Ana Bogusky…. She’s got the look…. the Made in America Look!
Ana is a loyal reader who wrote me a couple of years ago to say, I’m not a model or a super-duper high-end fashionista. I am a mom in Boulder, Colorado, trying to look cute on an everyday basis. I have decided to commit to wearing more made in USA outfits, and I post photos of them on my blog Mrs. American Made.”
Since then I have shared many of Ana’s fabulous outfits with you. I thought it would be fun to learn more about this patriotic 49- year-old fashionista who is bringing awareness to a very important issue.
So let’s meet this Fabulous After 40 Styleblazer!
Ana, You always look so cute and sporty. How would you define your style?
My style is ever evolving, but right now it is classic and conservative, along with girly touches, and pops of color here and there.
Deb: What sparked your passion for American-made clothing and products?
Ana: I love clothing and accessories, and making outfits is one of my favorite pastimes. But wherever I shopped I found so much made overseas. It was incredibly eye-opening to start looking at tags on clothing. It turns out that only 2-3% of the clothing sold here is made in the U.S. But back in 1960, 95% of clothing sold in the United States was made domestically. And Made in USA items are usually classic, well-made and long-lasting and ethically produced. So I started the blog to show how I do it and to inspire others to shop #madeinUSA.
Deb: Is it difficult to find American-made clothes and fashion accessories?
Ana: At first it did seem difficult, but now that I know how to do it, it seems much easier. I know where to shop, and I know the secret: the most important thing in buying #madeinUSA is always to check the tag. I already check the price tag. I probably check the size tag. I might even check the materials tag. I can easily just take one more second and look at the tag to see if the item is #madeinUSA.
Deb: Where do you do most of your shopping for American-made clothes?
Ana: Anywhere I can! I shop constantly. I mean, I don’t buy things all of the time, but I would say that I am always on the lookout for items to add to my wardrobe. Some places have more #madeinUSA than others and, therefore, make it easier for me to find things, but I shop online, I shop locally here in Boulder, and I shop at consignment shops. Online shopping has the advantage that you can search specifically for made in USA items.
Deb: Who are some of your favorite designers?
Ana: Some of my favorite brands often made here are Nanette Lepore, Milly, Tucker, Theory, A.L.C. and Rag & Bone. But this journey has introduced me to new #madeinUSA apparel companies like Dobbin, Apiece Apart, Peace of Cloth, Babette, and Janska. It is also important to know that many brands of denim are produced domestically, as well.
(below is a photo showing both Dobbin and Apiece Apart clothing)
Deb: What is your favorite outfit in the last six months – the one that most makes you feel like you- Why?
Ana: This is definitely one of my favorite recent outfits – I know because I repeated it several times over the holidays. The outfit showcases one of my “outfit formulas” of jeans, jacket and interesting print top – so it’s easy, but the jacket is a soft wool, and the top has a flannel lining, so it is all warm and comfortable. And the jacket color is bright and festive!
Deb: What are the challenges that come with being petite and curvy and how do you dress for your figure?
Ana: The most important thing for me is to show my waist. Sometimes the clothing does it on its own but other times I may need to add a belt. If I highlight that smallest part of my body, I look more in proportion. Another thing I often do is tailor my clothing. I am not afraid to alter a garment. Being 5’3″ things are often too long on me, so I have them hemmed, but there are other little tricks like adding darts to loose tops or shortening sleeves that help things fit me better. Fit is key.
For instance, I love the shape that this Janska coat creates on me.
Deb: How much attention do you pay to color? Are there certain colors you love or avoid?
Ana: Well, I have a thing for blues, and that tends to show up in many an outfit, but I don’t consciously choose pieces by color too much. I love a floral print, and I have many tops and dresses with a floral print ranging from reds to blues to pinks to classic black/white. Maybe I avoid yellow because I don’t feel it flatters my skin, but that’s it. Here is a head-to-toe blue ensemble I wore recently, completed with a navy jacket.
Deb: How do you successfully incorporate trendy pieces with classic ones without looking as if you are trying too hard to trying to look young?
Ana: I don’t adopt all trends but when I do try one I definitely try to make it fit in with the rest of my style. And I would only try one trendy item at a time, mixed in with my more classic pieces. For instance, I tried a crop top sweater this winter, but I made sure to wear a longer top underneath it and a classic navy trench coat.
Deb: You’ve been doing this blog for almost three years now. Any handy styling tips have you learned that you can pass onto readers?
Ana: Yes. My top 3 styling tips are:
1) I majored in art and mathematics in college and I love the idea of outfit formulas that are easy to understand and employ – such as the “jeans, jacket and top” formula or the “dress, coat and accessory” formula. I think if you come up with a few that work well for your body type you can use those as guidelines.
2) As I mentioned before, fit is key. Clothing that does not fit properly is not flattering.
3) Try lots of things on – it’s the only way to learn how to recognize #1 and #2. And don’t get discouraged if things are not right for you because not everything will be.
Deb: You recently made a drastic change in your hairstyle by cutting inches off. What inspired you to make this change?
Ana: Yes, I cut a great deal of hair off recently, and I guess I wanted a new look. Recently I had been itching to try a short wavy bob that I saw trending in magazines and online. Most of my blog followers know me as having the same long layered hairstyle of Mrs. American Made, but I have had my hair all different lengths over the years, from very long to very short. I have never experimented much with color, but I have certainly experimented with cuts. I am fortunate in that my hair grows very quickly, and if I don’t like my hair, I know I can grow it to something different in no time. So I started the year off with a fresh new look.
Deb: If you were going out to dinner tonight to celebrate a special occasion, what would you wear?
Ana: Well, just last night we went out to the dinner theater, and I wore a dress by Nanette Lepore (below)- any excuse to wear a dress – with dark tights since it is still winter and pretty snowy and cold. I really like wearing dresses.
Deb: Do you have a style mantra you live by?
Ana: “Dress the body you have,” I heard Stacy London say one day on “What Not to Wear,” and it literally changed my life. Many days I will repeat those words to myself. I cannot hear those words enough because I feel that, like many women, my body changes. So many people wait to lose those last five (or ten, fifteen, or whatever) pounds that they end up wasting time. Make yourself look as good as you can today, for today.
To see more of Ana’s fabulous made in America style be sure to visit her blog: Mrs. American Made.
*Ana was originally featured in 2013. This post is an update of her style now.