• Learning and Exploring

    Minimalism Aesthetic

    I can appreciate some aspects of the minimalism trend such a less stuff and higher quality. None of this is of course new, but sometimes it takes outside help to motivate. One aspect of the trend I dislike, and its NOT an essential aspect, but one of taste. I don’t like minimalism in decorating; modern, white, austere, neutral, cold. I need interest, softness, color, elegance, warmth.

    I like houses like shown on this blog. We have friends with an artsy house aesthetic also. I like this, but when I think of maintaining it! Its not my style, and I would need fewer knick-knacks, but its far more my style than the minimalist look. I’m a crafter too, that is part of why I’m not a minimalist overall.

    Similarly, I’m not a minimalist in style; I understand the need for fewer clothes, and I can do that. But I am not interested in the limited colors of a capsule wardrobe. I would rather have fewer outfits with more colors.

  • Beauty and Fashion

    Easter Outfit Take 2

    I was working on my dress and remembered an idea from Pinterest. I would have loved to have a polka dot, but I found a lace top too late for Easter which ended up being fine as I finished the dress too late as well.

    I used Simplicity 1607. I had to alter the princess seams a bit to fit my small bust. The neckline gaped; I wonder if I adjust the shoulders (to fit my sloping shoulders) the neckline would gape less? I bought the lace top via Ebay. I love that I can make several different outfits out of this dress if I wanted.

  • Beauty and Fashion

    Easter Outfit Take 1

    This was plan B. I had a polka dot strapless dress. I thought I needed to buy fabric, but, when moving projects, I found I could use pieces from a linen skirt I bought for a dollar years ago. I had to do quite a bit of rethinking, and I had to hand sew the final straps onto the dress to avoid taking the dress too far apart. Then I finally finished my lovely moonrise shawl which matched closely enough.

  • Beauty and Fashion

    Style Icons

    I read and see so many people trying to imitate a few of Audrey Hepburn’s looks. All of the ones I can remember do not have the Winter coloring necessary for wearing black; read color experts, not everyone can wear black. Most do not have her body shape. Style icons look good oftentimes because at the very least, their clothes are tailored to them, but also because they have a signature style or wear their proper colors or styles.

    I think it is a good idea to look for inspiration, but do not limit yourself to style icons, look in movies, blogs, history books. Look for inspiration (for your body type, coloring, and style type) not imitation (this is what bothers me about those who wear vintage without modernizing it; they look in costume). Style icons are famous for their unique looks.

    I know I have mentioned this blog ad nauseam, but it really does have it all. Fit, body shape (more than the unrealistic four or so one usually sees listed) coloring, signature style, sheen versus texture, texture versus softness (for touch sensitive people), color contrast, value contrast, body proportions, capsule wardrobes, face shapes for hair styles and jewelry types, etc.

  • Beauty and Fashion

    Business Fashion

    This is an important topic for me since I am trying to work my way into a more professional office environment and to pursue a graduate degree in business. Technically I am supposed to wear business casual, but that category has a great variety of definitions.

    I researched business and business casual dress in preparation. In my mind I wanted a bit softer colors, no suit coat, and more variety in blouse colors and styles but otherwise like business formal/professional. When I saw in actuality what others wore and what fit me and looked again online I relaxed this a bit out of wardrobe necessity. Neutral non-pencil skirts, a teal dress, a grey dress, sweaters.

    Oh, yes. Pants are not business formal/regular business or whatever you want to call it. . . . neither are dresses. Dark skirt-suits with white/light blouses and skirt hitting the knee, pantyhose, leather moderate heeled pumps with closed toes, and simple, classic jewelry is the outfit expected/required.
    And what I need to work toward . . . you know, dress like the job you want not the job you have.

    I want to wear pencil skirts and suits (I have gorgeous silk blend cocoa skirt-suit I bought consigned, but looks new which I want to have altered to fit) in softer colors (brown is not business formal nor is lighter grey) with silk blouses, silk knit tops perhaps. Keep dreaming, you will have to get the job you want first to pay for all that :/

    And oh, the pantyhose drama. You have to have it match your skin or it is extremely unprofessional and tacky. Also, you have to have a ton on hand because of runs. I have to order online to get pantyhose to both match my skin and not run easily. I tried wearing Berkshire 4415 which come in a variety of colors. They seem sturdier; obviously they will run if snagged, but they do not feel as fragile as some which seem to run if touched . . . or looked at! The downsize is that they are not super-stretchy; they are crisp and the feet are shaped and can pool a bit although I think they improved with washing. I gave up after I ruined all my pairs of this brand and switched to tights for the winter, but I will have to try again for spring. I think I will just have to be satisfied with only a couple wears.

    No make-up is almost as unprofessional as too much or tacky make-up. I usually wear foundation, powder, and mascara, sometimes light eyeliner. I have more difficulty with my hair. When I straighten it, the style can last several days, but the days that I do not use heat (trying to be gentle on my hair here; I already have a frizz problem, especially since I have to pull back my bangs since I am growing them out, again) I am hit or miss; I need to pick a few styles and stick with them. I feel like hair makes or breaks one’s look.

    I also am trying to minimize my preparation time without harming my look. I am just a pokey person in the morning, so I feel if I streamline my process a bit more, I could cut off some time.

  • Beauty and Fashion

    My Vague Autumn and Winter Fashion Plan

    I am summer colored and I tend to like summery fabric and patterns and styles. I was not happy with my everyday Winter wardrobe last year and I have very little in the dressy category, so I want to try to improve my Autumn/Winter style.

    I really need to realize that if I want the elegant style I have in my mind and the colors that flatter me, I am going to have to make quite a few of my clothes. I am also realizing overall that I really need to be more selective and careful shopping. Altering anything and everything is not reasonable, and much altering is not worth it to me; I prefer something original if I am going to spend a lot of time sewing. I have given away/gotten rid of so many clothes recently because they do not fit, are not my style, are not my color, etc.

    I made a secret board on Pinterest. I also glued some items from magazines on cardstock for a mood/style board. But I have ideas in my head that I could not really find, so I also created some Polyvore boards.

    I also have very little in the way of business outfits whether informal or formal, so I also need to work on that. Yeah, practicality. Oh, yeah. I need coats. I just have trench coats. I might want to try to make a coat or two.

    I am not that into plaids, stripes, neutrals, and dark colors, so I want to find ways to make my colors and patterns work and yet not look summery. I have some ideas, but we will see if I can make them happen.

  • Beauty and Fashion

    A Few Unique Aspects of Style and Color Theory

    I love what I have learned on Inside Out Style Blog. I am rather disappointed that she seems to have removed old posts with her updated site though, or maybe I am too techno-ignorant to find them. Here are some unique aspects of fashion and color theory, most of which I had never read about or heard mentioned before I learned about this site. The first two are quite interesting for me because I do not like neutrals, and yet I do not like wearing colors that are too far opposite on the color wheel. And now I know that I do not look good in these and why.

    Color Contrast, how eye, hair, and skin color relate to each other in this post.

    Value Contrast, the varying intensities in eye, skin, and hair color in this post.

    Both together in this post.

    Texture and sheen of fabrics and how it relates to the sheen of your skin and hair in this post. I have noticed that I do not look amazing in charmeuse ūüôĀ and now I know why. FYI oily skin does not equal shiny skin and you also have to consider your hair texture.

    Color Intensity in this post.

    Comfort in this post.

    Beyond the color seasons in this post. I have yet to search further in this one. I bought a summer swatch fan, but I really feel like I need to determine my colors rather than rely on the fan since I looked at some of the colors and noticed ones I knew would not work. Maybe I could get a more reliable set of colors to use via this theory.

  • Beauty and Fashion

    Accessories: Scarves

    This is my scarf collection minus one (a very important one: my first cashmere scarf). I have only in the last year seriously started my scarf collection and my winter selection is quite limited. I also would like to build my ethereal silk scarf collection. I am also hoping to find a real, white lace scarf.
    When you find a clothing item (particularly an accessory that is your color and style (and for me material), you need to snatch it up instead of waiting until you have something to match. If you buy colors in a color determination theory that suit you, all your colors should go together and you will eventually have something with which to wear the piece. And buying items you need when you need them can be disastrous and wasteful (like waaay to large to be easily altered, in a color or style you do not love, and etc.).

    When  I worked at Clothes Mentor one of the stores had a scarf tying sheet pinned to a bulletin board, and one style was this braided infinity style. I loved wearing my scarves this way last winter. I also liked tying the ends together to make a regular scarf into an infinity scarf. A customer also showed me a way to make a scarf into a wrap which she said a waitress had showed her; it involved folding it and tying ends together. I think the scarf may have to be a certain shape. I will have to research that. I need to experiment more with styles. I want to build a pin/brooch collection and also get jewelry pieces to turn a regular scarf into a scarf necklace like this. I have collected several tutorials and scarf style lists on Pinterest.


  • Beauty and Fashion

    My First Designer Purse

    I have had a suede leather purse, but it was small and I am not a fan of suede. I have usually only had cheaply made but expensive man-made material purses. I want to make some purses, but I will have to buy materials.

    Anyway. One of the Clothes Mentor stores had some of their designer purses 50% off a couple of weeks ago, and I bought this, for about $30. I LOVE it. I think it is so beautiful. And because designer purses are not always real leather (which is ridiculous considering their price), I double checked the tag inside to make sure it was real leather. Silver leather, how perfect.

    It matches with most of my wardrobe (except some items that are not my season), and the size and style fit my figure well. I tried it on at a mirror with some other purses also; I had not really thought of doing that and how important that is until I noticed customers doing it and felt the weight of some of my other purses. This is a good first step in improving this category of accessory. Now for a nice wallet, nude/cocoa purse, and some cute small cross-body purses for travel and long shopping days.
  • Beauty and Fashion

    Beauty and the Beast Inspired Outfit

    I ordered two new Eshakti dresses. When I received the first one, my reaction was, “It is like a Cinderella dress!” My sister replied, “Or like Belle if you add white.” So I decided that I would put a white blouse underneath. I fixed my hair a bit like hers; I was too impatient and too uncertain of the style’s flattering me to do more like hers. I did not have a blue ribbon for my hair, and my shoes were not black/brown, but I was certainly close enough. One of my coworkers said I looked like Belle; yes, that was intentional.

     

    This dress has so many possibilities. I have short sleeved white top I could also wear under it. I have cardigans and shrugs I could wear over it. I could try other colors of blouses. I could wear scarves, belts, etc. with it.

    I have been purging and organizing my room (we have the purging bug in our whole family; I do not if we have each ever got rid of so much each and certainly not so much combined), and I do have a few semi-nice pieces of art (I am super lazy with art; I can draw quite well when I try). I kept out this piece because I particularly liked it, and when I put together this outfit, I thought the drawing would go quite well with the outfit in a post.

     

    Yeah, I got tired of fiddling with my camera, so you are stuck with an iPhone photo for the rose. Off to continue watching Beauty and the Beast on YouTube and order Beauty by Robin McKinley from the library!

  • Beauty and Fashion

    Whimsical, Unique, Artsy Jewels

     I won a customized locket from Origami Owl a few years ago. I knocked the back out when trying to add a too wide charm. I need to find out how to fix it.
     My ten commandment bookmark from childhood.
     Books from Hobby Lobby to make this necklace or one similar. Except I do not want all the colors together, and I want to cover the gold on some of the books with silver and perhaps add a little more detail to the books.
    The book necklace I made. I have not really worn it; I think I need a longer chain. 
    Resin earrings from Chicago years ago. I ended up loving them when I was hesitant at first.
     Sterling silver charms from a fun antique shop nearish us. There is always a nice pile of all sorts of random charms. The little Bible has the Lord’s Prayer in teeny-tiny print in it.
     Some jewelry from nature.
     Pewter from Williamsburg and glass beads from an art fair. 
     Another art fair gem.
    I just love fairy-tale and whimsical jewelry and want to meticulously curate a collection for myself.