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.

 

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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A MILESTONE

In a couple of days, dear readers, I will be celebrating the six-month anniversary of starting my “sharing on the internet” journey. My first blog post was May 20, 2016.  I have had so much fun shopping (my closet as well as in stores) and playing dress-up, and I feel like I have learned and grown along the way.

As I reflect on the past 6 months of blogging, I want to take time to thank you for all your support. It took me a long time after figuring out all the details of setting up a blog to actually hit the “publish” button. Like most people, I was very hesitant about putting myself “out there.” It felt like a huge risk to publish photographs of myself, and think that anyone could possibly care, or to portray myself as some sort of “style expert.” The only way I convinced myself to do it was to think about all the people who had inspired me, and to realize that they had probably had doubts also. For quite a while, I never even mentioned the blog to family or friends, and felt very self-conscious when they happened to discover it.

As I asked myself why on earth I would want to do this, I thought about how much I love to see people who look like nice. It puts a smile on my face to see someone who is wearing a nice outfit that is flattering and looks stylish. It sounds silly, but it makes me feel like they care about people and want them to have something nice to look at….sort of like an artist who shares her work. I love to see all the ways different people express their personality through their clothing.

I could have told myself (and did) that I had no business trying to help anyone else…I am certainly not qualified in any way, other than a lot of experience in trial and error; but then I remembered the bloggers and friends that I had learned so much from. Their outfits were not always perfect; in fact there is no such thing, but they were willing to share what their idea of style for that day was, and it has helped me tremendously.

The more I studied, the more I learned what appealed to me, and what I thought looked good. Seeing lots of outfits that looked nice helped my brain to understand what “style” meant. And it was helpful to me not focus on one type of style. I searched out young, old, casual, sophisticated, preppy, bohemian, European and everything else in between.

What finally convinced me to “push the button” was that I just kept thinking that there were women in my age bracket who would love to know how to dress better, but have no idea where to start, and maybe they could use my experiences to get a little farther along in the process.

I decided right from the beginning to show a lot of before and after, because I had not seen much of that in other blogs, and as a visual learner, that would have been very helpful to me. Were these women just naturally beautiful and look good in anything, or did they have to pick and choose?

Ever since I put my fears aside, and actually started writing, you have been there to encourage and support me. I can honestly say that reading your comments has been great! I love it when you speak your mind, and give me honest feedback. I have never had a comment that I thought was mean-spirited. Even if you don’t like something, you say it in a nice way. You have really helped me, and I am very appreciative.  THANK YOU. 🙂

Just for fun, here is are some of the outfits from the past six months. I was so proud of some of these at the time, but looking at them now, I do feel that I am maybe a bit farther down the road in six months.  I have tried to include some examples of good, bad and so-so. I will leave it up to you to decide which is which. 😉 I left out the yellow print, because I already know your opinion on that one!

I have also included a section of “before photos” to help keep us all grounded in reality. LOL  You don’t need to vote on these!!

I would love for you to comment on which outfits you like or don’t like. It will be interesting to see whether most people agree, or if there is a variety of opinions.  There are 2 outfits from each month.

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And now for the “what I really look” like shots. Do NOT put these on a Pinterest Board! These are just to show you what I would look like if I DIDN’T try.

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Aren’t you glad I left you with these images to be burned into your brain???

🙂  🙂    🙂

Thanks for a great six months, and don’t forget to: 

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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.

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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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I NEED YOUR HELP

Hello Dear Readers,

I need your help today.  I recently bought several dresses and I am trying to decide which ones to keep. I love this dress, and think it is so cute, but I am having second thoughts. It seems like it is too young for me, and I really don’t know when I would wear it.

Please give me your honest opinion. I am looking for feedback. I need to return it soon if I am not going to keep it, so please reply and let me know what you think.

Should I keep it? If so, what kind of occasion would you wear it to?

If not, please tell me why you think I should take it back. Remember I am on a journey, and am really trying to learn and grow. It will not hurt my feelings if you don’t like it.  I will probably just take it back and get something else.

Don’t worry about trying to figure out if I should wear different shoes, or no leggings, etc.  I just need to decide whether or not to keep it.

I will abide by the majority opinion if I get more than a couple of comments.

Thanks so much!

Also, to return to the “vest theme” for a moment. Thanks so much for all your feedback. I have pretty much decided after looking at the pictures and reading your comments, that I need to just stick to wearing a vest with pants or jeans. I love the look of a vest with a dress, but just don’t think it is the best look for me.

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GETTING VESTED 3

Time to talk about vests again. Aren’t you glad?  This time I am going to show you some of the ideas that did not work, in addition to the looks I will actually wear. If you read this blog very often, you know that I am more than willing to share my mistakes with you. You’re welcome!

These ideas seemed good to me when I thought of them, and if I did not take pictures of most of my outfits before I wear them in public, I probably would have worn them. Some things are just better in your head. 😉

Here is one of the keepers:

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Followed by “what was I thinking #1”:

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Here’s a “maybe” …decided to work on it some more:

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Definitely looks better this way, but still not exactly right:

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Maybe it looks better without a vest:

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Here is “what was I thinking #2”.  Hate the necklace and belt combo, hate the shoes. Navy dress with green vest sounds good in theory. May have to try again with this one.

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Oops, here’s another one that just doesn’t work with the vest:

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Much better this way:

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So, there you have it. I’m sure you have seen enough of vests for awhile! But I hope this has inspired you to pull out that old vest in the back of your closet and try it on with some stuff.  Or go buy a new cute one!

Here is a montage of the good and the not-so-good from all 3 posts. I am showing you these so that you can see that putting outfits together is trial and error.

Please comment and tell me which is the best and which is the worst. I promise not to wear anything you hate. 🙂 I am voting for Number 15!

You will just have to imagine that the first outfit is number one and go from there. The collage maker I have will not let me add text without paying to upgrade to the premium version, and you all know I am cheap.

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Back soon with more inexpensive outfits for the older generation 😉

AUTUMN LEAVES

I think autumn left without ever coming! Here is a photo of the maple trees in my front yard. They think it is still August. SIGH

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Usually by November, they look like this:

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I am so tired of the summer weather that I am breaking my rule of “If it’s brown, put it down” (but really, that was for my husband), and wearing an outfit that reminds me of brown leaves. 😉

Here is the basic dress:

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And here is what I will be wearing:

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Happy green fall! You have my permission to wear something brown. Just make sure you add a belt and a sweater.  HAHAHAHAHA

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INDIAN SUMMER plus STYLE COPY FAIL

It is still hot here in Georgia, but looks like cooler weather is on the way. I hope so, because I have some cool-weather clothing that is patiently waiting to come out of hibernation. In the meantime, I am showing you another dress-and-jacket combination that is perfect for Indian summer.

Here is my “tutorial”

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I thought I would also share with you a “fashion fail” on my part. One of my favorite fashion bloggers is adorable, and I saw this post and decided I would try something similar. HAHA  I gave up after two attempts, and you will see why.  Jennie did a follow-up to this post where she styles six more cute outfits, so check it out, and please do a better job than I did!

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Six Ways to Style a Tunic and Leggings

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I am showing you these outfits so that once again, you can see that putting nice outfits together is a process of trial and error. I know I have said this a lot, but remember, new readers check out the blog daily, (or at least occasionally) and they might not know this yet. 😉

There is nothing “terrible” about these outfits (well, really there is) but I can do better, and so can you. 😉

I will be back soon with (hopefully) some COOL WEATHER clothes.

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