The lunchtime event was the fourth hosted by the chamber’s Women’s Council, which formed in January of this year. Quarterly events replaced the annual “Women in Business” luncheons at the behest of a steering committee of women who wanted more chances to meet together throughout the year and learn about topics tailored to their specific needs.
Monday’s event was entitled “Why We Don't Wear Everything in Our Closets,” and Pat Fuller, owner of the Orange Blossom Boutique, gave attendees tips on how to make the most of their wardrobes and put their best feet forward wherever they are.
“There’s nothing I like more than to help women find something they love,” Fuller said to the group.
She explained that a woman’s clothing should reflect where she is in life, no matter what she does for a living. Fuller encouraged women to clean their closets of things that no longer fit them — the too-tight jeans, the high school prom dress — and focus on pulling together outfits that make them feel more comfortable and represent who they are.
Fuller said that what women wear means a lot more to them than is does to men.
“To men, clothing is put together for need,” she said. “For women, it’s emotion. It’s all about how our clothing makes us feel.”
Certain types of clothing can spark certain types of moods in a woman’s mind, she explained. If a woman is dressed professionally at work, for example, it can make her feel more confident in her work. She added that, no matter the style or cut of a piece of clothing, the most important part of it is how a woman feels wearing it.
“Feel is as much about how it feels in your head as well as on your waist,” Fuller said.
Fuller, who moved to Cleveland in 1974, worked in a variety of fields including banking, car sales and real estate before opening her boutique. She said a woman should feel good about how her clothes fit and feel, no matter her occupation. She said women should donate or discard any items that no longer fit their bodies or what they do. The rest is just clutter.
After she spoke, Fuller showed a few examples of how to mix and match clothing pieces with items from her boutique. She also took a variety of questions from the audience about things like whether or not certain colors can be worn outside of the seasons they are generally meant to represent. It is OK to wear white pants after Labor Day with the right shirts and accessories, she said. Most types of jewelry can be worn year-round as well.
Bernadette Douglas, executive vice president of the chamber, said she thought the event went well and hopes those who attended left with guidance that will help them present themselves well to people around them — especially at work.
“It’ll help everyone get the most out of their wardrobes and hopefully help them present themselves professionally as well,” Douglas said.
Previous events have had speakers discussing topics like finances, legal issues and the history of women’s voting rights.
Douglas said the steering committee will meet later this year to plan next year’s Women’s Council events, including the next one which should take place sometime in January.
Women’s Council events are open to both members and nonmembers of the chamber. Members receive discounts on event registration fees.