Monday, January 28, 2013

An Anti-Aging Treatment for a Classic Dress

I'm suddenly in the mood to wear a dress. I've spent all winter trying to figure out how to wear more modern looking shapes in separates than I'm used to and trying to fathom the murky mysteries of print mixing, but everything in the dress section of my closet looks pretty tired. I don't have to have (read can't afford to have) everything in my wardrobe "of the moment" by a long-shot, but there's a point where dresses start looking more than just a few seasons behind.

So, I decided to try to freshen up a classic dress by adding some timely and modern accessories.

I'm always a little skeptical when style-pundits go on about the "timelessness of the classics." There are more than a few "classics" that I was assured I would wear forever that look really old-hat now. Case in point: the classic blazer. Even a little too much padding in the shoulder, lapels that are too wide or too narrow, too trendy a color or print or cut, and its classic credentials become as fishy as an online-issued associate degree in neurosurgery. Possibly not.

I decided that a fitted sheath-dress, sleeveless and unadorned, might safely qualify as a classic. Even if it is bright cadmium red medium. Red is still classic, right?

Here's what I did with it.

Did I get it right?

Here I am again, late for the brilliant Patti's Visible Monday . Please stop by and see with all the smart stylistas wore this week!

Have a great week!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Getting Over 2012 (... and Hobbit Feet)

I'm still weeding through what I learned in 2012, separating the wheat from the chaff. It often takes me weeks into the New Year before I finish mulling all this over, but I'm trying to get a move on. Tempus fugit, for sure, and it fugits faster every year, so it seems appropriate finish up the review process so I can move upward and onward to new fun and frustrations. For the purposes of this little cyber-rag, I'll limit my observations to a few matters of personal style.

1. When it comes to last year's pairing of boxy tops with cropped cigarette-cut trousers, I have learned that I can wear either a boxy-ish top or the cropped trouser, but not both at the same time. Exaggerated forms of either are a no-no in any case. For me.
The takeaway? 
I won't really know if there's a way I can pull off a trend until I actually try it, but in that process I really must maintain my best critical eye, and act accordingly.

2. That "best critical eye" does not ( should not!) merely nitpick, but respond based on what informed aesthetic I possess combined with my most trusted gut-reaction. Criticism is a word with a very bad rep, but should always be combined with discernment: the ability or power to see or make fine distinctions.
The takeaway?
Applying the above to my sartorial experiments can make the difference between happily and successfully rocking a fresher look or banging my head against a wall, wondering what I could have been thinking.

3. I've made it to authentically old age, and I really don't look as bad as I though I would!
The takeaway?
There is still plenty of fun to be had, providing I remember to apply the above-mentioned discernment. And to get plenty of sleep and always use sunblock.

4. Likewise, when I run across articles defining fashion age-appropriateness, remember to take a deep breath and know that these articles are often written by infant editors who were only recently teenagers, and therefore are not to be taken seriously in matters of what I choose to put on my back.
The takeaway? 
There really is wisdom in age, and I should have figured out by now that just because it's in print somewhere doesn't make it true.

5. All of the above applies to the "What's In, What's Out" lists.
Same takeaway as the above.

6. Last year was the year when I finally fully embraced the full understanding that it's a good thing to give a flip about how I look. It is, in fact, a virtue worth cultivating.
The takeaway; 
I worried about this for far too many years and can stop now.

7. Sometimes the camera does lie. Often. Like a dog on a rug.
The takeaway?
Another thing I can relax and fret less about.

8. There are women all over the world who worry about and enjoy the very same things I do, and I can learn from every single one of them ... through the amazing world of mature women who blog about style. It's a movement! And they let me play, too!
The takeaway; 
We can come out, show off and figure it out through communities like the amazing Patti's Visible Monday . Really, one of the best places, cyber or solid, that I discovered in 2012.


Here's my still-evolving avatar, "Janime", modeling what I wore when Dan (my Hubs) took me to see "The Hobbit" last week!


Finally, (and speaking of Hobbits ) a prediction for the 2013 ...

Céline has come up with what I think is one of the strangest footwear designs ever. It's a Birkenstock/shower-shoe hybrid, lined with mink.

(... and much more conservative in black ...)

Phoebe Philo presented these in her spring 2013 collection, and my first thought was that they were a humorous nod to the hobbit foot-prosthetics worn by Martin Freeman in Peter Jackson's new trilogy.

Go ahead ,,, tell me they don't have a similar je ne se quoi ...

But when I learned that Ms. Philo just returned to work after the birth of her third child, I had more empathy for her probable inspiration. And there is a manifesto about comfort here that I can understand philosophically but not personally embrace. Some of you will love these, some will hate them.
 But my prediction is that we will soon see shower-shoes from WalMart, DIY treated to faux fur fastened on with the trusty hot-glue gun, flopping down the mall in the Spring of 2013.

This will define fashion victimization, I think.

Just saying ...

Monday, January 7, 2013

How to Lose 5 Pounds in Two Days?!

Come down with the flu.

I gave up and crawled into bed on December 21st. I would not have cared had the Mayans been right, after all. The also-afflicted-but-Darling Huz insisted that I try to eat something on the 23rd, bless his heart. I managed to drag myself up onto the scales to see how much of a toll the fasting had taken, but didn't feel well enough to gloat over the 5 pound loss. ( I do NOT recommend this method of dropping the Final 5.) The bad news is that our holidays completely sucked, but the good news is that I was too miserable to care!

We are both feeling better (finally!) and the five pounds are back where they belong. I didn't get to don a single sequin or bit of bling or feel like wearing anything even vaguely festive. But since no cloud is without its brighter lining, I decided to spend my long recuperative sojourn on the couch learning how to get around in SketchBook Mobile on my Kindle Fire. I figured out enough to make an Anime-Me ( or Janime, as I think of her) on this thoroughly nifty little app.

This is what I wore during the entire holiday season, completely accessorized, with only slight variations when self-respect and basic hygiene demanded a change of clothing.

I send you all belated-but-heartfelt wishes for a Happy New Year. Mine's getting better already!

Please come see all the real women at Visible Monday , hosted by the adorable Patti.