I promised more news and views from the Nearly Annual MMB Retreat held last week here in Sonoma. If you missed some of the action, you can get caught up here, The MMB Retreat in Sonoma brings in stylish professionals. I cannot tell you how much joy it has brought me to go through my phone and choose these pictures to share with you. If you could see me now at the computer screen (don’t look at my hair!), my grin is matching those of my colleagues below.
See all those smiling faces? Those are style and image consultants taking photos from our meeting room at the Fairmont’s Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa during Style Study. Style Study was when each person had a chance to stand up and share with everyone what they were wearing and why. We’re always advising our clients on what to wear and why so it was fun to share what goes into our own minds when we put outfits together.
We heard about a necklace that hadn’t been worn in forty years that came out to play this week in an outfit. One colleague was wearing a bracelet that had come from her mother’s pen pal in New Zealand when her mother was in grade school. Some savvy shoppers shared items they’d found at thrift stores, consignment stores or discount chains. Cardigan sweaters were worn backward, coats were turned into dresses, dresses turned into tunics, layering pieces turned upside down and belted. It was fun, wild, and I can’t wait to share more.
Style Study details
Before I share more examples of Style Study I want to share a term Suzanne (@airofdistinction) introduced us to on Tuesday in her Master Style Class: Breaking the Rules. The term is Flawsome. It’s an adjective and refers to an individual who embraces her “flaws” and knows they’re awesome regardless.
Is that awesome or what? We played around with that word all week. I don’t want to stop. Let’s be flawsome together, okay?
Back to the retreat: On Wednesday afternoon we scheduled some free time so people could go shopping if they wanted to. Or they could head back to the spa for a massage.
Ginger went shopping with buddies and found this coat at Angelique, a boutique just off the square. It’s trench coat by Samuel Dong, a Canadian designer she knew about already. It has a bubble hem and resonates with one of her style words: exquisite.
She borrowed earrings from Suzanne which came from an artist in Australia. The belt was in her suitcase already. So with just a tiny tweak, she turned her shimmery coat into a belted dress with leggings and heels she had with her.
I love the repeat of the lines in the earrings and the lines in her belt.
I should have taken pictures of every single necklace worn last week. There were so many! Here are two I captured. This is Mariann on the left and Bernie on the right. Their necklaces are so kinetic! I love how they take up some much space on the chest. It’s far from a thin gold chain!
Here’s Traci from Cleveland. She explained that she has a full suit in the pattern of her pants. The fabric is fabulous! She often splits the jacket and pants up. They’re by Ouliu. I’m pretty sure I’ve got that right. There’s a list coming of plus-size resources that I’ll share with you as soon as I get it.
The tank T-shirt she’s wearing is white on the top and black on the bottom. She LOVES this T-shirt from Macy’s because it gives the illusion of a waist with the way the white ends and the black begins. The black part covers her fullest area. How clever! She likes using her shimmery scarf to create a longer line. Her blue knit jacket has flattering 3/4 length sleeves. Her glasses are blue too. I love this color palette!
I had to call up the Bellas to join me when I explained my outfit. They were with me when we were in Sonoma in November. I spotted this jacket by Heydari in the Sonoma shop called Artifax. I fell in love with the letters. “But where would I wear this?” I said. Practically in unison, they said, “You could wear it at the MMB Retreat!” And I did! I’ll be sharing more about this outfit another time.
Here’s our Master Style teacher, Suzanne. We’d had a class on taking photos so I’m doing my best to catch of shot of Suzanne on this great picnic table at El Molino Central in Boyes Hot Springs where the group had lunch on Thursday.
She’s wearing (as she teaches) mixed patterns! She is wearing tartan jeans from the men’s department in a store in Melbourne. Her vintage black kimono is belted at the waist with an obi type belt. She’s wearing a turban on her head (bad hair day, she said) in an animal print which she sees as a neutral. Balancing the design weight on her head are her very lightweight red pom pom earrings. I love her sheer dot hosiery with her patent heeled oxfords. She doesn’t want to look like anyone else. We just adore how much she looks like our style guru, Suzanne!
Sara is so elegant and refined. I loved looking at her neutral palette every day. Here she’s mixing prints in a subtle way with her plaid fitted long jacket, her scarf and then take a close look at her bracelet.
I love her suede gray booties. I could see those in my wardrobe! Love her ring and even her nail polish is refined.
Here’s Carrie who never saw anything glittery that she didn’t like. Her personality is like glitter too! Light, delightful…she just brings joy to every room.
I love how she’s created this column of blue with her knit duster and her cuffed jeans and her blue-gray sandals. Yum!
And how’s this for a color mix? Marj loves navy (it loves her) and this mustard gold. I like how she’s layered this lace top on top of her long-sleeved T-shirt. Remember that when you look at your summer tees or tanks. You could wear one as a layering piece over something long-sleeved right now in February.
Do you want to meet someone who has rollerbladed in every state in the USA except three? That would be Jill! She’s from Minnesota and was soaking up the sun last week. She’s wearing a tunic knit colorful top over leggings. She has the most amazing leather jacket collection in colors that aren’t black, gray, or navy. Try orange, turquoise, and blush pink. She told us an unforgettable story about how she got her husband’s eyebrows tweezed. He was reluctant but he isn’t anymore. I don’t think I can share it here but if we meet for coffee, remind me and I’ll tell you!
The retreat comes to a (tearful) close
Oh no, it’s getting close to the end of the retreat. Okay, now I’m looking at the pictures that have me crying…again. I knew by Tuesday at noon that saying goodbye on Thursday night was going to be tough. Here are Traci and Leigh and me and Marjory toasting to a wonderful time together.
Here’s Danean who is one of my style heroes. I’ve asked if I can write about her and she’s said yes. I love these glorious simple lines on her. That knit top has those fabulous bell sleeves. And take a look at her shoes!
And here’s the bunch of us! The fact that I write content for them to use in their newsletters, social media, presentations and such doesn’t sound too sexy, does it? But it’s what has brought us together: the Monthly Marketing Bundle program. We share a desire to grow this industry and make our clients happy. I’m so glad I can use my writing to help make that happen. (Would you please hand me a tissue?)
Have you seen a more flawsome, awesome group lately?
This is the image of what’s possible after a few days of spending time in one place together enjoying beauty, style, fashion, and personal expression. It’s what it looks like when we’re supporting and mentoring each other in our businesses and growing and deepening friendships. And it’s love, lots and lots of love.
#Iamsolucky #wearesolucky #MMBsforever #untilnextyear #iloveyouguys
There! Has anything or anyone inspired you? I’d love to hear!