She Found Style

an attempt to discover my sense of style in one year and learning more about myself than I ever imagined along the way

Archive for the tag “style”

Let me clarify things a bit…

I love honest people.  I love people that tell you, “Nope, you are wrong”.  I don’t hear it enough (and I’m certain it should be said more often to me) so when someone has the courage to tell me I’m wrong, I just want to hug them.  Well, I want to hug them after the initial shock of being told I’m wrong wears off.

Mike told me recently that he didn’t like my last few posts.  He didn’t feel they were accurate.  He felt like I communicated that nothing about me had changed.  Like my outward appearance is still the same as when I started and that just isn’t true.  As if my original goal of learning about style and applying it to my every day, failed.

As I went about making dinner I thought over what he said and I think he is right.  I made it sound like I didn’t learn anything about fashion and style.  That I had some inner growth and that was it.  Which is okay because inner growth is more important than looking good when you leave the house, right?

I wasn’t being completely honest.  And for a good reason (if I do say so myself).  What if I told you that I did learn how to dress better?  What if I wrote down how I’ve totally started accessorizing?  And I have a few more pairs of shoes to my name so now I can wear the appropriate shoes at any given time?  What if I told you I have more than one belt now?  What if I admitted that I feel so much better when I leave the house because I like the way I look and I didn’t agonize over it for hours?

And what if you took one look at me and said, “Really?  That look still needs work, my friend.”

So I subconsciously figured I’d beat you to the punch and just record that I didn’t really learn that much but my heart is in a better place, so there.

Silly, yes.  But true.

So let me clarify things a bit.  Yes, a lot of inner growth happened.  And I’m beyond grateful for the changes that have taken place inside.  But I’ve done a lot of outward changing too.  Nail polish, necklaces, hats, shoes, straight leg jeans, and jackets.  And. I. Love. It.

Watching myself relax when it comes to all things wardrobe related has kept me motivated to continue on this style education.  Having fun with clothing and feeling more confident has added an element to my day that I didn’t expect.  The preoccupation is no longer on myself, but has turned into an enjoyment of my life.

Learning about style didn’t make me a fashionista

When I started this project I thought as a result, I would become more trendy, more on top of current fashion.  I tested that out a bit but as far as I could get was obsessively following fashion blogs and magazines.  And after obsessively following these blogs, I’d end up in an emotional exhausted heap realizing that I just couldn’t keep up, nor did I really want to.  Since fashion sense doesn’t seem to come naturally and I don’t have the dollars to pay someone to drum it up for me, I could only chase after these things.  At the end all I manged was a lot of comparing myself to others.  That’s it.  I didn’t come close to mastering the arm party and didn’t end up with one pair of ultra-trendy shoes.  Boo.

Trying to be someone else is tiresome.  It took me awhile but I’m grateful I finally figured that one out.  It’s me or nothing, folks.

On a Side Note: What to do with that lone earring you are still holding onto

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Just stumbled across this fabulous idea for a new necklace.  Unfortunately (or fortunately, I’m not sure which) I don’t lose my earrings so I’m off to track down some lost earrings that can be used instead.

Learning about style didn’t make me any cooler

Spending the last 11 months learning about style has taught me a lot about myself.  But it also didn’t do a few things.  First up?  Blogging about style didn’t make me any cooler.

I’ll admit it – I’m always on the lookout for ways to be a little more cool.  In fact, I’ve always had a mental list floating around in my mind about things that aren’t and things that are – cool.  I’ll keep the list private just in case my “not cool” things happen to be someone’s “cool” things.  You never know.

But I was really hoping I’d get a little cooler, more hip, more together by learning about style.  Nah – didn’t happen.  No one, not one person, came up to me over the course of this experiment to comment on my increasing cool-factor.

So I’m not the coolest girl on the block.  But I’ve come to realize that “cool” is what other people might label me as and I’d really rather be the one to define me.  I don’t want to work so hard to have someone else maybe or maybe not give me the thumbs up of approval.  Eh, too much effort there.  And more seriously, it’s not the way life should be lived.

So I didn’t become a super-hip-master but I’m starting to shake the need for that approval from others.  Not bad.

The New T-Shirt or A Step Past Usual

I live for t-shirts and jeans.  No matter how much I try to change that (to become whatever it is I think is cooler) I still just want to wear my t-shirt and jeans.  I like the comfort I feel in a waistband with a little give and a cotton material that has been washed enough times it has reached the perfect level of softness.  Not to mention a t-shirt doesn’t need to be tucked in.  So there.

But I’m trying to take a step past the Usual to see what happens.  And that notsobig step has taken me to button up shirts.  A bit blousy, material that’s fast on it’s way to extreme softness and yet a bit of structure thanks to a few buttons and a collar.  I think I’ve found the perfect t-shirt replacement.

And should I mention that I’ve increased my shoe collection?  Something I used to think was ridiculous (pardon me, most of my lady friends, but having a ton of shoes never made sense to me).  Not only do I own more than one pair of shoes, I now own a handful of kicks that can act comfy like sneakers but bring a boost of fancy to my wardrobe.  Resulting in me feeling like I kinda sorta not really but a little bit got it together sometimes.  Ha.

A New Accessory by Snug Studio: The Geometric Necklace

I’m adding to my accessories collection with this necklace made by SnugStudio.  I’ve been eyeballing it for awhile now and recently received it as a gift from Mike.  I love the simple geometric design.  Sadly, the chain broke the first day I wore this.  I don’t think it’s cut out for a mama’s life – always hustling and bustling.  But not to worry.  I pulled out my jewelry tools and repaired it.  And it’s back in rotation.  In fact, I’m already wondering which one I should pick up next

Another “Make it Work” Moment

I’ve been putting this post off for a week now because I haven’t been sure I can communicate my latest learnings without sounding a bit whiny.  Wish me luck.

The main truth I’ve learned in my style adventure is not about style at all.  It’s about finding places in my life where I am uncomfortable and moving through those things.  I’ve had a few situations, other than style, to do this in and each experience has been quite rewarding.  But I wasn’t necessarily looking for more discomfort to work through.  It may be rewarding and all that, but it’s never fun when I’m in it.  Blech.  It’s tiresome, obnoxious and hard work.

Recently, I had to give back something I love.  Something that defines me.  A creative outlet.  A tool that helps me express a serious passion of mine.  Now, this tool isn’t lost forever, but at the moment I don’t have the cash to by a new one. (I’m talking about a camera – don’t roll your eyes!).

I gave it back for all the right reasons.  After five years of borrowing this camera (aren’t mother-in-laws great?) she needed it back if she was ever going to break through some uncomfortable places of her own.  I didn’t have to return it, I could tell.  But I wasn’t going to be a part of someone’s excuses.

And now I’m left using the most hilarious, little joke of a camera.  It’s ridiculous.  It can’t be depended on.  And it hurts my ego.  I’m so embarrassed to be holding this piece of junk.  Oops… I’m getting whiny.

Once the camera was gone, I felt a little depressed for a few days.  Kinda freaked out.  How was I going to shoot my daughter’s first ballet performance?  How was I going to continue to update the motel’s website?  What about this blog?  Well, the blog dilemma was easy – I’d just quit. You can’t have a decent blog without decent images, right?

And then I realized, I was in another uncomfortable place that simply needed to be worked through.  Simple?  It doesn’t feel like it.  And yet I’m already anticipating what I might learn as a result of all this.  And feeling just a tiny bit excited about the possible outcome.  But only a tiny bit, mind you.  I’ve still got a bit to work through.

The only use of an obstacle is to be overcome. All that an obstacle does with brave men is, not to frighten them, but to challenge them. Woodrow Wilson

It’s Not Perfect and I Love It

One of the excuses I made waaaaay back at the beginning of my challenge as to why I shouldn’t learn about style was I didn’t want to turn into someone totally preoccupied with my looks.*  I didn’t want to put in the energy of trying to look perfect.  I feared that by learning about style, I would start worrying about hair, makeup, and clothing all the time.  Is my hair the right color?  Did I get my eye-liner on right?  Are these pants out of season?  Exhausting.  And a bit too perfect for my taste.

Today I looked down at my hands and laughed.  I managed to paint my nails a few days ago.  I must admit, I’ve come to enjoy adding a touch of personality by painting my nails (that’s a new one for me).  But real life gets in the way and my nails end up smudged and chipped and crazy. Talk about being not-perfect.

Now that I think about it, I realize I had nothing to worry about.  I didn’t stand a chance of getting in with the perfect crowd.

Thank goodness!  Because it’s being not-perfect that I’m learning to love.  It’s real.  It’s messy.  It’s honest and open and forgiving and generous and silly and chipped and smudged.   Not only is it right, I’m realizing it’s true style.

*By the way, I’ve since learned that having a sense of style and a preoccupation with looks have nothing to do with each other!

A Mother’s Initiation

You’ll notice with my outfit a brand new accessory that may (or may not) go well with my look.  A pink and purple rolled-paper, straw and bead necklace made by Miss Kaia in her kindergarten class.   My first piece of jewelry from one of my children.

To be completely honest, I never understood how adults could wear such tacky kid-made creations in public.  But when I opened my present on Mother’s Day, an overwhelming sense of love came over me and I wore my necklace with great pride.  I finally understood.  An official initiation into motherhood.

Have You Heard of Warby Parker Yet?

1)Tenley  2)Finn  3)Monroe  4)Fillmore  5)Colton

I’ve been having some fun around here – free fun (fits perfectly within my budget, right?!).  Warby Parker fun.

The lenses in my current frames are so old that when I put them on I have to squint to see anything.  It’s time for a new pair of lenses and to mix things up, I think a new pair of frames are due as well.

Enter Warby Parker, the awesomest site ever. All frames are $95 AND if you have pretty normal vision, lenses are included in that price!  Wow.  Sadly, I need high-index lenses (when I’m not wearing glasses or contacts everyone and everything is reduced to moving blob status).  So I’ll have to pick up my lenses at Costco ($125).

But wait – the best part here?  Warby Parker will send you up to five of their frames to try on at home (for free).  You play around in them for five days and then send them back (free shipping too).

The frames were fantastic.  Durable, super-cool, unique from what you’ll find in your average frames store and budget-friendly!!

Now, the hard part!  Picking out my favorites.  I’m going to place another order soon to try on my favorite frames in all of their colors.  And then hopefully I’ll be able to choose.  I’m leaning towards the quirky but loveable Monroe frame.

Huge, giant thanks to the checker at Trader Joes for letting me in on his little style secret.

And an even bigger thanks to my little darling for helping me take my pictures today!

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