22 June 2011

To Say Adios

The following post was originally published in May over at A FOREIGN LAND my other blog...
Feel free to come visit whenever you'd like!

Last Fall I was feeling ambitious and not particularly stylish. In fact I was feeling frumpy. I had recently started teaching dance classes. The classes left me sweaty and sweatpantsed. I had a full closet with "nothing to wear." And frankly I was bored. Bored with my clothes. Bored with my style. In some ways, bored with my life. So, I decided to start THIS personal style blog. It was creative outlet and a new adventure.

After seven months and 120 something different outfits, I took a break. The break turned into a hiatus. And during the past month and a half hiatus I've contemplated the things that I've learned thus far in my career as a personal style blogger.

What you are about to read is the post where I share those things with you. You're welcome.

I DO have something to Wear
During my tenure as a style blogger I participated in not one but two 30 for 30 challenges. During those challenges I learned the fine art of re-mixing my wardrobe. I started to discover that pieces I owned could be worn in unexpected ways and in unexpected combinations. I am no longer tied to the same outfits and the same looks over and over in a stale and repetitive cycle.

{this is a skirt OVER a dress with 2 pairs of layered tights...
I wouldn't have tried something like that before the blogger days}

Personal Style/Fashion Bloggers are some of the Nicest People in the Cyber-Universe
Never in my life have I encountered such a supportive, encouraging & vocal group of people. Style bloggers are a fantastic community. Period.

It is not easy to look "natural" in front of a camera EVERY day
Necessary parts of a personal style blog are pictures. You gots to show the wears. And in order to post the pictures you have to take the pictures. This means I had to get real comfortable taking pictures of myself real fast. I learned how to manipulate a tri-pod in a public place without drawing too much attention. I learned how to get the lighting right (or at least almost right). But, some days you just don't feel like having your picture taken. I'm telling you, it is not easy to look natural in front of a camera every day. And truth be told, those photo shoots are preeeety time consuming. Especially if you're me and hoping for a handful of pictures in which you look attractive.

{more often than you'd like, you just kind of look possessed.}

Personal Style Bloggers can get lots of FREE Swag if they work hard enough
It's true. I had a very small blog and even I got free swag. I'm telling you, there is swag to be gotten if you have the time, inclination and wherewithal to put in the work.

As I began to re-mix the pieces in my wardrobe, I looked at shopping totally differently. I was no longer drawn to the trendy pieces that I could wear one way for one season. I discovered that it makes MUCH more sense to find pieces that work with the rest of your closet. Why not buy a piece that makes 3 outfits rather than just one look? It seems like a "duh" idea, I know. But I'm telling you that is NOT how I used to shop.

Country Strooooooooong
{this skirt can be remixed into at least 10 different outfits in my closet. I kid you not!

I'm A Fashion Follower Not Leader
When it comes to fashion I love a trend. I love to see a look in a magazine or on a blog and try to recreate it with things in my own closet. But I am not too awfully daring if left to my own devices. Generally speaking I've never been one that's ahead of the trends. I don't innovate, I interpret. Simply put, I'm a big old follower. So, I occasionally feel like kind of a poser posting outfits that are heavily inspired by others rather than innovative or cutting edge in their own right.

{Consider this the quintessential personal style blogger outfit. Check HERE for details explaining why.}

I Don't Want to do it anymore

Even though there has been much fun along the way, it is time for this project to end. Lest you think I'm leaving with bad memories, know that some good stuff has come out of this seemingly frivolous hobby. I fell back in love with my closet. I got to cross something (get 100 followers on a blog) off my list. I made some new friends. Plus, I discovered a few lessons about myself - and not just fashiony things, though I learned some of that too. Probably the ultimate lesson I learned is that I don't want to be a full time personal style blogger forever and ever, amen. It was a fun project and I'm glad I tackled it. But I'm saying, "AdiĆ³s," to Leaving the House in THIS?!? It has been a fun ride. Now please make sure to take all of your belongings as you exit the car to your right.

Before you go though, I'm still playing bloggy games over at A FOREIGN LAND.  Please stop by and say, "Hello!" whenever you'd like.  The door is always open.

29 April 2011

We're Just Fine

Thank you all for your sweet concern.

We were largely unaffected by the crazy storms that hit most of the Southeast earlier this week.

I explain the whole deal HERE.


08 April 2011

Someone Should Have Told Her...

As much as I love that trench - its cut and color are fantastic...
As much as I love Renee Zellweger in that trench - she is striking a fierce pose here, no?
As much as I love the cause she's obviously supporting...

Someone should have told Ms. Zellweger to move a few inches to the side to avoid the unfortunate "devil horns" effect that Breast Health International Logo is having.  Oopsy.

Happy Friday, all!!

07 April 2011

To Pretend

I'm obsessed with tutus. There, I said it.  
Blame it on the fact that I grew up in a dance studio...
But I think a tutu is about the most beautiful piece of clothing a woman could ever wear.
Recently I've been trying on the trendy tutu-skirts like mad. Unfortunately, when I look in the mirror I always discover a 30 something woman who looks like she's playing dress up. It's pitiful.


So you can imagine how excited I was to open my birthday gift from Lisa and find this skirt inside!
In my mind, it is the perfect example of a grown up tutu.

Tutu Elegant

The red and white stripes make it look almost ballet pink.


It has several layers of twirl inducing material.


It's ultra feminine and the epitome of lady-like.


And it doesn't make me look like I'm playing dress up.

Tutu Elegant
White Top (Gap); Tutu-esque Skirt (Gifted)
Red Heels (Payless); Faux Python Belt (Charlotte Russe)
Pink Ring ("Junk" Sale); Pink Necklace (Express)

Even though, in my mind, I am.

Have you included any pieces of clothing in your wardrobe that are reminiscent of the "dress up" clothes of your youth?

05 April 2011

To Make an Introduction

Readers, I would like to make a very special introduction on the blog today.
I'm pleased to present to you, the perfect skirt.

Country Strooooooooong

Remember back here when I mentioned that I might be returning some of my birthday purchases?
(Go ahead and click the link to remember... we'll wait for you.)


Well, I did return the pale pink embellished top (ONLY because it didn't play well with other clothes in my closet).  In its place, I brought home this most perfect skirt.


The moment I hung it up there were multiple pieces leaping off hangers begging to be paired with it.  It was quite a scene, I tell ya.


To date, I have envisioned eleventy million looks using this skirt and the other clothes already quite at home in my closet.
I mean, talk about playing well with others... It has fit right in like it belongs there.


See now why I call it "perfect?"

Country Strooooooooong
Floral Eyelet Skirt (F21); Chambray Shirt (Thrifted)
Polka Dot Flats (DSW years ago); Handkerchief (Grandpa's - literally)

Have you ever brought home a piece of clothing so "perfect" for your wardrobe that you wondered where it had been all of your life?