November 16, 2015
When it comes to clothing purchases, I am usually all about having a lot of plain tops and bottoms so that I can mix them up without drawing too much attention to each of those basic pieces. (Refer back to my earlier style post about stars and understudies.)
However, in the last couple of months, I did something really, totally, and unbelievably radical.
I bought two skits that have patterns!
Yes, You heard me right. No plainness to be seen in this snappy number!
I had actually been wanting to buy a maxi skirt for a very long time but was never able to find one that suited me–style wise and/or price wise. Many maxi skirts seem to be made from a fabric that is clingy and if there is one place I don’t want things to cling, it would be on my bottom half! (Can I get an amen, ladies?)
But wandering through Goodwill one day, I spotted a particular maxi skirt and even though I was initially put off by its exuberant brightness I thought, “Well, it won’t cost me anything to try it on.”
And it actually fit! As a bonus, it is one of the most comfortable pieces of clothing I have ever put on
The colors were a bit of a challenge but I went home and realized I had a blue tank top in the very same shade as the skirt. I can add either a beige sweater or my white denim jacket over it (since I don’t do sleeveless) and I am good to go.
I couldn’t decide if I should wear the sweater open or buttoned but I think the buttoning helps to camouflage my burgeoning midsection a little better. Isn’t it so lovely when one’s midsection burgeons?
(Bloating is one of the issues that has hung with me throughout my last 3 months of mysterious medical maladies which is another reason I love this skirt. Elastic waist bands are our friends!)
Since I took the above photos in Sarah’s bedroom, I grabbed a few shots of her lovely bookcases while I was up there.
Can you tell that girl loves to read?
This skirt caught my attention when I was browsing at another thrift store. I liked that it had some dramatic flair but also warm colors. It’s a Talbot brand with a touch of Spandex in it. May I just say that the only thing that makes me happier than elastic waist bands is Spandex? Ahhhh . . .
I had to experiment with the skirt a little to see if I could make such a dramatic piece fit into my wardrobe. I found that by pairing it with something subdued on top, it helped to balance everything out and made it work.
I remembered that I had a belt stuck in the back of my closet and I added that to the ensemble which gave it a whole new look. (I actually wear belts very rarely; I need to start experimenting with them a little bit.)
I removed the jacket for yet another look. A scarf would also be really pretty with these two pieces.
I tried adding another jacket but thought that the belt, and the necklace AND the big button on the top of the jacket were a bit much.
I took off the necklace and liked it better. I suppose i could also add a simpler necklace, too. (I also switched my nude shoes to brown, just to show the contrast between those two colors.)
I liked the jacket better open . . .
rather than buttoned up. I felt a little too closed in and I always feel more slender when there is a little more of my neck showing.
One thing I especially like about this skirt is that the fabric is thick enough to provide some structure for some of the jiggly-ness my Grandma Body has mysteriously developed over the years.
I read something on that subject from style blogger, Bridgette Raes, which has stuck in my mind and guides my decisions every time I shop or get dressed. It’s such a great visual–a little humorous but definitely memorable.
The only way to describe what happens when a curvy girl doesn’t contain her curvier body parts in fabrics that aren’t substantial enough is my “fat in a Ziploc bag” analogy.
Imagine you stored fat in a Ziploc bag. That fat would be able to wiggle and jiggle any which way it wanted. Conversely, when you put fat in something like a Tupperware container, the fat is forced to take the shape of the container. The same is true for curvy body parts. Curvier body parts are often fleshier and less toned; they need structure. Choose fabrics for these body parts that can contain your body the way you want it to be shaped or else your curves will just jiggle and roam free.
Isn’t that great? Once you read that visual, you will never forget it!
And let me add one more thing on that subject: Don’t EVER go shopping without a small mirror in your purse. With every outfit you try on (especially skirts and pants), turn around and check the rear view mirror. I have almost bought things that looked great from the front but one look in the mirror caused me to run screaming from the fitting room. (Well, maybe not quite that dramatic,but you get the idea.)
And speaking of fitting rooms, I’ll close with a few pictures of awful-for-me outfits in a local thrift store fitting room, just to demonstrate that the experimenting and discovery process never ends.
I liked the colors of this blouse but when I tried it on I realized I looked like a giant lollipop. The length of the top emphasized my stomach and hips in a most unflattering way. If I had really liked the way the blouse fit across the chest and in the arms, I could have had the shirt hemmed (which I have done countless times) but I realized with a quick glance that there was nothing redeemable about this shirt, for MY body style, at least.
And this one? I don’t know why I even brought it into the fitting room. I guess I fell in love with the orange and coral and thought the flowy look would be comfortable to wear. But the pattern is too bright and busy for my non-dramatic, low contrast coloring and all you see is the blouse–you don’t even see my face. (Note: Although the first skirt I posted was also very bright and busy, it worked for me since that busyness was not near my face.)
Now this little number? I fell in love with it. One of my favorite brands (Chicos), a favorite color and just slightly quirky in its style. Sadly, it was about half a size too small and too tight through the shoulders.
My only comfort in leaving it behind is that someone else will come along who fits it perfectly and it will make her whole day.
Alrighty then–that’s it for today!
If you are enjoying this series and learning anything from it, please let me know.
As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, I feel entirely unqualified to give any sort of style advice since I am so definitely NOT a style guru. But I’ve been intentionally studying style blogs and reading style advice since turning 50, becoming a grandmother, and being diagnosed with breast cancer. I figured I was at a stage of life where I could start going downhill, style-wise, or I could make the decision to enter the last half of my life with joyful, appropriate-for-my life, stylish panache.
What about you?
What is YOUR viewpoint on style in relationship to the stage of life you are in? Are you happy with where you’re at? Do you feel like you have stopped trying? Are you interested in learning new ideas? Do you dread or look forward to getting dressed in the morning? Are there style tips you have learned that you would like to share with us?
I’d love to hear from you; we are on this journey together!
Thrift stores, fuzzy socks
and conversing with my Yorkie
are all on the list of things I love.