Fizz flies the coop with a pocket full of prints [pt 1]

It’s so sweet when friends solicit one’s advice about birthday plans. This spring, my pal Fizz asked me how I wanted to celebrate another year on the planet. “Come with me to the fabric store!” I chirped, only to be met with much scoffing.

What, I should celebrate in a converted church with a vodka-and-fig-purée cocktail?


As I was planning on having a couple of summery tops made up as my happy-birthday-to-me present, a little scoffing wasn’t going to harsh my mellow. Especially as approximately 10 seconds after we crossed the store’s threshold Fizz was holding every other bolt up to her face and wondering how it would look as a shirt.

Hey, wasn’t this MY birthday outing?

Oh, didn’t I tell you? I’m getting ready for a 3 week vacation in Europe and haven’t had much luck finding interesting tops that work with the other stuff I own.

I’ve got neutrals and solids, but I don’t want to be stuck with ONLY neutrals and solids!

So…what do you think about this print?”


Despite my seething envy, the thought of her leaving town without an overstuffed suitcase made me weep a little.

After all, sartorially Fizz had been through so much this year. She’d left behind her self-described “PLAN TO FAIL” shopping strategy and wardrobe management system, faced a near-empty closet, and put together a compact new PNW “urban casual” wardrobe full of core and accent colors that magnified her foaminess factor.

Touched that she was willing to take (secondhand) advice from a woman whose first custom fabric selection led to the Dress of a 1000 Nipples, I attempted to share everything I’d ever read, heard, observed AND REMEMBERED about selecting a print with her.

Fortunately that “remembered” part saved me a lot of time.

I started by moving us far from the traffic patterns of hell-bent quilters. Then I shared a little technique that I may have invented…but more than likely did not.

The Semi-Serious “10 Feet” Test for Assessing Prints You Want to Wear Near Your Face

Note: To increase your odds of success, try a print that echoes your eye, hair, and/or lip color.

  1. Stand at least 10 feet from the mirror with the print held up to face. If print is on a bolt of fabric, drape yourself lavishly. Optional: Ignore employees’ withering stares.
  2. Does your head look like it’s floating on top of the fabric? Put it back.
  3. Is your head completely unnecessary because the fabric totally dominates you? Put it back.

::: interlude :::

Dark-haired, peaches-n-cream skinned, icy-blue-eyed Fizz used the above to evaluate some ready-to-wear abstract floral prints that made lavish use of her core colors.

Though her headless state undermines my field report…

trust me that she looks AWESOME.

[Or at least try to admire her summery shades, scarf-tying prowess, and colorpalooza necklace.]

::: end interlude :::

Back in calico country, Fizz and I needed to get serious about print selection. As she was looking to have about 5 tops created for her small summer capsule, rather substantial cash was at stake.

While the “10 Feet Test” was a great place to start, we needed super-specific, professional-quality advice. Luckily for Fizz, I had an expert (hazily) in mind.

Next: Part 2 of Fizz flies the coop with a pocketful of prints, aka “Style Rx” guru Bridgette Raes says WHAT?

3 Responses

  1. Ha! Fun times…and screw the withering stares from employees!

    Looking forward to part deux!

  2. Fizz does look great in the pictures you show.
    And your point about floating heads is right on: some patterns are gorgeous but have way too much personality for me (with my mousey, very non-striking coloring) to wear.

  3. Linda — YOU BET. God, I thought they were going to have a heart attack when I was fondling the $90/yard stuff I didn’t KNOW was $90/yard!

    I hope you find Part 2 entertaining.

    Struggler —

    I promise Part 2 has tips from a real expert that may help you (plus a substitute for Fizz’s head to help the visualization).

    But I swear the 10 Feet Test is a good shortcut, ha!

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