Spoils of Wear

Beyond Black Friday

Community, Fashion, Minnesota, Shop SmallJill EricksonComment

Don't forget to shop small this weekend!  

Instead of Black Friday, sleep in and take part in Plaid Friday (it's way more fun).  If you're in the Twin Cities, this map will provide you with a list of participating small businesses.  Don't forget to dress in plaid to get additional perks.  Come visit me at Sisu!  I can't wait to get all decked out in my festive plaid and sparkle!

Small Business Saturday will host even more local love.  Everyone is encouraged to support their neighborhood economy by shopping small.  Incentives vary by retailer, so be sure to ask.



Man-Style: Skinny Tie Madness

Fashion, Man-Style, Online ShoppingJill EricksonComment

I'm one of those super cheese-ball wives that likes to coordinate with her family whenever possible.  I get especially picky about it for holidays.  Easter is the worst, but Christmas too.  Thankfully, Steve likes to dress up and doesn't mind when I treat him like a Ken doll.  Our lives have become increasingly casual over the years, but he still maintains a small collection of ties.  Perhaps you recall when I went through that bow tie phase a few years ago?  Yeah...

2011 family photos with vintage bow ties --   :)

Now skinny ties are where it's at.  I like the look for Steve because he can wear it loose and casual paired with slim jeans and high-top sneakers.  I've spent a lot of time tracking down the perfect ties for the outfits I dream up.  I usually end up at a department store where I'm forced to compromise both style and price.

A few weeks ago, I was introduced to Skinny Tie Madness and felt like I hit the tie jackpot. They have the best selection of stylish plaids, modern colors, and novelty prints.  They're super affordable and shipping is always free.  Raid their sale for a bargain any day, but I'll let you in on a little secret:  ALL Skinny Tie Madness ties will be $10 on Black Friday.   2016 man-style just got real, folks.

Steve wore his Skinny Tie Madness tie to Sisu's fashion show event last weekend.   Now I'm thinking about family photos, Christmas, Valentines Day, Easter, wedding anniversary, and all reasons to dress up in between.

First TV Commericial

Minnesota, Fashion, Community, Pugs, VideoJill EricksonComment

In the midst of planning Sisu's runway show, the opportunity came up for Hungry Pug Studios to also produce a commercial for the store.  We kicked around a few concepts that could fit into 30 TV seconds, but nothing was sitting quite right.  Time was not on our side as it needed to be shot and edited within a week or two in order maximize air time.  

It came to Steve as we sat down to partake in a wholesome meal at McDonald's one recent Wednesday evening.  By the following Monday, the shooting was complete.  About a week later, the thing was ready to go.

We debuted it at the runway show on Saturday and it hit cable channels the very next day.  I did the styling with the help of Teneille (stylist/make-up artist) and Allison (stylist/hair/model).  Steve and his amazing team of visual/techy gurus did the rest.

I'm overwhelmed with gratitude as I consider what it takes to make projects like this happen.   From TV contracts, to expert lighting and sound, to professional hair and makeup, to staging and equipment, and all the details in between.  Steve and I are a great team, but we can't do everything ourselves.  The group of talented friends, family, and business partners that rally around us when a plan sets to motion is incredible and growing.  It makes me weepy in the best way. 

*pug alert (wink)

Runway Ticket WINNER!

Minnesota, Community, Fashion, VideoJill EricksonComment

Congratulations to Julie!  She's the winner of 2 GA tickets to Sisu's Brave and Beautiful Runway Show this Saturday.  

Planning is in full swing and I'm getting more excited by the minute.

We're thrilled to be entertaining in the retail space next to Sisu this year, where there's plenty of room for a full-fledged PARTY.

After the show, all are invited back to the store to shop and mingle.

Since it is also Thursday (#tbt), how about a throwback video to last year's runway show...

Brave + Beautiful Runway Show + GIVEAWAY

Fashion, Community, MinnesotaJill Erickson6 Comments

Two years.  Two YEARS!?  It seems like just yesterday Heidi Martin called me out of the blue to say she was opening her own boutique and asked for my help.  I was a bit flabbergasted at first, but ultimately had to concede to an incredible opportunity.

No small business is without it's challenges, but overall this SISU ride has been awesome and it gets better all the time.  We've settled in to our location in Tamarak Hills, developed our signature style, and have been recognized as the best boutique in Woodbury.

Our success is not all because of the clothes (say whaaah?).   Our customers will testify that it's also our ability to party.  And to celebrate TWO whole years, that's exactly what we're going to do on Saturday, November 14 at 6:30pm - PARTY!   My crazy-talented husband of Hungry Pug Studios and I will be producing the fashion show.  It's a dream come true. 

There will be drinks and appetizers.  
There will be swag (for VIP & Ultra tickets).  
There will be a raffle.  
There will be a shopping discount.


Proceeds from the event and raffle sales will benefit Dress for Success Twin Cities, a non-profit that aims to promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, support, and career development tools to help women thrive in work and life.

If you're in the Twin Cities area, I hope you'll join us for a really good time.  Tickets are limited, so get yours guaranteed by purchasing here.

AND.... NOW through Tuesday 11/10, you can enter to win 2 General Admission tickets right here!  So after you buy your tickets, you can be the fabulous hero who gets 2 friends in at no charge.  See how that works?  #winning

Graphic Girl: Weekend Society

FashionJill EricksonComment

Graphic t-shirts have taken over the world.  I honestly didn't see it coming.  I parted with anything resembling a brand logo a long time ago.  That was a thing back in the day, ya know - plastering a store or designer's name all over your outfit. My sad teenage years were spent pining for clothes that displayed some tacky brand graphic, communicating to the world that I was cool enough.  I traded in Gap logo tees for their basic v-necks, embellished only with a pocket (maybe) in my attempt to sophisticate my personal style (fail).

Then slowly, sneakily, words and characters began creeping back into my t-shirt collection.  I've barely touched my stack of basic solid and striped t-shirts this year.  Now my first inclination is to grab 'I Like Your Face' by Good hYOUman, or 'Minnesota Burrito' by MPLS/STP Clothing Co.  Band tees have made their way back into the rotation too.  My 'Praise Nation' t-shirts are my go-to, but I frequently reach for The Killers and now my latest acquisition, Stevie Wonder.

So it looks like t-shirts have adopted the fashion attitude of this generation - anything goes.  There's no 'cool' uniform anymore.  Wear silver earrings with a gold bracelet.  Pair black with navy.  Throw on a cheesy graphic tee with a formal skirt.  If it makes you happy, wear it.  And enjoy the freedom of self-expression without boundaries.

You're going to get to know many of my favorite graphic lines - each one with their own unique story and purpose.  When I was introduced to Weekend Society, I fell hard for their mission:

"We aim to remind people that the weekend is a state of mind and appreciating the simple things doesn’t just have to start at the end of the week. As a collective, we support all those who have made it their mission to never grow boring."

Not only do I love what's behind the words of this brand, the clothing itself is great (soooooo soft and cozy) and completely appropriate for my 'Weekend'-ful life.  I dressed up the Rootless T-shirt for work last week, and wore the Fairfax Hoodie to the dog park on Sunday. 

Yes, that's Ollie peeing in the background.  Just keepin' it real.

Survivor Night Recipe: Tuscan Sausage Soup

RecipesJill EricksonComment

I don't consider myself a cook.  And I'm for sure not a baker.  My husband will attest that I'm almost worthless when it comes to following a recipe.  But I try and sometimes it works out anyway.

Every Thursday for many years now, Steve and I have hosted "Survivor Night".  As in, the day after Survivor airs, we invite fellow fans over for dinner and to watch the show on TiVo.   In the off-season, we go back over previous seasons, or simply find another show or movie to watch.  It started out as small crowd of 2-3 couples.  Now, we could have as many as 20 people show up on any given Thursday.  It's so fun and we look forward to it every week.

Given my lack of skill in the kitchen, I'm so thankful this group of friends isn't picky, or they're at least understanding when my dinner experiments don't go super well.

I've tried A LOT of recipes over the years and there are some definite favorites.  They make the repeat list if they're tasty, cost-effective, and relatively easy to make.  I'm happy to share the winners with you.

Tuscan Sausage Soup

This might be my favorite soup recipe ever.  It's easy, delicious, serves 12+, and makes great leftovers.  The original recipe can be found here.


  • 2 lbs Italian sausage (I usually do 1 lb spicy + 1 lb mild, but any kind you like will do)
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 quarts chicken broth
  • 2 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes with juice
  • 2 15 oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • 1 lb medium shell pasta
  • 8 oz spinach leaves

  • Grated Parmesan cheese
  • Garlic bread


  1. Brown and crumble sausage in large stockpot
  2. Add carrots, onion, and garlic.  Saute until tender.
  3. Add chicken broth, tomatoes, beans, pasta, and basil.  Boil and simmer 7-9 minutes until pasta is al dente, then remove from heat to avoid over-cooking.

    Serve it up with some grated Parmesan cheese and garlic bread.  ENJOY!


FashionJill EricksonComment

There are experts for everything, you know.  Pick a topic, any topic.  There's someone out there 'expertly' blogging about it.  Let me be your denim expert (aka: your hero, baby).  I will supply you with more than you ever wanted to know about the world of jeans and beyond.  It's really my pleasure to serve mankind in this way.  You're so welcome.

There are constantly advances in denim trends and technology.  Take note: premium brands will most always lead the way and do it best.  Last week, I experienced Joe's Jeans new capsule collection, #Hello.  Listen up.

The first #Hello style to come Sisu is the Kalia Midrise Skinny.  A true skinny, that fits and feel more like a cotton legging than any jeans I've ever tried...and I try nearly every pair that comes into the store.  But that's only part of what makes these jeans the best pair I've ever owned.   Some brilliant think tank over at Joe's HQ has fashionably solved a problem that plagues every mother-loving iphone user:  battery life.  

#Hello has two hidden pockets - one in the waistband of the jeans, and the other in the seam above the back-right pocket.  Sold separately is a battery that slips perfectly into the secret waist pocket.  There is virtually ZERO extra bulk on the booty while carrying a charging cell phone.  #Hello, indeed.  I've died and gone to denim heaven.


Video, Pugs, Minnesota, Community, FashionJill EricksonComment

Thanks so much for joining me in my brand new blog space!  I've been feeling the need for a fresh start for a LONG time and finally couldn't take it anymore.  

For those of you that are new, I've been blogging since 2009.  You can still see those posts at www.spoilsofwear.blogspot.com.  It started out as a creative way to pass the time at an old job.   And then it morphed into a personal style blog.

You're not going to see as much of that here.  That's not to say I'll NEVER post another outfit, because I TOTALLY will.  I'm still very much in love with fashion.   Sisu is the local, women's clothing boutique I work for, and it serves up A LOT to talk about and aspire to in terms of personal style.  So if you're here for fashion, it's worth sticking around!

But overall, I really want this new site to be less about me and more about the people, places, and things around me that are too good not to share.  I love my Minnesota community and think you will too.

And of course, there will be pugs.