Archive for Review

The calendar says tuesday, but it sure feels like a monday to me!

IMG_1587The calendar says it’s tuesday, but because I had yesterday off for MLK, it sure feels like a Monday.  I left my phone at home on the charger, was running 30 minutes late, and the building had a false fire alarm within the first 30 minutes.  That last one is a biggie, since the alarm in this building seems purposely designed to set off a migraine.

Still, how bad can the day be when it is blue skies, sunny, and predicted to hit 80 today!  Last week was record cold, this week is record heat.  Gotta love winter in Arizona!

Today’s outfit is a celebration of the fake spring we’re having right now.

I also wanted to do a quick REVIEW of HALFTEE.COM!

The red “tank” is new, and not actually a tank.  I recently came across a company called; they carry exactly what it says; half tee shirts.  They stop just under the band to your bra and give coverage without adding a lot of heat OR uncomfortable clips.  What I really like, however, is that this brand also has short and half sleeve versions for wearing with other styles of top, and a wide selection of colors (red, pink, brown, grey, taupe, etc, as well as black and white).  Their prices are reasonable and the tops are comfortable.  You can also reverse the top in order to get a slightly higher neckline if you want.  To me these are a MUST; it is far too hot to add more layers much of the year, but many tops are just too low cut to be professional.  These solve that problem.

As far as the rest of the outfit, the necklace was a christmas gift from my artist friend, you have all heard of my love for this purse, and the shoes are new as well, first worn last week and praised for their excellent support and cute shape.  I would be fibbing if I didn’t admit that these are some of my current favorite wardrobe pieces.

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The end-of-season sales are finally winding down. I’ve been doing a lot of shopping lately because fall and christmas colors are best on me. Spring colors rarely work (navy, white, that’s about it). Some of my favorite brands are starting to come out with new lines and I’m finding that most of the colors just aren’t me and aren’t going to look good on me. I knew this would happen, so I’ve been spending a lot of my spending money now to get things for later in the year. Of course, I’ve gotten some incredible deals in the process; that always makes me happy!  You’ll see all of that start to roll out over the next few weeks.

The Only Ten I SeeSTYLELIXIR Style Sessions

Parlo and LogiHelene in Between

As always, everything was purchased with my own money. This blog isn’t big enough to get free stuff.

Review: Old Navy Leopard Print Cardigan (Plus)

Today’s outfit of the day includes the Old Navy Leopard Print Cardigan.  This happens to be a piece that they carry in both straight misses sizes and in plus sizes.  As is often the case, the plus-sized version is quite a bit more expensive ($36.94 vs $24.94).  However as a relatively classic style of cardi, I’ve been seeing it around and wanted to talk about it.

As with many items from old navy, the colors are good and neutral; this particular animal print has more grey than I am used to, but I don;t think that detracts from the look at all.  However the cut and fit of the plus cardigan is drastically different from that of the straight size.

The biggest difference is that the straight size cardigan is cut to hit below the waist and on most women I’ve seen wearing it the actual length is mid-hip.  The plus cardigan, on the other hand, also says it hits below the waist but on me actually hits WELL below the hip.  In fact, if you believe the old catholic school rule about not wearing a skirt that doesn’t reach the tip of your middle finger, this is long enough to be a mini-dress on me.

This appears to be related to the way old navy sizes up and why I don’t buy a lot there.  They seem to size up by making things both bigger AND taller, so that an average height woman (I’m 5’5″) ends up swamped in length on the larger sizes.  They do this in the straight sizes as well; I’ve got things in an XXL that fit me but were obviously made for amazons.  Their plus line seems to do something similar.

I would also note something about this cardigan that is more about the overall fit and appears the same in the straight size version; the cut is wider at the top than at the bottom.  This, for me (more pear shaped) creates a weird effect at the top, where I can either fold it over (as in the image) or let the front top overlap while the bottom won’t close without pulling.

I intend to keep this piece, warts and all, because I consider it a great basic and one that, on sale, was relatively inexpensive.  However I am going to keep looking for a similar piece with a better overall fit and experimenting with ways to style this that will address some of the items above.

Because I was focused on the Cardigan today, I wore it with black jeans and a black not-a-tee.  By “not-a-tee” I mean a top that has some shaping and detailing of its own, but done tone on tone.  This one is made my Elena Solano and was found at Marshall’s.  I am currently trying to replace plain tees with things like this that function as a tee but could also be worn on their own and offer more shaping and texture than plain tees.  Unfortunately this was the best picture I could get, but you’ll notice it has a v-neck with a plaquette that comes down between my breasts and rucheing on either side. This provides shape and interest without being distracting.  Frankly I love this top and would love to get a dozen in different colors, since it manages to be flattering and comfortable all at the same time.

Final touch was a gold necklace that I got at a local boutique.

Review: Dressing Your Truth

In the process of looking at a bunch of different websites, I came across one that claimed to help you find your true style and dress accordingly.  The site is called Dressing Your Truth.

Carol Tuttle – Author of the system and books, and a Type 3

Dressing your truth is based on the idea that our personality, features, energy and strengths/weaknesses all can be used to categorize each of us into one of 4 broad types.  These types incorporate all sorts of personality traits that, frankly, set the part of me that taught Psychology 101 for a few years on edge.

  • Type 1: The Bright, Animated Woman – Extroverted, ideas-person
  • Type 2: The Subtle, Soft Woman – Introverted, nurturing
  • Type 3: The Rich, Dynamic Woman – Extroverted, entrepreneurial
  • Type 4: The Bold, Striking Woman – Introverted, perfection-oriented

Each type, according to this theory, is associated with a specific energy pattern and certain traits about how they move through their world. The overall theory is that by coordinating how you dress with your energy type, you can look your very best.

Type 1- Before and After

The process of figuring out your type is partially available for free in a multi-lecture format that introduces the system.  Frustratingly, you get an email with one lecture per day, about 10 minutes.  I wanted to get further into it and found it frustrating.  However the free course still only provides you with some help identifying your type.  It doesn’t tell you what to DO with that information.  For that you need to buy the full course.

I paid for the course myself specifically so that I could provide an unbiased review, and have to admit that it isn’t entirely positive.

Type 2 – Before and After

The process requires that you type yourself based on a lot of resources.  Unfortunately, I found many of them to be ambiguous.

For example, my features fit a Type 1, but my personality seemed to be a mix of Type’s 3 and 4.  While the system acknowledges that everyone has all 4 types in their nature, it constantly pushes the idea that we each have a dominant type.  I found it hard to identify one.  Unfortunately you only are allowed access to the real recommendations once you choose a type, so I made my best guess and identified myself as a Type 4.  (In the end, I am introverted.  Both types 1 and 3 are extroverted.  I’ve learned to fake extroverted, but it doesn’t come naturally.)

Type 3 – Before and After

On the plus side, this system will allow a woman to put together a strong, coherent look.

  • The looks seem to coordinate with the personality that one would expect from the (oversimplified) descriptions above.
  • The looks suggested hang together well and includes not just clothing choices, but hair, makeup and jewelry as well.
  • The system also provides rules around clothing that go beyond what you normally get in similar systems; this system talks about the line of the clothing, textures, fabrication (by which she means the drape and fall of the fabric), pattern and color.

This, however, leads me to some of the negative’s.

  • The Type 4 profile called for saturated colors, strong contrasts and structured fabrics.  If you’ve read the blog, you will know that I love saturated colors and contrasts, but don’t want a structured fabric within 10 feet of me.
  • More importantly, the specific colors recommended for a Type 4 are cool tones.  If your skin tone has yellow/warm undertones, many of those colors would NOT work.  And frankly, as someone with some of those yellow undertones, I felt that the color palette recommended was overly restrictive and not necessarily appropriate.  There were definitely colors there that I couldn’t wear, and it was definitely missing colors that I wouldn’t be able to remove from my wardrobe.  I doubt I’m alone.  The Type 1 color palette also seems to be cool, while 2 and 3 appear to be warm.  It is statistically improbably that the types and the skin undertones will match up in all cases.
  • I was also quite put off by all the pushing of their hair and makeup products.  They’ve created a line that is sold in the Dressing Your Truth store, and a good chunk of the hair and makeup videos were focused on talking about those products.  That type of product placement is intrusive and irritating, especially for things that are, essentially, commodities that are available everywhere.
  • The final (and perhaps largest) issue I had was the price/value ratio.  The ONLY reason I took the course was a 1-day “sale” for $99.  The list price of $279 is blatantly overpriced.  And since my course fee only buys me access to a single TYPE (ie. I can’t go watch the type 3 videos to make sure I didn’t make a mistake), the result was a program that I zipped through in about 2 hours.  I’ll pay $50/hour for someone to work with me personally, but I find that a poor value for video’s that were clearly made several years ago.

Type 4 – Before and After

So to summarize, I found the system to be expensive for what you go and only of marginal use.  For example I believe my co-author, Sandra, might get more out of this than I did.  (I’m fairly certain she’s a type 1 and is cool-toned, so the colors would work better and the style probably isn’t that big a departure from where she is already.)  And for a woman with no clue, or dressing to someone elses’ idea of beauty, this might provide some perspective and new ways to think about their look.  But the system is imperfect, the process of identifying a type can be difficult and the recommendations are far from universal.

Before you invest money into this program, make sure you do the free profile and feel STRONGLY attracted to a particular type.  Look through the before-and-after shots for an idea of the look she is advising for your type and try to get a feel for whether that would work for you.  If so, only then should you move forward and purchase the full program, and then only at a discounted rate.