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Archive for the ‘Inspire’ Category

Nightshades and a dog on the freeway

02 Apr

{ personal: }

Not quite a New Year’s resolution, but certainly what’s been brewing behind closed doors, A.K.A., not on the blog. It’s a bit wordy, but I run that way at times and I haven’t written in months. Since there’s a sequence to all that I want to say, let’s rewind a bit and go back to the start.

2015_04_02_Striped

Part 1: Nightshades

Without getting into the minutiae of how it came to be, just take my word for it, as of a few months ago I found out that I am sensitive to nightshades. I feel like a brighter, less fatigued version of myself without nightshades in my diet. I have celiac and can’t eat soy, or flax seeds, for that matter. Flax seeds are random, but hey, cramps, waves of nausea, nobody’s got time for that.

2015_04_02_AvoDress

Part 2: The Dog On The Freeway

My dog, to be exact. She got out. An oversight leading to near catastrophe. She had stopped traffic on the freeway, never mind all the busy streets she first had to cross to get on the freeway. There she was, completely freaked out as kind strangers were trying to catch her. One amazing woman managed and my dog was returned to me safely.

Sometimes in life, one might be contemplating a change. Not a tiny little change. Something akin to a fundamental lifestyle overhaul. The kind of change that is more easily prompted by need or near catastrophe. Like the need to prepare my own food. Practically all of it. No more convenient snacks. No more high ticket items on the fly. I’d been wanting to cook more for myself and eat less processed foods but kept saving it for later. You know, when it would be more convenient. I’d even put myself on a budget.

I’d been wanting to move to my own place for a while, too. Six months ago, a friend opened up his home to me when one of the rooms he was renting became available. Now the time had come to take my things out of storage and move to a home I could call my own. I started putting a little money aside to save up for the big day. Then the dog on the freeway. The big day was now. I needed to take control of my finances asap if I wanted to provide my dog with the security I had committed to when I adopted her.

2015_04_02_NeonYellow

Part 3: My relationship with money

I made it. I spent it. I made more. I spent more. In time, I started feeling frustrated with all this spending. Not because I wasn’t saving any but because I started feeling a little sick with the idea of entitlement, acquiring to upgrade and not always out of need. Satisfying whims and all that. Getting stuff is fun until one day it isn’t. Something had been changing in me and I start to experience more mindfulness around all this stuff I was being sold. I was still buying it, then one day, nightshades and the dog on the freeway.

Part 4: What I learned

Holy cow I can save money fast when I need to! That’s right, people. I put myself on a budget and was able to find and rent my dream cottage in no time at all. I’m also making most of my food, which means that I’m healthier, I’m spending a lot less, and use up even less packaging. These are all such fantastic wins out of what could easily have been interpreted as misfortune.

I’ll keep you posted on how this goes. I have a really good feeling about the future. Many of these changes have been brewing underneath the surface, I’ve been ready for this for a long time. We know how much I love style and fashion, let’s see how this newfound effort to manage my finances in line with my value system plays out.

xo, f

P.S.: I just noticed my craftiness lives on. I sewed the lace on the skirt, made the belt I’m wearing with the avocado green dress, and spray painted the boots with glitter. What’s next?

 

Proof

31 Mar

{ excuses: }

Let’s face it, I haven’t just slipped from grace, I’ve tanked. Well, only as it pertains to blogging regularly. I have my reasons, sure. Such as, having a dog which leads to why I’m wearing pants a lot these days. I dress in anticipation of what the day holds for me, like walking her daily every afternoon on one of the trails nearby. Sometimes it’s not all that exciting, however, working from home hasn’t stopped me from caring.

I may not have the bandwidth to post as regularly but having fun with outfits is an integral part of my life, not a phase. Here’s a little recap. You need proof, after all. But first, this:

{ rant: }

Being a woman of  ”a certain age”, (45! Woohoo!), I’m starting to get annoyed at all the age-appropriate style advice in women’s magazines. No more short mini-dresses? Why not? I like my legs just fine, thanks. No more obnoxiously bright neons pants paired with an equally bright top? I’m not sure I like this advice at all. Here’s what I have to say: Ignore all of it. ALL. Wear what makes you happy. Skirt too short? Heels to high? Too much cleavage showing? I don’t care. Squeeze yourself into a pair of leopard-spotted pants, you hot mama, you. Rock them to work if it puts a smile on your face.

Let the real old farts tsk… tsk… behind your back while you are living your life exactly as you wish. The most flattering thing a woman can ever wear, the one thing that looks good rain or shine, day or night, is her smile. Her genuine, life-loving smile. So, if what you put on today is wrong by every standard but it makes you happy, and if that happiness translates into a smile, that’s all the style advice you’ll ever need.

Go on, beautiful. Wear whatever you feel like wearing, just as long as it makes you happy.

{ proof: }

wear purples

Wearing sheer aqua top, orange cardigan, light denim pants

Wearing sheer purple top, printed scarf, hand-carved earrings

Wearing green cashmere sweater, royal blue tank top, cyan skinny pants

 

{ deets: }

First: Purple top/gifted, neon yellow t-shirt/Old Navy, raspberry velour pants/Athleta*, necklace/Anthropologie, brown Uggs. Second: Sheer printed aqua top/Target, orange cardigan/Target, denim/Nordstrom’s, mustard scarf/Cheeky Boutique, wood teal bangle/bazaar in Spain, neon yellow Vans. Third: Sheer printed blouse/TJ Maxx, sheer printed kimono-style top/Target, tie belt/handmade, printed scarf/bazaar in France, necklace/Anthropologie, hand-carved earrings/Braindrop. Fourth: Green cashmere sweater/Bloomingdale’s, royal blue tank top/Old Navy, cyan skinny pants/Urban Outfitters, beaded necklace/Anthropologie. 

 
 

Enchanted forest

21 Nov

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This time last year I had just turned 44 and I wanted so badly for everything to change. I had no idea where to start or what needed to happen so I moved on and forward, like the adventurer that I am, trusting that it would. I spent the last 365 days taking baby steps daily to alter my course. Today I can look back and am proud of where I came from. I look forward and know the path is good. It wasn’t easy, most necessary things aren’t.

I had been feeling a little like this:

Yes, that really is me, dressed as BabyDoll for Halloween. What else could I do with new braces but have fun with it?

Through the turmoil, I found my peace regularly in the woods by my house. I’ve run, hiked and walked them regularly for several years now. I have spent hours daydreaming about my future, crying about sick friends, running long and hard and pushing myself to the limit. It is therefore befitting that I recently had a photo shoot in my enchanted forest right before my 45th birthday. I’m still moving forward, and still celebrating changes.

See you soon!

xo, f

{ photos: }

These photos were beautifully shot with film by Vanessa Solis of Vade Photography in Redwood Park, in Oakland, CA.

{ deets: }

Red blouse/Old Navy, royal blue pants/Urban Outfitters, scarf/thrifted, hand-carved earrings/Braindrops, beaded necklace/Anthropologie.

 
 

The necessity of reinvention

05 Feb

{ daily outfit: }

daily outfit wearing red, grey, black vintage sweater dress, fishnets and over-the-knee boots

daily outfit wearing red, grey, black vintage sweater dress, fishnets and over-the-knee boots

{ personal: }

Mid-life crisis. There, I said it. I wouldn’t think twice about going to a dealership and driving off in a red hot Porsche right now. (Make it a 911 Turbo S, please.) But this isn’t a mid-life crisis and all I’ve done is get a new tattoo and color my hair differently in the past few months. It’s part of my evolution; the constant reinvention. What was wrong with the previous version of me? Absolutely nothing. But like anything, regardless of my conscious intervention, everything will change. I’d rather put up my sail and see where the wind takes me with some level of awareness and determination than to scramble unprepared.

I recently wrote about aging and what I plan to do about it. Here’s another tip for you: keep evolving. Stay fresh. Do something new. You don’t have to be as dramatic as me and get a tattoo, it wasn’t nearly the big deal I played it up to be since I happen to have six others. But you, take a different way home and see something new. Say hi to someone you don’t usually talk to. This is how life happens, how we make new friends and broaden our perspective. It makes life fun and keeps us interesting.

I can look back on any point in time in my life with incredible detail based on the following information: What music I was listening to, what my hair looked like and what I was wearing. You may not think you’re saying much with the way you dress but you are making a statement every single day. So have fun with it. Or be serious. Or be flirty. Spruce yourself up, or just take it down a notch. The point is that we need to be dressed every day. Most of us, at least. Since it has to be done and is not all that negotiable, half the work has been done for you. And I know you. You already own clothes. So put them together differently one day. Mix and match. Surprise yourself. Evolve.

It’s a tiny step, and perhaps you’re ready for something much larger but I expect this: One small change leads to another. One rewarding adventure, (yes! Even in the form of a pair of colored tights instead of the usual black) just changed your course. We have to evolve. I know it’s comfortable right here where you’re standing but everything around you will change and it’s much easier to move with it than to resist.

A friend of mine coaches women to live their abundant life to their fullest. “…step into being unapologetically radiant, switched on, confident…” she says. This woman is after my own heart. How can you not let yourself be seduced by such beautiful words? I want to be radiant! It takes work, just so you know. I often wake up ready to pull a “That Girl” moment but the minutiae of being alive and having to function as a responsible woman with a full-time career usually saps the last drop from me. Yet, I’m still here, writing. Albeit, I post less often these days but that’s fine. I’m still doing it and it feels great. And I’m proud of what I’m doing. In fact, you might say I feel a little radiant.

You may not think there’s a correlation between taking sartorial chances and writing this today, right now, but there are. Fifteen months ago I had no clue I would have a blog, that I would take myself on this rewarding journey. It all started with a harmless Facebook status update from woman I had just met participating in Kendi’s 30 for 30 remix challenge. The rest is history. I’ll rewind a little.

I took a chance. I decided that I had nothing to lose by joining my new friend in this challenge. In fact, I had nothing to lose by making a new friend. And I was right. Enthusiasm, almost giddiness, took over my spare time. I took pictures every day, I found blogs that inspired me in every possible way. I wrote. I gave myself permission to be more creative with my outfits because I was participating in something; there are times when it’s easier to have an excuse. I had a reason and a purpose with my invisible army of women doing this around the country to back me up. I felt braver. I was having fun again.

It would be fair to say that in my evolution I came full circle. Over the years I had started to lose the light-heartedness and whimsy that I had always associated with fashion. Not only did it return, but this was the next version of it. In no time at all, something even more interesting happened. The confidence I had in taking chances with my outfits carried over to other aspects of my life. Believe it or not, this is exactly how it happens.

This is my journey, it’s how I am evolving. One thing leading to another. Tell me, what little change have you planned for yourself today? Because taking one small step is how it all starts.

{ deets: }

Vintage red, black and grey sweater dress/eBay, fishnets/unknown, black belt/Dress Barn, black snakeskin patterned boots/Kelsi Dagger, feather necklace/JewelMint, vintage Gucci watch/gifted.

{ last note: }

You might have noticed my Google Friend Connect widget has been taken down. I found out that Google is discontinuing this product soon, I figured I might as well get used to no longer relying on it. There are still a variety of ways to subscribe to updates for this blog. In the meantime, I’d be delighted if you left me your url in the comment box, I’ll do my best to visit.

xo, f

 

Becoming invisible

17 Jan

{ daily outfit: }

Daily outfit wearing magenta t-shirt, violet cardigan, black skinny jeans, black knee-high boots

{ personal: }

I just read an article about aging and becoming invisible. Yes, I think about this sometimes. I don’t dwell on it much but there are times I worry. There is nothing anyone can say about my current state that guarantees that I will not become invisible with time. Invisible to younger people, invisible to men. Just invisible. We live in a youth-centric culture and this is the reality.

I look in the mirror and I’m confused. I see the changes on my skin, I’m mostly fascinated with it. It, the skin of a 44 year old woman. It’s different. We’re all different but I what I mean is that my skin is different than it used to be. If you’re not there yet, get used to the idea, you’ll see when you get there. If you’re there, or you’ve been there, you know exactly what I’m talking about. It’s fine, really. But there is this small voice in my head that asks a lot of questions. Like, will I be equally surprised with my appearance at 60 as I am now? Will I ever feel that my insides and my outsides match again? When did that stop? How will others continue to see me? When will I stop looking as sprite as I feel? Will it make me sad? I’ve enjoyed it this far, will I even be bothered to care? I’m inclined to think I’ll care some.

I don’t want to become invisible. I think it’s more than vanity, I think it’s primal. The old and the weak got left behind because they no longer served the purpose of procreating or hunting and gathering. No one wants to be left behind. No woman, no man. What’s my plan? I have to have a plan, I can’t just plow through my 40′s and 50′s with reckless abandon and wake up to the shock of having become invisible. I’m really comfortable with the gradual changes taking place, let’s keep it that way. Besides, when I turn 60 I probably won’t think that’s very old at all and I’ll be confused by the whole damn experience.

Not long ago, I would walk to the train station everyday by myself the five blocks from my house. Every once in a while, a total stranger would say something very nice to me as I made my way with purse, lunch bag and gym bag in tow. Every single time it took me by surprise. It’s not that I don’t think I look nice, it’s that they made an effort and went out of their way. The kindness of strangers. And I would wonder, what did they see? I just doesn’t matter how good I look, how young one might think I appear, there is no doubt in my mind that some things cannot be falsified, such as the fact that I’m not 25, or even 30. I see my face, my body, every morning. I know what I look like. It doesn’t matter. Even if I embodied absolute physical perfection, they were compelled to go out of their way. They had no obligation to verbally express what they experienced. I would have been none the wiser.

I lived in San Francisco, a city teaming with young beautiful women walking down the same streets as me. What made me different?

It’s not that I don’t accept that some might find me attractive, it’s that I truly believe that something else made me stand out. The kindness within. As I’ve gotten older I’ve become more and more comfortable being nice. Not polite. Nice. I will stop and ask if someone needs help. This next part is actually more significant. If, and when, I hear my judgmental inner voice spout something I don’t like about anyone, I will correct it. I check myself. Why did I make that judgment? Has a button been pushed? It’s not what I think, it’s what I do with that thought, that judgement. It’s static noise that has no power if I ignore or correct it. And guess what? It’s made me nicer. I’ve always been that person but I haven’t always given that person power. Now I have and I think others see it.

Kindness. Fairness. Generosity. As I’ve been changing how I see the world, I’ve been changing how the world sees me. So if you want to know what I intend do about becoming invisible with age, I just shared with you the only trick I have up my sleeve.

That’s my plan and I’m sticking to it.

{ deets: }

Magenta t-shirt/Urban Outfitters, violet cardigan/Anthropologie, leopard-spotted jacket/Sandro, black skinny jeans/Urban Outfitters, knee-high snake-skin pattern boots/Kelsi Dagger, multi-color scarf/gifted.

{ last note: }

You might have noticed my Google Friend Connect widget has been taken down. I found out that Google is discontinuing this product soon, I figured I might as well get used to no longer relying on it. There are still a variety of ways to subscribe to updates for this blog. In the meantime, I’d be delighted if you left me your url in the comment box, I’ll do my best to visit.

 

Show & Tell

27 Dec

{ the story: }

There are those days when nothing seems to go right. Then, there are days when every single little detail falls into place, when the universe conspires to help you get everything right; it was one of those days. In my last post I wore I a navy blue pencil skirt that I picked up from a small, independently-owned shop that had just opened by my work in Downtown Oakland. I mentioned wanting to make more mindful purchasing decisions. I’m not looking for a revolution but I believe that paying just a little more attention will present opportunities for me to make the small changes necessary to live more closely to my heart, while looking fabulous the whole time, of course.

Let’s see exactly what happened on that fateful day. I happened to be in the dressing room of Show & Tell when I overheard the owner talk about their store’s philosophy to another customer. I loved what I heard, that they support local designers and fair trade practices with a focus on being paperless and sustainable; I wanted to help them thrive. It didn’t hurt that their clothes were really cute and the owners really nice. That stuck with me all day until I came up with the idea of taking pictures of different outfits in their store to promote them on The House in the Clouds. Nothing fancy, just me, my tripod and the overhead fluorescent lights. I approached them with the idea, they seemed happy and pleasantly surprised. I had the green light.

That same afternoon, I was directing a photo shoot at work and was telling the photographer of my plan. He offered to do an entire fashion shoot on location for us for the same reasons I wanted to do it: for support and for fun. I let the the shop owners Alyah and Nichole know, this suddenly went up a few notches and we were all totally thrilled. The very next Sunday, or as I like to refer to it, on the coldest day of the year so far, four of us walked around Downtown Oakland and had a blast taking pictures while curious onlookers checked out the scene.

The following is the result of our collective enthusiasm. If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, stop by the shop sometime and check out what they have. It goes without saying the clothes are adorable and flattering.

Daily outfit, wearing grey pencil skirt, long black tunic, downtown Oakland

Daily outfit, wearing grey and pink floral skirt, pink t-shirt, pink infinity scarf in downtown Oakland

Daily outfit, wearing blue and white checked skirt, lavender button-down shirt, colorful bowtie, in downtown Oakland

Daily outfit, wearing purple lace detail black sheer blouse, black tulip mini skirt, over-the-knee-boots, in downtown Oakland

Daily outfit, wearing purple lace detail black sheer blouse, black tulip mini skirt, over-the-knee-boots, in downtown Oakland

Daily outfit, wearing purple lace detail black sheer blouse, black tulip mini skirt, over-the-knee-boots, in downtown Oakland

{ info: }

Show & Tell is owned by Alyah Baker and Nichole Payton and is located at 500 12th Street in the Oakland City Center Plaza. All clothes shown are from their store; jewelry, tights and shoes are my own. Check out their facebook page for updates. These fantastic photos were taken by Ron Essex in beautiful Downtown Oakland, California.

 
 

Transformative powers

10 Nov

{ daily outfit: }

Daily outfit, mixing patterns

Daily outfit, grey wedge sneaker, grey tights, grey wool coat

Daily outfit, wearing red mini skirt, vintage cowl neck sweater with orange and grey stripes, grey wool coat, grey tights

{ personal: }

One of my closest friends called me the other day, my husband and I were in the car driving home. Our car had just decided to make an unsavory alarming sound, probably due to some after-market install. I couldn’t really talk over it and told my friend I’d call him right back. As soon as we got home my husband started investigating the problem while I unloaded the car. I had been at a design conference for two days in San Francisco, literally one block from Sephora. I had stopped in on the way back home to pick up a gift for a couple friends. And myself, apparently.

Unloading the car is handled one of two ways in my household. Based on the day of the week, I either dump everything on the bench by the front door and ignore until the next day or I meticulously put everything in its rightful place. On this particular Friday I chose the latter. Let me elaborate on the meticulous part — it involves the trying on of suitable purchases, such as new clothes or make-up. My reality is often intermingled with such fantastic interruptions. I had given in to the temptation of a natural eyeshadow and blush kit that barely cost twice as much as the single eyeshadow from Make Up For Ever that I normally buy. Impulse shopping at its finest.

While taking the kit out of its box, I found myself mesmerized by the silver shades and gave them a try. One thing led to another, close to an hour flew by. As I found myself snapping a picture of it to share on Instagram I remembered my friend in New York. I called him back immediately and explained the series of events that led to the delay. “I was playing with make-up and I forgot to call you back.” As we FaceTimed each other on our phones, both of us laying down — he on his bed and me on a cozy rug in my bedroom — I delved further into the female psyche, specifically mine.

Make-up and fashion are not just a form of expression, they are also a form of escape and fantasy. Those of us with a passion for one or the other, or both, understand the transformative powers they each possess. I am not a celebrity with a perfect life, I’m a woman in her forties who celebrated her birthday with tea instead of a proper cocktail because of the lingering effects of having pneumonia. I’m a woman who’s a little exhausted by the demands of work. Getting lost in the moment of make-up is a brief escape — I admit to getting completely absorbed by the precision of applying silver eyeshadow on the inside and mid-section of my eye lids, (but definitely not by the lashes or the outer areas, that wouldn’t work.) It’s similar to junk TV for my brain. There’s a Zen to it. While I pride myself in my ability to multi-task on a day-to-day basis, when I get lost in putting an outfit together or working out a new way to wear eye make-up, I get lost in the moment.

Being able to escape reality is important, it’s especially important to me to be cognizant of it. I like forgetting my troubles. I’m not neglecting them, I’m taking a break. As children we played make-believe and it was perfectly acceptable. We nourished our creative sides with fantasy, unknowingly developing problem-solving skills by thinking outside the box. It didn’t matter that we lived in an apartment. There was a farm with a dog and a cow in the bedroom, right next to the castle to the left of the bed. Imagination knows no bounds. I work in a creative field, interestingly enough, the most demanding aspects requiring imagination are not specific to design. They are more often called upon to solve logistical problems, whether it be scheduling or process driven. They further come in handy with regards to working with others.

If I can imagine the way someone else thinks and processes information, I am better able to speak their dialect. That’s a very adult thing to do with imagination. Then there’s make-up. If I can play with silver eye-shadow and make my eyes sparkle, I feel I sparkle. It doesn’t have to be a conscious intention, it just happens. The only thing I need to be conscious of is whether the transformative power is positive or negative. My friend understood and forgave me for getting side-tracked. I sent him off to his slumber with a kiss and plans to visit the following week.

 { fbff: }

Check back in on Friday, November 11 for Fashion Beauty Friend Friday. The visual topic is for us bloggers to show a picture of ourselves without any make-up on. See me in my natural state.

{ style tip: }

I may have only been pattern mixing in the last year but I feel like a pro with some of my bolder choices. What made this outfit work was that I kept the palette limited to only a few primary colors: grey and red-orange. The use of grey helped neutralize the impact of the red tones. Try it out! And then leave me your url in the comment section so that I can see how you styled your patterns. Remember, you’re even more beautiful when you’re having fun!

{ deets: }

Red mini skirt/Urban Outfitters, vintage striped cowl neck sweater/eBay, grey wool coat/Bebe, grey tights/WeLoveColors.com, wedge sneakers/Tsubo.

 

 

 

 

FBFF Q&A: Words of wisdom

15 Sep

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Don’t worry about what anyone else says, be proud to just be yourself, girls.

That’s my mom talking to me and my two sisters. While I may have spent a good portion of my life trying to blend in and look like other girls, I failed. In August of nineteen seventy-six I arrived to the United States an eight year-old olive-skinned French girl from the Middle East with no American vocabulary. I had no clue what kids were saying, what games they were playing nor why I looked so different. Parading awkwardly in my cousin Peggy’s outdated hand-me-downs, what had once been the coolest tie-dye pink bell bottoms were now the source of ridicule. I wanted so badly to fit in that it tormented me. I wore the pants anyway because I loved them.

Enter the transition between middle and high school. Two ugly ducklings devoted an entire summer to becoming swans; the hours spent experimenting with make-up and raiding my best friend’s mom’s closet were too numerous to count. We started high school as new students, almost completely. Unrecognized, we both had the freedom to be newer, more improved versions of our awkward tween selves. We were also trapped by trying so hard. In no time at all I discovered new wave, punk and goth music and style. I experimented and expressed my love for fashion and music in a way that was destined to get me noticed as odd or weird. I did it anyway.

I work in the corporate headquarters with approximately fifteen hundred people. Fifteen hundred business people: Buttoned-down shirts, slacks, black, grey, tan, beige and off-white. I’m not trying to stir the pot or get others to talk, I haven’t chosen to express myself visually to draw attention. I don’t require that level of validation for my appearance. Yet, I know that I will draw some attention for my aesthetic choices. That’s ok, ultimately, I still have to be myself. I answer all queries in the elevator graciously and with a smile.

There’s a level of integrity that resides within me, even if at times dormant, that comes from the belief that I shouldn’t worry about what others think. That by being myself I don’t have to justify the way I look nor the way I behave. This statement doesn’t come from a place of cluelessness, I understand that this expression doesn’t permit me to misbehave onto others. It doesn’t mean being rude or insensitive to certain situations. I get it. But, wherever and whenever I can, I will do my best to live as closely to that dogma as possible.

My mother’s advice has permeated my existence; the closer I live each day to the way I believe I should, the stranger it feels physically and mentally when I don’t.  Bad choices inherently feel wrong. More accurately, they feel “un-right”. The metamorphosis of my character through time is good. I mean, really good. As hard as I tried to belong through my formative years I couldn’t help ending up just being me.

Don’t worry, mom. I’m not keeping myself up at night by thinking of what others think of me. I’m more concerned with what I think of me.

{ fbff: }

For this week’s topic, we were asked to share the best advice we’d ever received. After much rumination, I decided that this particular bit of advice has stayed with me through and through, impacting my life powerfully. Thank you Katy of Modly Chic for crafting this topic. Friend Friday is an opportunity for fashion and beauty bloggers to share their thoughts on a specific topic and read what others have to say on that same topic. For more information, check out Modly Chic and welcome to the wonderful world of blogging!

 

 

 

Show me your shorts! – Pushing past the fear

15 Aug

{ blog event: }

Daily outfit and style tip, wearing mint green bubble shorts, salmon tank and peach blazer

Overcoming fears. Pushing ourselves. Redefining our place in the world. Being proud of who we are while embracing the unknown of what we will become. What does all this have to do with showing your shorts?

A few weeks ago I called on you to submit photos of yourselves wearing shorts. I picked this in particular because it happened to be the one item of clothing that was a stretch for me to wear comfortably and I pushed myself to get over it. It’s not the wearing of shorts that makes me feel better about myself, it’s the pushing past the fear. I decided to celebrate that push, we all have fears to overcome but it is infinitely easier to push when we don’t feel alone.

I have news for you, you’re never alone over here.

See and read how these ladies wore their shorts. For some it was hard, for others it was completely natural. By sharing their photos each gives us inspiration and each gives us cause to celebrate ourselves and our bodies. Stephanie of The Loudmouth was my inspiration to push myself. Who will be yours?

{ participants: }

Stephanie, The Loudmouth

When people think of Minnesota, they think of snow. And BELIEVE ME, we get snow. But we also get incredible, suffocating, oppressive heat and humidity in the summer and when it’s hot outside, shorts are virtually all I can wear. And, thankfully, my fellow Minnesotans seem to feel similarly and sport shorts all summer long. The very idea that any woman would feel her body isn’t worthy of shorts makes me want to shake my tiny fists at the sky. No matter how big, small, long, short, scarred, hairy, pocked, smooth, wrinkled, tanned, or pale your legs are, you can and should wear shorts if the spirit moves you. Never let anyone tell you otherwise. Promise me. – Sally, Already Pretty

I don’t like being told what to do. So, when my thighs, who are both bossy and rebellious, tried to tell me not to wear shorts, I decided on a little rebellion of my own. I’m wearing shorts and I’m happy to be doing so. Viva la shorts! – Gracey, Fashion For Giants

I know that short shorts on a “mature” woman is a major fashion faux pas. I believe the proper protocol calls for a no more than two-fingers above the knee hemline. I tried to do this about 6 years ago, when I turned 40. When I was 39 I wore what I believed to be my last spate of micro-minis because I planned to retire my short hemlines and trade ‘em in for a more modest and mature skirt, and shorts length.

For a year I wore what is now called “metro shorts.” And I call them grampa, or golf shorts. And you know what? The length dated me- made me look older and not in a nice way like toting an Hermes bag or wearing a Chanel jacket would. I looked dowdy. Old. Frumpy. And I said: fuck that. So I took a pair of scissors and shortened all my shorts and that was that. Now I shameless parade my middle aged gams about in saucy skirts and short shorts. You know the saying: Give a girl an inch and she’ll wear it as a skirt. Well you do now. – Bella Q, The Citizen Rosebud

With summer here, showing a little skin is almost a must to keep cool in the heat. Over the years, I have pushed myself to be more comfortable with my body – including showing off my legs in shorts. These denim cut-offs were a do-it-yourself project have been my go-to pair for the summer and I feel wonderful in them. – Callie, Unladylike

I started wearing “short” shorts the last 3-4 years. I usually wear shorts that are a little bit above the knee, but lately I’ve ventured into shorted shorts. These black ones are my favorites because their length is ideal for both wearing in the office and going out. And black is always a classical color that never goes out of fashion! – Anna, Designed By Ann

These shorts are actually a pair of “Just My Size” jeans that were too short, which I cut off. I am nervous about showing my legs and knees in photos – therefore I cover them up.This is a challenge for me to not worry about what others think and to just push myself outside of my comfort zone. Therefore, you can see me and my “not-so-perfect” parts. I hope you are encouraged to not be so concerned about the outside but worry more about the inside. Right now, I need to work on the inside…. so this was perfect timing! - Sherry, Girls Day Out

I love having bare legs! I would wear shorts to work everyday if I could find some that fit me well. Either the shorts are too short and inappropriate to wear to work (too much upper leg chub dangling out), or they are too boxy and manly looking (like I am some hip hop star or something- just call me J-Dog yo yo if you know what I mean). These black shorts are the lone pair I own that I wear with heels and a dressier top. I am looking forward to seeing what everyone else is wearing so I can get some more ideas!! – Jodi, Day2Daywear

I just felt like doing something casual with a lil bling. Also often when I wear short shorts I like to pair ‘em with a loose fitting top. So i added this gap peasant top, which I cropped myself to these tan shorts by Necessary Objects. Then for the bling I added this rhinestone choker from BeBe, an Eiffel tower necklace that I added a second pendant to, this sequin rhinestone bracelet and these 3 stone jellies by Dollhouse. – Doc Starr, Doc Starr Chic

Being petite, short shorts are one way to elongate your figure and show off your legs. For me, it’s a secret rebellion against the tall, tanned, toned, and slim figures…and to show that yea, I can rock shorts too. - Jess, Stylepint

I wore this outfit to meet one of my girlfriends for some fish, chips and a Guinness at my favorite local pub. I usually wear skirts and not shorts however thanks to our weather I could wear shorts almost all year round if I choose to. – Ofelia, My Intended Life

I thrifted a pair of khaki Bermuda shorts a few weeks ago with the intention to dye them either red or yellow. I also got a pair of  7 for All Mankind jeans that had seen better days. I knew that they would work well as a pair of cutoffs, so they were destined to be red (more on those in another post) leaving the khakis to become my new yellow shorts. I love how bright they turned out to be! – Danie, No Guilt Fashion

Inspired by the colored denim craze, I went for a shorter version in my new favorite J. Crew shorts! I threw on the headband just for fun, and think I just found another trend I can’t seem to get enough of!!! – Carlina, Allergic To Vanilla

As a kid summer was all about shorts and t-shirts, swimsuits and flipflops. But now as a professional, summer has become more about trying not to melt while running errands and attempting to still look fresh by the end of the day while attired in ‘dress-up’ clothes. So on the weekends, I’m not afraid to bust out the shorts and run around town. I’m especially loving the dressed up shorts trend that was huge this summer, allowing ladies everywhere to look stylish and fresh while still wearing the play clothes of childhood. – Katy, ModlyChic

Yvonne, Fashion Recon

Terri, Rags Against The Machine

Nicole, Graph Paper Heart

Veshoevius, The Taxonomy Of My Wardrobe

Please join me in thanking everyone who took the time to participate, I encourage you today to share your comments and words of encouragement. It may only be Monday but in my world this moment is cause for celebration.

How are you celebrating yourself?

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Mint green shorts/ModCloth, salmon tank/Urban Outfitters, peach blazer/Nordstrom’s, platform sandals/Urban Outfitters, rose and sparrow necklace/gifted.

 

Show me your shorts! – A blog event

01 Aug

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Daily outfit and style tip, wearing ivory shorts, peach blazer, blue suede platform sandals

Now, get your mind out of the gutter! This is my story. I have never worn shorts except for running, outdoor park and beach days or hanging around the house. This is relatively new to me, I was initially inspired by a picture that Stephanie of The Loudmouth posted of herself some months back. All of a sudden, it seemed like everyone was wearing shorts but me. Alright, not everyone but it was my perception at the time. I decided to give it a shot.

Daily outfit and style tips, wearing white shorts and vintage ivory blouse

I first wore them on a date with my hubby, it seemed like a pretty safe way to dip my toes. Next, I wore them to a friend’s party. One thing led to another and next thing you know, I finally did the unthinkable, I wore a pair to work last week. I had attempted the week before and chickened out. Yes, I do that sometimes.

It might come as a surprise that I had to really push myself to do this given that my outfit choices are not particularly conservative. I wear a lot of bright colors and I have tattoos but this was just new to me. I saw it as a way to step outside my comfort zone, something I’m actually comfortable doing. What I mean is that I like the challenge of pushing myself to do something new, something different. There’s a lot of personal growth to gain from taking chances. It’s easy to play it safe, I fall prey to complacency often.

Then I see someone wearing shorts and I’m intrigued and inspired; I know I must push myself repeatedly in this life and step up. It is only through trial and error that we get to realize our potential.

It isn’t the initial fear or hesitation, it isn’t the discomfort that defines us, it’s what we do with it when we experience it. How are you defining yourself?

There’s a song on Paul Simon’s Graceland album called “Further to Fly”. I think of it as my personal anthem. As long as I can dream, as long as the cycle of life continues, there is further to fly. Now I’m wearing shorts with the sass of someone who’s done it all along. You know I’m keeping an eye out for that next challenge. Whether it be sartorial, physical or professional, it will inevitable be very personal.

Won’t you join me?

Send me your photos of how you’re rockin’ the shorts and in two weeks, on Monday, August 15, I will post them and link back to you. My goal is to inspire you to challenge yourself and share with others how you’ve done it. Every time we push ourselves, even doing something as simple as wearing something we don’t typically wear, we grow as individuals. You’re helping me grow, let’s do this together.

I’m calling out to all you lovelies who are already wearing shorts to show us how you do it and I’m calling on those of you who don’t wear shorts to go for it, dip your toes in that water, the temperature is just right. Send me your photos at flyingfabu [at] gmail [dot] com by Friday, August 12, with a little blurb either about your outfit or the experience of wearing the shorts. Let’s make this happen!

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Top: Ivory shorts/H&M, ivory lace top/Nordstrom’s, peach blazer/Nordstrom’s, long beaded necklace/Nordstrom’s, orange skinny belt/thrifted, blue suede platform sandals/Barcelona. 

Bottom: White cotton eyelet shorts/H&M, vintage Bergdorf Goodman blouse/thrifted, ochre elastic belt/Anthropologie, gold shimmer tights/Urban Outfitters, steampunk dragonfly necklace/gifted, hand-carved wood earrings/Braindrops.