23 April, 2015


I just love a girl with Salt water in her veins and willing to rock my fav-o-rite clothing item ever... OVERALLS and worn in the funky-cool not farm-y way they should be worn!  M'Lynn is that girl! She arrived at Hop Sing for her photoshoot in vibrant living color, with fun pastel pink ombré curls ready to play dress up! What a great time we had, and the images speak for the warm season ahead...  Hello Summer! Hello Road-trips! Hello Sand! Hello Music Festivals!!! 

NAME: M'Lynn
PLACE OF BIRTH: Sierra Vista, AZ
OCCUPATION: Neurophysiologic Intraoperative Monitoring (I monitor nerves during brain and spine surgery)
AGE (if you'd like to share): 23

Describe your "signature look"... 
"Boho chic, relaxed, practical. I want to look fabulous but also be ready to ride my bicycle wherever or go hike in the woods with my dogs."

Who or what inspires you? 
Any woman who takes a new trend or fashion, makes it all her own and rocks it.  Confidence makes or breaks every outfit.

What makes you feel beautiful? 
"When I get to lounge with my dogs and loved ones after a long day of saltwater, sand, and waves. Sun-kissed skin and salty hair will always make me feel gorgeous."

Name an item of clothing you can't live without... 
My black fringe Minnetonka moccasin boots. Amazingly versatile.


The biggest splurge in your closet...
Let's not talk about it...(looking at you, thigh-high black leather boots)

The biggest waste of money in your closet... 
Crappy flats and cheap blazers. Contrary to what your parents tell you, business wear does NOT have to be conformist or boring.

What's the most memorable piece of clothing you've worn, and what made it special? 
My father gave me a stunning black lace dress for Christmas one year. I wore it to ring in my 21st birthday and many times afterwards and I always feel completely gorgeous yet ridiculously comfortable in it. I haven't yet found a dress that classy and that much fun to dance in.                            
What's your guilty pleasure/something you can't resist?
"Sea salt dark chocolate, lavender biscuits, and a perfect cappuccino. Decadent, simple, perfect."

Do you have a style icon? 
Please describe: 
My mother. Our styles are radically different but she taught me how to love clothes and to love the game of putting them together unexpectedly to look fabulous. I know no woman with better style.

What is your beauty/skincare routine?
Wash twice a day with organic face wash, moisturize with rose hip seed oil,  apply mascara, maybe some eyeshadow, swipe my lips with some hazelnut oil and boogie out the door! 

What has been the biggest surprise about the age you are now? 
How young I feel, but how mature everyone seems to perceive me. I'm an adult! What?!

The best advice you've ever received? 
"Letting emotions guide your decisions for love, work, clothes, anything, is not weak, but the only way to love and live authentically."

Do you believe in destiny? 
I don't. I believe each person carves their own path and can change it as they please.

What's next for you? 
Getting out of the country as soon as possible and getting under the waves! 

Thank you M'Lynn! You inspire us! ❤️

06 April, 2015

HOP SING VIBES... with Breanna!

Silk embroidered tunic - Odd Molly, cutoff shorts - Free People • hand-rubbed vintage distressed boots - BedStÜ
I haven't known this stunning and ethereal beauty for long, but her "beyond-her-age fashion savvy" is what drew her into my world. At only 18 years old she exudes an honest, fluid and natural self-expression that many woman twice her age lack. In this day and age, so many young women are buying into cheap and disposable trendy fashions; Breanna has an appreciation for high quality and design that belies her age.  She chooses wisely and invests in truly special pieces when she can afford the opportunity.  

She is remarkable! 

- Lauren

Graphic tee by Chaser, denim cutoffs by Free People

Name: Breanna Burkizer
Place of birth: Glendale, Arizona
Age: 18

Describe your "signature look"...
My signature look would have to be messy hair, winged eyeliner, and red lipstick.

Who or what inspires you?
Surrealism, music, photography, and nature inspires me most to be who I am.

What makes you feel beautiful?
I feel most beautiful when I have my makeup the way I love it, and when I'm wearing things that make me feel confident and cute.

Name an item of clothing you can't live without...
I cannot live without cute summer dresses and denim shorts.

Backless maxi dress & bralette by Free People 
"...anything from Wildfox- so worth it because nothing makes you feel as cute and comfortable!" - Breanna

The biggest splurge in your closet
The biggest splurge in my closet would have to be anything from Wildfox- but they are so worth it because nothing makes you feel as cute and comfortable!

The biggest waste of money in your closet...
The biggest waste would have to be these very unflattering sparkly jeans I bought in Chicago. I didn't really want them, but the sales associate pushed me into getting them.

What's the most memorable piece of clothing you've worn, and what made it special?The most memorable piece of clothing I've worn is the dress I wore to my graduation.  It was so beautiful and vintage, I felt like a 40's pin up girl in it- which is one of my favorite looks.
Sheer Knit Graphic Top by WILDFOX ,Silk Jogger Pants by Chaser

What's your guilty pleasure/something you can't resist?

My guilty pleasure would have to be the amount of candy I have.  I actually bought a 4 pound tub of redvines for myself yesterday. Oops!

"The biggest surprise about being 18 is realizing that being 18 does not make you a grown up."
                  - Breanna
Delicate embroidered blouse by Timo

What is your beauty/skincare routine?
The most important part of my skin care routine would be making sure all my makeup is off at night. I use the clarisonic brush to get everything off, and then follow it up with toner and moisturizer.

What has been the biggest surprise about the age you are now?
The biggest surprise about being 18 is realizing that being 18 does not make you a grown up, unlike I always thought when I was younger.

Print henley shirt by Odd Molly, cotton cardi by Pure Handknits
"Everything you have ever done has brought you to the moment you are in right now." - Breanna

Please share the best advice you've ever received?
The best advice I've received is being told to truly live in the moment. To clear the noise in my head, look at everything that is around me, and take it all in and be completely aware, because you only get one life and if you aren't enjoying every second you'll end up regretting it.

Do you believe in destiny?
I do believe in destiny, I believe everything happens for a reason, and that everything you have ever done has brought you to the moment you are in right now. That is truly something to appreciate and recognize.

What's next for you?
What's next for me is to continue doing the things that I love and to immerse myself in everything that inspires me.  I know that will take me somewhere great.

Thank you Breanna, you inspire us! 

31 March, 2015

What's on your playlist?

Here's what we can't stop listening to this week…

John Lennon - Love  (2010 Remaster)

Tom Waits - Long Way Home

Bruce Springsteen - I'm On Fire

Prince - Delirious

Wolf & Cub (Cover of Prince's) - I Would Die 4 U

Sinead O'Connor - Nothing Compares 2 U

Annie Lennox - No More "I Love You's"

28 March, 2015

HOP SING VIBES... with Gudrun!

From the very first time this tall, attractive, and quietly confident woman walked through the door, all I could think of was how incredible she would look in our clothing... I wanted to run over and just beg her to try on a few choice pieces that would look perfect on her, but I refrained from accosting her - for at least 30 minutes! The power of restraint! Haha!

Meet Gudrun, she has been a Hop Sing enthusiast for about 3 years and she appreciates the whole unique process...  meaning she loves the involvement when we make special suggestions and help her choose styles that she may otherwise have passed by, especially when those pieces become favorite additions to her wardrobe. To my delight she allows me help her choose pieces that will compliment her life & personal style. It's truly a love, love relationship!  We love her & she loves us!  - Lauren

Name:  Gudrun Miller

Place of Birth:  Goerits, East Germany near the Baltic Sea, formerly Prussia.  Born right after WWII.  I grew up in Berlin and my family emigrated to the United States when I was 7.

Occupation:  Professional Counselor, Visionary artist and metaphysical teacher focusing on soul psychology.

Age: 67

Describe your signature look:  Funky but fashionable.  Casual but stylish. 

Who or what inspires you?  I am influenced by current fashion trends.  Lauren has been my greatest inspiration recently.
What makes you feel beautiful?  I like to look different.  Good quality stylish clothes help me feel beautiful.

Name an item of clothing you can't live without:  A great pair of jeans or two or three!  Now AG jeans.

What's the biggest splurge in your closet?  I think now it is Odd Molly clothing which I love and treat almost as collector's items!  Other than that, it is Native American jewelry made by artists who are friends. 

The biggest waste of money in your closet:  When clothes look good on me, I want to purchase them.  A lot of clothes look good on me so I am having to be more mindful of what I will actually wear!

What's the most memorable piece of clothing you've worn and what made it special?  I am looking for that piece!  It is the primal quest!

What is your guilty pleasure/something you can't resist?  A great glass of red wine.  or white!

Do you have a style icon?  I think now it is Lauren who embraces beauty in women regardless of age or size.  Other than that, it is whichever woman I may see that is happy in her skin.  I saw this a lot more in Europe and in South America, mainly Brazil where the women seemed so confident of their beauty regardless of age or body size.

What is your beauty/skin care routine?  I do minimal things regarding makeup.  I am very conscious of eating healthy and I use mainly simple things on my skin, organic if possible.  I am now also using essential oils internally and externally which seems to be helping my overall health and well being.

"...one of my missions in this life was to learn to love myself."

What has been the biggest surprise about the age you are now?  I am amazed that I love life!  I see the signs of aging and I am not overly concerned.  Mostly I am grateful to have wisdom and inner peace.  I wish I had known this when I was younger.

The best advice you have ever received:  This came from a spiritual source that informed me that one of my missions in this life was to learn to love myself.  I do now and that love has allowed me to forgive all that have ever hurt me and to forgive myself for my own shortcomings.

Do you believe in destiny?  Yes.

What's next for you?  I am open to that.

Thank you so much, Gudrun! You inspire us!

06 March, 2015

Yeah... I'm back from market, so why am I so depressed?

3/6/2015 12:37:00 AM
Fashion Critic @Large: Price versus quality

Lauren Woltman
Kudos columnist

There is a saying in China that "if you want to know what colors are currently in fashion all you need to do is look at the rivers."

Women love clothes, and young women especially tend to think of the fashion industry as glamorous, and beautiful and I don't know what... so when I tell people I'm a buyer for women's clothing, the immediate response is usually: "Wow!" "Awesome!" "Lucky..."

Today I am reporting to you fresh off a major buying trip. And although I love what I do, it's not all good. I pride myself on sourcing better quality at the best price. And, yet, year after year I see the marketplace shifting toward buying trends I cannot support. 

In today's column I bring you an industry fashion insider's perspective. I have been "lucky" enough to attend many a trade show over the past two decades. Most of these shows are segregated by quality and price point, but not entirely. Not quite fashion week, but you get to see major slices of the spectrum of clothing being offered. There are miles and miles and thousands upon thousands of brands - at every price point. From designer labels to celebrity lines, nationally branded to indie labels, up and coming foreign and domestic designs - but most of all you can find loads of cheaply made fashion.

There is even a huge show dedicated to "Off Price" merchandise, which offers a majority of overproduced, mostly cheaply imported, often slightly defective or irregular fashions that are touted as "Guaranteed" to provide retailers with enormous profit margins that the American mass consumer gobbles up - like hot dogs and apple pie. And if price is your king, you probably have much of that show hanging in your closet. 

I think consumers need to be more aware of profit margins and quality vs. quantity. Ask yourself, why is this stuff so cheap? Where was it made? What is it made of? How much could a worker have been paid to make it? While at market I picked up a cute dress, and it looked like something I might desire to own and wear. It was unbelievably priced at $9 wholesale with a minimum of six units. As I examined the construction and details I was appalled. It looked like it would unravel before I ever wore it. The fabric content appeared misspelled, when truthfully it was a trick to sound real when it was a synthetic fabric manufactured to look like linen. And, it was as far from linen as linen can get. It also said "Dry Clean Only." The final straw was a hang tag with a warning label instructing to: "Wash garment BEFORE wearing"! The foreign salesman interjected, "This best seller! You can mark way up! Cut tag off once you buy."

I walked away sad and seriously wondering if this business I love will be able to provide me with any financial stability in my future. I just can't buy into this culture of crap. Now let me ask you, how often do you wash a garment before you wear it? I haven't pre-washed anything since the Levi's shrink-to-fit days.

You see, there is a breed of consumer - someone who grew up on Claire's and Forever 21. They want more and more for less and less, and they don't care where it's made or how, so long as it's cheap and trendy. What's more disheartening is the fact that the industry is kow-towing to this woman, supporting disposable trends, and unethical manufacturing simply to meet the demands of debt-ridden consumers whom either don't know any better, or don't care. But it's cute? That dress you're purchasing at a bargain price was made by small hands paid next to nothing in faraway places, of cheap or synthetic fabric, dyed with hazardous chemicals and some (illegal in this country) pesticides were thrown in for good shipment. But it looks OK to you?

Furthermore, consumers, you're not actually saving on anything. Here's a little fashion industry secret... YOU'RE BEING SWINDLED BY BARGAIN PRICED CRAP! Retailers know what prices you're used to, what prices you're immune to, and what you consider a "deal." The less they pay for the goods, the more they make off of you. Think they're passing savings onto you? Absolutely not. The "savings" are built into their profit margins, not passed on to the consumer. In other words, the less they pay, the more they profit. They're simply buying a dress for $10 pricing it at a 5.0 margin (WELL above industry standards). They then mark the dress at 50 percent off and you're thinking, "Wow, I'm getting such a great deal." In reality, they're profiting off of your trust and making more than they would on a higher-priced, quality garment sold at full MSRP. 

There is no bargain, my friends. The sale price was a farce and that pretty dress will most likely fall apart in a few months unless you actually care for it like you paid $300. How likely is that? That just opens up a whole other can of worms... false economy, consumer culture, mass waste, environmental impact.

And how was your week?

Lauren Woltman is the owner of Hop Sing Trading Co. in the Bashford Courts, 130 W. Gurley St.