THE PROCESS

You might think that if you want a cute outfit all you have to do is go shopping and pick out something. Au contraire.  Even if you buy a dress, which should be an outfit unto itself, it rarely is.  Almost everything needs accessorizing. To look “put-together,” you need to make sure that everything about your outfit works to make it an ensemble.

If you are one of the lucky people who has a perfect figure, then all you will need to do is add cute shoes, a purse, and some jewelry, and you have an outfit.  If you are like the rest of us, you might need to do a little more if you want to look your best.

For me, almost every outfit I wear has to be put together. I have definite figure flaws that need to be minimized, and over time, I have learned how to style outfits in a way that makes me look better than I actually do. LOL

One of the main ways I make up outfits is to try things on in front of my big full-length mirror and snap some selfies.  The photos I take are pretty raw, but they give me an idea of whether something is going to work or not. And once I have settled on the final look, the photo reminds me of all the items I put together so I can wear it more than once. Believe me, if I did not document it in some way, I would never remember which belt, shoes, or earrings I had used.

Here are some pictures from a recent session of experimentation:

  

  

This seems like a lot of work.  It is!  You may be one of those people who thinks it is too much trouble and you don’t care that much. I can appreciate that.  I just happen to be in the stage of my life where I have time to do it, and I really love making outfits.  It reminds me of my childhood, when I played “dressup” by the hour, or changed my dolls’ clothes 100 times.

You might not want (or be able to) spend so much time on your clothes, but at least take one afternoon or evening and experiment a little to see how you can dress to flatter your figure.

None of the outfits in this post is perfect. I don’t really love any of them. That’s okay. I can pick the one I like the best, or I can choose not to wear any of them. Experimenting helps me to find my style, even if I don’t always hit the nail on the head.

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.  

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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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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.

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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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GETTING VESTED 1

Today’s post is the first in a series of three to show you some ways I plan to wear the vests I have. I don’t have as many vests as I do sweaters, and I hope I never do. I will just have to make do with the ones I have.  LOL

Vests are great for hiding your midsection, and just perfect for cool weather. I really like the sporty look.

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Because I am short and kind of thick, I have to be careful that the fit is right. If the vest is too long, it looks terrible.  It has to be just the right length.  And if it is too puffy, it makes me look puffy! 😉

If you want to wear a vest and are not sure what length is right for you, I encourage you to get to the mall and try on, try on, try on, until you find the cut and length that flatters you. DO NOT just order or buy a vest unless you know it is right for you.

There is no standard vest size.  I have them in every size from small to extra large. You really do need to make sure you get the right length and the right fit. Some people look really cute with the vest unzipped, so try that and see if it works for you.

There are many options of what to wear under the vest. Just make sure it is not too bulky. Turtlenecks or mock turtlenecks are perfect, but you can change it up with collared shirts or henleys also.

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I like to wear my vests with jeans, but any casual pants would be fine. And they are perfect to wear over casual dresses.

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And here is the cutest look of all….my sweet and fashionable two-year old granddaughter. Who need shoes when you look this cute?

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I’ll be back soon with more vest looks.

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I would change that to Leave a Comment, but Word Press does not make it that easy to change things.  HAHA

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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FALL FASHION

Well, I just have to laugh at the title of this post.  Never in a million years did I think I would ever be posing as a “fashion expert,” especially at my age.  And to be honest, I do not in any way think of myself as an expert.  I read fashion magazines and follow blogs of beautiful ladies who really are stylish and wear gorgeous designer clothes, but that will never be me.

My reason for publishing this blog is to inspire people to put some thought into what they wear (rather than just pulling some random thing out of the closet), to shop for clothes that fit, flatter, and have some color, and to show you that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to look nice.

It does take some effort. It is much easier to go into a store and just buy the first thing you see that appeals to you with no thought of how it will look on your body, than it is to put time into figuring out what flatters your body type.

It is also much easier to just pull some things out of your closet that go together, and throw them on without much thought of whether or not the pieces make an outfit that looks put together.

I will continue to post my trial and error pictures so that you will see that DETAILS MATTER. The right necklace, the right shoes, the right accent colors all make a difference.

Hopefully by seeing some of my photos, you will not have to take as many pictures of yourself to figure it out!

Having said that, I repeat my advice from earlier posts: There is no substitute for taking pictures of your outfits to see what really works.  I have gotten rid of some of my favorite clothes after seeing them in photos. (Don’t tell me you have never done that. 😉  I know all the women in my circle of family and friends have confessed to “burning outfits” after seeing their vacation pictures.)

You don’t need a fancy camera and a tripod. Just snap some selfies in front of a full-length mirror. (If you don’t have a full-length mirror, I will personally come to your home and chastise you!)

Here are some outfits I put together from my new wine/berry pants from Macy’s.  These are the best pants ever. I think they would be flattering on almost anyone.  I have them in several colors.  They are not under $20, but you can find them on sale. Be aware that sometimes there are more colors available in the stores than are online.

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http://www1.macys.com/shop/product/style-co.-petite-curvy-fit-pull-on-jeggings?ID=980165&CategoryID=55603

The link is for the petite sizes, but I am pretty sure they also come in regular.

I started with just the pants and a flowy shirt. It is pretty colorful, but still needs some accessorizing:

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Moved on to try with a gray sweater.  Didn’t like it that much,so kept trying.

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Decided it would look better with black, so tried a jacket:

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Hmmm. Not sure about this one either. Definitely not with these boots. They make my stumps look even shorter than they are.

I love my leopard scarf, so thought I would give that a try:

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So there you are.  In my mind, none of these looks is really awesome, so I will go back to the drawing board. I really need to work on the shoe/boot situation. If I do come up with something I love, I will post it.

Just wanted to show you a “day in the life.”  Every outfit does not have to be perfect.  You just need to look like you tried. 😉

P.S. I can see that I need to fix the wrinkles in the pants! No need for you to mention that to me, in case you were thinking of it. LOL