Welcome to my First-EVER-Fashion post!!! It only took me 11 days to write… and then rewrite-rewriteagain-andagain-andagain-and now I’m making myself POST IT, whether I think it’s ready or not.
I absolutely LOOOOVE Fashion! (Delighted Twirl) It’s a lifelong love affair which included a very brief collegiate foray into an over-priced Design School where I not only blew the majority of my college savings but also learned that Fashion Design was far more technical and boring than I could deal with. That, and industrial sewing machines are EVIL beasts who chew up and spit out garments across the room, no matter how sweetly you try to charm them.
While the technical side of apparel design and sewing may not be my Thing, playing with clothes and styling outfits, certainly IS. Clothing is my artistic medium. I could (and probably do) spend hours mixing and matching everything in my closet to create countless Cute Outfit opportunities. Creating the right outfit sets the mood for my entire day, and leaving the house fully put together makes ME feel good which then aids me in doing my best throughout the day. It aids in confidence. It affects how I feel physically and emotionally.
Over the years I’ve received many kind compliments about my style from other moms at school drop-off and pick-up, but too often those compliments are followed up with how my look, in some way, makes them feel bad. “You always look so cute, I hate standing next to you, it makes me feel dumpy!” To which I smile and say “Thank You” but on the inside I’m cringing. Ugh, it is NOT my intention to make anybody feel bad about themselves, especially through clothing, the very tool I’m using to make myself feel good! Creating a finished look is easier to do than most may think. It takes the same amount of time to put on my outfit as it does a sweatshirt and jeans. I’m not the type of fashionista who wears designer labels and stilettos, my clothes are just as practical and comfy as the jeans and sweatshirts which reign supreme in the drop-off/pick-up lines.
Here are a few of my secrets… These are just my personal “rules” that I like to follow, they aren’t intended as fashion rules for All:
My first cardinal rule of fashion is to NEVER (or, rarely) throw anything out! I know, this is the opposite of what most fashion experts will tell you to do. But I firmly stand by my rule because most things DO come back in style and you can easily update, redesign and refashion old pieces into something “new”, without mad sewing skills. When you follow the standard expert tips on cleaning out the closet and tossing/donating anything you haven’t worn in 6 months to a year, you make it very difficult to Shop Your Closet, which is key to maximizing your wardrobe. You end up spending MORE MONEY on new clothes to replace the stuff you got rid of. I agree with the notion of not wearing things you don’t LOVE (part of the theory in the clean-out-the-closet ritual). But you bought the pieces for a reason in the first place, maybe you can do a few easy alterations to make the piece go from Blah to Ooo-La-La!
My second rule of fashion is to avoid doing TRENDY just for the sake of being trendy! Trends are here one moment, gone the next. It’s often a financial waste because the investment won’t be worn for more than one or two years. It’s also very dating when looking back on pictures. I may borrow from a trend through the use of accessories but I won’t buy the bigger ticket trend pieces unless they also happen to be classics that will stand the test of time, OR, I absolutely love that particular trend and will still wear it even when it’s “out” again.
My third rule of fashion is to look for great pieces in unexpected places. I shop in ALL the departments of a store, not just the one targeted at my demographic. I search through the racks looking for the hidden treasures. I can find great jeans in the Juniors section that cost less and fit me better than the designer jeans in my department. I often find the best sweaters in the department usually geared towards an older, more conservative set. I’ve worn many pieces that have gotten some of my (Nordstrom/J.Crew/Club Monaco) friends DROOLING, from The Evil Store Which Shall Not Be Named.
Finally, my forth rule of fashion: It needs to be comfortable, practical for my lifestyle, and easy to wear. I’m a career Mom in Portland, Oregon. My days are spent volunteering and subbing at my kids’ school, running errands or doing housework. I need clothes that can handle a bit of wet weather, keep me warm but not too hot, move with me, won’t show stains, are wash and wear and are aesthetically pleasing. Unless it’s a special occasion, you won’t find me in heels or high-end designer labels.
My pick for this week’s outfit is an example of how to redesign something you sorta love into something more awesome, and how to create a finished look with very little effort! It’s a work in progress outfit, and I’ll explain why in a moment. First, I would like to thank my completely amazing photographer, 11yo Rosemary! She did a great job with our first photo shoot. Now MOM needs to learn how to pose… and not laugh… though I would settle for just learning how to pose properly. I’m pretty sure the not laughing part is going to prove impossible for me. I’m including the blooper pics for comedic effect ;o)
What I’m wearing:
Black, A-line Cardigan – Style&Co – Macy’s, a few years ago (Similar).
Charcoal and Black, Striped V-neck Tee – Target, Summer 2015 (similar).
Black Boots – Franco Sarto – Macy’s, Fall 2013 (similar).
Scarf – Hand-me-down gift from my mom! She probably found it on QVC or at an airport boutique store. This is the piece which sets this outfit! It adds color, texture and what I call architectural interest. Without the scarf, the outfit would be a no go.
Jeans… These jeans are Rock Revival, Celine, Skinny Jeans (no longer available). I got them from my awesome Sister-In-Law who somehow came about them at an irregulars sale (they have flaws). They were probably supposed to be a tight skinny jean but they were cut oddly and instead of a skinny leg, it was a looser tapered leg. I hand sewed the side seams into a skinny leg, using a different pair of jeans as my template. You could do it much faster on a machine of you know how to use one =o). I like the fit much more now and can wear them with boots. I just have to start phase two of the redesign process and dye them a new color! I’ve been wearing them as they came, in this greenish tinted stone color, for a couple of years now and every time I see them in pics, I say I HATE the color! Thus, this is an example of a piece that is a work in progress and I will keep you posted when I try to color them!
Well, there you have it! My very first Fashion post! Now, I need to work up the courage to attempt joining one of the inspiring Fashion Link-up parties I’ve followed on all my favorite fashion blogs (Faints).
10/21/15 Update: I’m gonna try it! I am linking up this week with and with The Stylish Housewife!