I want to wear pretty things that feel like summertime. I’m ready to be in flip flops, flouncy dresses, big hats, and sunglasses.
So today, I’m featuring a dress from Express that I got at a consignment store–in perfect condition. There’s a lot to be said for quality consignment stores. I pop into our local shop a couple of times a month just to see what great finds may be waiting just for me.
I shop everywhere, though. Nordstrom. Ann Taylor Loft. Kohl’s. Target. Macy’s. Boden. Sundance. I’m all over the place, because I like to try different things.
So here’s one of two maxi dresses I’ve picked up so far this season–I’ll be wearing them both all summer and on our two vacations.
I think we are all yearning for spring at this point. Although Maryland is technically below the Mason-Dixon line, I can tell you having lived here my entire life, that spring really doesn’t get going until late April, if we’re lucky. So in this neck of the woods, we are still wearing warmer clothes, though we yearn to feel the warmth of the sunshine on our bodies.
Today, I defied the weather gods (it was cold this morning), ditched my tall boots, and wore a navy blue dress with shoulders exposed. What the heck, right? A little cold never hurt anyone. And this dress is so comfy.
Luckily, we are moving into the 70s over the next several days. It will feel like the tropics compared to this long winter season.
I may finally be able to move into some spring colors, but for now, here’s a casual outfit I love wearing. This top from White House Black Market is one of my favorites.
Sorry for the short post, but I’ve got a lot on my plate today. Hope your HUMP DAY is a great one.
I’ll do a better job with the Wednesday fashion post next week.
I remember saving my money as a kid for Willowbrook Mall in New Jersey, where there was no sales tax on clothing, and my mother and grandmother would patiently take me shopping—for hours. I’d pile up some things to bring back to Maryland, and it was one of the highlights of our regular trips (besides seeing family, of course!)
The habit started then, and it hasn’t stopped all these years later.
Twelve years ago, I decided I wanted to be Stacy London of What Not To Wear and became a certified fashion consultant. A part-time job I did for a few years until I became a full-time professor, I helped women shop for clothes and dissected their closets. We built new wardrobes or altered existing ones. One particular woman had just given birth to twins and was re-entering the workforce, and her size had changed. In one morning and with $500, we built her a new business wardrobe. She hugged and kissed me, thrilled that she had the beginnings of a brand new collection that took into account her adjusted size. She looked fantastic. And I was thrilled to have helped her.
Finding your own sort of style is important, and wearing clothes that make you feel good should be the priority when shopping, while also trying to find clothes that suit your body type.
In fashion workshops I developed, I talked about body type a lot, because the cut of the clothes can definitely help your body type, build, and height. As a petite person, I have to watch that clothes don’t overwhelm me, that prints are not too large, that ruffles are in proportion, and that I pay attention to my curves and work with them, not against them. (I curse them sometimes, too, but I have to remember, they can be my friends).
Be patient with yourself—love yourself—and believe that you can look smashing with a little effort. I know this to be true having shopped with many women over the years and having helped people who thought they were hopeless or distraught about their weight or shape realize, in fact, that they were downright gorgeous, and that perhaps they were just not wearing the right colors or cut of clothes.
It’s all about proportion in the end; and remember, all shapes and sizes are beautiful.
And that’s what’s kicking off this first installment of The Petite Professor. I hope you will enjoy this weekly segment.
Navy Blue Dress: Ann Taylor Loft; Boots: Nine West; Briefcase: Lulu’s.
On Wednesdays, I will host a few feature on the blog…a bit about fashion…at any age.
I’ll share outfits, things I purchase, oldies and goodies, and accessories for petite women as well as women of all sizes. As a former fashion consultant, I’ll share what I learned, and it’s meant for us regular folk who are not models or actors, but rather real working people who happen to share a love of fashion.
The feature will start this Wednesday under the heading “The Petite Professor” on Steph’s Scribe.
Looking forward to something new…and old. And just for fun.
I love Instagram. I love discovering other people and connecting with folks from all over the globe. I also love to follow fashion bloggers—to see what ideas I might come across that would suit my body type and personality.
Well, the other day I came across someone who has definitely sparked my interest. Her name is Lyn Slater, and she’s the ACCIDENTAL ICON. You may have seen a video about her on Facebook, but if you haven’t, let me tell you what little I know about her. She attended a fashion show wearing something tremendous and people noticed her and thought she was someone famous, and her friend said to her, “You’re an accidental icon.” Hence the name of her blog: accidentalicon.com. She also happens to be 64, and she’s inspired me to not dread aging, as I have found myself doing for the last 10 years. She made me look at it in a different way. She says she even has young people tell her that she’s made them not fear growing older.
I love the fact that she has always embraced her style. And owns it. At any age.
People come in all different shapes & sizes, have different clothing ideas of what works for them; and allow their personalities to shine through in their clothes.
Some people ask me why I post outfits so often. Fashion, to me, is fun. As someone who is over 50, when I was younger I always thought by the time I reached this age, that I might not care about what I wear anymore. But I still do. I still love playing dress up. Just as people like to work out to feel better, playing with fashion and what I wear makes me feel good. Of course what’s on the inside of a person is so much more important, but feeling good about yourself on the outside does matter and helps your mental state. I’m about to go do some writing in my home office, and staying in my work clothes keeps me in that “I’m working” state of mind. Anyway–bottom line: you can still have style as you age. As Coco Chanel always said, “Nature gives you the face you have at twenty; it is up to you to merit the face you have at fifty.”
Some of my latest outfits I’ve shared…
Bottom line on this Valentine’s Day: accept yourself, your age, and don’t be afraid to dress the way that makes you feel your best.
It’s kind of difficult to get happy today with the news coming out of Las Vegas. I’m so saddened by the reports of all the victims of the mass shooting and those who are injured. Prayers go to all of those who have been affected by this horrible, senseless, and heinous tragedy.
However, FROCKTOBER must carry on, because we are doing some good here by raising awareness for ovarian cancer. As I mentioned yesterday, my colleague and stylish lady friend, Chris Noya, has been battling this disease since January. If you wish to donate, you can do so by giving to the American Cancer Society or to the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition (click the organization names to go to the sites). Much research is being done to try to end this disease.
Sometimes going out to brunch can be a very formal occasion. Other times, it’s a casual affair. When sitting by the water having Sunday coffee and a scrumptious meal, an outfit like this is just perfect. There’s no need to overdress; white pants and a cute top, a little bag, some gold hoops, and some sunnies are all you need.
Looking to update your wardrobe and create that classic look that lasts? Buy some pieces that have the ability to enhance your wardrobe and extend it. Start with these five piece, and you’re on your way to creating a wardrobe that can expand easily. By adding solid pants and skirts, a simple LBD, solid colored tops, sweaters, and a variety of shoes, you’ll use this suggestion as your starting point and go from there. Starting with some basics will inspire you to look for more pieces that can go beyond just one season. Here are my picks for starting that Audrey Hepburn-inspired wardrobe for our times.
Well, it depends where you’re going. There are so many different things to do on your night out, and your outfit should reflect what you might do and what makes you feel pretty and comfortable. Today’s Wednesday Wardrobe features different scenarios for different date nights.
An Early Evening Strolling the Town
I love early evening, but since the sun stays out for a while in the summers, a hat and sunglasses may be needed. This little lightweight dress is from Xhilaration. Shoes by Indigo. It’s light and breezy and keeps me cool in the summer heat. It also doesn’t wrinkle. Bonus!
On a cooler summer evening, you might want to throw on some jeans and a cute top for a night listening to music. Jeans and top from White House Black Market. Cranberry booties from Sonoma.
Dinner Under the Stars
Get ready for that great night having dinner under the stars. For a romantic night out, you may want to opt for a pretty black dress–this one’s by Robbie Bee from Nordstrom–and some black heels–these from Adrienne Vittadini.
Meeting friends for a double date for cocktails? This Society Amuse dress is fluttery and feminine. Got it in a boutique in Charleston on vacation.
My new color this year is white. I know it’s not that radical or anything, but white is a great color for most skin types, and paired the right way, it can give you that classic look, no matter what the occasion. A versatile white dress in summertime looks clean and cool; a white coat in winter beats the doldrums of winter and reminds us of snow.
Think about adding a little more white to your wardrobe if you assess your closet and notice you have a lack of white mixed in among your other colors.
On Saturday night at an Orioles Reunion at Camden Yards in Baltimore a collection of former Orioles front office employees and full-time friends got together (and had a ball). My friend, Michelle, mentioned how much she loved the “Frocktober” fashion thing I did last October. She said she enjoyed it — and so did I. Her comment inspired me and got me thinking that while there are lots and lots of gorgeous photos of women on Instagram in gorgeous clothing, I’m a real girl. I’m not a model, nor will I ever be one. I’m middle-aged, not skinny, and I’ve got curves, but I do possess one thing that I’ve learned over the years as a fashion consultant: I know how to dress my body type. I also love to stay current with fashion and have fun with it.
Which leads me to this: I’ve decided revamp my blog a little and include a weekly fashion segment for REGULAR WOMEN. You know, keep it real (and with a budget in mind). I’ll be sharing what I wear on Instagram and where I bought the items, and then I’ll do a weekly recap on WEDNESDAYS here on the blog.
As for more restructuring on Steph’s Scribe, on MONDAYS it will be like POTPOURRI, and I will get to write about whatever I want; on FRIDAYS, I’ll continue to feature FICTION FRIDAY and write about all things pertaining to writing.
My husband always tells me that my blog is too vague, that it doesn’t have a set niche. Well, now I’ve got one. I’m structured (he’ll love that, as I tend to be a bit of a creative type and not be too structured).
Fashion, to me, is creative–sort of like writing your own book every day. You get to pick out what you want to wear and make it yours. It’s an outward expression of yourself. The only rules are that (1) you should love the pieces you buy, and (2) you should feel good in them.
That’s it. That’s the blog restructuring for the summer. I hope you will enjoy my new setup.
A couple of years ago, I came across an article in Bazaar Magazine written by Matilda Kahl, an art director for a leading advertising agency located in New York. This article fascinated me for several reasons: (1) because, like her, I consider myself a creative type, (2) because I love fashion and am always trying to figure out ways to build a more successful and professional wardrobe, and (3) because for a short stint, I was a fashion consultant. After reading Matilda’s article about why she decided to establish her own “work uniform,” I was intrigued, and I’ve shared this with every section of my Internship Preparation class each semester. As you can imagine, some lively discussions ensued.
The premise of Matilda’s decision to build a black and white work uniform is based in logic and created for simplicity. By taking the “creativity” out of selecting and creating a fashionable and unique outfit each day for work, Matilda puts that energy to work for her incredibly creative job. Her black and white uniform consists of black bottoms and white or cream-colored tops; she accessorizes with scarves or bows. Additionally, she said she did not skimp on the quality of her clothes; she bought designer clothing and expensive tops and bottoms that she cares for, but the overall idea was that she never has to worry if anything matches or doesn’t work. The simplicity of the way she dresses is always in style.
Look—let’s be real—I don’t know how many of us (a) WANT to do this, or (b) WOULD ENJOY doing this and not get BORED, but it certainly is food for thought. It takes away a lot of stress in the morning when one is rushing out the door for work. And, it does allow room for creative energy to be used elsewhere.
I’ve looked at my own closet—it’s filled with black, that’s for sure. I could surely buy more white tops and make this happen.
Will I? I don’t know. But it sure is an enticing thought.