Easter Teal

This Easter, I decided to get more dressed up than usual.  Usually holidays are casual affairs in my family, but I felt like wearing my new teal eyelet dress.
Dress:  Old Navy (Available here)
I really like the fit and flare shape of this dress.  Super fun and flattering!
I love bright greens and yellow together, so I paired my dress with neon yellow heels and matching necklace.
Necklace:  The Limited (Available here)
Shoes:  Target (Available here)
Bangle bracelet:  Target (old)
I have this clutch that I haven't used in years.  The brown color is a nice contrast to the bright colors
Clutch:  Loeffler Randall for Target (old) (Available here)
Hope you all had a great day, and again, Happy Easter to those who celebrate!!

Loving Myself: The Path to Self-Acceptance

Today, I wanted to write about body image and the journey towards self-acceptance.  

You see, my whole life I have struggled to feel worthy, to feel good enough, to feel like I mattered.  I grew up poor and was from the "wrong" neighborhood.  I was the short kid, the mousy, nerdy kid in glasses.  I was the kid about whom other kids whispered, and I would often overhear.
1991 (Age 13) - Bad 80s hair and glasses :-)
I've always been very confident in my intelligence, maybe even a bit cocky, but at different times in my life, especially in college, I have severely lacked body confidence.

I have struggled with my weight most of my life.  My German-Armenian ancestry has worked against me in that department, and my Midwestern U.S. upbringing and fast food lifestyle certainly hasn't helped matters. 
1995 (Age 17) - My Grunge Days, About 120-125 pounds
During my sophomore year of college, I gained a lot of weight.  I'm a very picky vegetarian, and my school cafeteria just wasn't cutting it.  I lived on cheese pizza and french fries during my sophomore year -- something that wasn't very good for my waist line.  That said, I was happy and felt generally confident in myself.  I knew I wanted to do something about my weight though.  During that following summer, I started busting some major ass and started getting myself in shape.  
Fall 1997 (Age 19-20) About 100 pounds
1998 (Age 20-21):  97 pounds (my lowest weight)
The problem is that I tend to be rather OCD and can get overly passionate about things once I really get into them (that's where my clothing addiction comes in :-P).  I started working out more and more and eating less and less, especially food that had even small amounts of fat (virtually everything). 

As I started to look more and more like what society tells us is ideal, I started to get harder and harder on myself.  My flat stomach still had cellulite; my thighs still touched; my arms were still too big...I became more and more self-conscious about my body and more obsessed with losing weight and toning.  I grew increasingly frustrated in not achieving the "ideal" as my efforts grew more and more intense and drastic, not realizing that I was actually overworking my body and depriving my body of needed food and nutrients. 

My main staples were rice cakes, pretzels, apples, and fat free yogurt, simply because those foods were free of fat.  I annoyed my then-boyfriend by always insisting that we buy two kinds of ice cream - the creamy, delicious full fat ice cream for him and the bland fat free ice cream for me.  I even chose fruits based on how many calories and grams of fat they contained (bananas were a worse choice than apples because they had a gram of fat per banana and had more calories). I knew the nutritional content of virtually every food and kept resources nearby just in case I encountered something unknown.

I became terrified of fat in all its forms, vowing that I would never be chubby again and lying to myself that I was behaving in a healthy manner.   Looking back, I realize that I had an eating disorder.  It was easy to overlook it at the time though because I looked healthy and some people, in their efforts to help I suppose, were even suggesting areas that my body could still use improvement.

My quest to be "perfect" was so severe that I refused to tell people I met while I was thin that I had ever been heavier.  I wasn't proud of all the hard work I did to get lean.  Instead, I wanted to project a false image of a naturally thin person.  Somehow that lie seemed to suggest a more morally superior and more "perfect" me than the truth.
1999 (Age 21); 103 pounds
Eventually, I grew tired of depriving myself and always working out so much.  I started cutting back, and the weight started gradually coming back on.  At some point, I had stopped working out completely and was back to eating as much fat as I wanted whenever I wanted.  At different times since, I have lived very healthfully and organically, other times not so much.  After having two caesarean sections, my stomach has changed drastically, and my body has started to show some signs of aging and gravity.  I am currently close to my highest weight ever.

I won't lie...I still struggle with body confidence.  I choose my clothing wisely to hide my tummy, the area about which I'm most self-conscious.  That said, as I've started to get older and wiser (I'm 35),  I'm starting to realize how great my body really is.  It gave birth to two beautiful, funny, intelligent children; it takes me wherever I want to go; it's capable of multiple orgasms and intense pleasure; it aches to remind me that I need to take better care of myself.  I have great curves, amazing breasts, muscular legs, and a tight ass.  I have scars that tell the memories of my life; I have grey hairs that remind me of how lucky I am to have lived as long as I have.  My body may not be everything I want it to be.  I definitely need and want to lose weight, but I've learned to appreciate my body, to love my body for all of its beautiful flaws.
2012 (Age 34-35); 160 pounds
Writing this blog has been one major step in that journey towards self-acceptance.  As I post pictures of myself on good days and bad, in outfits that are flattering or not-so flattering, I have put myself out there publicly to be judged and possibly ridiculed.  Forcing myself to put myself out there, to show the world (or my small, but growing, following) that fashion isn't just for the tall, thin, and rich has been an amazing growing experience.  For the sake of fashion, I have started wearing skinny pants and jeans - before I always felt too fat.  I have started wearing more sleeveless tops and dresses even though I have hated my upper arms for years.  Writing this blog has allowed me to love and accept myself a little more each day.  It has also allowed me to get back to "me" - a person who may be a little ego-centric (as all humans are) but who isn't as focused on myself and all of my flaws - real or imagined.  I have become more focused on my children, more focused on my partner, and more focused on my blog and how I might use this platform to help others in some small way.

You see, hating ourselves is incredibly self-absorbed.  We become so obsessed with ourselves that we can't look outside of that.  When we tell ourselves we aren't good enough in some way, when we allow ourselves to fill up our time with negative self-talk, we aren't just hurting ourselves.  We are depriving others of the greatness of ourselves.  We are wasting time when we could be helping society in some way - helping those in need, protecting children, standing up for equality, creating new inventions.   We are teaching our children to criticize their own bodies; we are naturalizing body hatred to our friends (it's not natural).  We are perpetuating a toxic cycle of self-hate that hurts ourselves and the world.

We are all works in progress, finding our way on our own paths in the journey of life.  We're humans, and as such, we're all incredibly, wonderfully flawed.  It's time we embrace those flaws and use them to our advantage and for the betterment of those around us. 

Love yourself. Life is too short and precious for self-defeat and deprecation.

Thank you all for the love and support over the last eight months.  I hope my words help some of you, any of you, in some small way.  You all have certainly helped me!!!

That is all. 

Back to more fashion later today!!  :-)

Cutouts and Coated Denim

Hi everyone! 

Today, I ran to Tar-Jay to do some last minute Easter shopping and this is what I wore:

Sweater:  Forever 21+ (Available here)
I recently got this sweater from Forever 21.  I love the cutouts and the seafoam green color. 

I love wearing oversized sweaters with skinny pants for a casual look.

Coated denim jeans:  Target (Available here)

Necklace:  ILY Couture (Available here)
I wore the leopard flats to the store. The man and I were thinking about going to the movies.  We opted not to go, but I probably would have worn the heels for the date.
Flats:  Target (Similar here)
Heels:  Target (old)
Rings:  New York & Company
What's your go-to errands outfit?

Happy Easter to all those who celebrate!!

For these jeans in other looks, see here and here.
For more oversized sweater/skinny pants looks, see here, here, and here.


These Boots Were Made for Walkin'

Hi everyone!  Hope you all had a great day!
Skirt:  Target (Available here)
Blazer:  New York & Company
Today was still a little chilly in my area, but I finally decided it was time to skip tights!!!  I went with my knee-high boots for warmth, but it was so freeing to be able to wear a skirt without tights!!!

Tights can be fun, but I get lazy and find them to be too much work sometimes.

Tank:  Old Navy Petites (Available here)
Boots:  Payless (old)
Tote:  The Limited
I paired my boots with a brocade A-line skirt and simple tank and blazer.  The tank was a little low-cut for work, so I added the scarf for coverage and a little extra warmth during the work day. 
Scarf:  Paul Smith (15+ years old)
Earrings:  The Limited (Similar here)
Removing the scarf makes the outfit perfect for transitioning to dinner or drinks after work.
Ring:  Purchased at local jewelry show
Howlite necklace:  eBay
(Similar here)
Do you like wearing boots?  Do you prefer bare legs or tights/pantyhose?
For this skirt in another look, see here.
For this blazer in other looks, see here, here, and here.


Metallics and Lace

Happy Thursday, everyone!
Pants:  The Limited (Sold out in navy; Available in other colors here)
Blouse:  The Limited (Available here)
Today, I decided to wear my new gold jacket.  I love that this jacket is super lightweight but looks like leather and suede.
Jacket:  The Limited (Similar here)
Purse:  The Limited
Shoes:  Target (Available in other colors here)
Bracelets:  The Limited; Target
I paired the jacket with a matching beige lace and gauze top and navy pants to keep the metallic subdued enough for work.

I love mixing neutrals in interesting shapes and textures.  The bold green pendant adds just the right amount of color.
Necklace:  Forever 21
"Evil Eye" ring:  H&M
Do you like mixing textures and fabrics for interesting neutral looks?

For these pants in other looks, see here, here, and here


Spring 2013 Fashion Preview: Tailored shorts

The cold weather is ruining my spring fashion buzz, leaving me a little less than inspired in coming up with new outfit ideas that I can actually wear right now.

So, instead, I'm featuring one of spring's major fashion trends:  tailored shorts.  Bermuda shorts are hugely popular for spring, but you can also find plenty of mid-length shorts as well.

I'm a hesitant shorts fan.  To wear shorts in an easy, breezy way for summer can sometimes be a little too casual for my tastes.  Then, there's the dreaded chub rub problem and riding up that shorts often seem to do.

That said, I love the idea of tailored shorts for a slightly dressier look during the spring and summer.  My favorite way to wear shorts is for evening.  I love wearing shorts in dressier fabrics (silk, lace, leather) with heels for a summer evening out.

Below are my picks from the runway: 
Work/Day looks:
Rachel Comey Spring 2013 look
Source:  www.elle.com
Emporio Armani Spring 2013 look
Source:  www.thefashionspot.com

Gianfranco Ferré Spring 2013 look
Source:  www.elle.com
 Casual looks:
Mara Hoffman Spring 2013 look
Source:  www.realbeauty.com
Nicole Miller Spring 2013 look
Source:  www.realbeauty.com

 More attainable options:
LOFT printed walking shorts
The Limited denim metro shorts
Forever 21 shorts
ASOS shorts

Do you like wearing shorts?  How do you like to wear them?  Casual? Work?  Evening?


Mod Squad

Sorry I've been a little out of commission the last several days.  We got a major snowstorm, and I spent the weekend at home in sweats.

Blouse:  New York & Company (Available here)
Pants:  The Limited (Available here)
Today's look is inspired by 1960s mod dressing.  The black and white graphic, almost 3-D print of the blouse has a cool pop art feel that makes me think of mod styles from the 60s, especially when color blocked with the red pants. 

I added a vintage necklace from the 60s and a graphic ring to complete the look.
Vintage Necklace:  Philadelphia Vintage and Consignment Shoppe
Heels:  Target (Available here)
Purse:  The Limited
Our clothing choices always take place in a social context. My choices today are related to the fashion and style of the 1960s and a major social movement that still influences us today (learn more about the mod movement here and here). 

My outfit today is also tied to current social events sure to make history.  Today, I'm wearing red to show my support for marriage equality, an issue that is very near and dear to my heart.  As the U.S. Supreme Court debates the future of California's Prop 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act this week, my thoughts are on creating a more equal society that recognizes the rights of all of its citizens, regardless of sexual orientation.
Jacket:  The Limited
Ring:  LOFT
Do you like mod styles

For more information on the Supreme Court hearings, see here.
See these pants styled differently, see here, here, and here.
See this jacket in other looks here, here, here, here, and here.


If you dress for it, will it come?

Well, we are expecting snow this weekend!!!  So much for spring weather anytime soon (grumble, grumble)!
Peplum blazer:  Target Petites (Available here)
Pants: The Limited (Available here)
Feeling the urge to bring on spring, I chose a fresh and spring-y color palette of navy, coral, and white.  Polkadots feel happy and always make me think of spring.
Cuff:  Express
Shoes:  Target (Available in other colors here)
Top:  Forever 21+
I've been trying to think of more fun and trendy ways to wear my several pairs of dress pants.  I find them to be the most work-appropriate pants; however, I find that they can get dreadfully boring and sometimes stodgy.

I am not a fan of a super-classic or preppy style, so I like that the trendy peplum and bold cuff add in a little of my own flair.
Tote:  The Limited (old)
Do you wear dress pants for work?  How do you make them more stylish and more "you"? 

To see this blazer styled differently, see here and here.
For these pants styled differently, see and  here.



Where's Spring?

Ugggghhhhhhh!  I am sooo tired of the cold weather we keep having!  It's the first day of spring, but the temperature is anything but spring-like.  

The sun was shining, but I was freezing while taking these pics!!!
Pants:  The Limited (Similar here)
Top:  Forenza by The Limited (No longer available on-line; see here)
Blazer:  The Limited (Available here)
Shoes:  Target (Available here)
This cold weather is leaving me in a little bit of a fashion rut.  I have bare legs, bright colors, and sandals on the brain, but the weather isn't cooperating.  

In a fashion rut, I always seem to stick to my comfort zone - neutral (okay, black) pieces in comfy shapes.
I wore the black heels (first pic) for work to help polish up this somewhat more casual look.  I would grab the studded flats to run errands or go shopping after work.
Necklace:  Target (Sold out on-line; may be available in stores)
Purse:  The Limited (old)
The white tote gave a touch of spring to the outfit.

How's the weather in your area?  

For this blouse in a different look, see here.
For this jacket styled differently, see here, here, and here. 


Mint to Be

Today, I paired this faux leather gored skirt with a mint crochet tee and beaded chainlink necklace.  
Skirt:  The Limited (Available here)
Heels:  Prabal Gurung for Target (Not available on-line; available in some stores; see
For work, I kept the look simple (and warm) with a classic black blazer, black mesh tights, and ankle boots.
Blazer:  The Limited (Similar here)
Tote:  New York & Company (Similar )
I debated whether to wear the cropped blazer or classic suit jacket this morning.  I opted for the longer blazer for work, but after seeing the pictures, I definitely prefer the cropped jacket with this look as the proportions work better together.

I had originally conceived of this skirt and top as part of an evening look.  Floral lace-up heels from Prabal Gurung's recent line for Target and a straw clutch help make the outfit evening-ready.  
I love the fresh and modern shape of this skirtLeather is somewhat unexpectedly a major trend for spring.  Expect to see many leather and faux-leather options in stores this spring.
Earrings:  The Limited (Available here)
Necklace:  Target (Sold out on-line; may be available in some stores)
I'm also super excited about all of the mint green items popping up in stores.  It's one of my favorite colors!
Clutch:  Target (old)
Bracelets:  Express, Claire, local jewelry show
Would you wear a faux leather skirt in spring? Will you be wearing mint green this spring?

To see cropped blazer in other looks, see here, here, here, and here.

See classic blazer in other looks, here, here, here, here, here, and here.