Introducing Christina Verbarg

smoorelovin’s New Trend Forecaster!

Last week I shared the news that a new contributor was coming on board. I am so excited to finally introduce her! Christina was my freshman year roommate at the University of Kansas (and I will always refer to her as roomie.) We both left KU to attend schools that were not located in the middle of a cornfield, but have happily stayed in touch over the years.

Christina-Verbarg

I have watched as Christina helped develop the reputation of a non-profit clothing resale boutique, making impressive judgments that made the store feel super luxe. She also started her own upcycled fashion line, Re-Sewn Rags, making Women’s T’s, Onesies, Pillows and Bibs. The process is really cool!

I am so excited to bring Christina on the smoorelovin team because her lens on trends is such an awesome one. I am all about quality over quantity but also enjoy giving trends a try. With her experience working in resale she is queen of finding ways to make ‘old’ clothes work for current trends. She is also and EXCELLENT judge of value.

 

Rung-Window-Display-Fall

Rung-Window-Display-Spring

Q&A 

You have a strong tie to trend forecasting because of your previous role as Visual Display & Merchandise Manager at Rung Boutique in St. Louis, can you tell us a little about what you did for Rung in terms of trends?
In simplest terms, my position with Rung had two main priorities:

Making sure we were getting new merchandise on the sales floor as soon as possible.

Making the sales floor look appealing.

Since Rung was a non-profit resale, I was completely at the mercy of our donors {who thankfully were VERY generous} when it came to merchandising the store. A lot of my trend forecasting work was comparing current trends to variations of the same or similar trends from years past and seeing how I could translate those into appealing displays for shoppers who really did want to still fit in with current trends.

When buying clothes, do you have any rules that you follow?
I like to find unique pieces that fit with my lifestyle. When I’m shopping, I constantly ask myself, “If I don’t buy this today, will I regret it?” It’s definitely a mindset I picked up working in resale, because every item that came in the store was one-of-a-kind. I also tend to lean more towards quality versus quantity.

“If I don’t buy this today, will I regret it?”

What items do you believe are worth the splurge or better bought as cheaply as possible?
Going to school for fashion merchandising, one of the concepts we learned about was “cost per wear” – CPW= cost of item / number of times you’ll use or wear an item. If it’s an item I am going to use over and over again, it’s worth the money to make sure it lasts – for me, these are accessories. I’m always willing to spend more on a good pair of shoes or a classic handbag. If it’s something that I think will be a micro trend, only lasting one or part of one season, or that I will likely only wear a handful of times, I’m less likely to splurge. Even with items I’m not splurging on, I try to consider the source, we all love a good deal, but low cost items tend to come from sources with shady business practices or with poor craftsmanship.

We have known each other a while (through some serious fashion & hair transformations, btw) are there any key people or moments that influenced your style evolution?
In the time that I’ve known Sarah, she’s always played a big inspiration on my wardrobe. She’s effortlessly cool and collected. Other key people for me are Jenna Lyons, Ashley Graham, and artist Aleksandra Zee. Moments that influence my style are the current street style trend, I get so much inspiration from seeing how other people put clothes together.

With that history…we’ve seen each other make some interesting fashion choices, what would you say is your worst fashion moment?
I’m of the mindset that fashion is a very individualistic process. Not every outfit is going to be a winner, but as long as your comfortable in your own skin, you’ll look fabulous. I’m in a constant evolution of learning how to dress for myself and my figure instead of fitting into trends. That being said, the two worst fashion moments that come to mind for me are:
1. When, as a child, I thought pairing a gymnastics leotard with a vintage tennis skirt was an okay look.
2. Halloween my freshman year of college; I dressed as The Queen of Hearts and wore fishnet tights and wedges. We ended up walking about 2 miles that night…the wedges broke and I ended up walking around barefoot (gross) and the fishnets chaffed so I had to walk like a cowboy for a few days after. I’ve never dressed up for Halloween again.

What words of wisdom do you have for creative women trying to mold their personal style?
Look for inspiration, never look to copy. And just be yourself! I know it’s cliche, but you’ll never be as happy or as comfortable as you are when the only person you’re trying to please is yourself. Fashion comes and goes, but style is forever.

I can’t wait for you all to get know Christina better – look forward to all kinds of good trend info!!

“Not every outfit is going to be a winner, but as long as your comfortable in your own skin, you’ll look fabulous.”