Fashion Confections: Defining Yourself

I am so thrilled today to introduce you to my friend, Keira, who will be posting here monthly. While she and I have a lot in common (I mean, that's part of why we can get along so well), the things I love most about Keira are all of the amazing qualities she has that I am sorely lacking: elegance, tact, grace, fashion sensibility... plus she is a fantastic decorator and a (practically) gourmet-but-healthful cook. So... pretty much everything I am NOT, yet dream of being. :) Give her a warm welcome!

Hello, I'm Keira. I’m not a girl who always has her nose in a fashion magazine. You can often find me (after the birth of my son) in jeans and the occasional pair of flip-flops. I do not wear a lot of make up, nor have I ever spent more than fifteen minutes on my hair (with the exception of high school dances and my wedding day). These articles are about practical, applicable fashion. Natural beauty and elegance.

In case you need a visual, it’s not about this:

But more like this:

Since this series of articles are about fashion for the everyday woman, and the everyday woman is BUSY, each article is a bite-sized treat ("chic morsel") for the fashion-minded, but not necessarily the fashion-savvy, woman. :)

This series of articles contains the knowledge of basic fashion I wish I would have had when I was twelve years old to consult through my teenage years and early adulthood. Although it may be very rudimentary knowledge to some, I hope everyone can benefit from a little bit of wisdom imparted in this and upcoming articles.

To truly know one's self is to be elegant. Therefore, let us start with defining what you are and who you want to convey, since your dress should reflect (among many things) your personality. What kind of person are you? Do not just ask yourself—ask your partner, best friend, sister, or mother. It’s always a fun experiment to try. :) Some examples:

Obviously, the styles you choose, the colors you wear, and the patterns presented are going to say a bit about your personality. Like it or not, most judge a book by its cover. So since you have defined a little of who you are, what do you want to say about yourself?

This is one example: my sister-in-law is an artist. She is brave, comedic, young, loud, artsy, and prefers to be comfortable. The outfits and bright colors she chooses to wear reflect that. A perfect metaphor for her personality is that she has a beloved pair of bright yellow Converse shoes. Are YOU a bright yellow personality? Are you a "sneaker" girl? Do you enjoy "grown-up dress up" and find occasions (i.e. church) to do so?

All colors and patterns (even loud ones) have their place. But there are more appropriate times to wear your chosen outfits--for example, though it may be your favorite color, "you don't wear white to a wedding". Timing is everything. Think about the event as well as your "message". Some examples of different messages clothing can send are below:

* The color white, in general, can be formal (think: wedding dresses, button-up shirts), and often shows others that you are very clean (unless you spill your spaghetti on it, in which case you can be misconstrued as very dirty :).

* Animal prints are rather bold and sassy. They are very modern as well, going in and out of fashion often. If you choose to wear them, you will have to keep up-to-date on the latest trends to make sure you aren't committing a faux pas.

* Lace has a tipping point (and the same idea applies to embroidery). A little accent of lace can add a feminine touch, but too much lace can make you seem like a walking doily. Remember those? Probably used in your grandmother's home? If you don't want to look like a grandmother (or great-grandmother), use lace wisely.

Example of a doily, in case your grandma was cooler than mine. :)

* Bright, primary colors are often worn by bold, artistic people (see example above!), and children. Determine if you are that kind of person, and even if you're not, you may find an occasion that it may be "you".

* You have probably heard that black is best. In most scenarios, that is completely true. Black is the color of professionalism and being chic, and the saying IS true that black is slimming. A little black dress truly IS a girl's best friend, when it is picked with care and suits the body well. The only occasion black may not be what you are looking for is when everyone else is wearing it, and you'd like to stand out from the crowd. This is true of most cocktail parties, social gatherings, and balls. Black is a safe, common color, which can be your ally or enemy.

* Think about your lifestyle (stay at home mommy? professional businesswoman?) as you choose your clothes. I love high heels, personally, but since I'm a stay at home mom without a car, I rarely want to walk in high heels to get somewhere, however beautiful they look. :)
Defining yourself and your style is the first step to creating or altering your closet to match you. Be sure to read the next article: "Accenting Your Unique Body Shape".

Thanks for reading!


Debra said...

What a great first post!

Gwen @ Gwenny Penny said...

Neat series! I wear a whole lot of brown and gray. Jeans every day. The thought of a dressy occasion gives me the hives:)

Megan Harmeyer said...

Glad to have you, Keira! You had me at Audrey! :) I think I'm going to enjoy your posts - and I'm especially looking forward to the next one!

Keira Scholz said...

Aw! A fellow Audrey fan! I just love her! Thanks for the warm welcome, everyone. :)

elizabeth @ twelvecrafts said...

Imagine my surprise when I saw that exact blue dress that I have in my closet in that first picture. In fact, I wear my hair and make up like that pretty much once and week. ;)

Jocelyn Christensen said...

Black is good...but only with color near the face...unless black is "your color" then go for it...but I can't wear black...although I used to...EVERY DAY!

Tera said...

I'm excited! Great post.

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