sábado, 29 de junho de 2013

How do you determine if something is you?

How often do you find things you like and find cute but just aren't "you"?
You may buy these items, only to have them end up forgotten in the back of the closet or making you feel guilty about your bad purchase. But how do you separate what you like and find pretty from what you'll actually wear?

Determine what you like
You can make moodboards, use a Pinterest account to make one online or just take a sketchbook and draw, draw, draw! Try to figure out what appeals to you, overall speaking. Try to see what you find good-looking and tasteful in fashion, make-up, home decor, food, etc.
Don't spare anything that calls out to you, we'll weed out the true winners later!

Weed out the maybes
Now you need to tend to your personal style and taste and refine it. But how? Look at your bad purchases, either clothes, food or decor you don't quite like. What do they have in common?
Do you buy running gear despite being more of a slow moving kind of girl? Do you buy clothes with ruffles and find yourself struggling with them when you wear them? Do you buy knick-knacks and then get annoyed at having to move them to get stuff from the shelves?
It's alright. You can tweak these things after you find out what you don't like.

Turn the bad into good
First gather your winners and think about what they have in common. Then try to tweak you rejects based on that. If you are a homebody who keeps buying sporting gear, why not try yoga?
Try to think about what do you like about the rejects and then think about how to get it another way. Like the feminine flutter of ruffles but hate fidgeting with them? Try soft pink simple clothing or a tiny bow somewhere and see if it feels right! 
If you need a hand with that, ask a friend! If they know you well, they're likely to be able to have a fresh view on things. If you could use another hand with examples, be sure to leave a comment below!

sábado, 22 de junho de 2013

On modeling and perfection

To all of you out there seeking to look "perfect", just like the models you see on magazines and billboards, hear me out. To all of you who are dieting to "look prettier" and not for health, hear me out.

 We are not perfect. And no matter how hard you try, you'll never be. Not only the whole concept of being perfect is flawed, it's like a puppy chasing his own tail, you sort of feel like you're getting closer but you're not going to get it.

To those of you who idolise images, hopefully you already know that those can be manipulated on computers to look thinner, smoother, etc. But what some seem to forget is that these people are publicity instruments, art installments and, as far as the pictures go, not meant to be a goal. For anyone!

Consider this: a designer or photographer is working on taking beautiful pictures of this girl wearing a fancy dress. If you were them, what's your ultimate goal? To make it look good so people will buy it. The dress, not the girl. She, pretty as may be, the more forgetable she is, the better. A good way to do it is with girl who are thin and straight-shaped, to keep the focus on the clothes and not on themselves. Try to see those pictures as art (the combining of sets, expressions and stuff) rather than something you ought to be like

We forget that when we buy a dress, we mean for ourselves to look good. We are not walking bilboards. We are not working to make the dress or the designer to look good. Our goal is to make ourselves look good!

And that can never be reached comparing ourselves to others, whoever they are. Be the best you you can be. And if you want to lose a couple of pounds, make sure it's for you. To feel better and more energized and to be healthier! Not to parade yourself on the streets in the latest designer creation like a walking clothes hanger!
People are a different kind of art as you have plenty more going on for yourself than just looks. Work on your personality, your hobbies, refine your personal taste and explore the many other sides of you to remember you are much much more that what you look like

Find what looks good on you and makes you look good. Find what makes you feel good! Treat yourself the best you possibly can, to look your very best: eat good things, tasty things, wear nice creams, sleep well, be happy. It shows on you and make you more beautiful than any weightloss pill or designer dud could. Be your own kind of beautiful and own it!

sábado, 15 de junho de 2013

How to search for unique items

Do you ever think your clothes look too much like the ones on the woman next to you? It may be hard to stand out or be unique when we all buy our clothes at the same places. Granted, we have personal style to set us apart from each other so we're wearing slightly diferent things in slightly different ways.

But do you wish for even more uniqueness? It seems that whenever we see a great outfit/look, at least one of the pieces (usually the statement one) isn't easily shopable and we can't just go out an buy it. Why? What do those people have that you don't? They know where to shop for their unique items and only buy their basics at the mall!

But if you have no idea where else to buy things, how can you even get started?

Hand-me-downs

Tell your friends and family you're open to any hand-me-downs. Soon you'll be flooded with clothes and accessories that no longer fit or are in style.
Those you think are beyond saving can be donated to your local charity but with some "training" you'll start to see potential in things and even score some perfect finds with no need to alterations!
Other than that, you can improve worthy pieces with a trip to the tailor or to a craft store!


DIY

The bigger and better source for unique items will require some training before you start crafting good items. Start easy with accessories or by googling "easy diys". After that, you can advance to more difficult and hence even more unique projects!
This is a great source of things completely true to your personal style as you can tailor absolutely every aspect of it to your tastes. I'm particularly fond of a pair of chandelier earrings I made. They are quite dressy, look quite professional and I keep getting compliments on them. It takes some crummy DIYs to get to the good stuff but it's worth it when someone asks where you bought it and hears back "I made it"


Alter what you have

After a big closet purge, you're left with a pile of "losers". Think about whether you can bring them back from the "fashion dead" with some clever altering, as you did with hand-me-downs. Or just donate them and think about perking up tour existing closet. Some beads along the neckline or a crop in tired old pants can make a world of difference!


Shop

If you actually want to shop for your unique aditions to your wardrobe, you may have to step out of your confort zone. The obvious tip here is not to shop at the usual stores and try a different strategy

Odd stores
Don't dismiss any store because it's not "you", you'll often find the best things in those. I have a favorite teal tunic I bought at a shop aimed at old ladies, a some cute tees I bought at a "goth" shop and a great pair of wedges I got at the supermarket. Search children's departments, men's stores, sporting goods sellers and other stores you wouldn't go in at first sight. At best, you'll find hidden gems or great DIY ideas. At worst you get a better picture of what you don't like

Thrift stores
This wouldn't be a post about unique clothes without thrift shops. Search your area for second hand stores, flea markets and charity shops. Just remember that if you find something wrong with whatever you'd like to buy (like a stain or pulled thread), it's not going to come off, so you'd best leave it behind. Other than that, this is a diamond in the rough, waiting to be polished. The right pairing of first and secondhand pieces can make a whole outfit look super expensive and designer

Tourist areas
The best unique gems are bought while travelling but you don't need to travel to a far off place to find these! Try your town (or the next town over)'s tourist-y area and check out the shops there. They'll likely be very different from the mall and you'll often find handmade and made-for-you accessories. Of course, if you travel further, check out the local shops (not the chains) for some truly offbeat things


Do you have any more ideas on where to find statement pieces? Where do your wardrobe gems come from? Share your moves in the comments below!

sábado, 8 de junho de 2013

How to dress for mourning

It's not a pleasant subject for anyone but one that needs discussion. Whether you're family, friend or casual aquaintance, the last thing you want is to fret about what to wear or worrying if you'll hurt anyone's feelings with your outfit.


The serious don'ts are obvious. Unless there was a specific request from the deceased or the family, refrain from
  • too casual wear like blue jeans, sneakers or graphic tees
  • Bright cheery colors or prints
  • Trendy outfits
  • Short hemlines. Keep things modest, this is in no way about you, dress as such!
Just remember the ceremony is not only about celebrating the deceased's life but also to bring confort to the family. Try to keep your outfit tame, modest and your attitude to match. You should be discreet and conforting to the family/friends. 

Sometimes people try to sound conforting and end up saying the wrong thing. Phrases like "he's in a better place now" can often hurt more than confort. One way to never go wrong is to express how sorry you feel for the loss and offer to do anything you can. Most people won't take you up on it, but it's just the right thing to do: hug, express sorrow, offer help.

Somtimes people will feel unconfortable thinking they need to wera head to toe black but you don't. If you want to, go ahead but if you don't just make sure to keep it somber and simple. If there is a certain level of formality, try to heed it and not be the person who showed up in jeans when everyone else is in dresses.

I've got a couple suggestions for different degrees of formality. For the top formal, try the somberest simplest dress you own, likely a solid black one. Unless it's too short, you can make it more modest with a cardigan and plain dark shoes.
If it is too short do yourself a favor and wear pants. Dark pants, shoes and a simple top (blouses are a good choice) and if modesty requires, a cardigan, are ideal. This fits all kinds of formality, unless you've been told about a very specific dress code. If you have, heed it, out of respect.

Otherwise if it's a more casual thing you're looking for like for mourning outside of ceremonies, you can even go with dark jeans, as long as everything else is "right", you'll be fine. Dark patterned blouses, solid tops in navy, chocolate or dark gray can all be worn without reserve. 
If you have any aversion to black, try another somber neutral like the ones specified before. In a pinch or during a particularly hot summer, even light gray can work. I've even seen light blue and white work! 

The main rules are the plainest accessories possible (or consider not wearing any), keep shoulders and knees covered and everything else about you extra discreet. This includes shoes, hair and makeup. And don't forget your nails! This kind of thing usually catches you off guard but you don't want to show up anywhere with neon nails!
Black is not mandatory, respectful is.

What about you? Do you have any advice for other people in the same situation?

sábado, 1 de junho de 2013

Personal Uniform Makeovers: Part 5

With the temperatures rising, we tend to default to a personal uniform that is both cool and confortable. Unfortunately, that can leave us lacking in the style department if we're not careful! Today's post will help you tweak your daily outfit so it'll be the coolest both in temperature and fashion-wise!


Again, please please please stop defaulting to acid wash mom jeans and flipflops. Not even for the weekend, not even for loungewear. Pants will make your legs hot and the rubber in the flipflops will have your feet swimming in their own sweat in a short time. Sorry for being so gross but maybe that'll discourage you from wearing them!