Nov 192013

Back in the day, I sold dresses. I was trained to realize that dresses are the quickest, most fashion-forward item on the department store floor (which is where the majority of us find our fashion reality).

It took me until a recent season of wardrobe challenges, though, to apply that knowledge.  Here’s my strategy: focus on the emerging silhouette for dresses, while living in the current silhouette for leisure and casual clothes.

Because, for the woman on the street, how your separates combine has alot to do with lengths. And, as a wise woman once pointed out: a peplum top needs a high-waisted bottom. It sounds so obvious!

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More on my recent wardrobe trauma to come. What are your current challenges?

Oct 292013

You know that sticking point in your sit-up?  The one where you think you are not going to make it?  That is the point in the fashion cycle at which I find myself: feeling frumpy, not wanting to wear what is in my closet OR what is in the stores.

While I realize I need to do some organizing, and probably some styling, within my wardrobe, I also wonder whether I can just buy one item that would somehow neutralize that frumpy feeling.

What would it be?

Some possible candidates:image1.jpg a great pair of jeans,an amazing pair of boots,or a new coat.

Or how about a new haircut?

For me, I don’t think that is it. I don’t think my hair is frumpy. I need a whole new uniform template.


Sep 182013

While most use the terms “style” and “fashion” interchangeably, some are careful to draw a distinction.  Among those differentiating between the two concepts are many who wish to be stylish without being a slave to fashion.  Is that you?

OTOH, there are those who just happen to be having a love affair with whatever is ubiquitous at the moment.  IM<HO, intellectual honesty requires admitting – at least to the self – that the thing you love is also the trend.

“I have always loved …”

  • coral or cobalt
  • mid-century modern
  • fermented veggies

works when accompanied by “I am so glad it is popular and affordable now”.  Because affordability is truly the upside to desiring what is widely available.

End rant.  What are you currently crushing on with everyone else?

Did I mention I went to Ikea this weekend? 😉

Sep 112013

In honor of my approaching (50th) birthday, my sister invited me to visit her and attend this Friday’s Portland Fashion Week Ready-to-Wear Show.

What to wear?  Above all, nothing boring!  Also, nothing that feels labored.  Or matronly. Or too hot.  Or too cold.  You may call me Silverilocks 😉  Currently atop my list of possibilities is the simple white cotton dress I posted about wearing a couple of months ago.  The LAST thing I want to do is to spread the “always a new outfit” virus; repeating this dress, but with different accessories, is perfect.

How I am taking a white cotton dress into fall:

    close up of dress with 5 different pins at neckline

  • With boots.  Vintage brown suede is what I am thinking.
  •  And a scarf.  Because my sister gave me this really cool, made in Portland, multi-color, flocked texture, brown scarf.  If I can’t stand to wear it in my hair, it will be a bracelet.
  • And a DIY jeweled collar, made of Premier Designs Jewelry pins. My daughter, the jeweler, is also going.

I also think three considerations suggest the white:

  1. White is a color that I feel is personal for me, like many women like black.  I also LOVE brown and white together.
  2. White is now, in terms of fashion rather than season.
  3. Nobody likes to be restricted by fashion legalism anyway.

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I am curious, though, since the magazines have recently declared the little white dress a staple, who’s been wearing one besides me?  How about the little red dress for fall?

Aug 192013

Typically I hit the downtown Value Village on Monday mornings.  Today I got there about 5 minutes after they opened and the carts were all gone.  So were the color tags.  Oh well.

Because between Value Village and home is the Union Gospel Mission Thrift store.   This store used to be one of the worst in Spokane.  While the “pickins” are still slim, the sales are very good: one color tag is half off, one 99 cents, and one 50 cents.  And the prices are better to start with!

Today I bought:

  • Wool-blend, black/white tweed, Eddie Bauer skirt, in “the new length”.
  • Pink/red ticking stripe, tissue-weight, woven cotton, ruffle-front sleeveless blouse by Caslon

Both were 50 cents. Each.

  • Also flannel paisley pajama shorts.  For my vacation in Hawaii, with my youngest and her friends.  We are celebrating her college graduation, courtesy of my wonderful MiL.  The shorts were $1.50.

And if thrifting is not your thing:

Aug 132013

To transform a scarf into a headband with a little stretch, I modified Vildy’s suggestion – to cut the knot out and replace with elastic – and built this in minutes last night from scraps of the silk-dress-turned-peplum-top:

multicolor polka dot scarf, front and back views

The bow is sewn in place and then the elastic is right next to it.

headband shown with elastic next to bow

Not bad for a first attempt. Nevertheless, I am not wearing it. Why? I just thought the yellow and white polka-dot, ruffle-front, fit-and-flare, MoB dress AND the multi-pink, polka-dot headband with bow and fluffy tails TOGETHER would be a bit much. For today.

Coming to you live, for the very first time, from Reboot Central – Tech Services and Coffee Bar.

Aug 082013

scarf worn as headband pictured front and backThinking about gamine style, and because I showered but did not wash my hair after Monday afternoon’s step aerobics class, on Tuesday I tried a headscarf.  Perhaps that is not the same as a headband 😉 So, it is a scarf worn as a headband.
Something about this look is really good.  I know that because

  1. the hero came home for lunch and made a comment which included the word “cute” AND
  2. he commented on the change when I was not wearing the scarf on his return.

The fact that I was not wearing it when he came home is evidence that something about it is not quite right. I suspect it needs elastic.  Since I never wear scarves except as warm gear, I can make this over into a stretchy headband.

 But how? 

Jul 232013

Cultivated style (cultivate = to produce by culture): a “style” which comes from and is understood by the culture.  Examples of styles people cultivate include preppy, biker, boho, and (the very 2013) rockabilly.Obviously, reasons vary for choosing a cultivated style; some do it to foster affiliation with a certain group (think high school goth), others because they want to be different (hipster?). (Some) girls just want to have fun.

At Vildy’s suggestion, I have been checking out the blog My Year of Fabulous, which chronicles the adventures of a mom as she test-drives various styles. While exploring her month of Rock ‘n Roll looks, I came across the link to Folter. And this picture.

Yes, well, basically that model has my exact haircut.  A little longer. And styled in a cultivated, as opposed to contemporary, look.

(Btw, this photo was taken March 13 for the EWU graduation program and shows just how brown my teeth got from using high-fluoride toothpaste for two and a half months.).

There is IMO a personality component, which I haven’t completely figured out. I can only say that I, for one, would not probably ever feel comfortable adopting a total cultivated look of any variety. How about you?

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 302013


So, for the past several years, the hero’s annual office party has been held in April.  This year I happened to be involved in an upcycling project (still unfinished) which I had hoped to wear.  In the middle of the afternoon that day, I woke up to the fact that it wasn’t happening and I needed to find something to wear.  Thankfully, I remembered a brown silk Ann Taylor dress I had picked up for $2 months before and had never even tried on.  But it fit!

Today I went back to the same thrift store, Salvation Army on Division, for their weekly 25 cent sale.  On the way out the door, I noticed a cart full of shoes and found a like-new pair of these: image13.jpg


The Kitt shoe in brown by Life Stride is classified as pumps. This Life Stride shoe is made from suede, rubber sole with a heel height of about 2.5 inch. The Kitt also features studs & grommets, pointed toe, cap toe.  Msrp $60.


Note: single sole pumps, cap toe, pointy toe, silver studs. All very current elements, but classic enough for longevity.
Don’t you agree these will be perfect with the dress? And I am not just buying them, for a quarter ;), for the one dress; I did not own brown pumps. I do now! Yay! In the picture, I am wearing tights and boots, just cuz I didn’t have a closed-toe option. In the picture with me, the co-worker I most wanted to award some kind of best-dressed citation.