Jun 022015

Rule number one states simply that the face should be the focal point of every outfit. That seems obvious. Focal point = the point which the eyes are drawn to. But, have you wondered how that is accomplished?

A primary tool in directing attention to your face is the use of balance points. There are two measurable points that determine how far down the upper body the neckline should go. In addition, the collar or neckline should be at least as wide as the face. For additional information on this topic, I recommend The Triumph of Individual Style, by Carla Mason Mathis and Helen Villa Connor.

Jewelry can also create balance.

Jun 292014

Before I move on from my week of shopping, I have one last thing I wish to mention. Last summer I went to Hawaii; on return, I began a list of items I wish I had packed.

  • A small backpack (for hiking)
  • my night guard. When my crown flew out, during flossing, it would have kept my teeth from shifting until I got home.
  • a hat to shade my face. I can’t read at all in my prescription sunglasses. (My daughter brought a straw hat and looked super cute wearing it for traveling, since it couldn’t ride in the suitcase.)
  • bras with colored straps.. I haven’t felt the need for these yet this summer, but I expect to. So I found several this last week at Nordstrom rack. Incidentally, I find I am more motivated to have pretty underthings when I catch myself in the mirror at the gym all the time in the process of dressing.

The modesty peeps may disagree, but IMO the colored straps look more like another tank layer. Or even a swimsuit top. When it is hot and humid and the vibe is laid back, wearing a bikini or equivalent as underwear saves having to wear an entire extra shirt!

July 4th Sale 40% Off All Swimwear

Apr 092014

One more stop on this week of randomness from around the blogosphere: The Professor Is In. I may have already told the story of the professor who got offended when she was mistaken for an undergrad by another professor. After receiving a comment to the effect of, “if you stay in school, someday maybe you can get your own set of keys”, she came back to class fuming, “what is a professor supposed to look like?” She was young, beautiful, and fashionable. And had not read What Not to Wear, Assistant Professor Edition.

Lord & Taylor's Friends & Family: EXTRA 25% OFF almost everything & 10% OFF cosmetics\'e2\'80\'94Use promo code: FRIENDS. Valid 4/9/14-4/21/14. SHOP NOW!

Prior to stumbling onto The Professor, I had not realized just how conservative The Academy remains. So, suffice it to say, if you aspire to a career in academia, I recommend reading the blog. For the rest of us, a tip I wish I had thought of myself:

Buy blouses that actually fit. If it is a tiny gap deriving from button placement only vis a vis the girls (not incorrect size) in a blouse that otherwise fits perfectly, try sewing up the placket inside, turning the blouse into a de-facto pullover.


Mar 112014

Anomaly: someone or something that is abnormal or incongruous, or does not fit in. When similarity occurs, the dissimilar is emphasized.

via Spokane Falls Community College

Imagine a sea of black dresses; you are the only one wearing white. Does that thought make you uncomfortable? Why or why not?

Macy’s One Day Sale! Incredible deals on fab finds at! Offer valid 3/11-3/12

I have heard people talk as if drawing any attention to yourself by way of appearance is immodest, almost immoral. I have also heard the view that either wanting to blend in or wanting to stand out is problematic. But, in a healthy social environment, IMO, any position on the continuum could be appreciated without judgment.

Typically, being comfortable standing out is associated with extraversion. In my ideal world, I would be wearing a white dress – or a color – of a similar cut and/or style to the blacks; thereby signally simultaneously both unity and individuality. And actually, that is exactly more or less what happened this past Opening Night: I wore a winter white dress with large black flower print, the rest of the theater company peeps all dressed in black. It felt perfectly appropriate.

Dec 242013

Fila orange mesh tank.jpgScanning for color is one of my best time-saving shopping strategies, but I am afraid my color-scanner needs a tune-up. After living these many years thinking I was a “soft autumn”, I need to retrain my eye to notice lighter, brighter colors.

Shop the Winter Savings Holiday at NORDSTROM. Free shipping & returns on every order.

When, the other day, the hero and I were out doing some Christmas shopping – ’cause who doesn’t look just a little for themselves? 😉 – this orange tank top, $7 on clearance at Kohls, caught my eye. In a solid fabric, it might (or might not) be too intense for me, but in mesh the color is softened by what I wear under. As I retrain my color sensibility, I am finding that the bigger problem (than intensity) is actually mutedness.  Sticking to my David Zyla colors simplifies everything.

I haven’t fully decided how I will incorporate this piece into my exercise wardrobe. One thought:

swim shorts + bikini top + mesh tank

The YMCA requires, but does not define, modest swimwear. Thoughts?

Nov 252013

Fashion forecasters are hailing the resuscitation of the midi, as well as longer (below-the-knee) skirt lengths in general. Personally, I think it overdue.

But let me guess:

  • Short-waisted? You would prefer hemlines never drop below the knee.
  • Long-waisted*? Along with me, you have wondered what has taken so long.

* Long-waisted is, admittedly, used in this instance as a euphemism for a body type with proportionately shorter legs 😉
silver short-sleeved sateen dress
I had an extraordinary bit of serendipity last week! My daughter has a business associate who thrifts in a neighboring community by the pound and brought a huge bag to a meeting to share.  The next day, this Mikarose dress, with tags still attached, showed up on my bed, along with a pair of multi-metallic, ankle-strap, mid-heel wedges. Both fit.

15% off Everything Site wide at Code BLACKFRI. Offer valid 11.26 through 12.1!

On me, this dress hits that magically flattering spot just above the calf muscle and below the knee. IMO, only those with legs resembling pencils should allow their calves to be bisected by their hemline. What do you think of the reemergence of the longer length?

Aug 142013

What makes you feel confident in what you are wearing?  For me, it is knowing the reasons; in other words, if others think I am goofy in what I am wearing but I know why what I am wearing is right and they are wrong, from a theoretical/logical framework, I am utterly okay with it.  But, as much as I think about it, I still have moments – or, more correctly, outfits – that give me pause.

Listening the other day to an old interview with Andrea Siegel, author of Open and Clothed: For the Passionate Clothes Lover, I came across the following fascinating insight:

There is a real issue for women … in feeling safe in a new garment that’s different from what people expect of you or what you expect of yourself.  There needs to be a period of acclimation, of getting comfortable with something that makes you feel beautiful.

In our culture, it’s really okay to be anonymous and invisible, but then when you take a step and say, “I want to stand out, I want people to actually see me,” it takes alot of nerve.

Andrea Siegel

How does that strike you?

  • In your world, is it smiled or frowned on to call attention to your personal beauty?
  • Does it irritate you when someone else dresses to either blend in or stand out?
  • Where is the line between expressing yourself through appearance and being immodest?

For me, the hardest thing to get over is that moment when someone in my own household is surprised by what I am wearing.

Jul 122013

This has been a less-than-glamorous week: I have baby-sat alot.  Believe me, I remember well the “all I really want in the whole wide world is a SHOWER” days.  Today was one. 😉

Yesterday I caught myself in the mirror, wearing my slippers with mid-thigh shorts; the look reminded me of the trend I started seeing around here on 20-somethings: shorter dresses (or shorts) and shorter boots (mid-calf or less). With my shorter legs, I wouldn’t expect that proportion to work on me.  But it didn’t look bad. (Except for the slippers.)

Here are the pics:

First, the slippers. Next, a pair of mid-high wedge heels which I think look the worst of all the looks (although I previously wore those shoes with longer shorts and thought they looked okay). Then, the ubiquitous Chacos, of course. And last, but not least, these cream-colored slip-ons, which I got at Goodwill for $5. They are an Italian brand I have never heard of which retails for around $200 and I wear them with everything.

That last picture is actually what I wore today, to Trader Joe’s, after my shower. 🙂

May 172013

I love this print!  Only one problem: as the dress is a petite size, the “walking vent” is “not appropriate” ;).  Believe it or not, I have hot pink Bermuda shorts; therefore, I am cutting this off to make a cute top, which I will belt with white.


Btw, if you – like me – have bright, wacky color combos or prints that you have been hesitant to wear, lose no time in getting those into your wardrobe this season.  For Spring and Summer 2013, bold and bright is everywhere!

Have a lively (I mean lovely) weekend! 🙂

Nov 092010

For your amusement, and no other reason, I offer this small polemic essay, which I was required earlier in the quarter to write.   I enjoyed it, and hoped you might too!  Find this post and others on modesty at The Modesty Blog Carnival at Is This Modest.  🙂

Pardon Me, Your Underwear is Showing

Forgive me for pointing out the obvious, but shouldn’t anyone who can hold a job also be able to tell the difference between a skirt and a slip? A blouse and a bra? Trousers and tights? How is it that women today attain professional status without being able to distinguish between workwear and underwear? Like the proverbial emperor, they have been hoodwinked by enterprising clothiers; nevertheless, their colleagues see their nakedness.

That women enjoy men’s ignorance is demonstrated by their indifference. If a male co-worker declared her “cami” not a shirt, today’s professional woman might respond condescendingly that it is the style these days. Or perhaps she’d just smile, pat him on the head, and ignore the comment altogether.

Seemingly some basics of interpersonal communication are being overlooked in many offices. Clothing conveys a message. Many men, and not a few women, do not speak What Not to Wear. Professional women wearing underwear as business clothing run the very real risk of being misunderstood.

Guys, why not just be honest? Walk right up to that colleague and say, “Excuse me, did you know you forgot your shirt?”

Ladies, at least have the decency to be embarrassed when you realize you’re not wearing any clothes.