Thursday, April 21, 2011

What is your Style Dial Number?

I've been following the development of The Stylist Online for almost a year now.  I met Amy, the Founder and CEO, through Active 20-30 about five years ago.  She was a co-chair of Monte Carlo (one of our huge events) the year I joined the club which meant she was in front of the crowd frequently.  Amy was always energetic, friendly and wearing something fun.  So when she started The Stylist Online I was instantly interested.  Last week I was able to see what all the fuss is about when a few of us gals got together for a Style Dial Workshop. 

During the first part of the meeting Amy measured each of us and let us know our Style Dial Numbers.  I was a perfect #2 - I don't know that I've ever had anyone proclaim me perfect at anything before!  The idea behind the Style Dial is that once you discover your number, you can choose styles of clothing that flatter your figure and avoid the styles aren't doing a thing for you.

Once we had our individual numbers (there were #1's and #2's in our group) we went through a presentation showing examples of clothing to seek out for each category - tops, pants, skirts, jackets, jewelry, etc.  Not only did Amy have great photos, she also brought a rolling rack with examples to show us - I'm a tactile person so it was very helpful to actually have items of clothing right in front of me.  Amy even pointed out things that each of us were doing correctly with what we were wearing that evening.

Picture borrowed from The Stylist Online
 The Style Dial Workshop really helped me to realize what I was doing correctly and helped me to feel confident in avoiding certain styles of clothing all together.  I will no longer go in to the fitting room with clothing doomed to make me look frumpy. I won't waste my time on clothing that will never flatter my figure.  I will seek out a great seamstress that will help me to make my good items great!

Thank you Amy (our stylist), Lindsay (my co hostess), and the other ladies that showed up for the workshop.  I can't wait until my next experience with the Stylist Online.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Scattered Clouds, Scatter Brained

I've been scatter brained lately.  I've intended to document outfits over the past week but each day an obstacle pops up that I just can't overcome. 

One day I forgot my sd card when I knew I was going to be out late... no pictures.  Another day, unexpected plans popped up and I didn't get home until well after bed time... no pictures.  Dinner guests kept me from pictures and posting another night.  And now we are in the middle of spring break with two kids at home and I don't like having an audience for picture taking... hence the changes of location!  I actually like the warmth of the yellow walls and the tree in the lobby so this might become an new picture spot. 

Today was one of those days that I really enjoyed the drive home from work.  The light coming through the clouds had such an interesting effect on the landscape.  I decided to drive past this spot that overlooks the Sacramento valley and happened upon a great spot for photos.

When scattered clouds are resting on the bosoms of hills, it seems as if one might climb into the heavenly region, earth being so intermixed with sky, and gradually transformed into it. 
~Nathaniel Hawthorne


Outfit Details
Dress: Sunny Leigh via Macy's
Black Leggings: kikaPaprika
Black Boots: Aerosoles
Necklace: Cookie Lee

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Ok, I'll admit it... I shop at Kmart!

This sweater was one of my first purchases after my 30 for 30 challenge was over.  And do you know where I went??? Kmart... you heard me right.  Kmart was one of the only stores in the town where I grew up and I can't remember a time where I actually wanted to buy any piece of clothing there.  During school, no one would ever admit getting clothes there, and if you had to, you'd make up some store name if anyone asked you about your clothes... serious. 

I was inspired to go in and give it a chance again after seeing a few really cute items that Tina from T Minus, T Plus and Kimberly from Fab Finds Under $50  purchased from Kmart over the past couple of months.  The sweater was $3.99 and I picked up a beautifully patterned skirt for $3.99 as well.  For less that $10, I got two pieces that play well with a number of things in my closet. 

Check this out -
$3.99 - Sweater
$7.49 - Skirt
$6.99 - Tank
$5.99 - Belt
$0.00 - Boots (purchased with gift card from Dad)
Outfit total = under $25!!! 

Outfit Details
Floral Cardigan - Kmart
Cream Tank with Lace Detail - American Eagle
Brown A-line Skirt - Ross
Brown Boots - Style&Co via Macy's
Necklace - Cookie Lee

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Back in Black... and Floral

This outfit doesn't rank high on the creativity list but I'm so unsure of what to wear with this top.  The black, black and black seemed like a an easy enough choice for work.  Now that I think of it, I do have a pair of coral colored cropped pants... I'll have to pull those out and see how they look with the top.

I'm off to go to delicious Thai food with the boyfriend... Mmm, can't wait for some yummy coconut curry!

Outfit Details
Floral Kimono Top - NY Collection via Macy's
Black Lace Tank - Express
Black Pencil Skirt - New York & Co
Black Booties - Ann Marino via Marshall's

Monday, April 11, 2011

Case of the Cold Office

I've mentioned before that my new office has bipolar temperature issues so I have to be sure to grab a sweater or light jacket while getting ready in the morning.  I grabbed my hooded jacket because I thought the blue and the lime would play off of each other well.  

While I liked the way the colors worked with each other, I didn't like all of the volume at the bottom.  I think next time I will grab a shorter sweater or something a little more form fitting.  I feel like the jacket/pants combo made me look much larger than I would like. 

Outfit Details
Blue Hooded Jacket - kikaPaprika
Embellished Lime Tshirt - Old Navy
Black Cropped Pants - Larry Levine via Ross
Black Flats - Nicole via Ross

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Denim Talks

Every gal knows that the pair of jeans you choose for the day sends a message loud and clear.  I've heard that the average woman owns eight pairs of jeans... So essentially that is eight different messages a gal can convey with her denim.  We all have our going-out jeans, the yard-work jeans, work-appropriate jeans, and the list could go on and on. 

The pair I wore to work this morning were a pair of cropped denim that I've wore here.  By the time I got home they were stretched out to point that I just didn't want to take a picture of them (my small weight-loss caused these pants to be way too baggy - not complaining).  I had a very small window of time between getting home from work and hurrying off to my Friday evening activities and I knew I wanted to change my jeans before rushing out the door. 

On the left side we have a pair of ripped boyfriend jeans from Express.  I love these jeans so much that I bought two pair... that's right, TWO pair of the exact same jeans!  When I bought these I was down 20+lbs and I loved the fit.  They were a weekend staple for most of last year.  I saw a picture of myself in these jeans around Christmas (after the 20lbs found me again) and I was super unimpressed about the way they looked.  They are still a little too tight to comfortably wear out but I thought I would post pictures showing the contrast between the look of one pair of jeans versus another.

Now I'll tell you a little about where I was going.  I was headed up to my high school alma mater to assist with judging cheerleading try-outs. Whenever anyone asks me to help with try-outs, clinics or anything related to cheer, I always jump at the opportunity.  For me, cheerleading helped to bring me out of my shell, it gave me confidence to stand in front of others, and I have life-long friends from the experience.  I know how much of a positive impact it had on my life so I look forward to being a part of that positive impact on other young women's lives!

The community where I grew up is mountain-casual (as in if you wear khakis, your family asks you where you're going all dressed up). Jeans were a no-brainer for judging try-outs but like I needed to decide what message I wanted to send with my jeans.  I went for the ripped jeans first to try and make the outfit a little more casual and youthful.  I didn't want to wear anything too stuffy but I also didn't want to look like an unrelatable thirty-something.  In the end I decided the ripped jeans were just too tight and I wouldn't be comfortable sitting there for well over three hours.  I went with the DKNY jeans from my Macy's shopping spree.  They are still super comfortable and felt like a better option for the long night.

While sitting there watching all of these young ladies, the importance of first impressions kept coming to mind.  There were some very talented ladies but the amount of effort (or lack there of) put into their looks was often distracting.  I had a few arguments in my own head over whether their appearance or their talent should have more impact.  In the end I think talent should be the strongest of the two, however showing up with a disheveled appearance (messy ponytail, wearing a thin ribbed tank top with bright pink bra straps showing, or wearing a pair of dirty white shoes) makes me wonder if you can clean up for events, games and competitions.  As a representative for the school, I do think that there should be a certain amount of effort put forth and pride shown in appearance.  I don't intend to come off as shallow by sharing this opinion and I really hope it isn't taken that way.  There were a few ladies that were very beautiful but looked as if they had just rolled out of bed - boo.  On the other hand, there were a few ladies that may not have worn any make-up, but they took the time to put on a clean, unwrinkled shirt and pull their hair back in a clean manner- yay!

I guess I just want to relay the message that when you are trying to win someone over (try-outs, interview, etc) it is important to put a little bit of time and effort in to your appearance.  If you aren't going to step it up when you are trying to persuade someone to chose you for the team (or job), when will you?

Outfit Details
Black Cable Knit Cardigan - Gap
Striped Tshirt - H&M
Ripped Jeans - Express
Jeans - DKNY via Macy's
Black Tall Boots - Bass

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Modern Dance

The last two outfits were so stream lined and had such a trimming effect.  Today's outfit was the polar opposite.  I guess I had the urge to wear something warm, schlumpy, and non-revealing... and I hit every one of those marks spot on! 

 Have you ever put on an outfit and known that it really did nothing for your figure but forged on anyway?  That is what happened this morning.  I've been dying to wear this sweater (another of the Macy's purchases from mid-March) but the weather has been too warm.  It was supposed to hover in the low 50's today so I figured I'd be alright to throw on a huge fun sweater.  Plus the front of our office (where I sit) gets much cooler than the rest of the office.  I don't know that I'll repeat this outfit, but it worked today!

I spent a few years in college as a dance minor.  I took classes every semester and loved (almost) every minute of it.  My freshman year in college I took my first modern dance class.  My friend and I would get cramps from trying not to laugh during our class. Most of the time I felt like I was doing a Zena, Warrior Princess reenactment.  A few years later I took another modern class.  I almost lost it the day the instructor brought in a bunch of drummers and we were all told to move however we felt inspired.  The only thing the drummers inspired in me was ab contractions from hysterical laughter.  I had to dig deep for my inner Saturday Night Live character to get through that class.  I literally pretended like I had an audience and had to let them do the laughing for me.

Isadora Duncan
Doris Humphrey

Ruth St. Denis

You may ask why I kept taking modern classes if all I did was make fun of it?  It forced me to step out of my comfort zone.  I like the safety of choreography, I love the discipline of ballet, I felt comfortable with the predictable beats used in jazz.  I truly believe that if you want to grow, you have to step out of your comfort zone.  Modern pushed me WAY out of my comfort zone... and that is why I kept going and laughing.

Most of today, I felt like the pioneering ladies of modern dance above.  With all of the flowy fabric I was wearing, I couldn't resist pretending I had my own drummers in my living room while I was taking photos today.

Outfit Details
Maxi Dress: Gap
Pink Layering T (I promise, it is under there): Gap
Cream Sweater: One A via Macy's
Boots: Aerosoles (gift from former coworker)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tongue-tied Tuesday

I'm tired and I think that headache from yesterday fried a few brain cells so I'm a little tongue tied.  This is what I put on today, nothing special except for the fact that these pant fit much better now that I've lost close to 7lbs... Whooopee!

Hopefully I have more words for you tomorrow... goodnight y'all!

Outfit Details
Sheer White Top: Style & Co via Macy's
Brown Cropped Pants: TJ Maxx
Brown Heels: M.P.S via Off Broadway Shoes
Snakey Belt: Off a top bought at Kohl's
Flower Necklace: Cookie Lee

Monday, April 4, 2011

Monday, Monday

Oh Monday, you got me this time!  My dog decided to get up and shake around at 4:30, 5:00, 5:30 and then 3 minutes before my alarm went off.  I got caught in a time warp while trying to figure out what to wear. I didn't have any time to stop for caffeine on the way to work. And then I got a migraine half way through the day so I left work early, climbed in to bed and slept it off.  My head is still sore but I think I'll survive. 

The last time I wore this sweater was a Monday as well. Nothing like a loud sweater to try to pep up a Monday - only it didn't work this time!

I think this cheetah print sweater was made for this skirt. The outfit felt a like what Betty Paige might have worn if she was a conservative librarian. The white shirt felt a little bright under the sweater but I wanted the option of being able to remove the sweater if need be... we were expecting weather in the low 70's today and I didn't want to be stuck roasting away.  Check out Jessica from Surely Sonsy to see another take on animal print... This gal knows how to rock a pencil skirt like no other!

I would also like to welcome my bare legs to 2011. Thankfully my legs weren't quite as pasty white as I feared they might be.  My bare legs thought they wanted nylons for split second today but then they remembered the post we read on Facebook pertaining to an overheard fitting room conversation.  My friend heard a sales gal tell a younger woman that she should wear nylons under a cute sun dress and my friend was appalled at the advise. The debate over bare legs versus nylons took off from there.  What do you think?  Are Nylons off limits to ladies under 60?

Outfit Details
Cheetah Cardigan: FWM via Freestyle Clothing Exchange
Skirt: Sunny Leigh via Macy's
White T-Shirt: Gap
Quilted Slingbacks: Anne Klein via TJ Maxx
Wide Elastic Belt: New York & Co

Friday, April 1, 2011

Red to White

Be careful what you wish for becuase you just might get it!

Red face to White face
 Over the past few months I've been having a hard time with redness in my face.  Some of what you see in the pictures is my bronzer or blush but most of the time, by the end of the day my chin, nose, cheeks and forehead are bright red.  And if I have a drink or two, forget it... I look like I'm running a fever.

I keep wondering what is making me so red.  I've been using Bare Escentuals for the past five years so I didn't think that would be the issue.  Lotion and face wash seemed like likely culprits in this ongoing drama so I've changed those up so many times I lost count.  On top of the redness, I've been getting hive-like symptoms a few times a week.  I went to the doctor a few months ago and wouldn't you know it, I woke up that morning and my face was clear... not a bump or hive to be seen! Let the mystery continue.

I went in to Sephora the other night to ask about make up options to help with the redness.  I hesitated from telling the sales girl what products I'm already using because I wanted an unbiased opinion of what might work best.  She kept pressing so I told her Bare Escentuals and added "I'm completely willing to try different products though" and she immediately headed right over to the Bare Escentuals area... fail!   

The last stop of the night was Ulta.  Once again, I asked what might help with the redness.  My sales gal, Brandy (at the Roseville location), was a petite, fair skinned gal with long dark hair and blue and green side swept bangs.  I hesitantly mentioned the Bare Escentuals and she said "The product could be agravating the issues.  Many people experience dryness and itching with that line. Lets try something else." I liked her even more when she didn't go straight to the most expensive products.  After trying out a few things, I wound up leaving with Studio Gear Flawless Foundation and Benefit Boi-ing Concealer for the really stubborn red spots.  Unfortunatley we did NOTHING with blush or bronzer and I wound up looking like I belonged in some teen vampire movie.

I liked the way the make up wore today once I had a chance to play with bronzer and blush...
Ahhhh, much better! 

For those of you that haven't shopped at Ulta before, I was really impressed with the return/exchange policy.  I wanted to know what would happen if the product just didn't work and they assured me that I could return the make up in 60 days (with receipt), and beyond that point I can get a store credit for the value.  Love love love!

(I don't hate Bare Escentuals, and am in no way trash talking the line. Their products have been fantastic for me over the past 5 years. My skin is changing and it was time to try something new...) 

FBFF - Rules of Engagement

This weeks Friend Friday questions have to deal with interaction between fellow bloggers.  Having started The Clothed Commuter only a few months ago, I can't only attest to what I've experienced so far.  If you are interested in participating in the Friend Beauty Fashion Friday questions, contact Katy at Modly Chic. And on with the questions...