Q & A With Local Connecticut Stylista Karen Quinn-Panzer
By Mary Wheeler
CBS Connecticut spoke with Karen Quinn-Panzer, Owner of Village Vogue Boutique in Milford on her personal style, trends that work, and the importance of accessories.
CBSConnecticut: How do you define your personal style?
Karen Quinn-Panzer: My personal style is a mix of casual and business chic, it’s rather eclectic because I love to mix the old with the new. If I’m wearing brand new clothing, I have to add a piece of vintage jewelry to accent it, or it doesn’t feel right to me somehow. I truly love mixing a new Ann Taylor skirt with a vintage 40’s jacket with a rhinestone buckle on the cuff, for example.
CBSConnecticut: What are some trends that always work?
K Q-P: Opaque or patterned tights with skirts above the knee, long sweaters or sweater vests with leggings, leopard accents with anything black, fitted jackets that compliment one’s shape.
CBSConnecticut: What are some trends that don’t work?
K Q-P: Frou-Frou ruffles everywhere; whether it’s on a top, a dress, or a skirt…they just don’t work for me!
CBSConnecticut: Name your top go-to items in your closet?
K Q-P: A long 3/4 length brown cable-knit wrap sweater Vest, I wear it with leggings, my favorite skirt and over a cowl neck cranberry dress — all with different cinch belts for totally different looks. A vintage 40’s tweed grey/white swing jacket with rhinestone buckle. Anne Klein and Banana Republic Black Dress Pants. And Moss Green and Grey Embroidered Straight Skirt I bought 20 years ago. I now wear it at least 2 time a week with various tops, sweaters and jackets, goes with two different shades of tights and both brown and taupe boots.
CBSConnecticut: How can accessories make or break an outfit?
K Q-P: Belts are really, really important to making or breaking an outfit. At my shop, I often tell people to lose the belt that comes with a certain dress or jacket, and try another belt in a different color or size – and the look is totally transformed. A new trendy cinch belt can give a vintage dress a completely new lease on life and look like something that the models are wearing on Project Runway. Scarves dress up a look instantly, my personal favorites are pashminas with fringed ends – they are just so rich looking and add a lot of pizzazz to solid color clothing. Jewelry is tops with me, I can’t leave the house without earrings on or I feel naked. Bracelets are my favorite way to make an outfit! The statement bracelet is alive and well at Village Vogue Boutique. Since I love them so much, I make sure to stock a lot of new statement bracelets in the store, along with the great vintage jewelry that comes in every week.
CBSConnecticut: Do you ever find yourself scooping up great finds at Village Vogue?
K Q-P: Constantly! As a veteran shopaholic, when I first opened the store 2 1/2 years ago, I put a moratorium on my shopping for the first 3 months. So I now find that even if I love something that just came in, something equally great will come in tomorrow. A day doesn’t go buy when somebody walks up to the counter with something I had been dying to try on, but didn’t have a chance to scoop up.
163 N. Broad St
Milford, CT 06460-4726
Hours: Tues, Wed, Fri 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., Thurs 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., Sat 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Mary Wheeler is a New York City publishing professional and freelance writer whose work has appeared in Redbook, Hamptons, Aspen Peak, Time Out New York, MensJournal.com, and AOL’s Patch.com.Wheeler is a graduate of Lyndon State College where she majored in English and Journalism.