Play, Turtlenecks, The Blues, and Round

Play, Turtlenecks, The Blues, and Round

woman in a smock

When I put this coat on I feel like a creative person ready to paint or do some patternmaking

Play some dress up

If I waited for a proper occasion to get dressed up I’d never wear half of these clothes. Put on the clothes and you make things happen to match them. It doesn’t work the other way around.”
― Erin Kelly

What an interesting thought. The stay at home order here in my home town is starting to lift. Is it because I got out of my pajamas? JK but what happens to your mind, your body and your will when you stay in your pajamas all day? Are you really pampering yourself or just indulging in despair?

For me in the past a full day in pajamas would have been pampering. Now after many days of not leaving the house staying in my pajamas would be indulgent. Maybe not indicative of despair but indicative of wallowing in something.

Now is a great time to play dress up because no one is looking. Try it out. Put together some different dilemmas you would like to find yourself in and dress for the occasion. Play make believe just like when you were 3 and let me know if it was a good escape that created some new results.

This week’s style detail – the Turtleneck collar

I don’t need to explain why turtlenecks are so named. Put one on and you will see. When it is cold out it feels amazing to put one of these on and sink down into it.  A turtleneck is found on a pullover knit shirt. It folds over on top of itself. A mock turtleneck is more of a band and if you folded it over it would be really narrow.

Turtlenecks and mock turtlenecks can be worn in a variety of ways. Put one on under a blazer for a casual Friday look or wear one plain with a scarf, sweater or vest on the weekend.  How do you like to wear turtlenecks?

2020 Pantone Summer Blues

classic blue, faded denim, mosaic blue, navy blazer

One of these blues will look good on you. Blue is one of those universal colors. There is a tint, tone, shade or hue for everyone. It is a good color to choose for family photos, uniforms or wedding parties.  I am sure you probably already have one of these in your closet so no need to go out for more (unless you need it).

Style Lesson – Round Body shape

A woman with a round body shape has a mid section that is wider than her hips or shoulders. There is no defined waist. She usually has amazing legs to show off.

Color and design lines as well as layers are some ideas to play with for body balance. As with all body types, avoiding  horizontal lines right across the widest part of your body is a good place to start playing. Creating a V with design lines with the narrow part of the V at your waist is a trick to create a waist. Wearing items with detail at the hemline and neckline will also create the illusion of a waist.

Avoid giving up and putting on clothes that are too large and baggy just to hide. Instead wear clothing that fits properly and let yourself shine. Unless of course you want to- You have to love it!

Round body type

Need help creating your signature style?

Use your nose, mandarin collars, 2020 greens and Rectangles

Use your nose, mandarin collars, 2020 greens and Rectangles

How Using your nose can save the planet

“I believe you should live each day as if it is your last, which is why I don’t have any clean laundry, because, come on, who wants to wash clothes on the last day of their life?” –Anonymous-

And guess what? Washing less also equals less impact from your clothing on the environment. Since I rarely do out and out dirty work in my job anymore I have started to give my outer clothes the sniff test before tossing them in the laundry basket automatically.  If they pass back in the closet or drawer they go.

According to this article in Treehugger 75 to 80% of our clothing’s lifestyle impact comes from laundry. The average household uses 13,500 gallons of water a year doing laundry. Front loading machines cut that back significantly by using 7000 gallons less. Now imagine if you cut your number of loads per week in half just by doing the sniff test.  Hanging your clothes instead of using a dryer will cut down on electricity use (but maybe crowd your minimal living space).

Use the coolest temperature water you can. Heating water accounts for a large amount of energy use when it comes to laundry.

To avoid ironing, hang your clothing up immediately instead of letting it sit around balled up.

Reconsider dry cleaning. Avoid buying things that say dry clean only. If you are open to experimenting, many sweaters and delicates that say dry clean only can be hand washed.

Another bonus? Your clothing will last longer when you wash less often, don’t use the dryer or an iron and use cooler water.

And now if you run into me on the street I hope you will know me because I am smiling about not doing laundry and not because my sniffer isn’t as good as it used to be.

Clothing detail of the week -Mandarin collar

A mandarin collar is a subtle little  stand up collar that is  basically the stand for a collar without the collar part attached. It is typically narrow but can be wider. It is typically thought of as an Asian look because it was used on Chinese military uniforms. Related styles are the Nehru collar and the band collar. What memories or feelings do the Mandarin collar create for you?

These girl’s costumes have a mandarin collar

2020 Greens Biscay Green and Chive

Have you tried either of these colors? I could see myself in a pair of chive green hiking pants on the trail!

Body Shape for the week – Rectangle

In a rectangular body shape the hips and shoulders are equal in measurement and the waist is not clearly defined. This body shape benefits most from defining a waist. This can be done with a design line, belt or other detail that creates a waist. This shape benefits from adding width to the shoulders and hips so that the waist appears narrower. A peplum top with additional shoulder details would do this well.

 

Rectangle body shape line drawing
Stagnant or creative? Standard collars, summer reds and inverted triangles

Stagnant or creative? Standard collars, summer reds and inverted triangles

“Our dilemma is that we hate change and love it at the same time; what we really want is for things to remain the same but get better.” -Sydney J. Harris

Photo by Mauricio Livio on Unsplash

Has your life changed in the last 20 years? How about your ideas? Your residence? What’s hanging in your closet?

Is everything you believe true? I keep exploring my “beliefs” and discover they are just my thoughts but not everyone would believe what I think (especially my husband). Here is a deep down one I didn’t even realize I had: “Fashion doesn’t matter.” Now I know that is not true because not everyone would agree it is true.  Only things everyone can agree on are true facts. I now realize it helped me justify not investing time in self care and it helped me justify not caring about what I wore or how I looked.

It kept me stagnant. And what I wore 20 years ago does not help me look the way I feel now. It actually makes me look like I am stuck in the past and it makes me look old. Even though I am technically “old” I don’t feel old and I don’t necessarily want to look old (although it could be useful when I’m trying to cross the street).

To me old is stagnant, not creating new thoughts, ideas or actions.  I was headed down that path- doing the same thing every day the way I have always done it. Including wearing the same thing I had worn for 20 years.  It isn’t comfortable to try to find new paths and my brain resists it just like society seems to resist real change. How about you? Are you stagnant or are you creating new ideas, activities and brain paths?

Need help breaking out of your style stagnation?

Clothing Detail this week – A standard collar

One way Merriam Webster defines a collar is as a band that serves to finish or decorate the neckline of a garment. A collared shirt is simply a shirt with a collar. It can be any of the collar types we have already talked about or it can be the type of collar that is commonly thought of on a man’s shirt.  Medium in width with points in the front and attached to the garment by a stand (a piece of intermediary fabric) .  When you do an online search for a collared shirt you get a variety of shirts with either buttons down the front (button down) or polos (a v-neck opening that may or may not have buttons).  If your boss has asked you to wear a collared shirt, they typically mean a button down collared shirt.

Collars are a face framing feature and one way to make them stand out is to make them from a different fabric or color fabric than the body of the shirt. Collars are decorative although they may also have a function of keeping the neck warm. Collars typically make a shirt more professional and formal than an open neckline. A polo shirt is often considered business casual even though it has a collar.

Do you enjoy the look and feel of collared shirts?

man's button down shirt

Fashion trends

Pantone 2020  versions of red

Flame scarlet, orange peel, cinnamon stick, coral pink –They sound luscious.

Do any of these colors complement you? They are your red if they match the color of your fingertip when you squeeze it, the color of your cheeks when you blush or the color of your lips. 

Reds that blend with you will be the most attractive. Which one is yours?

line drawing of inverted triangle

Style lesson

Body shape – Inverted Triangle is the opposite of a triangle (imagine that). The shoulders are larger than the hips and the waist is only slightly defined as it tapers down to narrow hips and a typically flat butt.  The guidelines for balancing out this body type is to make the hips look equal to the shoulders and make the waist visible. Ways to experiment creating this illusion include brighter or lighter or print pants with more subdued tops. You would want to avoid styles that emphasize the shoulders such as halter tops, ruffles at the shoulders, cap sleeves or a color block that had a lighter color defining the shoulders. Flared skirts and pants would also help the illusion. V neck lines, narrow lapels and items that create a vertical line down the front of the body are flattering for most.

If this is your body type which of these guidelines have you found helpful and which ones do you break on a regular basis with success? Remember these guidelines are just a place to start and breaking the rules can create some splendid results.

Details, Body Types and the Crochet trend

Details, Body Types and the Crochet trend

Grandma Gets Real Creator Tonya Ruiz dressed up these quarantine barbies. I think you will enjoy them.

Clothing detail of the week

Knowing how certain details of clothing are described can help make online ordering and searching easier. Todays detail is the peter pan collar.

The Peter Pan collar is a shirt collar that lays flat and is rounded on the edges instead of pointed. It screams feminine and girly, flirtatious and fun. It can also be viewed as a juvenile or youthful look which may not be helpful if you need to project authority but could be great fun on a date night or girl’s night.

In a contrasting color it can bring attention up to your face (which is flattering to all). They can be jazzed up with sequins, beads or embroidery for an even more stand out look.

It is one of those clothing details that gets an immediate love it or hate it reaction.

2012 was the last time it was really on trend so I imagine we will see it come round again soon. Is the Peter Pan collar a clothing detail you love or hate?

Photo from Sew it With Love

If you are a seamstress you can draft your own Peter Pan collar with these instructions from Sew it with Love

I found it! This article reminded me I have an adorable detachable beaded one that I loved to wear in my 20’s. Maybe I will have to try it again soon and add a little glam to my quarantine outfit.

This crochet dress pattern from Garn Studio 

in Queensland is a lot like the dress my mom’s friend made for me.

 

Clothing Trend

Crochet was hot on the runways for spring. I will never forget when I was in middle school one of my mom’s friends crocheted me a soft pink dress. She must have spent hours on it. I never wore it. What self respecting middle school girl in the 70’s would wear a dress with holes in it. The boys were already trouble enough. Why would I encourage even more teasing?

I flirted  with a couple more crochet things over the years including a purple bell sleeved duster style sweater that looked fabulous but had me getting hooked on every edge I encountered. Into the Goodwill bin it went.  Could I be tempted again? Crocheted pants? Swimsuit cover up? It would definitely be stepping out of my comfort zone which is what I advise clients to do – so I can answer that with a solid maybe. Perhaps a crocheted tank or a swimsuit cover up could be a solid addition to my simple and practical style.

Here is a glimpse of some of the crochet trends that went down the runway for spring. Are any of them tempting you?

Style lesson – Your body shape

When I first started trying to figure out how to dress better I couldn’t believe the simple formula of body shape and how applying different suggestions based on my body shape were a great starting point to having my clothes look better on me.

An easy way to figure out your shape is to take a photo of yourself in tight fitting leggings and t shirt or tank top. Print this out and then with another piece of paper on top, trace around your outline. You can do this for front, back and profile but you really only need the front.

Then take a straight edge and hold it vertically straight down from your shoulders on the traced outline. Do your hips line up with your shoulders? Are your hips smaller or bigger than your shoulders? Does your waist indent a lot, a little or not at all? Making these observations will quickly and easily tell you your body type and get you started on learning the tricks of body balance.

Here are the body types:

Balanced hourglass – Hips and shoulders are equal and your waist is indented quite a bit

Triangle – Your hips are wider than your shoulders and your waist is indented a bit

Inverted triangle – your shoulders are wider than your hips and you have a waist

Rectangle – Your shoulders and hips are equal and your waist hardly indents at all

Round – your middle is your largest part. You usually have a larger bust and amazing legs.

The goal for all these body types is to create a look with clothing that creates the illusion of  hips and shoulders that are equal in width with a defined waist.

The goal for clothing for the balanced hourglass that already has this look is to not throw those proportions off.

Did this help you figure out your body shape? Do you still need help? Give me a call. I can help you sort out all the confusing guidelines and silhouettes to get you started on the path to giving yourself a style make over.

 

line drawing of triangle body shape

Clean Closet Clear Mind

Clean Closet Clear Mind

The first step in dressing well starts in your mind. Because what’s in your mind shows up in your closet and on your body. Let me give you an example.

For years I felt that it was frivolous to spend money and time on myself when I perceived that I didn’t have time or money to spend on myself. I would wear things that were gifted or passed on to me. I would hit up the thrift store without a plan of what I needed.

I would allow confusion and hence obsession over my inability to put together an outfit that looked good on me to take up my time in the morning.
As I started to dig deeper I also discovered that I wanted to hide a body I was ashamed of. I also realized that as a woman I was tired of perceived unwanted attention from the opposite sex. By covering up, wearing worn items, choosing colors and styles that didn’t complement me and not having a plan when I did shop, I ended up with a closet full of clothes but nothing to wear. I was uncomfortable in my clothes because I knew they weren’t right.
And it all started in my mind. I would look at beautiful clothes and tell myself I could get something beautiful when I reached a certain weight. I berated myself for not knowing what to wear. I beat myself up!

Are you still beating yourself up?

Here are some questions to ask yourself to see if your mind is the reason you have a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear.
1. When you look in the mirror do you focus on your perceived flaws instead of being neutral or positive about what you see?
2. Are you confused about what to wear?
3. Do you find yourself making impulse clothing purchases online, at the checkout counter or when you have a few minutes to spare?
4. Are you waiting until you are perfect to buy yourself something new?
5. Do you have a clothing budget?
6. Do you tell yourself it doesn’t matter how you look?
7. Do you think being comfortable means wearing sloppy clothes?
8. Do you think you might be trying to hide using your clothing choices?
9. Do you have clothes in your closet with tags still on them?

10. Is your closet so jam packed you can’t find anything?

When you don’t take time to care for yourself including your appearance and your mind, you are not allowing your full self to be present in the world. You may think your sacrifice is helping the world but in reality you are keeping yourself from showing up fully in the world.

Remember, what’s in your mind shows up on your body and in your closet. Let’s make it good! Take me up on the free 30 minute consultation. I can help you show up and shine.

What examples do you have of closet confusion? Now is the perfect time to clean up that closet confusion. Give me a call if you need help. I would love to work with you in person or virtually to make a change in how you show up.

Could getting naked help you look better clothed?

Could getting naked help you look better clothed?

My Christmas gift was a trip to Olympus Spa (a woman only facility) in Lynnwood. When you enter you are given the ultimate equalizer – a little mini hospital gown to cover your body and a cloth cap to cover your hair. And this is what you wear as you spend your time enjoying rooms of varying temperatures with different themes.

It was interesting to simply be without comparison or judgement of clothes, make up or hairstyles.

Then it came time to try out the water portion of the facility. In this area we are all equalized by the fact that now the only thing we wear is the little cap to cover our hair. No one was worried about or trying to cover up their flaws or allowing their thoughts about their body to keep them from participating in this experience. There was every variation on body size, shape and color represented and it was beautiful to see.

It has been my wish to remember that experience when I look in the mirror. How could this translate for me if I could capture this freedom I felt when naked to when I look in the mirror and try to get dressed? Keeping in my mind this freedom of not judging myself and not comparing myself to the false standard set by a world trying to sell me things so that I am perfect.

Take a moment to appreciate your naked and see if it helps you in loving yourself. How could seeing your perceived “flaws” as simply a part of a beautiful universe of differences change your life? (And help you dress better)