Sunday, October 28, 2012

when a stylist packs

"Time to pack now, Lauren."

"You are allowed to have two suitcases, Lauren."

"You will need to dress for one month in summer temps and one month in winter temps and all clothing must fit in these two suitcases, Lauren."


Thank you, kind and manly man o' mine, for making it close. Though I'm not sure I'll ever be brave enough to open it, lest the impending snakes-in-a-can explosion send me flying back into a wall.....

Packing tip: Packing? There is an app for that. Seriously. It's meant for daily dressing and not packing, but I used it anyway. I'm a rebel, I know. It's called "Cloth" and is used for you to store pics of every outfit you wear so that you can slide through each pic and decide which outfit of yours you want to wear that day. If you like a step-by-step map to getting dressed in the mornings, this would be genius. For packing, I took a picture of EVERY. PIECE. of clothing/shoes/hats/accessories/etc going into the suitcases so that I could flip through the pics on my phone and put together an outfit in my brain before I go digging through to the bottom. {pretty sure this took longer than actually packing...}You saw what went in one of those bad boys!!! There is no way I'll remember the shirt at the bottom left corner unless I had it documented. And so I do. :) Dressing will, in theory, be easier..... Stay tuned. I'll let you know. If you see me in the same pair of jeans and v-neck tee every day, my great plan obviously failed.

I'm prepared for such a thing.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

october in pictures

 Not much longer in this uniform. Daddy and his 10 month old stud muffin.

Got them separation orders! We have since used them to give housing our intent to vacate paperwork, set up the move of our household goods, book plane tickets, and more.

Still taking style pics but I feel like there is no point posting warm-weather pics when most live in cooler-weather places. Give me 6 weeks.... 

 I'm too sexy mustache pants.

I love me a silly baby. Liam's smiles now involve nose scrunches, fast and repeated breaths through the nose, and sparkling eyes.

Typical man...taking up as much space as possible. 

 This guy doesn't let any opportunity slip by him. Roman left his tiny cup of whipped cream sitting on the ottoman...I turned around to find Liam eye-lash-deep in homemade maple whipped cream. New eye lash treatment??

I grew a mustache for a birthday party. Apparently I'm French?  

 Ro has learned to protect his toes

Jerr and I were washing dishes after dinner last night and heard "Mommy, Daddy, look at this!" This is what we saw. 

Life has been busy these days; full of packing, un-decorating, cleaning, and starting to tie up some ends. Our household goods get packed up this Tuesday and Wednesday and will begin their journey to VA, so each day feels like a tornado of activity. Because of that, there's definitely not much time to blog- and when I do have the time, all I want to talk about is the details about moving...which probably doesn't interest anyone other than me! Hence the silence. But these pictures should give you a good summary. And after Wednesday things will slow down for 3-4 weeks, so perhaps we can get re-acquainted then. I'd love that! Until then, I'm just trying to hang on to my britches.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

the hard truth

I don't know of a picture appropriate for this post so I'm going to rock and roll without one.


One of the things I love most about the increase in styling gigs lately is the learning I am doing. Constantly. And I have noticed something that seems to make an incredible difference in the success of personal style and success in shopping. Does your personal style best flatter your body? If not, there is a collision.

The way I see it, dressing has two goals: 1)to express personal style and 2)to make you look as good as you can. And clothes can work miracles. They conceal bothersome "body flaws." [Disclaimer: I do not believe in such a thing, but most people seem to and that's another blog post.] Clothes can make legs look longer, busts look bigger (or smaller!), midsections look leaner, curves appear, curves disappear!, make eyes look bluer/greener/deeper/, and beyond. And I think wearing the right thing can help you accept yourself. The things you don't like about yourself, that stand out with flashing red lights saying "warning! warning!" in the mirror, can be hidden. Your outfit can free you from spending the day feeling self-conscious or berating yourself if you know how to equip you closet.

But here's the thing: you have to wear the clothes that work to your benefit. Because the other side of that truth is that you can also wear clothes that add pounds, make you look frumpy, style-less, draw attention to lumpy knees, create muffin tops, or eliminate curves. Which means that disregarding the effect of clothes can leave you looking less-than-flattered. Which also means, if I may suggest something, your personal style needs to come second to the work order placed on your closet.

To say that another way, it doesn't matter if skinny jeans are in style. It doesn't matter if skinny jeans are YOUR style. If they don't flatter your legs, you will look worse for wearing them. And if I may be blunt for a second, I'm going to say something that could, potentially, step on toes. {Who am I?? lol} I know there are some who hide behind wild displays of self-expression, but I think that's often an attempt to hide the dissatisfaction about themselves. I tend to believe that if you feel good about yourself, you present yourself at your best. And when we, as humans, don't feel good about ourselves, we either kick it into overdrive to change those things, or we use apathy as a defense mechanism and decide that we just don't care. Because not caring is easier than caring and feeling horrible day after day.

Side note: That is actually one major reason why I believe you do yourself a disservice refusing to buy that pretty shirt until you loose another 10 lbs. I understand not wanting to waste money or feeling like the purchase of the shirt may seem like an acceptance of where you don't want to stay, but when you feel embarrassed about yourself, it's too easy to walk into the apathy room and close the door. Buy the cute sweater (or it's almost-as-cute sister from Forever21 for cheaper) to get you from Point A to Point B. When you feel good, it's that much easier to continue to be motivated for the change. When you feel good, you encourage your soul. And that way, if it takes you a few months longer than you hoped to lose the last few pounds, you still look good while you wait and work.

Anyway, back to the original point. My new realization is that personal style is an even greater, even stronger phenomenon when it comes in second place to making flattering decisions. And there IS a way to take your unique personal style and interpret it using the pieces that flatter you! {That's what I can help with! Just ask!} You may like the low-cut jeans but the muffin top is nobody's friend. You may like loose, flowy tops but if they add pounds, your personal style isn't a positive thing. And who cares if fur vests are the thing to wear? If you look like a woolly mammoth, you aren't going to feel good about yourself. And no one deserves to be knocked around by their love for faux fur.

So that's the challenge, then. Let's go through our closets and stand in front of the dressing room mirrors and ask ourselves whether it is the most flattering thing you can put on. Let's go to the store and walk around asking "what looks best on me?" not "what shirt do I like most?" If What Not To Wear is any proof, wearing what makes us look our best is a far more powerful, more positive thing than wearing what we thing says something about ourselves. Wearing a big panda bear on your shirt isn't the only way to say you are a fun-loving person. And wearing a pair of skinny jeans isn't the only way to dress fashionably. I don't believe anyone ever looks at themselves wearing an over-sized tee and thinks "Gee, the fact that I don't have a waist really makes me feel good about myself." But I do believe a defined waist, elongated legs, and a fashionable necklace makes one a little more content to be who they are; a little more at peace with the shape of their body. And that is a very, very powerful thing.