall, that’s awesome, you get to wear long coats, jackets and cardigans, big jewellery and lots of volume in your clothes. If you’re short, that’s equally awesome – you get to wear short hemlines, narrow clothes and smaller details.
  1. Proportion – are you evenly divided into eight lengths along your body and do things sit where they’re supposed to? An easy way to remember this is the ‘8 Heads Rule’. The length of your head from the top to the chin is roughly 1/8 of your height. If you’ve got a neckline, waistline or hem that isn’t working, it might be too high or too low. Things sit best right at the lines of division, or exactly at the halfway point. If they sit a little bit higher or lower, they can look a little odd.
  1. Line – so you have curvy or straight lines, but what does that mean in your clothes? If you have curvy lines, you will likely feel more comfortable in things that have wrapping, ruching, princess (curved) seams, curved lapels and things with softness. If you’ve got straighter lines, you might like things that are more tailored, with pointed collars, straight lines in patterns or sharply creased pants.
  1. Shape – the shape of you determines the shape of your clothing too! If you are a bit of a rectangular shape (like me, my bust and hips and waist are all roughly the same size), then you’ll do well in clothes that are more rectangular, like shift dresses (which I wore all summer), tunics, flat front pants and jackets that fit close to your body but don’t nip in at the waist. If you’re smaller at the waist, then you might like things that have detail at the waist. If your face shape is oval, you’ll likely feel more comfortable in oval shaped earrings and necklaces rather than square or rectangle shapes.
  1. Texture – you can find texture either in the construction of the fabric, such as tweed or corduroy, or in the visual, with a pattern. If you’re more textured (remember, curly or wavy hair, freckles or lovely lines), look for things that have a bit of texture. If you’re smoother (straight sleek hair, more angular shape), then look for smooth fabrics such as tightly woven wool/silk or some synthetics in solid colours.

We hope these few tidbits will help you let go of some of the things you haven’t been wearing and make room for choices that are more purposeful. If you need more information, we’re learning rapidly (actually, we knew a lot already and we’re rapidly integrating the new information) and are here to help!


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Did you miss part one? Catch up on your reading here!  ... read the full post and reader comments

 
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In Plum's Colour Series, we discussed how colour is still relevant and important for your day to day wardrobing – primarily so it matches you, but also so that things in your wardrobe go with other things! In this post and our next, we’ll be talking about how your body is relevant too, and for more than just fit.

When we’re working with our private clients at ICU, we notice that they tell us a lot about how they feel about their bodies. In our surveys to you at Plum, you shared with us that there are still certain areas that you are concerned about showing or not showing, and changes you might like to see in your own bodies.

Here’s the deal: at Plum and at ICU, we believe it’s never you, it’s always the clothes. What we mean by that is we believe your body is the perfect body to do whatever it is you’re meant to do here on the planet and the sooner you make friends with your body, the easier it is to dress with purpose. No longer are you yearning to look like someone else, no longer will you be frustrated by trying to put clothes on your body that just don’t work.

It’s our responsibility as designers to make sure there are things in our store that work with many different kinds of bodies, and that our staff really understand how to find the right fit for your unique loveliness. We’re learning about different kinds of bodies and learning how to see everyone with a beautiful perspective.

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Each body is made up of different elements of design; these elements are present in any good design, from architecture to clothing. We are making sure that what we have available covers a lot of different bases so we can help you find something that works.

Here are the top five elements we look for in you and in our clothing so we can find the perfect match:

  1. Scale – no, not the weight one. We look at your height and operate from the principle of congruity. That is to say, matching the scale of your body to the scale of things you put on, from the length of hemlines to the size of pockets and cuffs.
  2. Proportion – we look at how your body is divided up between your upper and lower halves and see where different garments need to sit on your body to make them work well.
  3. Line – bodies have a lot of great lines, just ask any artist! We love to see if your lines are curvy or straight or somewhere in between and bring you clothing that suits you.
  4. Shape – let’s face it, women are not fruit. We use a geometric approach, along with line, to see what general shapes exist in your body and what kinds of shapes in the garments we bring to you will work on your unique shape.
  5. Texture – we want you to feel comfortable in the clothing you choose and texture is a part of that. If you’ve got gorgeous curly hair and lovely freckles, you’ve got texture, and vice versa. If you’re wearing fabric that matches your visual texture, you’ll create harmony!

We want you to see yourself the way we see you! A unique blend of beautiful elements of design that deserves to dress with purpose.

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Read part 2 here.  ... read the full post and reader comments

 
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