learning with lacey

I think I’m making progress. I’ve been analyzing other gals’ styles to try to figure out why certain outfits look good. Photos from these three helped me. Blog posts, magazine articles, Polyvore, and co-workers helped me. I’m secretly spying on everyone, wondering how to boil down the concept of proportion into something practical. I’m no Coco Chanel, but I’ve gone from this…

pink lace skirt, lavender rosette top, brown belt & boots, tan cardigan

…to this…

pink lace skirt, blue & white striped top, cardigan, sandals

…and this.

lace skirt and knotted chambray shirt with flats

Neither of these looks is an extreme makeover; I get that.  But I think subtle changes often make a dramatic difference because I can stick to them.

Right now I’m getting to know my proportions.  That process is  helping me discover what works–sometimes through trial and error, I admit.  What I’ve learned from Lacey (the skirt, in case you were confused) is not to fear my “natural waist.”  It feels funny to me to let the bottom half of my clothes cross over onto what I think of as the top half of my body.waist and natural waist

But the whole “halves” concept was part of my problem.  I was breaking my outfits into two chunks a lot of the time.  (See the first photo where the thick belt across my hips draws a heavy line between torso and legs.)

This new insight into my proportions sent me to my closet yet again.  This time I removed everything that, if I’m honest, I have to admit isn’t flattering.  (Then, because I’m a real human and not an honest-to-goodness fashion plate, I put back one pair of sweatpants, one hoodie, and a free T-shirt from the library.  There are those days….)

I’ll save the closet purge for another post.  For now I’d like to know how you direct your own fashion evolution.  Does seeing yourself in photos help you recognize what works?  Do you feel inspired to remix your clothing when you flip through catalogs?  Have you crafted a signature look?  Do tell….

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save me some daylight!

At first I wasn’t thrilled with the idea of setting the clocks forward.  But Sunday morning when I awakened to a sky full of sunlight and a tree full of chittering sparrows, I changed my mind.  It truly felt like spring!  I’d been waiting for a chance to dress for this sweet season.

I just bought the skirt this weekend at Forever 21.  I’d never bought clothes there before–I usually stick to their jewelry–but I really liked this because it’s lacy and (surprise!) a decent length.  I also got a few new pairs of earrings; here’s a closer view of the ones I wore with this outfit:

Real spring comes on the 20th, at least according to my planner.  I’m well aware that we could get any kind of weather between now and then, but for now I choose to focus on the fact that Sunday was perfect for a stroll and an apartment full of open windows.  What signs of spring are you noticing?  Do you get the urge to dress for a new season when the changes start?

feelin’ sassy

One thing I would like you to know about this photo is that the smile is 100% real.  While posing for my tripod, I listened to Tina Fey’s Bossypants on CD.  She reads it herself.  It wouldn’t have been nearly as funny if I read it from a page in my own interior voice.  There’s just something about Tina Fey’s delivery: her plosives…her parenthetical asides…they just wouldn’t be the same in my voice.  Anyway.  There’s the smile explanation.  (But fair warning: the book contains material that conservatives and children will find objectionable.)

Now for the outfit.  I started with the zebra scarf, found this fall at a consignment shop.  After that it was all about staying neutral and warm.  Hence the tank top (Charlotte Russe), sweater (Goodwill), skirt (Salvation Army), and leggings.  Flats would look dorky with these particular leggings, which are roomier than they seemed when I bought them.  Tall boots cover the baggy ankles just fine.

While black isn’t a very practical color for the flower shop, what with itty bitty bits of plant matter all over the place, by the end of the day this outfit hadn’t fared too badly.  It was warm and comfy.  That’s about all a girl could want, right?  At least I thought so.

Today’s reason for thanksgiving: My basic need for clothing is so far exceeded that instead of worrying about whether I have enough clothes for warmth, I can worry about whether my warmth looks stylish. What a luxury!