JEANS FIVE: Brown Belt

This is the last post in the series of how I styled my new jeans by using different accessories.  None of the outfits in this series is “perfect.” There is no such thing. They are all outfits I would feel good about leaving the house in, and that is my goal.

It is easy to get discouraged and think that you will never be able to come up with something that looks good and is inexpensive. BUT….that is not true. I felt that way when I wrote my posts LOSERS and BLAH, BLAH, BLAH.

But all it took was a new pair of $12.99 jeans and a couple of hours of trying on clothes for me to get my mojo back. You can do it! Just don’t be afraid to try new things, and don’t be afraid to add some bling.

You might make some mistakes. Actually, you will make some mistakes. But this is not a life-or-death thing we are talking about here!  There is no Great Fashion Judge who is going to give you a failing grade. If you try, you WILL make progress.

You will learn from every mistake. And some of my “mistakes” were better than what I was doing before I started trying.

Okay, enough nagging.  Here is what I did using some brown stuff:

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The belt is the same. I just turned it around so the animal print would show.

And speaking of making mistakes, here is an outfit that I wouldn’t wear out of the house. But hey, five out of six is not bad! 😉

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Here are all the looks in the series:

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Which one do you like the best?

I’ll be back soon with something that ISN’T jeans. I would love for you to subscribe so you won’t miss any of my nagging!

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JEANS TWO: Anatomy of an Outfit

In my previous post, I showed you my new jeans, and the process I used to put together an outfit.  I am continuing that theme today, and again, I will use photos from beginning to end, so you can see the steps involved.

Isn’t this cute?  HAHA  I actually saw a lady in the store today with almost this same look, except she had even MORE fat rolls. 🙂   🙂 Don’t do this!

Now I look like I am wearing a red blanket:

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Faking a waist helps somewhat:

Pulled it all together with a scarf:

 

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I hope someone is learning something from all my humiliation of myself!

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NEW JEANS

In my last post, I showed you how I tried to make some outfits, but they were all blah, which made me feel blah.  I am feeling much better today. Why?  Because I bought new jeans. Yes, it sounds ridiculous! But a new pair of jeans did wonders for my mood.  I have lots of clothes and probably did not need new jeans, but in my mind, I did, because I wanted boot-cut jeans to go with my high heel boots.

So off I went to find just the right pair, thinking it would be a time-consuming ordeal, and probably expensive. But guess what? I found them at the first store I went to….my go-to place for inexpensive clothing and costume jewelry…CATO. 🙂

AND they were less than $20.00.  I got jeans and a belt for $14.99.  YAY!

I decided to use the jeans to do a series on using accessories. Of course, these will be a visual lessons 😉

Before I started on my “fashion journey,”  I pretty much considered an outfit to be pants and a top, or a dress. It never occurred to me that you could add things like sweaters, jackets, or belts. And I might have worn whatever jewelry I happened to have, but certainly did not change accessories for different outfits.

The outfit I am wearing today is pretty basic, but it does look like an outfit, not just jeans and a top.  Here are the steps I took to get there:

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I started with the jeans and a white top, then added a jacket. Still not right, so kept going and added a belt.

That wasn’t quite enough, so finished up with necklace, bracelet and earrings:

Now I am good to go!  Much better than the blah outfit from last week:

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I’ll be back soon with more “experiments in style.”  I would LOVE for you to subscribe, and don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @over50under20.

 

BLAH BLAH BLAH

As I told you in my last post, my main reason for publishing this blog is to help you look better if you want to look better. I would really like to inspire you. HOWEVER—

yesterday I decided to take some photos to show how to make a plain outfit look better with accessories. Great idea, and I will try again another day. But for that purpose, the photos I took did not do that. When I looked at the pictures, I realized that everything looked BLAH.

The outfits looked blah, my hair looked blah, the lighting was blah. BLAH BLAH BLAH.

When I sat down to edit the pictures and write the post, I just started feeling BLAH. How could these photos possibly inspire anyone?? It’s not that I couldn’t go out of the house wearing these clothes, it’s just that they were not out of the ordinary in any way, and were not particularly flattering.

Here is what I thought when I saw them:

I gained weight over the holidays, I need a haircut, something is wrong with my camera (true–see the line across my head), indoor shots look terrible, etc. etc. etc. 

I was going to delete all the photos and start over, but since I long ago lost any reluctance to show you bad pictures, I decided instead to publish the pictures, analyze them, and learn from them; that way you can learn along with me. You might not be inspired by a picture of a cute outfit, but you might learn some things NOT to do when trying to put one together.

I know this is very similar to the post I did called LOSERS.  I should have read that one again before I put my outfits together! Sometimes I am a slow learner.

Here goes:

What can I say? Bad, bad, bad. The color of this top is hideous, and the clingy shape and length “helps” to emphasize my chunky look.  HA Not what I was going for!

A little better, but the color is still ugly. I did tuck the shirt in and wear a belt after this, (sorry no photo) which helped, but it is still pretty blah.

Okay, WHY WHY WHY did I not take my own advice??? I had said I was NOT going to wear leggings with a tunic unless it was long. I look like I forgot to put pants on.

Same. Changing out the scarf for a necklace did not help. 😉  (This is why you take pictures. In the mirror, the tunic looked long enough.)

At least the red scarf draws attention to the top of the outfit, but I still look like I forgot my pants. And I OBVIOUSLY have no waist at all! Very true, but I try not to emphasize that.

Thanks for sticking with me. I hope you learned something. I hope I learned something!

LOSERS

Several days ago, I posted that I was going out to finish my Christmas shopping. I am happy to report that I was successful in that mission! But guess what? When I was shopping for others, I could not resist the urge to shop for myself also. My goal was to photograph some nice outfits and publish a few posts before Christmas. HA

For whatever reason, the things I came home with were just not good when I saw them in the photographs.  And I hate that, because with all the extra things I have to do for the holidays, it is hard to find time to try on clothes and take pictures. Since I really didn’t have time to start over,  I decided to do a “Trial and Error” post. The things you see in this post have all been returned.

I won’t try to analyze what is wrong with these outfits, but they are just not right. I will say that I need to take my own advice and not wear leggings unless with long tunics or dresses. The camera does not lie.  😉

Maybe Santa will bring me some pretty clothes. If he does, I will get back to you after Christmas with outfits that look better than these. I know I can do better!

Happiest of holidays to all of you. I will be back soon after Christmas. 🙂

P.S.  My Facebook account was hacked, and I changed my password. Since then, my blog posts have not been showing up there, so unless you are a subscriber, you have missed a few. I will work on trying to fix that, but so far haven’t figured it out. Another little job that will have to wait until after Christmas!

 

 

LET’S GO SHOPPING

Today is the day I have set aside to finish my Christmas shopping. Wish me luck! Even though it is a rainy day that would perfect for staying home with a good book, I am on my way out. Most of my shopping has been done online, but I still need to visit some actual stores to finish up. I love to buy at the local shops, and our town has some really great small stores that have unique items. Even though my adult children give me lists of what they want (I guess they still believe in Santa LOL) I always like to add a few surprises.

My outfit is just jeans, boots, and a top, but the red color makes it seem a little festive. I will probably meet a friend for lunch, so am wearing more than my usual shopping outfit of a hoodie and jeans.

Also wanted to show you the cute fringed purse. Not sure is it exactly right for this outfit, but I will eventually find something to go with it. It is one of my super-cheap Wish.com purchases, so only need to use it a few times to get my $6.00 worth of wear.  😉

The top is actually just one piece. I love that, because I don’t like wearing bulky stuff.

Hope you have finished all your shopping! Thanks for stopping by, and don’t forget to subscribe. That would be an awesome gift to me from you!

And please follow me on Instagram @over50under20

See you soon. 🙂

 

 

PARTY TIME

Long ago, when I was growing up in a small town in Alabama, the week before Christmas and the week after Christmas were very social times. As a teen and young adult, I attended many functions during these two weeks. You have probably never heard of a “tea dance” or a “sherry party,” but they were very popular, as were afternoon teas, and cocktail parties. I remember attending at least 5 or 6 parties a year during these two weeks.

My, my, my, how times have changed! Maybe some of you still attend cocktail parties, but I can’t remember the last time we got an invitation to one. I know it has been at least ten years ago.

Something that I really miss is attending parties after Christmas. Nowadays, most people do something on New Year’s Eve, but it is rare to go to a holiday party after December 25. In the old days, the “Christmas season” began no earlier than 10 days before Christmas, and continued until New Year’s Day.

I am sure that there are many communities that have other traditions and customs for getting together during the holidays, but in my town, it seems that just getting together with friends for dinner or going out to dinner is the main holiday social activity. Once in awhile, we get invited to an actual party, but it is rare.

That is fine with me. The last thing I want to do is get all dressed up for an office party, or a stand around in high heels and make small talk at a cocktail party.

The outfit I am showing you today is what I wore to a small dinner party with friends. This is about as dressy as I will get this year!

I don’t usually like to show pictures of my rear, but just had to show you what the back of this cute top looks like (ignore the tag ;-):

Whatever your holiday plans are, make sure you dress in something that makes you feel beautiful! You will have a lot more fun if you look nice. Take time to try on a few things and snap some selfies in the mirror. I can promise you that you have something in your closet that will look great if you take time to figure it out.

Thanks for stopping by.  I would love to hear your comments about what kind of holiday activities you plan to attend this year, and what you plan to wear. I am very interested to see if other communities are more party-oriented.

LEGGINGS

Not too long ago, I wrote a post about wearing things as pants that are not actually pants–chiefly leggings. I showed you some photos of people who were wearing leggings in a most unflattering way! Here is a link if you missed that post and want to read it:

SOME THINGS ARE NOT PANTS

I have one more picture to share with you, just to make sure you know what I am talking about:

No, no, no, no, no.  Do NOT wear items like this outside your home!

Several of you commented and told me that you like to wear leggings, as do I. But there is a right way to wear them. They really need to be worn with a dress or a long tunic. I showed you several examples of dresses in the last post, so today I am showing you some tunic outfits.  So great for winter! And for disguising your midsection!

If you have read any of my posts, you know that I am big on trial and error, and like to share my trials with you, so that you won’t make the same mistakes. Here is an outfit that I tried, but as you can see, the sweater is too short to wear with leggings.  I will try it with some jeans or with a pair of black pants, but I promise you that I will not wear this out in public!

So learn from me, and wear a nice long tunic or a dress with your leggings. The general public will thank you for it.

By the way, the cute red tunic is from Walgreen’s, and I paid $10 for it.  😉 Did you know you can buy clothing at the drug store??? And the blue tunic is from Belk–$13. I really try not to spend more than $20 on any one article of clothing, unless it is something really special.

As always, I love to read your comments, so that I know my posts are not just disappearing into space somewhere. 😉

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GRAY DAY

Hello there, friends. Well, I did it. As I said in the last post, I returned the yellow print dress.  Most of you who commented on it thought that I should return it, and after reading your thoughts, I agreed.  You were kind enough to tell me the reasons why you thought the dress was not right for me, and you convinced me.

Valid observations included: the dress was too youthful, the color was not flattering, too bohemian, the leggings made my legs look short,and the long sleeves paired with the light fabric and print seemed confusing.

I must have had some of these thoughts going through my subconscious style filter, which is why I asked you to give me your opinions. Thank you! You saved me from going out in public in an inappropriate outfit. You told me all the things that people would have thought and said behind my back. 😉

I am most appreciative of your constructive criticism; having said that, there was still something about the dress that I really liked, so…..when I returned it, I exchanged it for a different color! I do like it better in the gray, and I hope you do too, but here’s the thing….everyone will not always like everything I wear (even I don’t like everything I wear) but I like it, so I am going to wear it.

I did take your suggestions to heart…I think this color is more flattering, it is more appropriate for the fall, and the dark leggings look better. All IMHO.

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Again, thanks for your help, and keep up the good work of finding your style. Don’t forget that the error part of TRIAL AND ERROR is the part we learn from.

And by the way, the dress was on sale when I returned it, which made it less than $20! Now I don’t have to feel guilty about breaking my rule.

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @over50under20 and don’t forget to subscribe.

 

STYLE JOURNEY

Hello Friends,

Today I want to talk a little bit about journeys.  Here is what the dictionary says :

  1. a traveling from one place to another, usually taking a rather long time
  2. passage or progress from one stage to another

Both of those definitions relate perfectly to style journeys. There are some people who have a natural talent for dressing well and looking stylish, but for most of us it is something that we need to learn, and sometimes that can take awhile; truthfully, there is always something new to learn, so the journey will really never end until we do. 😉

Even after we learn some basic “fashion rules” and apply them, we need to keep abreast of the latest styles, and incorporate at least some aspect of those styles into our outfits. Most of us do this subconsciously, but some of us are a little late boarding the train!

If you don’t think you do this, just look back at some of the fashions from previous decades, and you will realize that you no longer dress that way. (Hopefully!)

I have always wanted to dress well and look nice, but have not always succeeded. When I was in high school and college, I only wanted to wear what “everyone else” was wearing, and never thought about whether or not it complimented my shape.

As a newlywed, my clothing budget was minuscule, and back then there were not as many options for buying inexpensive clothing. The only places to buy clothes were the mall or a department store, so I was always just trying to make do with whatever I had.

As a young mother with three children, I was mostly about wearing what was comfortable since I didn’t get out of the house all that much except to hang out with other moms who were also all about comfort.

After the children left the house, I was more aware of style, but to be honest, we lived in Florida and I did not see a lot of style there. There were many retirees in our area, and they appeared to have retired from dressing stylishly. A lot of the other people I saw were on vacation and were wearing their beachy-looking outfits, even in the winter.  Even people who were not retired or on vacation just seemed to gravitate toward comfortable clothes that were okay….their clothes usually matched….but just didn’t seem inspired in any way.

Even the stores did not carry the same styles that were in other parts of the country. The only way to know what was currently stylish was to see it in a magazine or maybe pick up clues from watching TV.  Remember, this was before the days of internet, and there was no such thing as a blog.

After we left Florida, I began noticing that a lot of women in the Atlanta area looked really nice. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but many people looked like they had on outfits that were, well, just really cute….and not just young women. The older ladies really inspired me. They had STYLE and I wanted it.

So I started trying to learn. That was about eleven years ago, so you can see why the first definition of journey really fits well: a traveling from one place to another, usually taking a rather long time

I am still learning, and hope I will never stop learning. I do not consider myself an expert in any way (except maybe in how to wear sweaters and belts LOL), but I do believe that I dress better now than I did a few years ago, which fits perfectly with the second definition of journey: passage or progress from one stage to another

I have passed through the “wear what everyone else is wearing” stage, the “too poor and too young to care” stage, the “comfortable mom” stage, the “Florida tacky” stage, and the “newly arrived in Georgia” stage.

I don’t know what stage I am in now, but I am having fun learning and growing, and I hope you are too.

I appreciate it so much when you comment and give me your honest feedback. And because of your honest feedback, I am returning this dress. I knew I should, but it was good to have it validated by you!

I NEED YOUR HELP

I especially love it when you share stories about your journey, and particularly enjoy it when you send photos.

My photos for today are from two of my readers who have been following my journey and were kind enough to share some photos of their journey. The both look great, and I am so happy to share their pictures.

And even though I haven’t mentioned it in awhile, they remembered that my motto is “Don’t spend more than $20 for any one article of clothing” and shopped accordingly.

Here is a cute picture of Jamie who bought her pretty fall scarf for less than $5.00:

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And here is Sue wearing a sweater and a belt 🙂   Love it!

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Don’t they look great?

While I am on the subject of journeys, I want to share a link to the story of one of my favorite bloggers. I am so thankful that she was willing to share pictures of the beginning of her journey, because it makes it so much more fun to share this stage of her journey.

http://www.whenthegirlsrule.com/?p=190

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