• 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

    On Thrifting Shoes

    I am quite choosy on shoe styles, and I am trying to be more selective on both quality and comfort.

    I have found some quite nice shoes on eBay and Thred-Up, and at Clothes Mentor. With the eBay you do have to realize that people do prize to high often and look only at lower prices. With the latter two options, you have look through a considerable amount of ugly and cheap shoes and (with Clothes Mentor) shoes that ought to be for sale only at yard sales or Goodwill . . . or in the dumpster. With all second-hand places/sites you do have to buy what you love when you see it.

    And I do have a little leniency on wear with heels particularly. Perhaps when I can afford to, I will be more selective.

    Of the two shoes I posted previously only the cocoa sandals work; the white Coach sandals hurt. All of these have leather uppers (as did the cocoa sandals) except for the last pair which do not have materials listed; I think the soles are leather though.

    I bought these on eBay. I have worn the silver off the inside; these looked virtually new when I bought them. Sofft and Nine West. About $21 and $25 including shipping.

    I bought these at Clothes Mentor priced at $24 each plus I got my employee discount. I would like to lace the cocoa booties with ribbon. Antonio Melani and J. Crew.

    And these on Thred-Up; I am saving them for my brother’s wedding since I am so hard on shoes. J. Crew. About $40.

  • 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.

  • Beauty and Fashion


    So, I did make a drop-in-the-ocean kind of dent in my alterations pile.

    I turned this dress

    Into this skirt.

    I took the small “bodice” off the skirt. I was just intending to “hem” the ruffle left by the fabric above the elastic shirring, but instead I added elastic after taking out some of the elastic shirring that had come un-sewn. Of course I made the elastic too tight, so it hurt my back/insides/waist, and after months of procrastinating I fixed that, easily of course for all that stalling.

    I have more recently produced the below skirt which is also a dress-to-skirt alteration although a bit more complicated and less satisfying since I have to cover this waist treatment with a belt.

     I cut the top off the dress (it was basically a sack), stitched the lining to the skirt (I left an opening on the top for the elastic, but now I realize I should have done it the way instructed for the below skirt), and sewed below that seam to make a casing.

    Then I altered a skirt that I had made. I took about 20″ out of it, and it is much more flattering now. I do not know if I ever posted about this skirt or not, but here is the tutorial. Imagine the possibilities! Airy silk, long maxi, pouf-y velvet.

  • Beauty and Fashion


    Last month I placed and received my first Twice order. The company had a 40% off offer for first time shoppers (I would suggest waiting until this offer re-occurs; it is going on right now on 5/24). I have noticed that I sometimes shop in color themes, not intentionally (nor would I recommend doing it intentionally as you might miss out on other colors).

     Yes, I will be re-fashioning this jacket; I did not pay attention to size which is fine, but I usually intentionally buy bigger sizes; this time I was surprised.

    This was a Clothes Mentor purchase. I am trying to buy better shoes and get rid of super high heels. Unfortunately the white shoes hurt pretty bad. They are Coach, so I want to try to sell them on ebay.
  • Beauty and Fashion

    Vintage Buys

    I mentioned in a previous post that I ordered a vintage pattern.

    Here is the pattern sleeve. I cannot find a date, but the ebay listed stated 1940’s. All the pieces are pre-cut, yay! The pattern is just one (too small) size, but I think I can enlarge it fairly easily.

    Look at those neckline and waistline details!
    I bought these 1960’s sterling silver earrings on etsy. They are so elegant. I think I want to wait until I have the proper new outfit with which to wear them. I will also try to polish them with baking soda. 
  • Beauty and Fashion

    Another Fashion Post: Epic Boot Buy

    I am Summer in colors, and apparently also in style. I struggle with my winter style. I know what I want, but it is much more expensive and/or time consuming (since I need to sew and knit some items).

    I have been a little bit better than last year um maybe? sometimes? but my style really still needs work. I look too librarian/schoolmarmish sometimes and too school girlish other times. The first style is fine for some people . . . above age 30 . . . and the latter for some below age 20. I am not satisfied for either look for me. I like elegant.

    Anyway. I am really, really, REALLY picky about boots. I remember reading What I Wore about the concept of cost per wear. And I wanted real leather boots. I really want grey boots, but I can use brown too. I am picky about style too. I want round toe and do not like the noticeable rubber soles. I want heels both because my legs are short and need lengthening and because heels make the shoes (and outfit) more elegant. But I do not like short shafts which seem to be the fashionable length for boots with heels. Anyway.

    I was searching ebay for boots. And found these.  Perfectly my style. What a deal even with the shipping. I ordered them as fast as I could. I did not say anything to anyone fearing skepticism because of ebay. But I just got them today, and they are what the listing promised.

    They have some wear, particularly on the heels. But I am not exactly gentle on shoes (I have some waiting for new heel taps), so if I had bought brand new shoes, they likely would not have looked that way long. They are snug in foot and calf width, but  I need to lose weight, so for the calves that is fine. For the feet I can suffer if need be. These boots are quite beautiful.