NOTHING TO WEAR

Has this ever happened to you? You walk into (or look into) a closet full of clothes and say, “I have nothing to wear?”  If you are like most women, it has happened more than once.  There can be a variety of reasons for this. Sometimes it is just the mood we are in. Nothing in our closet seems to appeal to us.  Sometimes it is because we are feeling bloated or fat. (Do men ever think this way??? LOL)

In my case, for the most part, it just seemed to be that I could not figure out what to wear. I had cute pants, cute tops, cute sweaters, cute shoes, but nothing I tried on seemed to work. Especially if I were in a hurry…as in “we are going to a fancy party in one hour and I just realized the dress I wanted to wear is a little too snug in the stomach area, and I don’t really have time to try to pull something else together.”

Since I have started putting outfits together and documenting them BEFORE I actually need them, this problem has disappeared from my life for the most part. I am not naturally an organized, do-it-ahead-of-time kind of person, but I have learned to be better at it, because I have discovered that it saves a lot of stress in the long run.

I have to admit that I am still in the learning phase in many ways. Sometimes I have put on an outfit that I had documented a few months earlier, and immediately put it in the “what was I thinking?” category. But because I have put together a LOT of outfits by mixing and matching my stuff,  I can usually find something else without too much trouble.

For instance, I now have more that one dressy outfit in case I need it. I have found several inexpensive dresses  and of course, I can always wear my black pants if I am feeling fat or cold or if all my pantyhose have runs in them.

There are lots of ways you can document your outfits. The easiest way is to snap a quick photo in front of your full-length mirror. That way you will have it in your phone, and can access it easily.

PLEASE DO NOT TELL ME THAT YOU DO NOT HAVE FULL-LENGTH MIRROR.  It is 100% imperative to own one. No excuses. You can get one at WalMart for less than $10.00. Seriously, you can’t get dressed properly without looking in a mirror that shows the whole outfit, including shoes.

You can also just make descriptive notes on cards or in a notebook, take a picture of the outfit on a hanger or on the bed, or use an app on your phone that keeps track of everything in your closet (I will post on that another day).

I like pictures, but I also often use index cards when I am traveling. Each card lists everything (shoes, earrings, purse,etc) that makes up an outfit I like. I plan all the outfits I think I might need for whatever I will be doing. Helps with packing, and I use the cards to get dressed everyday when I am on a trip.  Might be too much for you, but it works for me!

The point is to find a system that works for you. I can promise you that know matter how much you think you will remember every item you used to make an outfit you loved, when the time comes to get dressed, and you are in a hurry, or stressed, you WILL NOT remember that the large black necklace looked better than the pearls, or that the red shoes were cuter than the black ones. Trust me on this.

You don’t have to do this all in one day. Just get started. The next time you put together an outfit that you really like, just make sure you document it in some way so that you can recreate it. If you keep doing this, you will soon have a lot of nice outfits to choose from.

Or you can take a day and style a lot of outfits at one time. Just try to do this when no one is home…and make sure you have some wine ready at the end of the day.  LOL

Good luck and have fun with this!

If you would like to see pictures of most of the outfits I have put together, click on the page for the category you would like to see. On a mobile device, click menu to access the pages. You can also follow me on Instagram @over50under20.

TBT #2 Sweater Girl

SWEATER GIRL

People over a certain age remember the phrase “sweater girl”.  If you are young or don’t remember, here is a definition:

A young woman, esp a movie actress or a model, with a notably attractive body,which she features by wearing tight and short clothing 

 Well, I am a sweater girl, but definitely not that kind. I would be embarrassed to tell you how many sweaters I own. I think I have one for every shade of every color in the rainbow.  You will probably notice that a LOT of my outfits are styled with cardigans. There is a reason for that….actually several reasons.
Have you noticed that a lot of dresses are sleeveless? I won’t say I would never wear a sleeveless dress, but have you also noticed that a lot of women in the fifty-plus category would prefer not to wear sleeveless dresses? If I had Michele Obama arms, I would probably not have so many sweaters.  Oh, never mind—I probably would, because I also have what you might call a muffin top, or thick waist or belly fat, and I am vain enough to try to disguise it; hence the sweaters. My sweaters are my security blanket. But they do add color!

Here are some photos. I have posted them before, but I think when you see these you will realize why I am a sweater girl!

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And here are some “sweater outfits”. You have seen most or all of them before, but not at the same time! And these are just a fraction of the colors that I have.  I have collected them from everywhere…The Loft, Old Navy, WalMart, Target,etc.  Whenever I see a color I don’t have, I buy it. Believe it or not, I still need a few more.  I actually do not have brown, but I am on the lookout for it! 😉

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K Mart shirt

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Some of you, no doubt, are nice and trim and very well-proportioned. Maybe you don’t need to hide your middle or your arms.  Great!  But you still need COLOR and ACCESSORIES and CUTE SHOES. And you still need to wear clothes that fit and flatter, and are the correct length.

The rest of us need to figure out a look that flatters our figure. The purpose of all these posts is so that you will see that you do not have to have a perfect figure. You do need to figure out a look that flatters YOU. I promise you that if you work on it long enough, you will find ways to make your body look proportional. Hey, maybe you would look good in a belt and cardigan. 🙂

Try stuff on! Take pictures! Have a friend give honest opinions!

See you next time. Remember, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to look good.

SHOPPING TIPS

If you are a regular reader, you know that I love to shop, but I don’t like to spend a lot of money. You also know that I follow other fashion bloggers, and that I learn a lot from them.  Today I am going to share (with her permission) some great tips from one of my favorite bloggers from When the Girls Rule  Here is what Julia wrote (slightly edited for length);  I have added a few thoughts of my own, which are in italics.

FIRST, you’re going to have to make more time to shop for yourself and to try things on. No longer can you run into a store on the way to picking up the kids. You can’t wait for the day before a big event to shop. You can’t just shop on your lunch hour. I know it’s hard to find more time in the day, but you’re going to have to give yourself more time to try on lots of items and try out many stores and brands. I would also strongly suggest that you NOT take your husband or kids…maybe a close friend or relative who is willing to help you. Just make sure you take turns…one day for you, one day for her. Don’t try to shop for both people on the same trip. As you gain more experience and confidence, you will be better off going by yourself. (Fewer distractions)

SECOND, expect to take lots of items into the dressing room and come out with one or none. Try them all on. And try on things that you think  probably won’t work, or are outside your comfort zone. If a certain style looks terrible, you will know not to try it again. But sometimes you will be surprised!  Give yourself time to try everything on. Look at yourself with that item on and notice what you like and what you don’t. Think color, fit, length, etc. I will easily take 30 items into a dressing room and come out with one or two. Just expect that outcome and adjust your expectations. Just think of yourself as a rare jewel and only rare items of clothing will be worthy to drape the jewel!

THIRD, now take the item home and try it on with what you already have. Were you under a spell in the dressing room? Do you already have the shoes or accessories to go with it? If you don’t are you willing to purchase them?  If not, just take it back! Otherwise those purple pants will just stay in your closet for years. 😉 Is it comfortable? Are you tugging or adjusting it a lot? Again, if so, take it back.  You will not wear something that is uncomfortable more than once no matter how cute it is.  Try it on with lot of items you already own, because sometimes there are some unexpected, positive combinations already there. And take pictures…even just with your cell phone in front of a mirror. If you find a great combination, it will help you to remember it; also helps you see if it really is flattering or NOT. Experiment with colors that you don’t normally put together…blue and brown, red and pink, yellow and black, whatever.You might make a really stunning outfit that way. Don’t try to match everything, unless you are going for a purely monochromatic look.

FOURTH, until you become familiar with a brand and their sizing, don’t order online. When you figure out a brand and their sizing, then it will be fine, and you can shop all you want online.

FIFTH, go to a store that has lots and lots of choices. You will have much better odds of finding something. Think Macy’s, Belk, Ross, TJ Maxx, or any store where you have a huge selection and good prices. 

SIXTH, and most important, when you’re in the dressing room and you try on something that doesn’t work, repeat to yourself, “It’s not me. It’s the clothes.”

I would also like to add that you should ALWAYS save your receipts, and DON’T REMOVE THE TAGS, until you are 100% sure you are going to wear the item. I have returned some items months after purchase.

I know we would all like to thank Julia for these great tips!

If you would like to read her original blog post, it is here:

Four Tips for Successful Shopping for Apple Shapes!

Happy Shopping!

 

TBT #1 How Not to Look Frumpy

Skinny jeans, coral sweater, coral print top

frump-y   (of a woman or her clothes) dowdy and old-fashioned. Synonyms: dowdy, frumpish, unfashionable, old-fashioned, drab, dull, shabby, scruffy.     Powered by Oxford Dictionaries   Oxford University Press

I hope that does not describe you! We are all guilty of looking frumpy at times, but it should not be an everyday thing. No one needs to look that way on a regular basis. No matter what size, shape, or age you are, you do not have to look  drab, dull, homely, old-fashioned, or shabby.

I learned to dress in more flattering styles by reading blogs and fashion magazines, watching makeover shows, and photographing myself in the mirror with my iPhone. There is nothing like seeing a picture of yourself to see what kind of an impression you are making!

This started several years ago when I was packing for a vacation. I was having a hard time deciding what to pack, because I really did not want to see bad pictures of myself. My husband likes to take a lot of vacation pictures, and I dreaded seeing bad ones, so I got the bright idea to photograph outfits ahead of time to make sure they looked okay.

One reason I dreaded seeing them was that whenever I see a bad picture, I never wear that outfit again! Maybe that’s why I like to buy inexpensive clothes.

I can’t believe I am doing this, but hopefully these bad pictures will help you. Here are some example of ways to look frumpy.  Do NOT copy them!

Wear clothes that are not flattering and show your figure flaws:

Frumpy clothes, unflattering

Wear clothes that are old-fashioned looking and too long:

Frumpy dress, unflattering clothes

Wear shirts that are too small with boxy jeans:

Frumpy, shirt too small, jeans, unflattering clothes

Wear unflattering shirts AND wrinkled clothing:

Frumpy clothing, unflattering, shorts

I could post a lot more (like some of my old vacation photos), but that’s all I can stand to look at for now! I hope you get the idea.

You can look frumpy if you wear clothes that are too big, or too small, or that have been in your closet since the last century. Don’t laugh…I know you have something from 1999 hiding somewhere in the back…hopefully hiding in the back and not set out on a chair to wear to work tomorrow!

Thanks for stopping by, and don’t forget to subscribe by email if you would like to receive notice of posts that way.

A FEW CHANGES

Dear Readers,

Thanks so much for reading my posts and for following me! I feel like I have made new friends, and have become a part of a very supportive community. People who comment on fashion blogs (not just mine) are so positive and encouraging, and it is great to see women supporting each other. I love the way we can be honest with each other without being mean. It really is helpful to get honest feedback!

I have been doing some thinking about how I have been doing as a blogger, and have decided to make a few changes. I hope they will be for the better. Please let me know if they are not. 🙂

FIRST…I have figured out that I am not going to be that person who posts three or more times a week. I have done it in spurts, but can’t seem to do it consistently. That is not fair to those of you who follow me. You deserve to know what to expect.  I have been blogging since May of 2016, and if I haven’t been able to post consistently by now, there’s a good chance I’m not going to! HOWEVER, I do think I can manage one new post a week, so I am making a commitment to post every Sunday night.

SECOND….I realize that new readers often ask questions about things I have already blogged about, so I am going to make it easier for people to read some of the “old stuff.”  Every Thursday, I will publish one of my previous posts. If you have been following me for awhile, you can skip the Thursday posts, or re-read if you want to.

THIRD….One of my favorite ways to find inspiration for outfits is to read other fashion blogs. I found myself wishing that I could just scroll through pictures of outfits without having to do a lot of searching, so I am going to incorporate that idea into my blog.  I will now have separate PAGES for different types of outfits, so you can just look through the photos if you want to. Those will be up sometime this week. The only one that is active now is DON’T DO THIS. 😉

FOURTH…..I am going to eliminate the 100 Black Pants page. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but I’m not making much progress on it, and truthfully am a little bored with the idea. It will be up for a few more days if you really want to check it out.

Thanks for sticking with me and for being such a great group of supporters! I really believe that we are learning from each other. I appreciate your feedback, and I love hearing how you are trying new things and putting outfits together.

See you next Sunday, or join me for the first Throwback Thursday post this week.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you!