Friday, February 27, 2009

I am an M.

I ran across this nifty fun site called MyShape. It's essentially a clothing outlet, but the fun part is that you input all of your measurements (and I mean ALL. They want a lot of information) and they will point you towards perfect fit with the clothing they recommend.

Additionally, MyShape offers tips and tricks to dress for your specific shape. On their site, they have declared there are 7 types of body shapes. I am apparently an M.

Find out what you are!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

New Hair.

Life has slowed down significantly, at least for today, so I'm back. Unfortunately I have been forgetting my camera every time I want it, so I don't have anything exciting for you.

I got a haircut on Friday. Here's what I wore to my appointment, or rather... all day on Friday.

Long-sleeved black tee (Target), Dark indigo AG Jeans (the nicole!), Vintage red flats, two black necklaces (one from old navy, one plastic costume pearls)

I'm giggling a little bit thinking about how many of these "outfit" pictures will be in my kitchen, leaning up against the sink. I spend about 10 minutes there each morning, just standing, drinking coffee. It is the first place the sun really hits in the morning, so it makes for good picture taking, but it's also just a relaxing spot for me to review my agenda for the day, take a peek in the fridge and think about what I might eat, and I just also think my kitchen is cute. It makes it easy to hang out in there.

Here's a picture of my haircut, first thing in the morning. It's definately a wash-and-go style, so I'm VERY pleased with that.

It's pretty short and shaggy and I have bangs again. It's rather boy-ish, which is fine with me. I actually love it, and I'm very happy with it. I can tell some of the people who love me don't like it so much, but these are people who prefer me to have long hair, so... if they want to make my long hair look nice, I'll grow it back. In the mean time, I'm going to be rocking a LOT of huge obnoxious earrings, because you'll be able to see them!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Bad Bad Blogger.


I'm sorry I've been so absent. Let's just pretend I've been walking around naked for the last week.

There will be no real update, other than to tell you that there is no update. I haven't done laundry in 2 weeks, which literally means I have nothing to wear. I had to run out and buy underwear, that's how bad it is.

We are headed to the laundromat later today. I will take a picture of the massive pile of clothes that Justin and I fold, because we both own WAY too many things, though we are constantly getting rid of things (and then bringing more in).

His vice is t-shirts.

According to the stack size of the piles... mine is apparently sweatpants. Huh. Whuddathunk?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Northeast Bday Party Style.

Vintage Pierre Cardin Sweater + Faux-gator belt from Target + Legging Jeans + Frye Boots
Northeast is a weird 80s ultra-hipster part of town. This is my interpretation. I'm going to a birthday party.

Friday, February 13, 2009

New Look? NuLook!

Today I went to my favorite consignment store in the city - NuLook. It is my favorite spot to find good values on spendier name brands, plus I can bring things I've grown out of in either size or taste and sell them! It's a fantastic cycle because I end up using the store credit from my sales towards new purchases like the ones I got today!

Let's start with shoes....

Adorable black faux-suede peeptoe mini wedges from Charlotte Russe. Not a good example of a spendier brand, but at $6... so who can argue? ($6 marked down from $12)

Funky flex flats, also peep toe with a wrapped detail from BC Shoes. I LOVE colorful shoes, so it's a plus when they're cute AND comfortable. ($14 marked down from $28)

On to the clothes!

Vintage 100% silk cap-sleeved blouse from Penguin (everyone knows the penguin!). It has fantastic details, like a buttoned up shoulder, high neck + tie neck. It feels like heaven against the skin. I thought it might be cute under a jacket. ($6.50 marked down from $26)

Fitted dark denim skirt from Development, which must be some knock-off Anthropologie because they used the same font for their logo. It's highwaisted with contrast stitching. ($16 full price)
Ralph Lauren Petite trousers in Camel. I love any trouser with a stovepipe leg and crease! ($12 marked down from $48)
Ann Taylor blouse with ruffle and pin-tucking. ($22 full price)
Gray shift dress with pockets from Banana Republic. ($20 full price)

Total booty price tag ---> $96.50.

Total cost to me after utilizing store credit ---> $62.60

Completely and totally worth it, considering if I had found that shift dress at Banana Republic and it was "only" $62, I would have bought it. So the mindset is that all of those other things came free!

Stay tuned for pics of why I bought these items and what components like this can do for your wardrobe.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Vita.MN Hotness Party : Danger - Curves Ahead

This is me and Little Joe. You can't really see him, but his outfit was the best. He made his own shirt that says "Lexus of Wayzata" which is only funny if you're from MN. Tossed on a suit coat and a pair of jeans, great look. I opted to get out of my comfort zone and wear something far more form fitting than I'm used to wearing in public. The Frye boots reappeared, a vintage slip in soft pink with tan accents, gray extra long cardigan from Target and various jewelry I've collected over the years.

I only felt uncomfortable for the first hour or so, then I started to embrace the shape.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Tuesday : 2/10/09 : Capitol Hillz

I spent some time at the capital today for MN Coalition for the Homeless Lobby Day. I wore my tweedish looking suit (Ann Taylor) with a blue french cuff button up (BCBG Max Azaria), a vintage polka dot silk scarf and adorable blue flats (Payless!) that you can't see.

I spent most of the day doing this.

When I wasn't doing that, I was doing this....

Body Confidence and Your Skinny Jeans

This morning in my email inbox I received my latest SparkPeople newsletter. There was one article that stood out, 5 Reasons to Get Rid of Your Skinny Jeans.

The article, written by Nancy Howard, discusses the harsh reality that holding on to those skinny jeans keeps you in the past, and life is too short to not live here in the present. I have mixed feelings about this topic, because while I agree that many women holding on to their "skinny jeans" (or dress or swimsuit) are doing so with the unrealistic goal to once again be the size they wore at age 16, I began my own weight loss journey with the same intentions. And truthfully, I'm pretty sure it's the only thing that kept me going.

To be fair, the "goal jeans" I was working my way into were always only one size below what I was currently wearing. By stroke of pure luck (and good friendship) my buddy Shayla had lost 50lbs and was finally ready to get rid of her "fat pants." After a failed attempt to sell them at our yard sale, I bought the entire lot (16 pairs from size 16 down to 12) for 2 packs of cigarettes. An odd exchange toward a healthier lifestyle. At the time I acquired these jeans, I could barely get the 16s to mid-thigh. Each week I would try them on, and each week I would see that I was just a little bit closer to wearing them.

Some of the jeans were ill-flattering for my body shape, even by the time they fit. Others felt like they were cut specifically for my body. Now, at a size 10, I am grateful to have had those jeans to get me through this adventure with minimal cost (for jeans anyway) and to give me a clear view of where I was going.

My opposition to this situation, however, is when I hear about people buying a dress (or jeans, or a swimsuit) in a size that is likely half of where they are with intentions to wear it when they "lose the weight." The only problem here is, you'll have NO IDEA what your body looks like. Literally. None. Chances are, that item is not going to flatter you later on, and you also lose out on the fun of buying that perfect reward that looks as if it were custom-made.

Here are some statistics from the article that I found interesting (and true!)

  • More than 33 percent [of women] admitted to having clothes in their closet that were too small for them to wear.

  • Surprisingly, 85 percent “determined if something fit them by looking at the size tag,” not by how the clothing actually fit.

  • Forty percent purchased clothes that were too small in hopes that they would one day be able to wear them after losing weight.

  • 25 percent of the clothes women buy never leave their closets!

She goes on to write about the importance of fit, and how size ain't nothin' but a number. Seriously, sizes vary greatly between designers. I mentioned above that I am a size 10, but that's only at a few stores. Others, I wear an 8, and even others I wear a 12 or 14! I'm not worried about it. I look for clothes that flatter my body. The size tag is inside them -- who will know? The fact of the matter is that you will look smaller if you were clothes that fit you. No one likes the whole bursting at the seams thing. Never in style.

She also writes about something I hadn't heard of...

Every February for the past 21 years, the National Eating Disorder Association has held a National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. NEDA works tirelessly helping women to develop a more positive body image. In 2008, the theme for the week was “Be comfortable in your genes. Wear jeans that fit the TRUE you.” Women were encouraged to donate their skinny jeans to release themselves from the constraints of longing to be the size they once were, therefore creating a sense of self-acceptance. No one should allow the size of his or her clothes to determine their self-worth.

Personally, I love attending and hosting clothing swaps as a way to recycle my clothes. I do this for purely selfish reasons - because it gets me more clothes! However, I am huge on donating items. My whole career is based on it. I run a Free Store that is open to the low income community of Minneapolis. Anyone can come and shop for what they need. It's a great program, highly utilized, and a fantastic way to have your donation go directly into the hands of those who need it, rather than being sold. After each clothing swap I attend or host, we pack up all of our leftovers and I bring them to work. Everyone wins!

The article closes with a really well developed thought that I will leave with you,

"Letting go of your skinny jeans can release you from the past—and the unrealistic expectations that you may have put on yourself. By living in the present, you can accept yourself and your life at this moment. It allows you to move ahead in your life with dignity and self-respect. By focusing the positive and looking forward, you build greater confidence, which can increase your chances of success."

Monday, February 9, 2009

Monday Night : 2/09/09 Scrabble Chic

Puce Cardigan (Banana Republic) + Cotton tank with netted neckline (Free People) + Dark Denim Jeans (Express) + Vintage Green Flats

On Monday nights a few friends and I get together at Pizza Luce to play a few games of Scrabble. I honestly can't remember how we started doing this, but it has become a permanent fixture in my week. It's mainly casual, and this would be considered "dressed up" for that friend group. Lo and behold, I was literally asked why I was so gussied. (Generally would wear beat up t-shirt, hoodie and sneakers.)
Hoping people adapt to this. I don't want to let others influence my decision to explore this realm.

Turtle Progress : It's Okay to Look Like You're Trying

I stumbled upon this post by Turtle Progress today through my twitter feed. I follow Weight Watcher Tweets which allows those of us on twitter and the Weight Watchers program to collaborative report progress, struggles, et al.

One thing I love about blogs is the realization that you are almost never alone in your thoughts, adventures and struggles. I love Turtle Progress' reaction to the response she is receiving for spending just a bit of time on herself in the morning. She even states...

" I’m wearing makeup to work. It takes me about ten minutes in the morning: Bare Minerals foundation and blush, then eyeshadow, mascara, and lip gloss. The look is very natural and “daytime,” but people have commented that my whole face looks brighter as a result."

If you're a woman, though sometimes daunting, compliments go a long way. I know that I carry them with me throughout my day. Even this afternoon at the gym, a fellow locker room mate complimented my jeans, upset to hear that they were homemade and she couldn't go out and grab a pair. It was a quick conversation, but the mere occurrence left me with a smile on my face.

Try complimenting someone today. Not necessarily in regards to their fashion choices, but something you sincerely appreciate about them. Pass along the confidence and warm fuzzies.

Monday Day : 2/09/09 Coffee Casual

Green Shawl Sweater (Dolce Vita) + Gray boatneck Tee (lux) + Homemade [but not by me] stretch faux-denim jeans + Leather knee boots (Frye)

My schedule today does not involve much. I'm working from my home office and meeting a colleague for coffee soon before spending the remainder of the afternoon with Justin, my man-friend. Today is a balmy 37 degrees here in Minnesota. It's cloudy, probably going to rain and.. in case you didn't know, it's Monday. For all these reasons I've decided that today needs a pop of color in an otherwise gray world.

I've had this shawl sweater for about 3 years. It's something I picked up at a Savers Thrift Store when I needed something fancy to wear to a Donor Dinner. I wanted to hide my belly (at the time) so I took one piece of the length of the sweater and wrapped it around my waist, securing it with a beautiful vintage brooch. Now that the sweater is aging, it's really more casual chic and pefect for days where your body can't decide between warm and chilly. The gray t-shirt is worn in and soft as silk and these jeans, which are more like leggings and made from a stretch blend fabric with denim like stitching and pockets have never fit me until this month.

It really is amazing the way "fitting" into a pair of pants or a dress feels like such a massive accomplishment. It's an easy way to measure where you are if you are on a weight loss adventure. Not "fitting" into those items however, can be absolutely detrimental to your day and the mood you hold throughout.

I know I've spent hours obsessing in front of my bedroom mirror, tossing clothes here and there because "nothing fits." How often have you said that to yourself? Sometimes, its just about rethinking what you'll wear.

Belly feeling bloated? Wear a cute wrap sweater to hide the evidence. Flat butt? Wear a tiered skirt to add volume. When all else fails, go for a big bold necklace to draw attention up towards your face.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Per Diem Fashion - Introduction

Clothing has always been a fixture in my life. Aside from the fact that if I'm not wearing it, I get awkward stares, I have worked with clothing in some capacity throughout every job I've held. I am a literal thrift store junkie. I spend countless hours putting together outfits for absolutely no reason, and 12 months ago, I never would have worn them.

In the last year I've lost 50 pounds. My body transformation has sparked a new sense of style that has always been buried deep to surface.

I believe in the link between clothing, style and body confidence. The right dress really will make you more likeable... but only because of the mental effect it has on you.

I'd love for this blog to spark inspiration, give some easy wardrobe cues and drum up conversation. My plan is to photographically document my day to day wear, dole out unqualified advice on how to dress for your body shape and discuss my opinions on fashion trends. Also expect to see photographic evidence of the ultra-fashionable people about town in Minneapolis!