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Posts Tagged ‘jacket’

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.

 

Taking lessons

22 Sep

{ daily outfit: }

Daily outfits and style tips, mixing patterns wearing red skirt, red striped top

{ personal: }

I’m certain that my husband has an advanced degree in relaxing. Chillin’. Chillaxin’. Call it what you will, he’s got it down and I could learn a thing or two from him. When I lived in the Upper Haight in San Francisco I had a routine. I worked from home and would leave the house every afternoon to walk to the store and buy a cookie. I really did this for years. What can I say, I like a routine. Three blocks each way, one cookie and fresh produce for dinner. I would cross the panhandle, slowly, taking it all in; the dogs, the cyclists, friendly faces and neighbors.

I also started my day with a soy latté just around the corner, journaling and daydreaming. I spent an hour in the quiet hush of early morning orders by myself documenting every thought and emotion, turning stream of consciousness into poetry, day after day. My neighborhood cafe played great music, I rediscovered my love for electronic music. I once told a group of somewhat younger women about my morning routine. “You must really love yourself,” one said. Actually, yes.

Fast forward ten years. I no longer work from home. I have very little control over the kind of demands making their way across my day; I have some control over how I deal with the stress. Running, sometimes a drink after work, sometimes not. The most draining days require prescription strength television watching. We don’t even have cable. My husband and I met at work and carpool together, sharing one car. The routine is gone. It’s been replaced with coordinating schedules, grocery shopping, laundry days. Oh, and blogging.

I was washing the first batch of dusty Burning Man bins on Sunday when said husband exclaimed that he was going to chill for a while, complete with beer in hand. Envious, perhaps, I asked if he hadn’t just been relaxing. (This conversation can now go two ways.) Yes! He was going to relax again he proudly announced. He asked me to join him. Uncharacteristically, I put down what I was doing and grabbed my own beer. We sat and appreciated the million dollar view we’ve been blessed with and listened to hummingbirds whir.

View of San Francisco Bay from Oakland hills

LIke I said, I could learn a thing or two. The impressive stack of laundry that needs to be put away sitting in the back room is not going anywhere. Does it matter if I deprive myself of relaxing with my best friend only to put it away three days earlier? Of course it doesn’t. What matters is this: Carpe Diem. When I’m relaxed I photograph better. I write better. I dress myself better. I’m more creative. I’m nicer to myself and everyone around me. I would bet money that I will age less quickly if I subscribe to my husband’s plan. He’s not lazy. He gets things done. I try to get even more done and then beat myself up for not having done enough. I must be taking funny pills because that kind of math does not add up, does it?

Daily outfits and style tips, mixing patterns wearing red skirt, red striped top

What you see above is proof, actual photographic proof, that I came home tonight, popped open a hard cider and enjoyed our warm summer evening. After a day of such intense pattern mixing who wouldn’t need to unwind?

{ style tip: }

Ah, mixing patterns. The old taboo. This one is not always easy to pull off. It’s easier when there are elements in common. In this case, the color red and the graphic nature of the clovers versus the stripes worked. One didn’t overpower the other which kept the outfit balanced, this is key. There are many tips out there on how to do this well. The Chic Fashionista has some good advice.

Don’t be afraid to give it a shot, it takes guts to step outside our comfort zones. There will be misses but there are sure to be hits, too.

{ deets: }

Red clover skirt/Urban Outfitters, striped shirt/Michael Kors, daisy ring/Hatch, red leather cuff watch/Nixon, red jacket/Precious Boutique, black sandals/Dansko

{ giveaway: } 

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway. I’ve got a lightweight scarf straight from Paris just begging to go home with you. Male or female, it matters not. This scarf is genderless and will flatter everyone. Check out The House in the Clouds on facebook to enter.

 
 

Embrace the magpie

18 May

{ daily outfit: }

Daily outfit and style tip, wearing lavender jacket, navy blue skirt, white t-shirt
The orange belt added just a hint of color
Daily outfit and style tip, wearing lavender jacket, navy blue skirt, white t-shirt
Party feet!

 

I have an inner magpie that rivals old Hollywood glamour. The problem with this is that I don’t have the lifestyle to express it. Sequins and rhinestones and glitter, oh my; those are all lovely words to my ears. They enchant me with their song of ritz and glitz, I want to add feather boas and faux fur stoles to their melody and stroll.

If I can’t have that, I can have this: Tom’s silver glitter slip-ons.

I wore the discoteque on my feet all day, I’m going to do it again, too. I’d been coveting them for a while, the desire for glitter growing even more potent when my friend Nicole got a pair of gold ones. I’ve been waiting until I could justify wearing a light spring shoe. My friends, the time has come. As the day refused to quit I ran laps in what felt like slippers on my feet. Awesome slippers. One could say I’m a fan.

{ style tip: }

You really can wear something extravagant and glittery during the day, style and context are everything. The glitter made these shoes fun and gave them plenty of character, however, the casual form and style made them easy to wear with a cotton skirt and t-shirt. I chose to balance the glitter with a bold silver necklace and matching cuff. The outfit ended up well-balanced and comfortable.

{ deets: }

Navy blue skirt/BCBG, recycled t-shirt/H&M, lavender corduroy jacket/Tulle, silver glitter slip-ons, Tom’s, silver and mother-of-pearl necklace and cuff/Lois Hill.

{ photos: }

Filip Jach


 
10 Comments

Posted in Fashion

 

It’s Easter all week

28 Apr

{ daily outfit: }

Daily outfit and style tips, wearing pink jacket, bows and flower dress
Has anyone seen my basket?

I’ve been dying to wear this dress forever but I had to wait for Easter first. It’s really just my silly rule, but I can’t make myself wear it before then, it’s got Easter written all over it.

Just look at the explosion of pinks and blues, the little flowers and bows, I practically feel gift-wrapped. It qualifies as what my friend would refer to as “cutesy pie”. It is.

Daily outfit and style tip, wearing bows dress and pink jacket,
Hey, what’s over the fence?

This morning’s photo session was captured with a healthy mix of haste and humor. I begged the hubby to quickly take the pictures before getting in the car. Our haste made for bad photo after bad photo, you just can’t rush a good thing. Silliness ensued. He specifically directed these poses and they were too much fun not to share.

Daily outfit and style tips, wearing pink jacket, bows and flower dress,
Detail of flower pattern
Daily outfit and style tips, big red heart ring
I <3 big rings!

He said I looked like a little kid. The big plastic heart ring probably didn’t help. I just needed oversized bunny ears to complete the look.

{ style tip: }

This dress is has got a lot going on: Flowers, pinks, blues bows and more bows. Between the details and the structure of this dress it would be easy for it to feel too formal for work. To keep it light and fresh, I went with floral lace and fishnet tights in a pale beige, flat casual shoes and a fun, bright pink corduroy jacket. The effect was perfect for a sunny spring day.

{ deets: }

Bows dress/ModCloth, floral lace and fishnet tights/DKNY, pink corduroy jacket/thrifted, flat casual shoes/Naturalizer, red heart ring/H&M. Note: I would not recommend this particular style from DKNY. They gave me what I can only describe as a “sausage legs” effect. The elasticity of the weave was not consistent and pinched into my skin, even throughout the less fleshy parts. I have other similar tights from Nordstrom’s that fit much better.

{ photos: }

Filip Jach

 
9 Comments

Posted in Fashion

 

Cheese, please

06 Apr

{ daily outfit: }

Daily outfit and style tip, wearing orange cargo jacket, grey dress and goldenrod tights
I’ve got sunshine

There some things about me that are absolute truths. They’ve been part of my DNA for as long as I can remember. One such items is that I love to eat. I eat well, I eat with appreciation for where my food comes from, grateful for those who played a part in availing this sustenance to me. I eat with mindfulness, aware of the life force and nutrition. And, I eat all the time.

Call it a twenty-four hour buffet, a snack-a-thon, whatever you will. It comes down to this. I dislike being hungry. I go from zero to cranky with a pounding headache, therefore, I eat.

Daily outfit and style tip, wearing goldenrod tights with grey dress
I’m dreaming of cheese

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Imagine my delight as I sat at my desk unwrapping my Colby cheese stick this afternoon and looked down only to realize that my snack and my legs were the exact same color. What are the odds? I was half tempted to scan it but had obliterated most of it by the time of said discovery. It was the wiser of the choices to quietly finish eating given the logistics of scanning cheese. At work. And getting caught.

I really do have a lot of fun doing ordinary things. Especially as they relate to food and eating.

{ style tip: }

Neutral colors, such as this grey dress, can be revived with brighter color blocks in time for sunnier days. Goldenrod tights and a bright orange cargo jacket give it new life. The tights pick up on the faint swirl outlining the white flower, the hit of color is powerful and confident.

Do you have a particular neutral top, dress or skirt that could use a color lift? What color would you pair it with?

{ deets: }

Orange cargo jacket/Caslon, Nordstrom’s, grey Japanese inspired dress/unknown, goldenrod tights/Urban Outfitters, wood and leather platform sandals/Urban Outfitters, vintage daisy necklace/thrifted.

 
16 Comments

Posted in Fashion