Sunday, February 27, 2011

~old lady gone bad!

Dress:  Vintage Thrifted, Belt:  Chico's (inherited from my mom), Shoes:  Worthington, Thrifted

When my daughter took these pictures for me; I think she really wasn't feeling this dress.  To her it was a bit "old lady".   I told her, it was my version of "Old lady gone BAD!".   I know; at that skirt length, the old lady hasn't gone THAT bad but believe me....this dress say's, "I wear metal studs on my Depends BABY!"

Okay, it was all about the color.  This gorgeous turquoise completely drew me in.  I added a southwest style leather belt and pointy toe shoes to keep my dress from putting it's teeth in the glass and drinking it's prune juice.  As I'm sitting here blogging this, my daughter and I were just watching Johnny Depp do an interview.  Sonja said, "Oh my GOSH!  He's going to die BEAUTIFUL!!"  I found myself replying, "You know what makes him soooo attractive?  He's completely himself.  He's unapologetically himself."  Even before he was super famous; he was eclectic and never backed away from his quirkiness.  His style is uniquely his.  In the midst of fashion and style, isn't that the challenge.  To find yourself and be that with "no complaining.  No explaining."  I love that! 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

~maybe I will.....maybe I won't.....!

Jumpsuit:  Vintage Thrifted and altered, Sweater:  inherited from Mom, Shoes:  Thrifted Steve Madden, Belt:  TJ Maxx?, Bracelet:  Self Made
 I got this jumpsuit a while back.  I think the pattern is just FABULOUS!  I hemmed the pants and gave them a cuff and then I swapped out the buttons for some that weren't so cheesy.  This is one of those outfits that I'm completely on the fence about and I think I may sell it.  It feels a bit big on me.  However, when I look at these pics, I think, "You know, I really like this!"  But it's one of those things that it almost doesn't matter how it looks, but rather how I feel in it. 

But then I look at the pictures again, and I love it!  AAGGGHHHH!!!!  My indecisivness is exhausting sometimes! 

Hope your week is wonderful!!

Monday, February 21, 2011

~I'm a little simple....

Jacket and blouse:  Thrifted and jacket reworked, Trouser Jeans: Michael Kors via TJ Maxx, Belt:  Michael Kors

I've been wearing vintage so much lately, it almost feels boring to wear current styles!  I found this jacket in a Goodwill Outlet.  It was the funniest thing.  Friends and I were joking about not being able to get any cheaper than Goodwill and then lo and behold, Goodwill has an even CHEAPER version of itself!  You have to dig through PILES of stuff and it is absolutely the ultimate treasure hunt!

I really loved the jacket, but it really did feel a bit cumbersome with the long sleeves.  So I just took scissors to fabric and cut the sleeves off.  I like it sooooooo much better now!  I'm toying with the idea of now of adding some darts to the back of it to make it a tad more fitted.  Super busy at work these next couple of weeks.  The gym I work for is celebrating it's 23rd anniversary and we always throw a HUGE party and invite the whole community.  I also am really trying to find time to open up an etsy store.  I have some AMAZING vintage finds that I want to list....I really can't keep all the stuff I find, so I've been eager to open an online store.  Hope your week is starting well!!  Big love to all of you!

Friday, February 18, 2011

~no body is like THIS body. Friend Friday

This Friend Friday post is actually near and dear to my heart.  I've worked for many years in the Weight Loss Industry and now the Fitness Industry.  These are NOT synonymous!  I've dieted from the time I was 12 till I was about 40.  I could not imagine a day where my weight wasn't an issue.  Actually liking my body was a foreign concept to me.  I was fascinated with tiny women.  You know those really petite women who are so small and delicate?  My mom was one of them.  I used to point to her cutting board flat stomach and say, "How did this (pointing to myself) come out of that?!?"  I called my mom a "wisp of a woman" because she was just so small.  The crazy thing was, I really wasn't big!  Sure, after I had my kids, my weight went up and down.  But the more I stressed about this "imaginary weight problem"; the bigger I got!   Which, again, really wasn't very big.....more like plump. 

Seeing my mom struggle with cancer and waste away, really put the whole weight thing into perspective.  I'm over here worrying about whether I'm in a 12 or 14 and she can't even eat or keep any weight on her body!  Enlightening and humbling.  While the US may be one of the fattest countries in the world, we also have a very skewed image of what a woman's body should look like.  As I'm typing this, an infomercial is on for the Air Climber.  People are giving their testimonies about how going to a smaller size clothes changed their lives.  I see the commercials where women are saying, "I went from a size 10 to a size 2!!" and I'm thinking, "What the heck was wrong with the size 10?!?!?!"  Pretty soon, no one is going to be happy unless they're a negative size! 

Anyway, rambling now.....verging on are my answers (taking a sip of coffee to calm my nerves)....

1. Since you started blogging has your image of yourself changed?

Not really.  Let's face it, skinny (or at least really thin) is always the name of the game.  The most popular blogs feature really thin women.  I don't think these women are TRYING to maintain a certain figure...I think that's just what media, advertisers and even we, as consumers, gravitate to.  We make what's popular popular, so until we start immediately embracing EVERY body shape; nothing will really change.  I'm never going to be that skinny girl.  It's taken a lot of years for me to not only accept, but love my body just like it is.  I'm not about to move back into body hatred for the sake of my blog.
2. Are you self-conscious about any aspect of yourself? If so, do you go out of your way to avoid it or do you post it/talk about it anyway?

Growing up, I was always self conscious about my backside.  Most girls I grew up with weren't curvy there.  I never liked my legs either.  I always thought they were too heavy.  However, now, I have found that my body is very proportional and I like my hourglass figure.  After having four large babies, my tummy is never going to be flat and frankly looks like a road map to the lost civilization of Atlantis; but what a small price to pay for these wonderful human beings that my body brought into this world!  I advise people all the time to focus on healthy habits and let their body then just do what it will.  Instead of trying to whip it into shape by beating it into submission; just feed it well and exercise it vigorously and then let it BE!
3. Based on how your feeling now, what do you think the future hold in the evolution of your body image?

  We all age.  The waist tends to thicken.  Stuff starts to sag.  Wrinkles appear seemingly from no where.  Are you good and cheered up now?  What can I say?  I'm an encourager!!  Truthfully, my gray hairs are spot lights for my face.  My wrinkles show that I've laughed, cried, been other words.... I LIVE!  My thickening waist?  That's what wide belts are for!  Sagging?  Whadda ya gonna do?  Let it have shotgun, make sure to give it a seat belt and just move on out!!  All the stressing and worrying and fighting aging just makes one look haggard.  Confidence is the best cosmetic!
4. Do you photograph yourself for you blog? If so, how do you feel about the experience when you're having your picture taken?

It's so funny!  I used to hate to have my picture taken and my blog has cured me of that.  It has helped me not to take myself so seriously.  I take about 3 -4 pictures a day and that's it.  I'm not modeling for Vogue.  I'm showing what a real 44 year old woman looks like.  I picnik a bit to spruce things up; but after that; I'm done.  It is what it is!

5. What do you want every person who struggles with body image to take to heart?

I deal with this almost every day.  I work at a gym, so I see alot of body image issues.  I tell women all the time, "Skinny looks the same on everyone.  But your figure is uniquely yours".  Accept and Embrace.  It's all about your thoughts.  If you look in the mirror searching for flaws, you. will. find. them!  We ALWAYS find what we're looking for, even if we have to imagine it.  Look in the mirror for what you love.  Grin at yourself real big and say out loud to that reflection, "DANG girl!  You're FABULOUS!  What poor woman is having to do without cuz you got it ALL!"
Be a part of Friend Friday by visiting Katy's blog

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

~oh Lawd, please don't let me be misunderstood...

Me and Sweet Baby getting in on the action!

Skirt:  Vintage Thrifted, Vest: Thrifted and reworked, Pins:  Thrifted, Clogs:  Coach, inherited from my mom

Two other ways I've worn this skirt!
This skirt is absolutely a favorite and actually one of the most versatile pieces I own.  My last post was about the economy of style.....and how timely that my sister sent me a clip of an article she read about the cost of clothes being on the rise.  According to this report, the price of cotton has gone up 150%.  I don't recall if the email she sent me explained what caused this increase.  It also stated that the price of clothing will go up this season an average of 15%.  Sweet Sister sent me this info under the subject heading "Even more reason to thrift/vintage shop".  She went with me thrift shopping a few weeks ago and we had a FABULOUS time!

Another financial related item that I meant to mention on my last post is that I decided to take down and withdraw from Google Adsense.  I've been watching my Adsense account and it might be up to about $15!  I read a while back on the FAQs of Adsense that one doesn't get paid until the account reaches $100.  Seriously?  At 1cent a click through, it might reach that in let's say........7 years!  I'm not a huge ModCloth fan.  Instead of vintage inspired, I'd just prefer to have the real thing.  I noticed that some of my google ads were for ModCloth; obviously not all; but some.  It got me to thinking, why should I have to wait to get paid by Adsense?  I'm sure they don't wait to get paid by the advertisers placed on my site.  So why should these companies benefit from my creativity, my content, and my blog when I can't even get paid from those benefits any time soon?  Would I let any advertiser place ads on my site and then set the terms of what they placed, when they placed and how and when they would pay me?  Then why am I allowing that from Google.  I just decided to pass.  If I never make a dime off my blog (and frankly, that's not why I'm blogging) then that's cool.  But as Gary Cooper said in The Fountainhead, his ideas are his property.  My blog may be humble, but my imagination is fertile and verdant and it's too "Serene", too distinctly ME for me to sell it off for a penny a click.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

~must be the monay!!

Dress: Vintage, Thrifted; Shoes: Steve Madden Thrifted; Belt:  Doncaster Tanner

Today, Angie of Fashion Me Blog, had an interesting post about the affordability and consumerism of fashion.  Laments Angie, ".It somehow bothers me that fashion equals consumerism. It shouldn't be like that...but how else should it be?  I want to keep on blogging but I don't want to be on the lookout for the next thing to buy!!!"  I get it!  As I'm perusing my favorite fashion mags, I'm seeing so many adorable and beautiful items.  It's difficult sometimes to reel yourself in.  But fashion magazines and designers have a stake in constantly changing fashions and styles.  What makes it acceptable for a longer skirt to be "current" one year only to be deemed a fashion faux pas the next?

Fashion is certainly about creativity; but let's  be realistic.  It's also very much about profit.  Fashion absolutely should NOT equal consumerism.  Personal style has nothing to do with how much or little money you spend.  I love Karla's Kloset and Sea of Shoes with a passion.  Seriously!   It's like Fantasy Island visiting their blogs.  EVERYTHING is just so beautiful!  But I'm not going to spend a house payment on a pair of YSL shoes.
In fact, I would wager that the average woman in Average Town, USA is not willing to spend that either.

But does that mean we can't have beautiful and unique clothes also?  I think not!  This is another reason why I thrift AND love vintage clothing.  I found that when I got all my clothes at an affordable department store; they were great, but I felt a bit like I was fashioned from a cookie cutter.  If I can't really afford the really high priced well made designer duds, then I don't want just anything.  I want to get the best quality, the most unique and lovely fabrics for the money I have to spend.  If I can pick up a D&G dress for $50; then YEAH BUDDY!  I'm all over it!  But if I have to settle for something else; I want it to be special and unique.....because I believe that's how  we all want to feel when we get dressed:  SPECIAL AND UNIQUE!

For some fabulous thrifting tips, check out My Edit.  She does a weekly feature called Thrift Thursdays and has some wonderful thrifting tips and guidelines.  I also think that she combines thrifting, current and vintage clothing flawlessly!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

~it's a LOVE thang!

Sweater:  Vintage Thrifted; Pants:  JCrew; Boots: had a long time, can't remember where I got them.
Before I started blogging; I really was not in to vintage clothing.  I didn't dislike it; I just never really thought about it.  When I was in HS, I wore a couple of sweaters that my stepmother had; but that was more out of necessity.  When my kids were much smaller, thrifting was done out of necessity and then of course, I was looking for things that looked new. I found, after I started blogging about my personal style that I gravitate toward vintage clothes.  The blogs that I seem to peruse and keep going back to feature alot of vintage wear.  I've mentioned before that I enjoy the quality of vintage clothes and the history.....that I'm sharing something that someone enjoyed before I owned it. 

This sweater is one of my most recent vintage finds.  Naturally, I was drawn to the black and white aspect of it; but when I tried it on, it was the graphic design that made me refuse to leave the store without it!  I've worn in about 3 times in the past couple of weeks!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

~back on my game!

Viuntage Thrifted skirt, inherited vest, Spiegel boots, husband's belt.....goofy look is pure Serene!

So with this outfit, I feel like I'm back on my game.  I absolutely felt like myself in this little ensemble.  I soooo appreciate all of the feedback from the last post.  I replied comment that one thing I really appreciated about all of the commenters is the candor.  Everyone was honest and I can't tell you how much I appreciate that.

It's wonderful to get complimemts, but I would much prefer just the truth (put really nicely, of course!).  One of the best ideas I heard was from Susan of Little Miss Fancie Pants.  I was bemoaning the shininess of my tights and she recommended NOT getting opaque (which is what I'm getting every time).  She also suggested just getting black tights and doubling up on them to give them a flatter finish.  BRILLIANT!  Bella, of Citizen Rosebud, was the most to the point...she said my outfit was a "no go" and then explained why she felt that way.  Actually, she very succinctly stated what I had been feeling.  It just did not have a long silouhette; it was too choppy.  A couple of others suggested wearing brighter tights.  I can see wearing lighter tights, which may have been what they meant. 

On a really cool positive note, I took my daughter today to get her prom dress.  First of all, they can be OUTRAGEOUSLY expensive!  $200 for a PROM DRESS?!?!?!  I don't think so!  We went to my trusty favorite, Celebrity Consignments, and she got an AMAZING Dolce & Gabanna dress for only $50!  That's right!  $50!!  It's beautiful and she looks beautiful in it!  It was a donation by Dionne Warwick.  Then we picked up a pair of Stuart Weitzman jeweled strappy gold sandals (donated by Queen Latifah) for only $25!!!  So $75 for a KILLER prom dress and shoes!  I LOVE IT!!  Can't wait to share the pictures, but that will have to wait till the end of next month.  Love to you all!  I have a day off tomorrow and plan to take full advantage!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

~On a fence

Leather Jacket and Dress: Thrifted  Vintage, altered dress   Shoes:  Thrifted  Belt:  Michael Kors

I recently purchased this dress at a local thrift store.   I fell in love with the pattern and decided it would look really cute cut much shorter and hemmed.  And while I still like it; to be honest; tights are a real sticking point for me.  I'm just not feeling tights, other than maybe black ones.  And even those irritate me because I can't seem to get them dull....they always seem to be shiny (aaaarrrggghhhh). 

So, as much as I really really like the dress/jacket combo; I just don't know how I'm feeling about the outfit as a whole.  Kind of doesn't feel like me.  Thinking about selling the dress....hmmmmm.....

Sunday, February 6, 2011

~Red Red Wine

ALL THRIFTED:  Vintage blouse and skirt (I altered), Stuart Weitzman heels, Tanner Sweater
This outfit came together the night before I wore it....I tried on and played around with a few different things and just fell in love with this.  It's so lady like.  It also makes me realize that I don't have NEAR enough red!  It's such a good color for me and yet I rarely wear it....I only own a couple of red things. 

My daughter is looking for a prom dress and sent me a picture last night while she was shopping with her dad, of a couple of dresses.  They both looked beautiful on her!  But she made a comment that struck a chord with me.  She was saying that she just wasn't sure about a dress that she really really liked. I said, "Just get what you like and forget about it".  To that, she replied, "But I want everybody else to like it!"  OH. MY. GOSH!!!  How many times have I dressed and especially blogged the same way?  To please others.  In search of compliments.  To fit in.  But that's not what style is about.  It's about taking the biggest risk of all.....just being YOU!

Friday, February 4, 2011

~color me bad!

Princess sleeves and stacked bracelets...the swirly ones were my mom's that she had for as long as I can remember, the 4 smooth ones are silver that I picked up at a flea market and the turquiose is one I bought for myself a few years ago in Black Mtn, NC.

One of the things I love about vintage clothes is that there was so much attention to detail, even in the most mundane garments.  This is a Totes rain coat probably early 80s, I'm guessing.  But look at the details...the mandarin quilted collar, the princess sleeves and the front pockets.  The color is spectacular! 

One thing I'm working on for myself is to try to style myself in the manner that I'm drawn to.  I've said it before, I just love that easy dressing it's not TOO made up.  I love the throw on and go look without too much fussiness.  Reading a wonderful book called The Power of Style by Annette Tappert.  I've had it for years and this is the second time I've read it cover to cover.  It's a compilation of mini bios of women like Coco Chanel, Elsie DeWolfe, Diana Vreeland and more.  Seems like what all of these women had in common was a sense of self and willingness to follow their passions.  They didn't follow trends, they SET them.  I love that about them and want to bring more of that into my own life!  Is there something you love (fashion wise) or wear that you feel like you're the only one on the planet that "gets" it; but you just don't care you love it so much?  Asking myself the same thing...seems like we should all have ONE style item that we're willing to be seen as foolish over because we LOVE it so much!

JACKET:  Thrifted Totes


SHOES:  Kenneth Cole (hand me down from friend)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

~my Alicia Keys skirt....

Looks like I'm channeling Gloria Swanson's swan song at the end of Sunset Boulevard!  Creepy look on my face!

To weather the cold

This is my Alicia Keys skirt!!!  I got it at my favorite consignment store that I mentioned earlier.  It's called Celebrity Consignments and from what I'm told, certain celebrities donate some of their clothes and then the proceeds go to local youth programs.  I'd been watching this skirt since the first day I walked into the store almost 2 years ago.  I just loved it so's gathered at the hem for a bit of ballooning and really fitted in the waist.  It's a Vera Wang "Simply Vera" and when I asked the woman at the store who donated it, she looked it up and said it was donated by Alicia Keys.  At Christmas time, I got it for half off and it was a STEAL!  This is only the second time I've worn it and to be quite honest, as much as I love it, I'm a bit afraid of it.  It's ALOT of skirt and I almost feel like I don't know exactly what to wear with it.  I'm stuck on black and white.  But there I go again with RULES!  My favorite looks that I see on others have no rules.....note to on that narrow rules thing.

Yesterday, I made a chili from a recipe that I got from Adiaphane's blog.  You absolutely HAVE to try has coco powder and coffee in it.  I excluded the beer and the brown sugar because I try to avoid useless's how I keep my girlish figure (wink wink)!  Don't wait till the weekend.  Make this chili TODAY!!!  It's AMAZING!


SKIRT:  Celebrity Consignment