Tag Archives: resolutions

Love: A Patterened Interview with Melissa

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As you all know by now, my interpreter day job means I spend most of my life in various shades of black, gray, and white so I don’t have much experience in the mixing and matching department. When I ran across Melissa from A Working Mom’s Closet, I was so fascinated by her use of prints and bright colors that I spent my lunch hour pouring over her blog. When I asked her to share some of her knowledge with all of you, she very kindly agreed to be interviewed and the following is the result. :)

Do you have any ‘rules’ for mixing prints?

I haven’t done a whole lot of pattern mixing but the times that I have, my thoughts are to keep the patterns within the same color family, or keep one of them black and white and only add in one other color. It also helps to use accessories as one or both of the patterns. A belt or leopard print shoes or scarf can go a long way to adding some pizazz with an extra pattern!
What do you look for when buying printed pieces?
Mostly just prints that appeal to me. I don’t have a standard print that I really like, as some others do. Some people really like stripes or polka dots or florals or abstracts…I like them all. It depends on what catches my eye and if the color scheme is suited for my coloring. I will intentionally look for certain things that seem to be trending, like the stripes and polka dots, but generally it’s just whatever is pretty. :)

What does your closet look like? Do you put all your prints together or keep outfits together?
I organize my closet according to type of clothing. Dresses, arranged by sleeve length, then skirts, then cardigans/jackets, then long-sleeved shirts and sweaters, then short-sleeved tops and then tanks and camis. I don’t keep outfits together because I don’t usually pick them out until I wake up in the morning!
You’re also an expert at layering, how do you build complete outfits?
Ooooh…I’ve never been called an expert at anything! Thanks! :) It depends, really. Sometimes I’ll start with a basic piece like a dress or skirt and go from there, deciding which top would look best with it, if I need another layer underneath for warmth or if I want to throw another color in there for fun. I wear a LOT of cardigans, plus there’s the fact that my boss has issues with anyone showing too much in the chestal region (not just cleavage, but anything in the chest area at all!) so I have lots of camis and tanks to layer underneath.
I try very hard not to wear the same outfit twice, unless it’s one that made me feel really good, so I consider it a challenge to come up with new ways to wear the same piece (which for me only happens with layers or accessories). I have one piece that I’ve worn as a skirt the way it was made, but also as a tunic and as a tube top to work – with a blazer! Blazers and cardigans can make almost anything work-appropriate.

What are the go to pieces in your wardrobe?
My purple dress (that I desperately wish I could buy in every single color but so far haven’t found any more like it!), my black dress, my black rosebud boots and pretty much any of my belts and cardigans. I wear belts and cardigans ALL the time. It’s almost absurd how often I wear belts. I think I might have a problem.
What inspires your unique style?
Belts and cardigans. :) Honestly, reading blogs has been incredibly inspiring to me. Before I ever knew style blogs existed, I never wore skirts or dresses and thought belts were ridiculous. Now you can’t get me to wear pants much and I have LOTS of belts! It’s through all of these friends I’ve met through blogging that I’ve been inspired to push my boundaries, try new things and thus figure out what *my* style is. I’m a belter, a layerer and a cardigan/jacket/dress girl. I love wearing at least one color, usually more and would like to venture more into pattern mixing territory. I haven’t done that enough or at least not bravely enough.

Anything else you’d like to say?
Thank you for interviewing me! I’m incredibly flattered that anyone would be interested in my answers to these questions. I hope I’ve been able to help someone push their own boundaries to find their personal style, too!

Friend Friday: Body Image and Blogging

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1. Since you started blogging has your image of yourself changed?
I don’t think it’s changed so much as become more defined. Having a daily fashion blog means talking about fashion a lot more than I ever have, and in all that talking, I’ve started to develop a better language for describing  my own style.
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?
I’ve gained about 20 pounds over the last year and my body has morphed into this entirely different shape that I never thought I’d have. Pretty much everything in my closet doesn’t fit anymore, and the stuff that DOES still fit fits completely differently. For a couple months now it’s felt like every time I try something on, I’m either throwing it out or figuring out a different way to wear it. It sucks, and for awhile it made me super self-conscious until my mom gave me the best advice. Whatever is going on with my fashion sense, I talk about it in the blog, nothing is going to be solved by hiding things. Plus, I feel like it’s important to the community that we keep an open, honest dialogue about the fact that we’re not all perfect.
3. Based on how you are feeling now, what do you think the future holds in the evolution of your body image?
I’ve never been ‘curvy’, but now I’ve got these hips and boobs and an ass that pretty much came out of nowhere. I feel like I’m redefining myself as more of a Marilyn and less of a Twiggy.
4. Do you photograph yourself for your blog? If so, how do you feel about the experience when you’re having your picture taken? If you choose not to post pictures of yourself,

what prompted that decision?
I hate taking the pictures, it’s such a struggle to set up the camera, put on the 10-second timer, run over and try to pose and I feel like all my backgrounds are boring and uninspired. But I love the pictures themselves, the camera shows me things a mirror just can’t, the first time I ever felt ‘curvy’ was in the leopard skirt photo I took for the blog. I’m trying to come up with better ways to snap the photos, but for now I’m doing the best I can.
5. What would you want every person who struggles with body image to take to heart?

I was the stereotypical model size 0-2 for years and in real life, it just scared people more than anything. My boyfriend at the time told me he was afraid to break me, and my freshman roommate would listen outside the door because she thought I was bulimic, and I answered questions about my weight a dozen times a week. In short, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Embrace what you’ve got, work on healthy ways to change what you can’t stand, and then move on with life because there’s so much going on outside the mirror.

Want to read more answers? Check out ModlyChic, the home of FBFF!

Love: Shoeper Shoe Challenge

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When I saw Kristin Marie had joined the Shoeper Shoe Challenge, I knew I had to do it as well!

If you haven’t heard of the Shoe Challenge, it’s a mission to dig in your closet, find all your shoes, and wear every pair over the course of a year. It’s a risky endeavor: any pair you don’t wear has to find a new home.

More info and shoe pics after the break…

Read the rest of this entry

Love: Fabulous in February

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The wonderful lady behind A Working Mom’s Closet has posted a challenge… to say three positive things about yourself every Monday in Feburary. The goal is to hold off winter blues and get a little positivity and self love happening around the blogosphere. At first this may not sound like a challenge at all, but most of us grew up in a culture where it’s not nice to say nice things about yourself. So, at the risk of sounding like an egomaniac, and defying culture norms, here are my first three things:

1. I love that I’m tall

I can see over people and things, my students never complain that they can’t see me when I interpret, and I can reach the top shelf of stores all by myself. I get comments pretty much every week about why tall girls shouldn’t wear heels (“aren’t you tall enough??”) but heels make me feel sexy and while my height might be a problem for other people, it’s never been for me.

2. I love my hair


I’ve put my hair through the wringer (and the bleacher, the flat ironer, and the hairdryer) and it still loves me back and behaves well. It’s been every color of the rainbow and changes nearly as often as my moods, but in a world where plain black clothes are the norm, hair is my little indulgence in self-expression.

3. I love my eyes

My eyes look just like my dad’s, the same dark brown and the same long lashes (and those lashes got me a modeling gig with Sebastian Trucco when I was younger!). For years, Brown Eyed Girl has been my favorite song, and while I played around with colored contacts for a bit, I just don’t feel right when brown eyes aren’t looking back at me in the mirror.

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So that’s it, there are my three positive things put out into the universe. Post your own at A Working Mom’s Closet!

Love: Accepting the Inevitable

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I have a confession to make: between grad school, work, family craziness, boy issues and just general keeping busy, I haven’t been taking very good care of myself lately and it’s starting to show. I complained to my mom all winter break about how things weren’t fitting like they used to and how I was going to start hitting the gym hard the second I got home and never eat again. Until she offered a different solution that was so simple I’d never thought of it.

If your pants don’t fit, buy bigger pants.

Now, this might seem like the slacker’s way out, I’m sure the little personal trainer in all of us is squealing in rage, but here’s the thing: I was wear pants I’d bought in undergrad, long before I hit 20-something and my hips and boobs started to come in full force, the fact is I can starve myself all I want, I’m NEVER going to be the size I was as a freshman again. And that’s okay.

Yesterday bit the bullet and bought pants in a size I’d never even tried on before – and they fit! I didn’t have to pull, tug, lay down, suck in, or reposition anything, they just. fit. It was like a miracle!

So here’s to giving ourselves a little grace, accepting what we can’t change, and (sometimes) buying bigger pants.

Friend Friday: Blogger Mechanics

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1. What technology do you use in blogging? (computer, camera, video camera, tripod, etc…)

Macbook Air, Macbook, Sony digital camera, Droid phone (for snapping quick pictures). I need to buy a tripod so I can take better pictures (balancing my camera on the edge of the counter is just not cutting it :P).
2. What computer and online technology do you use? (blogging system, photo storage, photo editing tools, etc..)

I use wordpress.com but I’m thinking about switching to .org this summer. Picasa to store my photos online and Twitter to communicate with other bloggers and the fashion community. Probably the most amazing online tool is Google (no seriously, how did people live before it?) I need to get some photo editing software for my Mac since the programs I have are only PC compatible from back before I saw the light.
3. What is your process for taking pictures?

It’s so bad right now! I balance my camera on the edge of my counter, put on the 10-second time delay and run over to the corner before the time runs out. Wow, I just admitted that. Seriously though, I don’t do a lot of outfit posts and I think part of the reason may be the lack of good places to take photos and the equipment necessary to do it right. I’d like to get a corner set up with a tripod and then I could just run over and snap a photo in the morning.
4. When it comes to backdrops for your photos what do you consider? Do you scout locations or shoot the same spot daily?

Right now I shoot in the same spot when I do outfit posts, but there’s about a foot of snow outside, so that has something to do with it. When it gets warmer out, I think it would be nice to shoot on the porch but I don’t see myself scouting locations or getting way into outfit posting. I love looking at other people’s, but it’s just not how my blog is progressing and I think that’s okay too :)
5. If you could splurge and get one new piece of equipment what would you be buying?

Some really decent photo editing software! Unfortunately it’s so crazy expensive I don’t see it happening anytime in the near future. Or a Louis Vuitton graffiti bag, that counts as equipment for a fashion blog, right? Right?

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Want to see how other bloggers responded? Check out all the answers at ModlyChic!

Friend Friday: Blog Comparison

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1. Have you ever looked at someone’s blog and thought yours will never measure up?
All the time, especially since I’m really just getting started! I see all the months and years of content and the amazing outfit of the day posts and all the connections people have in the industry and feel like I’m playing out of my league.
2. Do you (did you) feel pressure to meet some kind of undefined standard for fashion bloggers?
I did at first, but then I realized that the bloggers I love best are the ones who do their own thing.
3. Many established fashion bloggers are also extraordinary DIYers, bakers, and crafty people. Do you think you need to combine all of these things to be successful at blogging?
I don’t think you have to, but it does help. I’m a daily blogger, so if I didn’t have how-tos and lots of different interests to fill my posts, they would get repetitive pretty quickly! But successful writers come in all different shapes and sizes and I don’t think you can specify certain skills (aside from writing skills) as must haves.
4. The most successful blogs are the ones that have their own personal voice – how are you developing your voice or how did you find yours?
I’m new to blogging for others but I’ve been writing for a long time and had a lot of creative writing opportunities that encouraged me to find my voice. When I write, I usually put down the facts I want to say first (like an outline) and then start typing as if I was speaking to someone about the topic; I read my drafts out loud to make sure they sound natural and conversational. It takes two or three times, but I’m usually pretty happy with the end result :)
5. Toot your own horn… what’s one thing you do that is unique to you and your blog? What gives your blog an edge?
My most successful posts have been my how-tos. It’s funny because that was a type of post I was so afraid to do at first (how could I think I was an expert in anything?), but now I’m gaining confidence. I love that my posts actually help people and it’s even better when they leave comments with their results!

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Want to see what the other Fashion Friday bloggers have to say? Check out ModlyChic for a complete list :)

Friend Friday New Year’s Resolutions

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1. What’s the one thing you vow to learn or do in 2011 to improve your blog?

Start and complete 31 Days to Build a Better Blog, I’ve already bought it, so no excuses!
2. What did you learn about blogging in 2010 that you plan to put into practice next year?

Since I just started blogging for others this year, pretty much everything! I’ve started learning about SEO, widgets, intelligent commenting on other blogs,
3. Do you have any high-level goals for your blog in the coming year? Monetization? More comments? More connections with other bloggers? A new template?

I’ve been considering moving to a wordpress.org account so I can do some advertising and run some plug-ins I can’t on the more restrictive wordpress.com, but I have so much I need to learn before I do that!

4. If you could collaborate with one other blogger within your sphere of influence in 2011, who would you like to collaborate with, and what would you like to collaborate on?

Without a doubt, the brains behind What Would a Nerd Wear! Since I’m a grad student as well, I love the niche she’s found for her blog and I’m constantly going over to see what she’s wearing for inspiration. Since we’re both grad students, maybe we could work on a how-to guide for surviving grad school in style?
5. What do you plan to do to support other bloggers next year?

I try to get in touch with great bloggers and interview them, or mention them in posts to help share the traffic. Next year, I want to do some more intensive blogger support, maybe a blogger awards piece or something similar.

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Want to see more blogger’s resolutions? Check out Friend Friday at ModlyChic!