Another Challenge for Myself

I have a nasty shopping habit. It started when I worked at the Gap. I got such a great discount, I started buying all my clothes there and at the sister stores: Banana Republic and Old Navy. Now its become a full blown bad habit. I almost never shop anywhere and my wardrobe is BORING. (Also guilty of frequenting Kohls and American Eagle).

I have decided now is the time to break myself of this bad habit. I have decided to swear off the above named stores for a year. I need to find some new places to shop and shake up the wardrobe.

This is how I feel about my style right now.

I will need to shop at these places one more time, as I have gift cards but once those are gone, no more, for an entire year. I used to have a much more exciting, fun style. Now I feel blah. We don’t want to feel blah… we want to feel fabulous! And how we dress can be a huge factor in how we feel inside. We want the outside to match are fabulous personalities so why do we let out outsides go? I may not succeed at this challenge but it will make me think about how I shop and why. Shopping at The Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy is easy. Why do I not want to challenge myself and become even better?

How about you? Any stores you frequent too much? Does your style get stuck in a rut by always shopping the same few places? Do you think I can go an entire year without shopping at those five places?

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What I Would Love to See Changed.

If you know me at all, you know I love boots. I wear them pretty much all winter long in a variety of styles. I am a bog fan of knee high boots. I love them. I also have a hard time finding ones that fit. See, I have pretty muscular calves. I played sports and was a dancer for many years and then started running and have lifted weights off and on since high school. I am proud of my strong legs but I get envious when I see other girls in knee high boots that aren’t tight around the top. I love how they style with thick socks and skinny jeans.

I can fit a pair of skinny jeans into my tall boots, if I try. I love my legs but sometimes I wish my calves weren’t so big. Or rather, I wish shoe manufacturers would realize all women aren’t made the same and adjust their boots accordingly. I know there is nothing wrong with me or my legs. Sure, I have seen plus size boots but usually they are more pricey. And I really don’t consider myself, my feet or my calves to be plus size. (It’s the same with one piece swimsuits. I have a long torso, why should I pay so much extra for a few extra inches of material? At least here I can wear a two-piece and not give into such industry stupidity).

I don’t measure my self worth by bad fashion industry practices. I think about everything my strong, healthy legs can do and I know this is not a body issue. I sincerely love the definition I see in my calves when I flex. I am proud of me but I would like the fashion industry to realize, we are different sizes. We come in different shapes. This isn’t a bad thing. How boring would the world be if we all looked the same? Embrace your body and rebel against an industry that typically caters to a woman that may not exist. I have never met a woman who has had everything fit her perfectly. Something is always too big/small or too long/short.

I am sure you all have felt the same way about an item of clothing. What is it? What aspect do you wish clothing manufactures/designers would wake up about? I have never personally shopped the “plus size” or “women’s” section but I have wondered through and wondered why designers don’t make fashionable items for people who need to shop these sizes? They should be able to express themselves just as much as everyone else. Drop a comment and lets get a discussion going of what changes we would like to see.

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Project: Do Me

I found Project: Do Me while surfing the internet. I thought it was a pretty nifty idea and wanted to incorporate it into my life. I can’t say I will actually accomplish all of these but since they are written, I might be more apt to complete them (or at least work on them). I figure we all have somethings we need to work on, daily, monthly and yearly. What would you do for each of these categories?

1. Turn off the internet, cell phone & tv 30 minutes before bed and spend that time reading/drawing
2. Work on my posture. I slouch way too much.
3. Floss and brush my teeth (with Crest Pro Health mouthwash – per dentist) every night.

This week:
1. Post to my blog(s) every day.
2. Clean my house.
3. Finish my stack of magazines on the coffee table.

This month (March):
1. Start running 3 miles per day, again.
2. Start lifting at least 3 times/week.
3. Do not procrastinate. Do homework as soon as possible.

This year: 
1. Finish the painting for my living room.

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What Not to Wear Words to Shop By

“What Not to Wear” just might be one of my favorite shows. I am very disappointed it is no longer on the air. I follow them on Facebook to feel somewhat in the know. They recently posted this article, “10 Ways to develop Your Personal Style”, which I think is worth sharing. ( )

What Not to Wear was always a favorite because they showed women how to be beautiful by dressing for who they are. Yes, there were some rules but they varied by person. They also didn’t want to change the people on the show, just polish them up a bit. The people on the show sometimes didn’t think they could be attractive but with some guidance on what shapes look best on their body, a new haircut and some basic makeup the women could see their potential. The outside looked amazing and they could begin healing the inside. We all deserve to look and feel great. We all deserve to have confidence to be ourselves.

Yes, they are judging you but only because they know how much potential you have. 

I always think I need to work on my personal style. I feel I like (and buy) every style imaginable that looks good on me. I would like to bring more focus to my personal style and am going to try use these 10 tips and this blog to try to pare down, focus and restock my personal style.

10. Know Who You Are

I like different clothes for different occasions. For work I try to be more business formal with a little bit of rock and roll at times. For my weekend looks I am definitely more casual comfort. I try to be fashion forward in all aspects.

I think that I definitely dress my age. I am still young but now my limitations in terms of trends.

I have a pretty decent selection of work appropriate basics. I have plenty of dress pants, a few skirts and jackets.

At times, I do feel over dressed for the Phoenix-Metropolitan area but I also feel people get a little too casual here at times. I try to dress for the occasion. I don’t think I stick out but rather look put together.

9. Look for Inspiration

I read all kinds of magazines and am always looking over the ads and features.

I love vintage looking pieces from the ’20s thru the ’40s. I am not a fan of actual vintage/used clothing so I try to look for something the emulates those eras.

I also love punk rock and tend to pick pieces that might have a tad bit of rock n roll feel to them.

I also have found a few bloggers that I really appreciate what they do. It may not be my exact style but I can draw ideas from them.

What I do not do is have someone specific (actress, model etc) whose style I love and look to for inspiration. One of my goals will be to find someone who fits this and really study her style.

8. Know What You Want to Accomplish

Where do I want to be in my life? What are my goals?

These are questions that before I buy anything else for my wardrobe I should look at.

I do want a new job. Should I focus on clothing that will help me win the job I want? I have some nice suits but are they enough? I need some nice blouses. This is a piece I have been meaning to get more of but haven’t found many I like (or like on me).

I have always said, “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have”. I should start focusing on this mantra.

I also love sports and need more Cardinals, Diamondback and Coyotes clothes. I need to represent my teams on the weekends!

7. Accentuate Your Assets

This part is easy. I always dress to what my body needs, not necessarily what is “in”.

I love my eyes. That is why I never leave my house without mascara (unless I am running super late but that’s why I keep a tube in my purse). It makes me feel put together even when I might not be.

I also love my ass. It might be a little big but I try to wear skirts and pants that show it off. I don’t always accomplish this, especially right now since I’ve lost some weight and some of my pants are too big.

6. Take a Style Lesson

I think I have this down fairly well. I can usually spot a real vs. fake in most designer purses. I can spot some of my favorite designers without looking at the label.

I know different fabrics and patterns. I read all of the magazines suggested and I do study the ads. I try to look for trends.

5. Assess Your Current Wardrobe

I try to do this at the start of every season but I will admit I have trouble letting go sometime.

For the most part I know what is in my closet and what I like. But this is an area I can always work on. Style is ever evolving and somethings I just need to learn to let go off, no matter how much I love it, if I never wear it.

4. Make a Few Changes

Add pieces to update your look. They say to start small, accessories or shoes. I like this idea. A new necklace/earrings/broach can change the look or feel of an outfit.

I do not have much cash at the moment but plan to ad some new items (shoes and/or purse) when I get my tax return. I need something to brighten up my wardrobe and make it feel fresh and new.

3. Stock Up on Wardrobe Essentials

There are a few must haves that Stacy and Clinton list.

Black pants: I own two pair. A pair of wide leg Express Editors. I love them. I also got a great pair from the Gap that I can tuck boots into. These are also super comfy.

Black tank top: I have two of these. One is a lace cami; the other has a tone on tone stripe.

Black turtleneck: I object to this. I look horrid in turtlenecks and they make me feel trapped. Sorry Stacy and Clinton, this is one style I will never do.

White blouse: I have two white button downs but really do need a white blouse. Add this to my list!

Jeans: I have so many pairs of jeans. I have going out and casual and boot cut and skinny and boyfriend. No more jeans. HAH

Little black dress: This is one item I have never really owned. I have a black dress but its a summer/beach dress. I need one that is more friendly for all occasions.

Pencil skirt: I have two of these. LOVE THEM.

Trench coat:I have a beautiful white one from Banana Republic. Problem is, something got on it while moving (it’s just one spot). I am trying to get it out. If I can’t get it out, I will need a new one.

Cardigan sweater: I have several. I love them. I am like the cardigan queen!

Black high heels: Again, plenty of these too!

2. Stay in Your Comfort Zone

I pretty much do this already. I know what I like and don’t buy things that don’t feel mostly comfortable. You have to suffer a little bit for fashion!

The thing I do badly in this category is rush shopping. I hate shopping. The crowds, the noise, the bad lighting, waiting in lines. I am one of those who just goes in, tries it on quickly and gets out. I will work on taking my time and really thinking about things. No more just ordering off the internet because it’s easy!

1. Trust Your Instincts

I do this pretty much already too. If I try it on and if I love it, I buy it. If I absolutely hate it, I don’t. Sometimes I do waffle but I try to bring along friends that will be honest with me.

I do plan to try to focus more on not buying something if I am not 100% sold on it. I usually get home, wait weeks to wear it and then decide I really don’t like it. If I don’t love it, I won’t buy it.

I will try to keep these tips in mind while shopping and honing my personal style. What do you think about these tips? Do you follow them? Do you think they are good rules to live by? Share your thoughts!

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Experiment in Color

Today I tried something different. I wore bright pink tights. Usually I wear black or brown and most recently gray. I was at Target one day and these were on clearance so I thought why not? I had bought a few gray skirts and thought the tights would be a great way to jazz up the outfit.

This is the full outfit. Please excuse the horrid photography. I had to take them myself and am not set up for the shots yet. I promise I will try to get better. 🙂 (And yes, I do have a head…)

Side view.

Tried to get a close up of the skirt. I love this skirt! It has a pale pinstripe in it. I may or may not be obsessed with pin stripe.

I’m not sure if colored tights are really for me. I like them. I like them on others but they didn’t go over well at work. No one told me I couldn’t wear them… I just got the feeling that they were a little “loud” for work. And my office is far from conservative. Colored tights may just be for fun in the future.

I think it’s good to take risks every now and then. Sometimes they just don’t work out. This was one of those times. I wore my colored tights with confidence, I rocked them but the look just is not for me.

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