Fashioning a strategy with ‘balance’ no easy task


Jessica Pfohl Paisley


Molly Gruel sorts clothes at Plato’s Closet. PHOTO CREDIT: JESSICA REILLY


Sarah Wilson


Abby Lehnen shops at Plato’s Closet in Dubuque. The shop offers fashions that allow customers to have thrift styling. PHOTO CREDIT: JESSICA REILLY, Telegraph Herald


Molly Gruel sorts clothes at Plato's Closet in Dubuque on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019. PHOTO CREDIT: JESSICA REILLY


Jessica Pfohl Paisley


Molly Gruel sorts clothes at Plato’s Closet. PHOTO CREDIT: JESSICA REILLY


Sarah Wilson


Abby Lehnen shops at Plato’s Closet in Dubuque. The shop offers fashions that allow customers to have thrift styling. PHOTO CREDIT: JESSICA REILLY, Telegraph Herald


Molly Gruel sorts clothes at Plato's Closet in Dubuque on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019. PHOTO CREDIT: JESSICA REILLY

The fashion industry is abuzz this month discussing the 2019 fall-winter fashion lines making their way down the runways worldwide.

Staple items of yesteryear, including fringed-out clothes, distressed leather and denim pieces and the once-scorned supersized shoulder shapes of the 1980s, are making a comeback, and fashion-savvy shoppers in the Dubuque area are turning to local businesses.

Jessica Pfohl Paisley, of Dubuque, is senior fashion stylist and owner of P.S. Styling. She said there are ample locations to pick up fashionable, one-of-a-kind items while staying on budget.

“If your goal is to be doing thrift styling, you have to be willing to put in the time,” she said. “You can find some really cool pieces throughout the area. You just have to know what you’re looking for and what kinds of looks you want to put together.”

The key to incorporating on-trend items into an everyday wardrobe is to find pieces that have a timeless element to them, she said.

“So much is driven by Fashion Week and all the trends that come with them, but it’s important that your wardrobe is influenced, not run by, the runways,” she said. “‘Balance’ is the perfect word for this. You need to find things that still work with your personal style because people will end up getting rid of it or not wearing it after six months if they aren’t comfortable incorporating it into the rest of their wardrobe.”

Shopping at vintage shops and consignment and thrift stores has gained a significant following in recent years, especially among those looking to be more environmentally conscious as well as

budget-friendly.

Sarah Wilson, manager at Plato’s Closet in Dubuque, said “recycling your style” is a

win-win for both the consumer and the planet.

“Everything in this day and age is disposable. You wear it a little bit, and then it ends up either at Goodwill or the trash because you’ve grown out of it or you’ve purged it out (of your closet),” she said. “I love ‘recycle your style.’”

For vintage clothing collector Julie Griffin, being able to share clothes with history is an important element of styling.

“The nice thing about vintage is you just don’t get that kind of quality anymore. Unless you’re purchasing high-end designer brands, you’re not going to get the quality you get in vintage clothing,” she said. “The uniqueness of the clothing and the story behind it always add to the allure of vintage clothing.”

Griffin, of East Dubuque, Ill., is the owner of vintage pop-up shop Merry Pop-In Shoppe. For her, vintage provides opportunities for greater personal expression.

“Vintage allows you to really create your own style because you’re not taking your cue from what’s on the mannequin in the latest and greatest (runway) collection,” she said. “It helps you make it your own.”

Erica Lyons writes for the Telegraph Herald.

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