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 “inspiration”

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.


What I Learned About Style by Running a 10k

I ran my first 10k on Saturday.  It was awesome.  I was so incredibly proud of myself.  I couldn’t believe that I stuck with running long enough to fall in love with it.  Great weekend.

During Mile Two when I was still breathing normally and could think clearly, I couldn’t help but notice (and admire) all the different types of people.  Runners, walkers, tall, short, fat, skinny, curves and angles.  And not everything I saw was what I expected.  One speed-walking man shook his hips like a woman as he strode his way through mile two.  A woman running at top-speed, her body defined by very serious-looking muscle, was on her way to the finish line as I was just starting – way to go!  Another woman’s bottom wiggled and jiggled as she jogged down the course.  A young child made up of knobby knees and long legs ran along after his dad.  We were all different.

And yet the same.  Everyone on that course brought something to the race – a goal.  Some just wanted to encourage a friend running a race for the first time.  Others wanted to beat a past race time.  My friend conquered the physical pain she’s been dealing with by not giving up.  I wanted to prove to myself that I could rise to a challenge and stick with it long enough to complete something.  We brought our goals and offered them to each other.

And in these observations I felt such joy in the beauty of humankind.  We all have unique characteristics that we love or hate.  We all bring something and have it to offer.  And I’m realizing, it’s in the loving of who we are, the bringing of something to give, that we find our main source of style – the foundation piece that everything else rests on.

Style on a Real Life Budget

I’m here to share that one doesn’t have to put off style just because the bank account is challenged.  For the last eight months, I’ve been working with a realistic budget.  A $75/month budget.

At first I thought I would have to scrap the challenge with such an impossible budget.  Not to mention that such a teensy-tiny amount was discouraging.  But hey – I was determined to keep it real (and I had little choice anyway!).

First things first, I had to stop subscribing to certain style blogs.  Many bloggers seem to have an endless supply of cash to support their fashion hobby.  I couldn’t relate.  I could only compare (nasty habit).

At the beginning of my challenge I had a loooooong list of things I thought I absolutely had to have in order to make it work.  But since I couldn’t buy everything at once, I had to make do with what I had and be thoughtful about what I bought.  Not a bad thing really.

Since I don’t have the money, I’ve had to invest my time instead.  Looking for a good deal on clothing can take awhile especially when it’s done on eBay or at the Goodwill.

Pinterest has played a helpful hand in keeping me focused on what items I really need.  I collect my favorite looks and pay attention to the pieces I’m missing.  When I do shop, I know just what I am looking for and there is less chance I’ll blow my few dollars on more t-shirts (I just can’t stay away).

With practice, patience and effort, I have managed to supplement my wardrobe with items I need and that complement what I already have.  My budget means that I wear the clothes in my closet often.  It means that I buy items I really, really like.  It means that I watch my waste and make do with what I have.  All personal attributes that are important to me in other areas of my life.  And now I’m seeing it surface in my style.  Very cool.

What started as a major obstacle has become just as much a part of my personal growth.  And personal growth is what it’s all about.

He Said, She Said: Sven Goran Erikkson

The greatest barrier to success is the fear of failure. – Sven Goran Erikkson

I’ve had fear stop me in many places in my life.  If I don’t think I’ll succeed, then I just won’t do it.  Fear of failing.  You know what’s funny about that?  If I don’t try something new, I fail.  If I do try something new, I might fail but there’s a very good chance that won’t.

Starting this style challenge has taught me so much more than how to pick out an outfit at the Gap.  So. Much. More.

I suppose I still fear new or hard things but I’m much more willing to try them out anyway.  And just based on the action of trying something new, I’ve succeeded already.

Isn’t that so cool?

What are you fearing right now?  What are you too scared to try, to admit, to want?

No More Regrets, I’ve Got My Red Blazer

Back in November I picked up a vintage red blazer only to return it – I doubted that I was able to pull of such a bright color. Even though I liked the blazer, I just couldn’t bring myself to wear it.

Fast forward five months.  Looking through today’s images, I realized that I was wearing a red jacket.  Without even considering whether I could or not.  When I pulled it out of the closet it just seemed like a natural extension of who I am.

Well…almost.  Now that I think about it I may have had a hesitation or two when putting this red jacket on.  Is it too bright?  Are the buttons too large? BUT I put it on anyway.  I thought, “what the heck I’ll just give it a try.”

And that’s what matters.  The just going for it.  The disregard of whether I’m doing it “right” or not.

How’s that for a little style improvement?

Seven Months Later and I’m Starting to Get It!

I had a business meeting to attend last week.  But having lived in the Pacific Northwest for 13 years, I’ve lost all idea as to how to dress for certain occasions.  I don’t think people really “dress up” in Portland.  Anyone know what I mean?  Has Portlandia done an episode on this yet?

For this meeting I wanted to “dress up” enough to be taken seriously but not so much to put everyone off.  Now check this out.  Had I attended this business meeting seven months ago, I would have been hard-pressed to figure out what to wear and would have arrived in a pair of jeans and my nicest t-shirt (Portland to the core).  But since venturing out on my quest for style, sifting through my closet for something to wear has gotten – dare I say it – easier and even a tiny bit fun!!  Changing yourself takes time.  It’s taken me seven serious months to feel like I’ve truly learned something and am starting to change.  I feel like I’ve taken something I truly hated dealing with (anything clothing related) and turned it into something I feel confident with (I’m actually beginning to love what I put on!).  I’ve always believed that we can have the things we want – we just need to trust that we can have them and then go and act accordingly.

Wearing Skirts with Purpose?

You want some super-awesome perspective on style?  {please say yes}  Then head on over to my buddy Tonia’s blog right now.  I love her take on wearing dresses and skirts.  I love the way a simple skirt has had such a profound affect on her.  And now I can’t stop thinking along these lines as well.  What do you think?

Does the dress make the woman or does the woman make the dress?

A friend recently posed the question to me, “Does the dress make the woman or does the woman make the dress?”

A dress can make a woman in a handful of ways.  A dress can make me look more beautiful to the viewer.  The right look can allow me to fit in with a certain group easier.  The right combination of clothing can tell everyone who I am.

On the other hand, a woman can easily make the dress.  My sister is a great example.  Often she’ll wear an outfit that, without her in it, would give me reason to wrinkle my nose.  But her charisma, her love of life, her willingness to risk with her wardrobe has the ability to completely transform her outfit into one I love!

The difference between the two?  Dressing to make others happy or dressing to make myself happy.  Which one am I aiming for?Thanks to Pinterest I can easily gather outfit ideas that I like and want to try out.  I have and I’ve found that by copying a look, just because it works for someone else, doesn’t guarantee that it’s going to work for me.  The biggest hurdle I have to get over is being consumed with what other people will think of me.  With the burden of those thoughts, it doesn’t matter how great the look is, I will never completely “make the dress.”

If I can just move past caring what you and you and you think then I begin to make the look no matter what I have on!

What I am learning about style is this: the point isn’t to look good just to look good for anyone who might glance at me*.  I mean if that is the case, I’m screwed.  I currently do not have enough money or fashion sense to make the peeps happy.

The point is to be ME.  To be brave enough to wear my opinion, who I am and what I love.  And in doing so, thankyouverymuch sister, we’ll encourage one another to do the same.  Forget finding the right dress to make me awesome (the dress is too darn expensive anyway).  It’s who I AM that  makes the dress.  And that’s the way it should be.

I’ll be me, you be you.

*How the heck do we stop caring about what other people think?  What is the deal with people-pleasing?  It just sneaks right into my heart and takes over sometimes!

It’s Official: Wear More Skirts and Dresses Today

On the few occasions that I do, and hopefully there will be more, here are a few reasons why I love wearing skirts and dresses:

  • Think Maria from West Side Story, I Feel Pretty.  Right?!  Witty, bright and charming.  Somehow I doubt that’s translated to the rest of the world but it is what’s inside that counts, right?
  • I just discovered a sports saying that goes like this, “Look good, feel good, play good.”  This happens when I dress up my look with a skirt or dress.  I think it’s gonna be my new motto.
  • Since I rarely wear a skirt or dress (I’m working like crazy to change this) right now it’s a total challenge to make a skirt work.  Challenge is difficult.  Difficult things help me grow as a person.  Even though it’s just a silly piece of fabric, it’s become yet another vehicle in self-discovery.  A little ridiculous, a little awesome.

Don’t you agree that there is something special about wearing a skirt or dress?  I’m not totally in left field here, am I?  In fact, I’m beginning to wonder if the world could be changed a bit with a few less pairs of pants in it.  Well that and a whole lot more love (but that’s another blog post, ya think?)

Why do you like wearing skirts or dresses?

How to Spring Clean Your Closet and Why You Should

I ran into this excellent little post about style and spring-cleaning your closet.  Not only does the writer offer suggestions on how to clean your closet, she offers a great perspective on why you should regularly re-visit your wardrobe:

I think my wardrobe should be a reflection of my style and my aesthetic judgment. Every item that I don’t really like or that just doesn’t look good on me, is tainting that reflection a little bit…

Things in excess, even seemingly trivial ones like clothes, are burdensome and stress us out. This effect is amplified for people who are into fashion and see it as a means of self-expression: for us a closet filled with clothes that aren’t our style is literally restraining our ability to express ourselves. So, less is more. Or more is more. It’s fine if your closet is close to bursting, as long as everything in there reflects your style. –Anushka Rees

I like that the writer is merging practicality (cleaning out spaces that quickly get filled with excess) with personal growth (taking a moment to re-examine where you are and who you are – it’s an evolving process).

Maybe this week I’ll take some time to go through my closet and purge the items that don’t really reflect me.  Who knows what the process might teach me.  Any one care to join me?  I’d love to hear about (by the way, I love hearing from you).

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