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 category “Real Life Looks”

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.

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The Challenges Continue…

So here’s a tricky problem I’ve come up against.  I’ve been reading and following blogs for the last 10 months trying to learn from other writers’ experiences.  Surprisingly it’s been a whole lot less useful than I thought it would be.  I’ve found that for the most part instead of learning anything, I just end up with other people’s opinions as my own.  I compare myself to other people more.  I listen to myself less.  And I quickly forget about the great things that make me, me (because everyone else just seems so much more cooler!).

I’ve come to a point where I am exhausted of hearing other people talk about themselves.  I need a break from being told what to do and how to do it.  I deleted most of the blogs I was following.

And here’s the funny part.  I’m not just tired of everyone else,  I’m tired of listening to myself talk about myself too.  It kind of cracks me up.

Ah well – that has been the point of this blog.  To push myself past the hard bits.

So, the question is: How the heck do I write about myself now when the last thing I want to write about is myself? How’s that for a challenge?

Never give up. Never, never give up! We shall go on to the end. -Winston Churchill

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 Lesson in What Makes Me ME

So.  I’ve been giving myself style lessons, right?  I’ve been experiencing an increase in confidence.  I’ve been feeling like a truer version of myself.  Sometimes I even think I’ve figured it all out.  Nonetheless, I received a funny little lesson the other day.

I headed into Portland for a haircut.  I threw on some clothes I felt good in and that felt like me.  See?  I’ve learned something.  I walked into the salon.  And just like that it was all over.  Turns out, just because I’ve learned a thing or two it doesn’t mean I’m Wonder Woman all of a sudden – impenetrable because of all my supposed confidence.  Nope.  Have no doubt, Insecurity is still alive and well.

The receptionist was beyond cool, beyond.  The stylist she was talking to was exoticbeautifulsexy and if that weren’t enough, she was friendly!  And me?  Plain, boring, sloppy, dull.  I had to chuckle as soon as I recognized my feelings of insecurity hadn’t gone away just because I was experiencing personal growth.  My feelings of doubt, incompetence, and overall lameness were still there.

Now, I keep mulling this story over and over trying to figure out what the happy ending is.  The wise lesson I’ve learned.  The cheerful spin on events.  But I can’t come up with a single one.  Nada.

The only thing I’ve realized is that my successes and my insecurities, my shining moments and my dark ones – they are all me.  I welcome the accomplishments and I learn to laugh when I screw things up.  I need each and every moment to really be myself.  And without them, I’m not much.  Every experience – good and bad – is required.

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.

On a Side Note: Back to the 80’s Baby!

I couldn’t resist!  This is a journal of all my style attempts after all.

My sister recently moved and to celebrate her and her husband, we threw an 80’s Prom Night party in their honor.  Think we got it down?

 

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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