September 28, 2015
Update: After first posting this, I added my favorite scarf-tying video.
I’m writing from Gainesville, GA, just outside of Atlanta.
Steve and I drove here (a mere 550 rainy miles) after church yesterday, getting to bed last night about 12:30 a.m. We are in Georgia for a 3-day, intensive leadership conference for pastors; we had the first session this morning and it was absolutely amazing. I can’t wait for the next two days!
A couple of weeks ago, I did a style post and was encouraged by how many of you left comments and said you would love for me to do more posts like that. In light of those comments, I will try to do at least two style posts a month and we’ll see where it goes from there.
In that first post, I mentioned that I’ve been following certain style bloggers for a couple of years; today, I’ll feature some of the ones I’ve learned the most from. (Although these blogs are geared toward women over forty, the majority of their advice is applicable to any age.)
Susan is the blogger who has inspired me the most; especially when I saw these before and after photos.
Susan has an inspiring story of surviving divorce, the loss of her company, and homelessness before rebuilding her life and becoming the successful owner of a jewelry supply company. Part of her reinvention of herself included losing forty pounds and completely revamping her style.
Some of her style choices don’t always work for me since she a little more dramatic in the way she dresses, but I have learned so much from reading her blog and from following her on Facebook.(She is also on Polyvore and Pinterest.) I don’t know how many times I have stood in front of the dressing room mirror and thought. “What would Susan do?”
Imogen (unlike Susan) does fashion advising as a full time job. Her blog archives are full of posts on every helpful wardrobe topic you can imagine.
Just looking at a few of before and after photos of Carol’s clients inspires me on my journey to continue to develop a style I am comfortable with and confident in.
As these pictures illustrate, many times a huge change is not even required. Not one of these women lost weight or had plastic surgery between photos and yet they made relatively small adjustments that made a dramatic difference.
Deborah’s slogan is, “Fashion Advice to Help You Tweak Your Chic,” and that is exactly what she does. I have learned so much from Deborah and her blog.
(Ha. I kid.)
Even though I don’t pretend to be a style blogger, I did want to share a few of my own tips before I close today. And speaking of style blogging, I do most sincerely and humbly apologize for the quality of my photos. I realize that standing in front of a mirror clutching an iPhone is no one’s idea of good photography.
However, I have put off writing on this topic for ever a year because I kept on waiting for that magic moment in my life when I would have perfectly put together photos. It finally occurred to me that if I waited until everything was perfect, I would never get any of these style blog posts written; therefore, the photos may be a little less than inspiring, my hair may be a little less than perfect, and my facial expressions may be a little less than fabulous. (Photogenic-ness is not one of my gifts.)
But at least I’m finally doing it, finally writing a few posts about something I am passionate about. I’m actually pretty excited that I’ve managed to get two semi-coherent posts together so far! (And yes, my plan is definitely to improve the photo quality as I go along.)
Here is a picture of me in a yellow top and jean skirt. Basic. Plain. Nothing wrong with it.
Look at the difference it makes to add just one simple, accessory like a scarf. Suddenly a plain, everyday outfit morphs into something that looks like I put some time and effort into it. (Which I didn’t.)
Once again, a plain outfit.
I added a scarf and switched out the shoes to a nude sandal with more of a heel.
After seeing the whole look together, I decided to tie the scarf a different way. When I’m wearing a plain blouse with no gathering, ruching, or pattern (which are all great tools to disguise middle-aged spread) I feel more comfortable with a scarf that hangs down further and camouflages that troublesome area a tad. (Of course, I could always deal with the aforementioned Senior Spread by doing crunches and sit ups but somehow the scarf solution seems to be a little more appealing.)
I also like how tying the scarf this way doesn’t “close in” my neck as much; the whole look is more slimming and elongating. (Although other times, depending on the outfit, I may tie a scarf up higher, especially if I’m not wearing a plain blouse.)
If you’ve ever wished you could lose 10 pounds in 5 seconds, I have a solution for you! Rather than face the camera full on (which means there is no separation between arms and body) turn to the side a little, push an elbow out and shift your weight on your back foot.
Presto! Pounds lost. No calories counted! (You have to love a style post that talks about not counting calories and not doing crunches.)
Here’s one more outfit that I brightened up with a scarf. I didn’t take a picture without the scarf, but I’m sure you can picture how plain it would be on its own. I am a huge fan of scarves because they are such a quick way to take an outfit from a little plain to a little somethin’ special.
And speaking of scarves, here is my favorite scarf-tying tutorial. It’s fun and creative and makes me smile. Best of all, you can find a couple styles you like and then pause and rewind as much as you need to.
And lastly, a note about earrings.
I tried on two pair of earrings with this scarf: the first pair were more dramatic and noticeable.
The second pair were more simple.
I opted for the simple pair because often times a dramatic, patterned scarf doesn’t need anything else to compete with it. When you are having a conversation with someone, you don’t want their eyes darting around, looking for a place to rest. In the second picture, the scarf is definitely the It Piece; using the gold earrings instead of the busier pair draws all attention to one focal piece. And people’s eyes will thank you for not having to work too hard, looking at too many dramatic pieces. (Note: Sharyn McDonald left an interesting comment about these earring choices. So many choices depend on our individual styles–very good point!)
I hope you learned something that takes you a little further down the road of finding (and loving) the style you are.
Thrift stores, fuzzy socks
and conversing with my Yorkie
are all on the list of things I love.