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 “personality”

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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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.

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!

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!

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?

Stripes and Sparkles

Way, way back at the beginning of this fun little experiment I shared with you the What Not to Wear concept of “love, like, like“.  I had forgotten about that little lesson until now.  Looking back at my recent outfit photos, I realized I’ve been putting that exact concept into practice – without even noticing.  Guess I’m getting good.  {Or so I’d like to think!}

I love this sequin top.  It’s cozy, oversized and sparkles – what’s not to like?  And the stripes – those are always a winner in my book.  Finally the green pea coat.  Picked that up years ago.  I really liked it but it was always a tad too big.  The sleeves hung down, the body was baggy.  My alterations guy fixed those problems and now the jacket is back in rotation.

Speaking of “love, like, like” – what are you wearing this week that adheres to that concept?  I want to know!

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!

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