Monday, December 28, 2009
The plan is to purchase a few multi-metal accessories. Grab a yellow and white gold ring or bracelet, pewter and antique bronze necklace or earrings, or copper and anything, then keep mixing. I love copper colored jewelry, done correctly.
I have a fun multi-metal necklace. It's antique bronze and pewter. I pair it with pewter earrings and antique bronze, antique copper, and pewter bangle bracelets. The metal accents on my handbag and shoes are pewter, but the sheen differs. However, it all works, and it works well.
Use the same concept with metallic clothing and accessories. There's a gunmetal sequined top I was obsessed with for weeks. When I noticed the last one in my size, I purchased it to just to figure it out later. I had it about a year before I felt I owned the right accessories for it. But, then I hated my choices. I was drowning in sterling silver with onyx accents. It was disgustingly matchy matchy! I tried too hard. My successful pairing included multi-metal chain necklaces, oxidized sterling silver and onyx cocktail ring, and black and white gemstone bracelets with sterling silver, pewter, and copper bangles. Sounds like a lot, but with black trousers, a dark wash denim jacket, and black wedges it was glamorous!
You can also get metallic creative with other pieces, hardware on your accessories, or another metallic clothing item. Thinking about it now, that top would be beautiful with a metallic jacket. It's gunmetal with shiny gunmetal sequins, but it's lacking some flare that would be complimented with other metallic clothing pieces.
The moral is that mixing metals is easily done when there's a cohesive approach. It's the same rules for all style, but without cohesion there's chaos!
So the day after Christmas, my son and I were return/exchange shopping. He was adorable, as always, in a hoodie sweatsuit. I was nicely dressed in my own hoodie sweatsuit. We were only planning to be out briefly running errands, right? Yes we were, BUT I'd entered the public. I had thrown myself into a 50/50 mix of fabulosity and frumpy. I was average at best, and that's never good enough. Especially considering the number of attractive men out shopping/exchanging. There were more men in my dating age bracket out than ever before!
Don't make your style lazy. Even in my cute hoodie sweatsuit, minimal floral graphic tee (too add color), scarf, coordinating (and metallic) New Balance sneakers, great handbag (a huge shiny brown woven one), and beautiful jewelry (http://blaisedENVY.com), there was no trace of make up and my messy ponytail was no where near flattering. Face and hair, I got lazy and paid the price.
Don't make my mistake. Have a daily beauty regime. Then have that last minute rush regime that still hits all your high notes. I should have used some foundation and a little pressed powder, some mascara across my top lashes, and sheer lip gloss over my cocoa butter lip moisturizer. I wouldn't have been at the tip top of the fabulous list, but average would have been beneath me!
Thursday, December 24, 2009
I have my own issues with khakis, but this panty line issue, now that's an awful look of it's own. Ladies, and cross dressing gents, purchase a full length mirror. TODAY! Check your look head to toe before you enter the public.
This full length mirror will solve many of my hang ups, but today just focus on turning around and checking your tush. Baby steps. Now if making the investment in the mirror is an issue, take your lunch a day or two. They're about $10 at Target. You can save up for the fancy one later.
While at Super Target buying lunch goodies and that mirror, grab a 3-pack of no-show, or thong, undies. Multitasking. Three birds with one stone!
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
My advice is STOP wearing sandals in the winter and knee high boots in the summer. PLEASE consider your sleeve lengths, fabric weights, graphics on your t-shirts, and footwear. You look crazy when you don't.
I walked into the office this morning and the receptionist asked, slightly judgemental, "you're wearing flip flops?" I understood her tone. I would have used the same tone on anyone else. I explained myself. Plus, I have closed toe wedges in my WAY oversized handbag.
It's shocking to see someone dressed drastically against the weather. It's inappropriate, unprofessional, and distracting. Don't believe me? Go far left seasonally and see how many people make fun of you or, at the least, look at you like you're a dumb ass.
Because the economy's garbage and, financially speaking, I'm strained, I purchase many transitional pieces. I love cotton! I thank God for cotton. It is the most versatile fabric. I have so many cotton tops, tunics, tanks, sweaters, and blouses. I can wear them separately, layer then, or whatever my creativity calls for.
I also adore scarves. I'm big on accessories, says the jewelry designer. I wear my t-shirts and viscose scarves from September or October through May.
Denim is another! This falls in with cotton, but it deserves it's own praise. Any, no most, denim can transition all, or most, seasons and weather. I live in my Gap denim jacket, jeans in 50 zillion different styles, and it's fun to play up or down a denim skirt. Timeless or classic are an understatement for the fabulousness of denim, done correctly.
Another transitional staple is the ballet flat. Wear them in any season and during any weather. It's not fool proof, but hard to mess this one up.
And, jewels are always perfect. Buy a solid white tank and solid or minimal print long sleeve t-shirt and a 3/4 sleeve tee. Then accessorize then into an outfit. Great jewelry will always out last clothing. Great jewelry is more durable, more versatile, and transitions between trends easier. Invest big in jewels, as big as you can says the jewelry designer. Let it carry your outfit every season in all types of weather.
So when you're standing before your wardrobe preparing to dress, remember to take a cue from Mother Nature and be seasonally and weather appropriate!
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
So top to bottom she was wearing a cute boxy tweed double breasted jacket. It was shades of gray with nickel dome buttons. I'm describing it terribly, but it really was cute. Then she had on a silky top with metallic sequins. It would have been better paired with a white button up, or even a white cotton tee. Traveling downward, there was a heavy duty belt. It was filled, over filled, with nail heads and abstract leather pieces. It would have been perfect for my rock star/grunge Halloween costume or a preteen girl. I mean, PERFECT! Then there were adorable more straight, than skinny, jeans that would have been great with one of those looks. And, to finish off three different looks crammed together were flat suede equestrian boots. I wanted to take her into the bathroom and pull off the jacket and boots. Then put her in a funky pair of booties or studded high heel knee, or thigh, boots. Or maybe just take off the belt and shirt and instead put her in a basic white top with the jeans, jacket, and boots. I don't know, but the hodge-podge of looks was too much. It stole the beauty, or character, of the pieces she was wearing.
Very often it's a good idea to have one incredible piece. Then let everything else just accent that incredible piece. That's why I would push a white shirt under that fabulous jacket, or that shirt or belt for a trendy night out, but not both. Too many gimmicks, accessories, or tricks, can be overwhelming to the people you interact with. You will look haphazard. You can lose credibility. Fashion, or lack there of, can be more influential that we'd like to think.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
So something recent reminded me of this, but instead of outing the new culprit I'll take it back to the biggest situation! I had a co-worker once who was a fashion disaster! She was mismatched, too little, too short, too tight, out of style, too young, too old, and haphazard. Now there was this one day that she came to work with too tight pants with a tattered hem and a too little shirt with buttons that pulled across her chest. The clothes were wrinkled, of course. Then there were the jelly platform shoes! I was used to the outfits, but the shoes?! I stared at her shoes like a deer caught in headlights. I was looking back and forth between her shoes and her face hoping that soon she would yell, "Gotcha!" She didn't. She looked back, and I froze. I stuttered out hello, and before I knew it I said, "cute shoes." I said it kind of dry, but it must have been convincing because she smiled and thanked me. Huh?! I mean, I love jellies. I own a pair of designer jelly flats. I never wear them, but I think it's fun that I have them. I would never wear them to work though. I would never wear them any further than my closet. I'm too old for that trend, and she's my age.
It happened again, and it will probably keep happening forever. I will probably keep being chicken shit and laughing hysterically later. DAMMIT! Actually, I'm just gonna pray that the right people read my words and follow some of them. I don't know everything, and I'm sure I live even less than that. But, what I know, I know, I know!
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
So today it was pleasantly chill this morning. It was perfect navy blue canvas pea coat weather. BUT, I was wearing black jersey pants. Can I really give up my scare of the sailor look and pair navy with any other basic? I mean I typically only do navy with a print because of the scar from numerous pictures of myself in a sailor dress. So today, because of lack of time and desire to fix my potential problem, I left my house in black jersey pants and a navy blue pea coat. WOWZA! It looked fab-u-lous! I love navy and black. My neat, casual, outfit had a flare of the classics. It is definitely a look I will tweak. These colors will carry me clean through fall and winter.
Now the bad side. I find that most of my fashion fears are situations brought on by past disasters. I am afraid of EVER pairing black and brown. I NEVER plan to pair those two colors. EWWW! I worked at Gadzooks one hundred years ago and a member of management came to work in black, faded, tapered pants and a brown, faded, short sleeve shirt with a velour trim. I cringe thinking back on it. Literally, I just cringed.
The navy and black was a little girl's nightmare reclaimed in a positive way, but the other will always be lost in translation. That would make me sad if I hadn't seen it with my own two eyes.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
I work for an amazing organization that reluctantly accepts some of my individuality. The tattoos and piercings are a lot much, but over looked. I can't afford to push it too much further. So, I defined business causal for me.
Now I am addicted to cotton solids, patterned tunics, flirty dresses, boot cut pants in general, and a jacket with personality. I also love a great t-shirt. So what's my business casual exactly? It's literally changing out part of the suit. If you would wear a suit and a button up shirt, lose the jacket and button front shirt and go for that patterned tunic instead. You could even keep the top half and slip into a pair of khaki pants, if khakis are your thing. AND if you didn't know, you can lose the pantyhose, forever and always! BUT, no thong sandals no matter how cute. Denim only if pre-approved, and this includes the jackets. However, denim is almost always an absolute NO!
Now I push these rules, but never too much. I'm already on the edge. Today, for example, I'm wearing a beige cotton t-shirt with butterflies and flowers, not typically my thing, brown boot cut trousers, a purple scarf, and bronze metallic flats. I agree I'm on the cusp of inappropriate even though my t-shirt is super feminine it's still a t-shirt. But my office is business causal forgiving and here it's totally appropriate.
So I'm dating again, this is a big deal. I have a cute, athletic, prospect who's often in jeans or cargo pants and a polo type shirt. He thinks I'm FINE in whatever, but I want him to appreciate the ultra feminine side of me too. So even though I dress to impress with numerous flirty blouses, flattering boot cut jeans, and amazing wedges, I still throw around some beautiful dresses and fabulous heels to keep it all interesting. And my jewels, do you really have to ask? They are absolute perfection, of course!
I mean date night is the time to let your entire personality out. Chance it even, with over the top accessories and make up, and exciting fashion pieces. Just remember comfort, confidence, and CLASS! Make sure pushing the envelope doesn't push it over.
First the gym probably isn't in your home. So, dress like you're in public. Lycra and Spandex may be goal not yet obtained, and old and tattered don't equal gym clothes. Most of us pay a small fortune a month to workout at our neighborhood gym. Fashionably speaking, respect that! You don't have to wear a matching track suit, but clean and neat are essential.
I wear yoga pants, a slightly, emphasis on slightly, larger t-shirt than I hang out in, and a really amazing pair of New Balance sneakers. I feel comfortable. Still, there's another t-shirt on standby if I have anything to do afterwards, or a jacket if necessary. I also believe in being prepared.
Think wisely. When you are in a place of service be respectful. Don't lose yourself in clothes so conservative you aren't comfortable, but remember where you are! God doesn't care how fashionably creative you were that Sunday. He's focused on your heart, your love, your respect for Him, and your admiration. Remember that!
Remember to be your normal glam to death self lunching with friends, shopping, dinner with your man, running errands, etc. But when appropriateness is make or break, because it almost always is, make it!
Monday, October 12, 2009
Let's be positive. This is about a 2 piece v. a 1 piece, leggings, and hemlines. All things that are typically weight and figure issues. How to be comfortable in new clothing options, become healthier, and be even more glam to death are worth focusing some attention on.
I got some information from MSN, how the thin got thin, stay thin, or something. These steps are key. They are slightly revamped though, because I am so opinionated!
1. Do NOT diet - Duh! You should never give a permanent problem a temporary fix. Change habits and behaviors to change your life.
2. Keep track of your weight - Now, I weigh myself compulsively. Don't become obsessed though. I'm avidly trying to lose weight so this works for me, but I'm not advocating obsession. Just know your current number. This way you know if your number changes, good or bad.
3. Exercise - Absolutely! The gym can be a stretch, or intimidating, at times. Get creative. Sometimes instead of the elliptical or treadmill I take a walk, play Wii, clean up around the house, or play games with my son. The key is getting, and staying, active for at least 20 minutes daily.
4. Food isn't therapy - Never use food as a therapeutic tool. Food is food. It's not a psychiatrist. Find new ways to satisfy boredom, anger, loneliness, etc. Again be creative, write a blog, sing, dance, read, exercise, learn a new craft or hobby, do anything but eat!
5. When you're full...STOP - We've heard this one a few times as well. I read the entire menu twice before deciding what to order. Then I alter it completely until it's perfect. I'm anxious until it arrives. I savour every bite, but I stop around half. I package it up for later. I'll get to enjoy it again. Yay! I mean after the chips and salsa, bread, or whatever, do you REALLY have room to finish off an entire meal? Also, I eat kind of early in the day. I can't be miserable through every other activity of my day. Plus, and this is important, gluttony isn't attractive. People take notice to how much you eat. They shouldn't, but they do. If you bypass healthy appetite and venture into pig they get grossed out. I do at least.
6. Don't be tempted - Willpower does not exist. Don't bring bad stuff into your life expecting to be okay. You will fail! If (insert your food of choice) are a weakness, don't buy them and torture yourself. Out of sight really is out of mind.
7. Treats - Never, for any reason, deprive yourself. That's a life lesson! Be mindful of what you eat, how much and why, but don't deprive yourself. Reward yourself and give in to cravings, but be reasonable!
8. Always have breakfast - I changed eat to have. I'm not a big breakfast person. I don't feel like eating for a few, or more, hours after I wake up. I don't mind a smoothie though. A mix of fruit and yogurt. Sometimes I even add a little oatmeal, granola, or chocolate on top. I also like fruit with cheese cubes or peanut butter on whole wheat toast. If traditional breakfast items aren't your thing either, again I say, get creative.
9. Move - Get active! Walking up the stairs can be a lot, but walking down only isn't so bad. Turning the TV off and the radio on can motivate you to dance. Park a little further back, say no to the drive thru and go inside, look for projects to do around the house left unfinished, and stand more. Standing pushes you to do something with yourself, while sitting only encourages sitting.
10. Don't skip meals - If you are hungry...EAT! Don't deprive yourself, AT ALL!!! And, skipped meals screw up your metabolism.
It's that easy! Don't just do it for skinny jeans, a new dress, or swim wear. Get healthy! Remember confidence may be internal, but it has an amazing influence on your outward appearance. A healthy you is strong, happy, and confident. That's absolutely glam to death.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Fear of dying
Dizziness or lightheadedness
Flushes or chills
Tingling or numbness
Feelings of unreality
Fear of losing control or doing something embarrassing
Information courtesy of http://www.anxietypanic.com/
I suffer from extreme issues with anxiety. It's been an issue for me since junior high. It was drastically heightened in high school and the first couple years of college. This is a horrible, multi-faceted, disorder.
One of the most difficult things for me is triggering an attack by anticipating an attack. This happens often. I get nervous about entering a potentially stressful situation. I get paranoid, have a hot flash, and feel so uneasy I get nauseous. It's terrible. It makes me a recluse. I become shy and standoffish. I don't like me, like this.
I have suffered this as far back as I can remember. It's fluctuated from bad to worse and back to bad. I've had sleeplessness, hallucinations, and anything from zero appetite to binge eating. This has been difficult.
Why wasn't it diagnosed? Why have I suffered so long? Because no one else noticed, and I didn't have the good sense to bring it up. I remember my brother telling me a story about his childhood. As a child my brother had eye problems. He couldn't see the blackboard clearly. He just worked his way up to the front of the classroom and did the best he could. He suffered silently. After his near sightedness was discovered, everyone wanted to know why he never said anything about not being able to see. He thought everyone was dealing with the same problem. They were making it work, so he just had to figure out how to make it work too. That was me. I felt like everyone must have some depression, anxiety, and insecurities. Everyone must have panic and anxiety attacks. Everyone must be managing it better than I do. Not so.
I still struggle with this. I find that my appearance is a trigger. I suffer if I don't look as well as the crowd. A part my attacks is the fact that I DO care A LOT about what other people think of me, what I do, and how I do it. I have to focus on my appearance. I probably have an unhealthy obsession with it. When it comes to my style, my appearance, I want a good fit, an appropriate look, and some obvious comfort. This helps me. If I can be confident about my shell it takes some of the edge off. It's one less thing to worry/panic about. Then it comes down to my organization, preparedness, and using learned methods to avoid or work through an attack. This is ongoing. I'm not the only one, but because everyone doesn't deal with this I have to give it real attention.
If you're a victim, do what you need to do to manage this. Take your power back from panic or anxiety attacks. It's a struggle, but possible.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
MORAL: Make good impressions. Do not rely on a great first impression only, impressions are continuous. Stay on top of things, by day, hour, and minute. Be comfortably confident continuously!
I love linen though. It's as if I'm walking around in nice wide leg, wrinkled, pajamas. LOL. I now firmly understand it needs to be reserved for casual events only. It is in no way office appropriate! Unless you are in the most business casual of offices. And, although my office is lenient, I can't do this to MYSELF again. It's not even 10 AM, been here since 8 AM, and I look like I slept in these pants. Don't try it! I even put them on following a good starching from the dry cleaner. I've been down this road before. I thought this would fix the problem.
Now it's official, LESSON LEARNED!
*Surprisingly enough, I've gotten numerous compliments on my beautiful, wrinkled, linen pants.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
But, that's not all. Do not dress up your outside and destroy the inside. Check your 'tude at your door. Don't walk out of your house feeling yourself so much that you turn into a bitch. Do not! Be careful of with who and how you interact. Do not embarass yourself! Don't share too much of yourself with unworthy people. This means emotionally, mentally, and PHYSCALLY! Learn how to be discreet and what to be discreet about. Control your power well, don't give it away, and don't misuse it. Master yourself. Know yourself well and be confident.
It's been said time and time again that you should look the part, but this is bigger. You should be doing more to get the part. Actresses and actors looking right for a role is only the half. They have to be able to deliver the substance too. Be more than the shell. Have every aspect of your persona pulled tight together. Look the part, act the part, be the part. Image can be so much more than just what you look like.
I know I've said people don't know, and don't care, jack about your personality during the initial impression. I still agree with that, and it's why you have to look the part. But if you do things right, the first impression is going to develop into an interaction. Do NOT crash and burn!
This really came to me in a bold way the last couple of days. I work with this beautiful girl who is all parts bohemian goddess. She has wavy hair that comes down to the middle of her back. When she wears it loose and free it's almost overwhelming. I love it. She has an organic look too. Lots of cottons in earth tones, minimal make up, and subtle jewels. I love her look! Then you talk to her and it all ties together. She's positively one of the most positive people on earth. She can tell you a horrific story with a calm expression. She then finds the reason for the disaster and shrugs it off as a lesson learned. Her demeanor is that of a easy going, the sun will shine tomorrow, what doesn't kill us makes us strong, unbreakable woman. She's my modern day Lauren Hill before Lauren Hill stopped being Lauren Hill. And you could pick her out from every chica in the office. Amazing! She has personal style in a way that I obsess about.
Friday, August 14, 2009
When I was a little girl I wore cute Easter dresses, white patent leather shoes, frilly socks, and a matching hat. My hair was pressed super straight and the curled to the max. I carried a basket. It was a handmade basket, by my mom and done beautifully.
As a teenager I became edgy. I wore flowy dress-like jumpers, Doc Marten boots, and a designer backpack purse.
Last year, miles from childhood, I wore an adorable fuchsia shirt dress, peep toe leopard print flats, beautiful handbag, and enough well thought out, and executed, accessories to fill a window display. I was leaning on classic, but still quite edgy. My style has evolved, because I am almost 30, for fashion's sake! My age progressed, so naturally my style followed.
What would I look like in Doc Martens with a backpack purse now? A hot mess!
Our bodies change drastically at the end of, and after, our teen years. Junior clothes don't accommodate adult bodies. The day comes that we must let this go. And that day just happens to be the day after our high school graduations.
The prep starts early though. All the retail heavy hitters, successfully mixing trend, classic fab, and comfort, size for misses and women's. Junior's aren't as glam as you may think. All the cool kids are focused on the evens. It's odd to be odd.
Saturday, August 8, 2009
I have made a lot of first impressions recently and fashion, comfort, and confidence have been on my mind. I'd been taking notice of myself and my co-workers ensembles everyday for material for this very blog entry. It's been two weeks, and I have a lot to say!
First, I am in no way trying to poke fun at anyone. This is for entertainment purposes yes, but also to educate!
Okay, all about me. I learned an important lesson Wednesday of this week. I typically iron up most of my clothes and my son's on Saturday. This way during the week we have plenty of clothes to choose from for the next morning. Then if we happen to change our minds the next morning we still have plenty of options to change out. It works really well for us. So I picked a number of basic pieces. I knew I would be organizing my office and doing some training. I wanted to be comfortable and able to move around in all my clothing. One of the pieces I picked was a white cotton blouse. It's a poplin shirt for the most part with a little additional flare. It opened wide with big sleeves. It was adorable with my brown trousers and leopard print peep-toe flats. I looked really nice, but I was as comfortable as I would be in jeans and a T-shirt. I moved throughout my entire day without a snag. I ran into a guy I once dated in my office and a few friends of friend's. Never thought twice about my appearance because I had picked my outfit with confidence and accessorized it beautifully. Wait, I finally punched out, got home, and accidentally walked past a full length mirror. I was horrified! My cute tunic styled white shirt had wrinkled itself into looking like a crumpled up paper bag. I took it out of workplace rotation immediately. It taught me a great lesson. Look at my clothes before I leave, during my work day, and when I return home, this way I can really see what's best as a repeat outfit because clothing changes. How often I've worn a shirt for a few hours and it stretches out during wear. Many things can go from a nice comfortable fit to a slouchy mess. Cottons are notorious for this! Be careful. The moral of this story is be knowledgeable of what you wear, how you wear it, feel in it, and look. It's really that simple.
Okay next up, the office appropriate shoe. I like to push the envelope just like anyone else does. I will rock a cute thong sandal, a loud bold flat, or a runway ready pump given opportunity. But, we must be careful to be appropriate. I walked through my office and saw running ready sneakers, beat up old thong sandals, and shoes surely made from craft supplies. What? I know that sneakers are appropriate for some jobs in my office, but what's wrong with a cute pair of sneakers worn with a nice fitting jean and an adorable top? Do they have to be the sneakers you walk the dog in, garden in, and run in? Sandals, the summer brings out some really cute sandals and some really bad train wrecks! And, please never ever never walk into the office in a rubber thong sandal. Be real, appropriate is where, when, and how long. Don't jump in 5 inch heels for a long day of bank teller or retail work, and do not ever wear a shoe that you've had a life time to make a good impression. Remember to find professionalism in every aspect of your attire. Be comfortable and confident. Every day at the workplace is a day to shine.
The word of the day should just be appropriateness. Where do you work? I work in a professional medical building, in a business causal office. I know I don't work in a club, at the beach, in a dorm, or at the local burger joint. Now there's nothing wrong with having any of those jobs, but our dress is drastically different. Including, don't let anything cute too low, start too high, or show too much. Own, and use, an iron. Be careful in the care of your clothes. You lose respect with every wrinkle and fade. Be knowledgeable of fit, and how fit may change during the course of the day. And know what you may disregard others will focus on. So be careful of those raggedy hems, stained garments, missing buttons, and bad decisions. They will be noticed!
Still, be comfortable and confident. Every day at the workplace is an opportunity to shine. Don't let anything steal that chance away from you. Your fashion should enhance who you are! Professional dress is not the avoidance of personality. It's working harder to find that middle ground.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Real Simple, http://www.realsimple.com/, says these are the wardrobe basics every woman should have hanging in her glam closet. Wow, could it really be this easy?
Always in Season
Black tank: A white tank has its place—at the gym or on casual outings—but a black one is more universal. Dress it up with dark jeans or a skirt.
Short-sleeved white T-shirt: White tees become unwearable quickly, so skip the costly designer versions and buy a bunch of good-looking inexpensive ones. Then replace as needed. I agree 100%.
Short-sleeved black T-shirt: The best short-sleeve length is about 1/2 to 1 inch longer than a typical cap sleeve—it shows just the right amount of arm.
Long-sleeved white T-shirt: For a trim silhouette in white, choose a slim-fit T-shirt that skims your body but doesn't cling. Same rule applies in black or any other color you may choose. This is a good option for quick errands. A long-sleeved T-shirt can be accessorized and paired with jeans, ballet flats, etc. for a nice effortless look.
Long-sleeved black T-shirt: A surprisingly sophisticated layering piece, this works well under a dress shirt—or even a dress. I wouldn't layer black under many things. I would keep a long-sleeve black T-shirt around to dress up for a casual lunch or dinner with my friends. BUT be careful if not taken care of well, you black tee will end up as a dingy looking grey tee. I stress dry cleaning anything black that is 100% or majority cotton. If unsure, just dry clean all blacks.
Black turtleneck: Consider investing in cashmere: You get more warmth with less bulk. I think a definite, timeless, staple is a charcoal grey turtleneck. Black can sometimes come across as a little stuffy. Plus, I like to look as if I didn't try too hard and charcoal grey can add that little bit of a casual essence too. Really, any neutral, or all the neutrals, are good investments in turtlenecks...especially cashmere.
White button-down shirt: A fitted one will get the most wear: It's easier to tuck in and looks neat when left out.
Crisp white blouse: Softer looking than a button-down, a white blouse is a timeless addition to any wardrobe. Because I like color, I never invest in a white blouse. Also, it's a hard call finding one that works well for me.
Crewneck sweater: Thin knits, in cotton or wool, layer easily for versatility and comfort.
Cardigan: A neutral shade goes with everything, and a longer style that hits at the hip flatters most figures.
A black dress: The “little black dress” is a cliche for a reason: It’s a wardrobe necessity. AMEN! Be sure to get one that's appropriate and has some personality!
Pencil skirt: This classic piece should be tailored so it grazes the tops of the knees.
Jeans: It's worth paying extra for jeans that fit and flatter. Your best bet? A pair made from stretch denim with no more than 2 percent Lycra. (The fabric will follow your curves while keeping its shape.)
Black pants: To get the most from this wardrobe staple, select a style made of an all-season fabric, like tropical wool or viscose.
Skinny jeans: Once considered a trend, they are now a denim staple. Skinny jeans look best when they don’t fit too snugly at the waist. Skinny jeans are not appropriate for every body shape. If you have a larger bottom, or a pear shape, stay away from skinny jeans. They can end up causing similar harm as the taper leg jean.
Khaki pants: For a casual, comfortable look, forget the pleats (a flat front is more flattering) and forgo the front crease. Definitely forget the pleats and iron them flat.
Denim jacket: A dark wash and a slim fit look the most polished.
Cropped jacket: Made famous by Coco Chanel, this item has become a fashion mainstay. You’ll have more opportunities for pairing with one in a solid color or traditional tweed. But be careful, this style jacket can come across as boxy if not done correctly. Try it on! Make sure it hits just above the hip and don't go for shoulder pads!
Black cashmere wrap: A fabric that was once seen only in fall and winter has become a year-round regular.
Cotton waffle robe: Perfect over pajamas or after a shower, this robe is far less bulky than its terry cloth cousin. Okay?!
The tuxedo shirt: The ultimate day-to-night top, it has a crisp quality that makes it a great multitasker. I'm not a big fan of the tuxedo shirt. I have had great variations of this top, but it's not a piece I go in search of. If you are budget conscious you can just stick with your crisp button up.
Fleece vest: Terrific over a turtleneck or peeking out from under a coat, a vest offers versatility in unpredictable autumn weather. I say no to fleece! Well, I will okay fleece if it's the warm up you wear to and from the gym during cold weather. Other than that, absolutely not!
Athletic sweatshirt: As comfortable as a flannel pajama top—but appropriate for wearing in public. I love my sweatsuits. My sweatsuits are cut for a woman's body, with some sort of feminine embellishment. I will not do an athletic sweatshirt! I just feel they add bulk to the frame and are anything by feminine. Instead opt for a feminine sweatsuit or zip front sweatshirt. BUT, remember this is for quick errands only!
Lightweight waterproof coat: Ideal for traveling, this practical item looks as right with a skirt as it does with a pair of jeans.
Khaki trench coat: Structured and stylish, it’s a true classic. Don't limit yourself! There are so many trench coat options. You can play with the length or try colors. The sky's the limit.
Leather blazer: A trim leather blazer brings a little sophisticated edge to any piece. Add a scarf and you’re ready to go anywhere.
Peacoat: No longer just navy blue, peacoats come in a range of colors and a variety of lengths. I own a navy blue light weight canvas peacoat that I love! It steps up any casual outfit, and the fit is divine.
Heavy sweater: Look for a big, chunky knit that’s both comfortable and stylish. No! Chunky is a bad word. Before you buy a big heavy, chunky, sweater look into a nice wool coat.
Cashmere hoodie: More luxurious than the cotton variety, this layering piece is a sportier version of the cardigan. I haven't thought about this as an option in the past. It's worth exploring as long as it is free of a kangaroo pocket!
Dark-wash jeans: A wardrobe standby in the cold winter months that’s available in a variety of cuts. Keep in mind that boot-cut and wide-leg styles work well over boots.
Pantsuit: Wear the jacket and pants together to show you mean business—or treat them like separates to maximize their use.
Gray flannel pants: These stylish standards look great with brown, navy, and black—and also with brights.
Wool trousers: Look for a lined pair in fine gabardine wool, made with a twill weave, which won’t feel too heavy.
Down vest: Works best in a neutral color like brown, black, or navy, so you can wear it with anything. Be careful. This can come across as looking very juvenile (avoid the hooded vests), or add lots of bulk if you carry extra weight in the middle of your body.
Black cashmere wrap coat: Whether calf or fingertip length, this elegant item will work for day or evening.
Winter coat: Fur-trimmed, down, or wool, a winter coat should offer enough room to accommodate a sweater or jacket.
Cotton polo: More tailored than a T-shirt, it offers cool comfort on even the stickiest days.
Cotton blouse: An airy and attractive springtime fundamental.
Printed tops: A few boldly patterned pieces add life and color to spring basics. No polyester though!
Lightweight cashmere sweater: Single-ply cashmere offers comfort in over-air-conditioned offices and movie theaters.
Cotton button-up cardigan: Combines the softness of a sweatshirt with the elegance of a cashmere sweater.
Lightweight waterproof raincoat: Easy to carry as a guard against spring’s fickle skies, it blocks wind and rain without weighing you down.
One-button blazer: A cotton or lightweight-wool jacket is a pulled-together layer that can be removed when the temperature rises. Be careful with the one-button part. Some of us may need a little extra support. If you have a larger chest look for two or even three buttons. But don't forget the length. No matter how many buttons you end up needing don't let the jacket pass you hips.
Inverted pleat skirt: As good looking with a tailored button-down shirt as it is with a tank top, it can be paired with a jacket for a more professional look.
Capri pants: These ankle-baring bottoms look great with ballet flats or strappy sandals.
Chinos: Comfortable cotton pants that are durable enough for a day in the park but still look proper in the office.
Bathing suit: A well-fitting one- or two-piece in a go-anywhere color like black, white, or navy never goes out of style.
Convertible strapless bra: This adjustable undergarment looks smooth and natural under a strapless dress, tank top, or halter.
Cotton pajamas: A pretty patterned pair works as both lounge wear and sleepwear.
Built-in bra tank: Offering coverage and support (and an end to visible bra straps), this tank can be worn to workouts or cookouts—and even to the office, under a jacket or sweater. Only do this if you have a chest that can be supported by a built-in bra. If not opt for a tank with straps wide enough to hide the straps of your supportive bra.
Ribbed cotton tank: Originally made for men, these shirts are now available in female-friendly shapes. Pick one that fits your figure—it works well alone or under a suit jacket.
Cotton blouse: Choose a lightweight top from a range of colors and a variety of prints.
Cotton printed dress: Stay comfortable even in heavy-duty humidity. A cotton dress, period. I make Maxi dresses a summer staple because they can be worn in a variety of ways, to a variety of places. Also a cute eyelet dress or shirt dress can handle humidity and numerous types of affairs as well.
Strapless dress: A white one will show off a great tan, but black, navy, and camel also work beautifully. Do strapless if you are comfortable with strapless. If you aren't, remember that dresses are staples in the summer. It's near impossible to go wrong!
Khaki shorts: The summer-wardrobe equivalent of air-conditioning, khaki shorts keep you cool, comfortable, and looking crisp.
Cotton drawstring pants: A good-quality pair will take you straight from yoga class to lunch with a friend. I don't agree with this either. I usually keep the drawstring pants in my pajama drawer. They have no structure or support. Wear at your own risk! If you are looking for that great option to always fall back on get a cotton dress! You can also go for a jersey to avoid the possibility of excessive wrinkles.
White jeans: Available in a wide range of styles, white jeans look chic with almost any warm-weather top.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
1. It speaks to me and about me.
2. It fits my body the way it is today. This is important. I want to feel and LOOK nice currently as I am. I will worry with tomorrows body, better or worse, tomorrow.
3. It's comfortable. I have had clothing that fit me perfectly, but I wasn't comfortable wearing. I feel comfortable in my wardrobe, and it helps me feel comfortable in my own skin.
Now these are the most important things to me, but not the only. I do love color, but all color is not good on me. Some colors are better than others. I play off my skin color, skin undertones, hair color, and the season. Also, print can be an issue if not used correctly. I am a shorter girl with real curves. I have to handle prints carefully. This works for me though, because I'm not a big fan of prints anyway. I just make sure that I'm not covered in any print. It's important for my shape and short stature that I only go half print to half solid. That's the gist of my personal style.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
As women we are far to naturally fab to be hiding ourselves away. I mean, over lunch, cigarettes, or ice cream cones look at the people around you. Women come in so many shapes and sizes. We have such amazing oddities about ourselves. We are beautiful in drastically different ways. Look at the comfortable women. I use the word comfortable because it's impossible not to find beauty in someone who is comfortable in their own skin.
That brings us to the first lesson.
1. Be comfortable in your own skin. Look at yourself long and hard in the mirror. Identify every glitch and hang up. Then realize it ain't so bad. There's someone out there dealing with a physical imperfection far worse. No one is perfect. No one is made from a perfect plastic mold. We are all designed to be flawed. Get over it. Once you embrace your cellulite, extra pounds, big nose, front gapped teeth, thin lips, or clef lip, no one can use those things against you. Love who you are today. Yes you should aspire to be better tomorrow, but do not shit on yourself today. The moral of this long story is this, people can sense your comfort like a crazy dog can sense your fear. So, be comfortable in your own skin!
2. Be yourself. Stand on your own two feet with your own style. Anyone desperate to mock my PERSONAL style scares me! I would think you were planning to skin me and wear me as a coat. My personal style is just that. It belongs to me. You can't have it or copycat it.
3. Know your general size. There's nothing like an outfit being great in theory. I see women all the time marching around in beautiful clothes that look like they are being horribly abused. Figure out your most comfortable number in that clothing piece and buy it. My closet is a vast array of numbers. Different articles are different sizes. Different designers are different sizes. Different cuts are different sizes. I'm a pear shape. I have to purchase a different top and bottom size. This way I can look more like an hourglass. If I made my numbers match I'd look a hot ass mess! Even with dresses, an A line dress typically works well with my top size, but a straight dress works with my bottom size and gets belted. No matter the dress, I have to try it on, and I typically enter the dressing room with three sizes.
These rules are important for comfort and confidence! I don't know everything and this isn't everything I know. I will add to it, and you feel free to do the same.
Love rocking your accessories! Be confident and choose well to accentuate your ensemble, personality, and body.
My trick is putting my outfit together when I have plenty of time to explore numerous options. I build my outfit the evening before the morning I have to wear it, or the morning of the evening I need it.
When purchasing pieces do two things. First try most accessories on. Just because you see it as a flattering piece doesn't mean it will be flattering on you. Somethings are too chunky or too tiny for some body types. Something things may fall in odd places or fit oddly. Typically you cannot be certain just by looking. Secondly, buy what speaks to you. I have an attachment to most of my wardrobe because I love my clothing. I take time to pick out flattering attractive pieces. There's absolutely no way I would damage all that glamorousness with what I would consider generic accessories. No way!
Accessories are so important to an outfit. Take advantage of the vast array of options to enhance your outfit, mood, and overall appearance.
*wear only one MAJOR bold eye catching jewel accessories at a time
*be certain your accessories COMPLIMENT your clothing not compete with it
*avoid looking hodge podge or like a craft project
Figure out what makes you love your favorite products to be prepared against discontinued items.
Haircare Revelation: For many years I used a shampoo and conditioner from a line called Beyond the Zone. I loved those products. I loved the way my hair responded to the products. Immediately my hair had vitality, fullness, and a glossy sheen. So, I built a haircare regimen around the cobalt blue shampoo and baby blue conditioner with Infusium leave-in conditioner, tea-tree oil spray conditioner, and Isoplus oil sheen. These were the only products I even owned. Well those and my Precise relaxer.
At one point Sally's Beauty Supply ran a promotion on all Beyond the Zone products. I bought out the inventory. This lasted me months. Then after I squeezed the last bit from the last bottle I found out it had been discontinued. The company stopped producing it. This dilemma was far bigger than Sally's Beauty Supply or me.
For a year I experimented with different products. I was constantly disappointed. The texture, hydration, and health of my hair changed. Finally, I came across someone who remembered my perfect products. It wasn't the Beyond the Zone shampoo and conditioner I loved so much, it was the hemp oil and hemp protein I missed so much. Eureka!
So now, I use Naturelle's Hemp Hydrating products. I love them, and my hair is back. Again, it's smooth, looks and feels healthy, and the vibrancy is returning. I hope to never lose these products, but it will be okay if so. My haircare key is hemp seed oil and hemp protein. That's what is most important. I know my favorite part of my favorite haircare product.
Skincare Revelation: After every shower, I bathe myself in Vaseline Cocoa Butter Deep Conditioning Lotion. It's such an amazing product. Skin desperately needs hydration and cocoa butter hydrates and conditions. It also works to even skin tone and encourage that natural glow.
In keeping with the versatility of the product, I depend on cocoa butter's nutrients to enrich my lips by using Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Swivel Stick. I adore lips, and may God bless a perfect pout and curvy bow. Lips make as major a facial statement as the brow just by being there in sheer perfection. I take care of my lips year round by relying on my gem cocoa butter.
So my skincare guarantee and the favorite part of my favorite product is cocoa butter for the conditioning and hydration provided.
July brought a new issue of the local women's magazine, Her, to newsstands across town. I got my hands on a copy and it was mainly the same. Similar models, in similar clothes, from similar local boutiques graced the pages. It was well done as always. Then amongst the final pages of sales promotions of blah fashion was a plus size article written by Ben. Ben of, I don't seem to know much about the plight of the plus sized woman. Ben is obviously employed by thin women who aren't that knowledgeable either because someone ok'd this mockery!
First, the article starts out reasonably entertaining and informative, but quickly there are huge misunderstandings disguising themselves as advice. Ben writes that "plus size women should wear clothing that draws attention to the face, as this is where you want the most attention to fall." What?! I am a plus size woman, and yes I do have a pretty face. But, I also have a great bust line, narrow waist, and a great shape. I want to draw attention to all my beautiful attributes. I think that are worthy of attention. I only want to camouflage a problem zone. Everything below my neck is NOT a problem zone.
So already upset by that paragraph I read on with my guard high. Accessories were highlighted generally. Hair and make up advice was also given. The article was okay in places, but still obviously the work of a clueless individual. The only thing overshadowing this ridiculous write up was the layout. Everything else in the magazine was highlighted by beautiful pictures of local models. This article had unflattering outfits stolen from national retailers circulars. With an abundance of plus sized women in the world how were they unable to find local models?
Then came information from a plus size woman. You'd expect it to be fool proof, but no. The wonderful, at times, advice close with, "most stores should carry plus sized clothing because of the expanding (in more ways than one) numbers of larger people." Never use the words expanding and larger in an article about plus size women! Besides that, practice what's preached, these tidbits ran beneath an unflattering picture of this plus sized woman in what appeared to be drab fashions, dying lilies, and lack luster hair and make up.
The truth is plus size fashion is a growing phenomenon that deserves attention. But it's also a delicate topic that must be handled appropriately. Because plus size fashion is still fashion and deserves the same respect, information, and attention, don't stick it in the back of the swimsuit issue with obvious disregard. We plus size fashionistas don't appreciate that!
*Let's be honest, I am currently a plus size woman. I don't love that fact, but I realize it. I am working diligently to leave the club, but my understanding will last a lifetime. Plus size women have numerous battles to fight with health and discrimination. Fashion should be easy, flattering, forgiving, and fun!
*I contacted Her Magazine after first seeing this article. I left a message for a Deb Ford. She never returned my call. I did not call again.
Friday, July 17, 2009
Thursday, July 2, 2009
These aren't the worst. Come on true red spandex pants, animal print spandex pants, spandex pants??? I can't get behind it. Plus, when I saw Dr. Marten's being sold at a discount shoe store, I swore them off for life. I mean super discount, a store with "shoe" in the name! Somethings should be left in the past. I like them, but they don't belong in my today. Just my opinion though.
I mean, as far as Amber Rose goes, she has amazing pieces, and she rocks an edgy as hell hairdo! But I miss out on her fab finger gloves and glam zebra print clutch, while I focus on the black ties on her pink spandex, again, pants and the odd khaki thigh pads. And those beautiful sandals got the second look after the wide elastic waist denim shorty short. Amber...make me understand?
With that beautiful body and dream girl face, why does she keep being photographed looking like who, what, and why?
I'm a traditional fashionista. I don't do coo coo cachoo. I do traditional and modern with a twist of my personality. I don't understand the way-out-there women with their not-in-real-life fashion choices. But again, this is just my opinion.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Clothes are tough though. You cannot buy just because it's on sale. You need to be sure the items fit in your waredrobe. Now some t-shirts can be an exception. T-shirts are t-shirts when it comes to the ones I workout in, hang around the house in, and sleep in. I can always use a few new ones because it's an item that doesn't last me long. After numerous trips outside to garden, clean the car, clean the house, or sweat through a workout they have done their duty. They aren't an amazing find for me. Why would I spend a considerable amount of money on them? It makes more sense for me to snag a buggy full of them when Target discounts them to a couple dollars and change. A t-shirt bulk buy and a new blouse, dress, pair of pants or jeans, or skirt are completely different shopping adventures. Those key items are as important to shop for discounted as if you are shopping current season's Versace. Don't waste your money on a pile of crap. Shop like it's money worked hard for that's to be well spent. Come on it's a recession...damn!
Now some places are worth diving in the heap, but some aren't. My major two that will always have me perusing their sale sections are The Gap and Old Navy. Everything in those stores goes on sale eventually. I'm not big on Banana Republic, but it could be the same. (Disclaimer: I think Banana Republic has beautiful clothing, but it doesn't fit really my life, currently. I think The Gap really defines my personal style, but Old Navy typically has such fun pieces and discounted basics.) The other major draw to these stores is that you have 14 days to get a price adjustment after you buy any item. So you can get any item on sale for around half off, typically within about 30 days of first seeing it in the store, then hold your receipt and go back on your next shopping trip, and get even more money back to invest in your new, tried on and perfectly fitting, items.
Another of the best finds at higher end discount stores is jewelry, second only to clothes. So often people don't consider purchasing jewelry at Target, Wal-Mart, KMart, etc. Because of this, great pieces of jewelry end up quickly going to the clearance section. I love this. Often I want to buy an odd piece of jewlery to match that one particular outfit to go to that one particular event to impress everyone in that one particular crowd. I can't always run to the local jeweler, but I can run to a discount store (Target's my fav!). I can buy a pair of $2 earrings and a $3 necklace without feeling bad. I can figure out how to wear it with other things later, revamp it, or store it away for the next outing. And just like Glad storage, if I lose it I can get over it. So go ahead future party girl and do all the stupid stuff you want because if you come home missing an earring oh well. Toss the other, or better yet break it up into something better. Then wear it to the next shindig as a brooch, pendant, or charm!
I think these rules apply across many a discount retailers shopping sections. For instance, it's the same thing with household decorating items. I like to accessorize my place with the same creativity as I accessorize an outfit, but $40 for a pillow is not my thing. Instead I avoid the temptation of the full price isles and hit the clearance section. I end up with beautiful half priced, or more off, pillows, towels, sheets, and bed and bath odds and ends. All of this without feeling like I missed out on something or impulse buying.
It's even a good idea to start in the sale section. You'll probably finish in the same place.
Friday, June 12, 2009
You see I am a curvy girl. I have curves I don't always appreciate, but I love a dress. I really love a long dress, if I can find a way to work it on my short body. This style phenomenon has afforded me that. It may have a halter top, tube top, spaghetti straps, or other design, but I can make it work right for me.
The most alluring part to me though is how forgiving it is and easily accessorized. I just went on a Maxi dress shopping spree. I purchased a fuchsia ruffle top dress, a spaghetti strap purple dress, and a black tube dress. I immediately focused on all the things these dresses would accentuate that I would have a problem with. I don't love my arms or shoulders, but that's an easy fix. The fuchsia dress masks some of my shoulder and arm issues with it's neckline ruffle. Because of that I only have to focus on appropriateness of jewelry for the venue I'm wearing the dress to. The purple dress is a quick and easy outfit, with a elbow sleeve jacket and a white tank. Then my stunning basic black dress looks beautiful with my cropped white denim jacket. I'm enjoying the scarf trend, but as cute as it may look with the Maxi dress I have to be careful in the Texas weather. Fashion is important, but comfort ranks higher on my style priority list. (100+ degrees could be deadly with a jacket and a scarf, even if I waited until the sun went down.)
Continuing the outfit by determining how to finish it is the real fun. Because I am a slave to jewelry, I choose things like a bold long stone necklace, multiple ribbon wrapped and metal bangle bracelets, and funky earrings. I adore jewelry like I adore sandals. I keep numerous options! Plus at a time when metallic's are all the rage, gladiators are cool again, and there's a thong sandal on every page of every magazine and website...why not?! Just avoid the standard foam flip flop, they look effortless in a bad way. And, I swear walking a day in those germy things makes my feet look dirty...I'm just saying.
Seriously, there are IMPORTANT things to remember with the Maxi dress too.
1. For shorter fashionista's like myself, take care of the hem! It's as tacky as with jeans to see a filthy, drug around town, hem!
2. If needed don't forget your shaper. Again, I don't appreciate all my curves. As soon as I slip into the comfort of my dress, I am reminded that I'm walking around in the equivalent of a T-shirt. There's absolutely no support anywhere! I don't want to turn my T-shirt comfort into rollie pollie embarrassment.
3. Please do not let your girls, twins, or boobies hang out of the top like a bad club outfit. A fitted white tank under most Maxi dresses is cute, casual, and guarantees the use of a supportive bra!
4. This one you'll thank me for. If you purchase most of your Maxi dresses in cotton, like I prefer, get them dry cleaned or wash in cold water and Woolite then hang and iron them. Fading will happen if you don't take steps to avoid it.
5. And lastly, determine what some of your issues maybe in your dress and try try again until you are able to be fashion forward, style crazy, and fabulously comfortable!