Tuesday, December 29, 2015

New Year's Outfits

It's time to sparkle and shine for NYE celebrations!  Whether you're staying in with friends or going out or hitting a New Year's gala you're going to need an outfit.  Here are 5 to inspire the diva in you.

Staying in with friends? No worries, you can still look fab:




















Hitting the bars with friends, here you go:



















Going club hopping with the gals, look no further:



















Going to a co-workers party, easy-peasy with this pop of color:
























Making an appearance at a New Year's gala (it's a thing), then voile:



Now go crank some Bette Midler (why, Bette?  Not sure, it just seems super divaesque)  and try on the glitz and glam, if you need more ideas come on in and we'll give stylist advice as always.  Also, hint hint....cobalt blue is where it's at this holiday season!

2016 New Year's Challenge

This is such an easy challenge, we're not asking you to drop 10 lbs or give up your wine habit (ohgawd, please do not do that), we are simply asking you to turn your hangers around in your closet. That's it. Turn all your hangers so they are backwards and as the year presses on and you wear your faves you then place those items back in the closet the correct way.  When the season changes or you get to next winter and you still have turned around hangers than you empty all those items into a bag and bring it here to exchange or swap on our online store.  Do not wait a full year to visit us or shop at our online store, however it's a handy dandy way to keep track of all your favorite items as well as your not-so-favorite items.

Challenge accepted.

Monday, December 28, 2015

12 Best Shoes from Upshift

As the owner I get to swap up (and I commit to swapping, or my closet would be HUGE) whenever I see the need (about once per month).  Through this incredible journey of owning the best swap shop evaaa I've acquired quite the amazing shoe collection. Without further ado, here are the top 12.

Monro Ankle Boots, 100% leather*

Gucci Flats

Frye Boots, 100% leather*

Toms Lace Up, Brand new in the box

Dolce Vita, Lazer cut leather*

Nine West Ankle Bootie with Studs, 100% leather*

Bass Pennyloafer, Retro 80's and 100% leather*

Ralph Lauren Flats, 100% leather*

Woodies by Jeff Campbel, Faux fur and leather

Anne Klein Pumps, 100% leather*

Levi Strauss Bumper, 100% comfort

Hanover Flat Lace Up, 100% leather*
*Note on leather and animal hide fashion: I prefer to not eat meat because I love animals more than anything (notice I didn't say I'm vegan, vegetarian, or a non-meat eater.  My hubby, Dustin, has a culinary background and every once in a while meat is ethically acquired, prepared, eaten, and enjoyed at our dinner table.  However, let it be known I prefer fish or veggies over a good slab of meat.  When it comes to fashion I LOVE the look, quality, and fit of genuine leather whether it's a purse, a jacket, shoes, or pants.  So, I commit to wearing second hand leather because the animal sacrificed it's hide long ago (and we know that they serenaded that animal to death and then a unicorn sprinkled glitter on it to remove the hide so that the garment or accessory could be created).  Long story short, I wear second hand leather because the animal was already sacrificed and should be honored.  Call it a lame excuse, but it's how I make it all ok in my own brain.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Take the Minimalist Christmas Challenge

At Upshift we're all about being sustainable, minimalist, or thrifty.  Take this challenge and see how many you can check off:

1. Save gift wrapping or boxes to reuse next year (bonus if you don't buy any new, and reuse all the saved items)

2. Regift something as a money saving and waste saving tactic

3. Wear the same outfit Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (or to two different holiday events)

4. Save your wine bottles and do family craft night on Christmas evening.

5. Bake leftovers into something amazing, give to an elderly neighbor or friend, or freeze for later on.

6.  As a gift to your closest girlfriend, niece, or daughter, let her go through your unwanted clothing or accessory items.  Bring leftovers to Upshift!

7. Have a jar on the table during dinner and anytime something negative is spoken that person must give a coin (or more).  At the end of the day bring it to a bell ringer of your choice.

8. Commit to bringing out dinner in courses so the meal is enjoyed.  Bonus, pull a topic card for each course where each person shares on that topic.

9. Create a bin for all electronics (also, commit to keeping the TV off), have a drawing from the bin for a fun gift.

10. Create a minimalist plan with your family for next year's holiday celebration (ie, make gifts, upcycle gifts, no gifts, regift, etc)

Make your own family or friends plan to make sure this holiday is carefree and full of laughter!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Happy Holidays

It's that time of the season when we all celebrate family, friends, food, and drink.  It doesn't matter how you celebrate, all that matters is you're surrounded by people that make you feel good and bring good cheer to you and yours.  Our doors are always open to offer that same sentiment, however this coming Friday, December 25th we'll be closed to offer staff and volunteers the opportunity to renew their energy and sense of family and self.

We have limited hours on Thursday, December 24th from 12pm-4 and again on Saturday, December 26th from 12pm until 4pm.

Additionally, we're open December 31st and January 1st from 12-4pm.  This is all in the name of offering our staff (and ourselves) a chance to renew our energy during the changing solstice, holiday, and upcoming new year.

We encourage you to do the same.  Take this time to be with family, friends, and most importantly yourself.  What do you most want for yourself, knowing it will positively affect your nearest and dearest.  Do you need or want a massage or a manicure?  Do you need to give to those less fortunate to send forth goodwill?  Do you need to take the minimalist route and purge any unwanted items in your house (even one drawer) to help lighten the load?  Maybe it's a lot to ask at this time of year to even question what you most deserve for yourself.  However, maybe if you took just 5 minutes (and a glass of wine, we don't judge) to go sit alone to ask yourself what you will most benefit from to make you feel good (not great or awesome, just a little bit good) during this time of year.  Just one thing.

If cleaning out a closet will lighten your load, and buying a garment or accessory to make you shine then you know where to turn - www.upshiftswapshop.com.  If you need to get away from the hustle and bustle (and maybe the hectic holiday household, again, we don't judge) then come on over and spend a day nurturing yourself with wine, professional style advice, and of course great fashion!

Happy Holidays from ours to yours!  Go forth, be fabulous, and spread all the love, peace, and laughter you possibly can!

Lindsay and Dustin



Friday, December 18, 2015

Flare Jeans

Flares are swinging back in style.  Don't toss your skinnies just yet, those are great for everyday wear. If you're looking to amp up your style with flares than look no further than Upshift. We have hundreds of styles of flares, and you may still have your old faves deep in your closet.  Hold up before you slap them on and pair with your favorite pieces from your closet.  Flares are back and there's some best practices when donning this easy-to-wear- style.

Number one key component is the shoe you wear with your flares.  See, here's the thing, we all got lazy toward the end of their previous run (ahem, like 10 years ago).  We threw on our favorite flares and a pair of flats with a baby doll style top.  Cute, we looked cozy...and incredibly frumpy, but we were all in it together so it didn't really matter.  Side note, we're hitting that same saturation point with leggings and ugg style boots.  Anyways, back to flares.  This style can, and should look really polishes, sexy, and sleek. How, you ask?  It's a very simple combo of a few things, first the shoe has to have height.  Your shoe should have just enough height that the shoe is covered and the flare grazes (barely grazes) the floor. Next is the top you wear with the flares, you're aiming for an oversized tee shirt or flannel that hits right at the hips, too long and the look becomes frumpy again.  If you wear a coat it should cinch at the waist to create definition and balance with the volume of the flare on the bottom.  Add sexy accessories like a gold watch, aviator sunglasses, and delicate jewelry.

As for fit, you want them to be your old school 70's hip huggers that are fitted well in the waist (no butt cleavage like the early 2000's), and continue that slim fit in the thigh and knee with the flare beginning below the knee and flowing over the shoe.  Don't let the flare drag, it can only graze the floor.

Here's a great pic of the look, along with 4 stylized pics for outfit options.  Now, dig out those flares or swing in and try on ours.


Image credited to Martin Preisler of www.justthedesign.com


Casual yet sexy
Basic tee with trench and super sexy accessories


Hippy dippy
Flowy white top with wood beaded necklace and peep-toe leather wedge


Preppy casual
Flannel with grandpa sweater and leather Mary Janes

Must have shoes
Pointy pumps, stacked pumps, strappy peep toes, and this seasons hottest - platform sandal

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

VIP Winter Special

We are running a special for our most loyal customers (that's you, if you're reading this).  It will run now until February 29th, 2016.  You get $5 off your visit if you bring a new customer with you, who will also get $5 off that day.  Yeah, you read that right!

We advertise by word of mouth and it's a very proven method for us, so basically this promo is a win/win for us and for you, our loyal customer.  We depend on you to help us spread the word about our swap system and our mission of sustainability.

*Loyal customer shouts in front of their computer screen, "Wait, how will you track if it's a new customer or not?"

We have the best customers that come and swap with us daily, literally I look forward to all your beautiful faces every day!  With that said (did I butter you up there?), we know that our customers totally get that we run a sound business based on best practices so we know you'll honor our request and bring a newbie.  Also, it's kind of obvious to us when a newbie comes in cause they look a little overwhelmed and hesitant at first.  Most seasoned customer (did we mention we LOVE you) come in, drop their bag, and start perusing after getting a glass of wine.  Ya'll clearly know what your doing!

So, with that said come on down and bring a friend to get our sweet promo! $5 off each.  Just mention the $5 off Newbie promo.

Peace, love, and many thanks to you~

Lindsay


How to Swap Online

We have an online swap shop, making it simple to get a custom-picked wardrobe sent straight to your front door.  It's incredibly simple and cost only $49.99 with shipping included.  Visit www.upshiftswapshop.com or watch the video below.


Monday, December 14, 2015

Menswear Trend for Women

Dude looks like a lady, or other way around.  There's a huge movement toward blurring the lines between feminine and masculine looks as well as an awareness of what it means to dress more feminine if you're a male or dressing more masculine if you're a female.  It's easy to add a menswear vibe to your wardrobe and this video lays it out pretty simply.




Blazer = must have in your closet

Pair with pointy pumps to keep it feminine


Vest = dare to wear once and you'll be addicted

Pair with a pop of color and a crisp white shirt and a feminine necklace for optimum affect

Friday, December 11, 2015

Holiday Outfit Ideas

Holiday outfit ideas for every occasion, from casual to over-the-top dressy:

1. Cabin fever
Snuggle up with your loved ones in a cozy sweater, fur lined boots, skinny jeans and a box of wine!

2. Drinks with the ladies
Pair a brocade skirt with flats, black sweater, a short sleeve cover up, and a lightweight scarf.

3. Family din-din
Show the family you have your life pulled together by wearing a sweater dress, leather gloves, a fancy little trench coat.

4. Office partaay
Pair a silk/tweed dress combo with polished pumps, leather belt, and a wool winter coat

5. New Years Eve
Sparkle and shine is a no brainer, pair with a crop top and blue stacked pumps to slaaaaay this NYE

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The Be-All, End-All Outfit

It's the holy grail of fashion- the perfect, versatile outfit that can be worn day or night, week day or weekend.  I believe every fashionista needs this outfit (or similar type outfit) in their arsenal so that on any given day it can be thrown on and worn with confidence.  I analyzed all my favorite outfits and compared them to similar wardrobe choices on Pinterest and figured out the ideal outfit.  So, here you go (drumroll....), thee perfect outfit is built from these simple silhouettes:

Slim fit bottom

Basic tank top

Loose fitting, long sleeve top

Blazer/coverup

Chunky heel boot

Oversized scarf

Minimalistic jewelry

Waferer sunglasses

Voile, all together


Now get hopping and pull these pieces together from your own closet or visit us at www.upshiftswapshop.com to get these pieces.  This outfit literally can be worn during the day at work, into the night at your favorite pub, and on the weekend while out running errands.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Client Look Book

I'm an instructor at Madison College in the Fashion Marketing program.  I teach several classes that involve anything relating to fashion and one of my favorite class to teach is Fashion Analysis where the students study the elements of design and apply it to designing a line of clothes.  The students also analyze their own fashion sense as well as a client that we bring in to the classroom.  The students ask pertinent questions and then create a look book on Pinterest that offers ideal style advice to the client based on lifestyle and fashion style.

Sound familiar?  That's because we offer this to our online customers at www.upshiftswapshop.com where customers fill out a stylist form that gets sent to a personal stylist where they custom choose items to ship right to the customers door.  We also offer this service the 3rd Sunday of each month in our Madison boutique from 2-4pm.

In this instance we had a customer, Jen, from our Madison Upshift boutique come to our classroom and get top notch stylist advice.  Jen is a lobbyist for a conservation program and works at the Madison capitol building if she's not traveling throughout the state meeting with key people (mostly men) that specifically work with or against the conservation efforts.  Additionally, she is very social and loves to meet with friends and family when she isn't working.  Jen travels a lot, both personally and professionally.  Jen lives in a condo near downtown making walking and biking her main transportation to and from work, except in the winter when she takes the bus.  Jen prefers skirts, long sleeve tops, and cardigans along with comfortable high heels.  She loves color especially in her handbag and coat choices.  Jen is of German descent and has light brown hair and prefers to wear glasses. Additionally, she doesn't mind showing some leg, but prefers to cover up her arms.

So, with that said, here is what the students of MATC offered as stylist advice-







The future of Upshift

We are at a pivotal point for Upshift's future and we are moving forward due to some amazing investors that fulfilled our crowdfunding goal.  The future holds a ton of amazing advancements that will help get our mission of sustainability out to the public in all 50 states through our online store at www.upshiftswapshop.com.  I can only begin to say how thankful we are to the people that came forward, it's a reminder to Dustin and I that we are surrounded by amazing people both near and far.

After conceiving the idea of our online swap concept in March we debated for quite some time if we should do crowd funding and what platform to choose.  In the end we knew we needed to do the crowd funding because we have financed Upshift solely on our own since 2009 and asking others to invest through Kickstarter made sense to us.  He and I take pride in the fact that, despite being turned down by multiple financial institutions, we believed in our mission so much so that we have worked multiple jobs at one time to make Upshift a reality.  When we decided to open our online store we knew that involving our family, friends, and customers was and is a way to secure the future of Upshift without going through a bank or government funding.  Each person that came forward to contribute on Kickstarter gave individual amounts that fulfilled out $4000 goal.  Each person that contibuted is responsible for Upshift's success.

There are hardly words that I can find to say how thankful we are for the confidence each contributor has in Upshift's future.  Saying we are thankful, blessed, and humbled is a start but know that with every success we experience in the future I will be sending out good vibes to all that helped us reach our goal!

Peace,
Lindsay and Dustin