A quick post and an article you need to read

246932_10100498100389721_3514712_nI don’t have an outfit post for today.  On Thursday, I took my dogs for a walk and one of them blew out his knee.  Bad.  My beloved Simon is my baby – he is the most wonderful dog I could have imagined, and I love him.  So when he went down and couldn’t get up, I was very upset.

Friday morning we went to the vet. The first potential diagnosis was a form of degenerative disk problem in his back.  We went from there to a neurologist, where they did another exam.  The neurologist found no sign of a neurological issue, but did find that h is ACLs were torn in not one but both knees.

It looks like he had injured one knee about a week ago coming home from his dental cleaning, and had been favoring it since then.  When we were on his walk, he slipped and appears to have injured the other one.

Anyway, today he had surgery on the worst of the two knees.  He will need surgery on the other one eventually, but hopefully this will give him some mobility back.  After a 6-8 week recovery of course.  Needless to say I was distracted and didn’t get a chance to put an outfit together or take a picture. Tomorrow we pick him up from the vet and bring him home, so I probably won’t get the chance to take a picture then either.  Hopefully I can get back on track after that.

In the meantime, I suggest that everyone read this article by Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen.  Allie talks about the importance for a professional woman to have a professional headshot.  It was a wake-up call I needed, since I have continued to put off getting a proper headshot for … well, years.  She makes a great case, one I plan to take to heart.  I will post the picture once I get it taken.

 

Karen Kane for the win!

IMG_0187I have been blown away this year by not just the quality, but also the fit and styling of Karen Kane dresses.  Most of them came to me by way of Gwynnie Bee, and honestly I couldn’t be happier!

This is the Karen Kane Contrast Binding Dress, and yet another one that I bought as soon as I tried it on. Note, there is some discussion in the comments about whether this is black or a really dark navy.  Since that appears to depend mostly on the lighting, I just ran with the black accessories.

The shrug is necessary for working in an office all day.  It is a Jessica Howard and also originally came from Gwynnie Bee.

combine_images2What I love most about this dress is the combination of contrast binding and changing the direction of the stripes in the curve of the waist.  It draws the eyes there and provides curves without needing a belt or or explicit waist band.

 

 

Body Image

tumblr_mcq3gmRWJd1qdqc9to1_500One of the hardest thing about blogging about my personal style is that I am forced to take pictures of myself.  And really look at them.  Not just glance in a mirror for a few seconds, but take a deep long look at each picture to find the ones that work and then tidy them up.

The result is days like today.  I love the dress I am wearing today, but I look at every single picture I took and am filled with self-loathing.  My arms are flabby, my body looks like a stuffed sausage, and my double chin just won’t go away no matter how many pictures I take or angles I try.  (Today I took 110 pictures.  Out of that there are 3 that will be in tomorrow’s post.)

Am I nicely put together?  Yes.  Are the color and cut appropriate and flattering?  Yes.  Do all the garments fit me properly?  Yes.  I just hate what I see the outfits covering.

tumblr_loygcsqHIR1qd5gr2o1_500_largeI have so much respect for women who can accept their body as it is.  At 48 that is still a battle I fight every day.  There are still days when the best assessment of the me in the photo/mirror that I can come up with is “Not bad for a fat chick”, where the word fat is loaded with judgement and derision.

I’ve read the research; I know full well that weight is more than just calories in minus calories out.  I have never been thin so I have no mental image of myself thin that I am comparing myself unfavorably to.  I know that I am healthy; healthier than many younger, thinner people that I know.  I do hot yoga 2-3 days a week and ride my bike for miles at a time at least 1-2 times. I am a good, honest, generous person.  I am smart and accomplished in every conceivable way.

Which makes my weight all that more glaring a failure.  It is the single area of my life where I have been unable (despite multiple attempts) to make a lasting change.

So I have days like today, when I want to stop blogging because I don’t want to be faced with those pictures that force me to see myself as the world see me rather than the (obviously inaccurate) way I see myself.  I try to remember that I am far more than a number on a scale; that the fact that my arms are flabby and my belly round doesn’t lessen my extensive intellectual and career accomplishments (and, in fact, makes them all the more impressive for having been achieved despite the U.S. societal tendency to see weight as a character flaw and sign of weakness/laziness).

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But I still hate it sometimes.  I really wish I knew how to accept and love this last part of me.

(I realized after I wrote this what one of the triggers is.  I read a lot of plus bloggers, and noticed something: not a double chin in sight.  That seems to be one of the major trends – plus bloggers all have thinnish faces, regardless of the shape below that.  I don’t, and I’ve become very self conscious of it lately….)

And Brighter Still…

Blogger secret:  Sometimes the best outfit is the one that doesn’t require you to change your purse!

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Admittedly, this outfit takes bright to a whole other level.  But since I am working hard to resist all my gorgeous dark colors and enjoy summer for a while longer, I pulled out these separates.

  • Skirt: Pyramid Collection (Fire Midi-skirt)
  • Sweater: Coldwater Creek (RIP)
  • Tank: J. Jill (Perfect Tank)
  • Sandals:  Orthaheel (older)
  • Necklace: via Little Black Bag (RIP)
  • Bracelets: Kenneth J. Lane Bangles (LBB) and Kate Spade Pardon My French Bangle, all Orange
  • Bag: Kate Spade (Kirk Park Maise, similar)

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(See, I even smiled for this picture…)

In a perfect world, this skirt would have been 1) some kind of knit, 2) maxi length and 3) an elastic waist.  Unfortunately it’s a very lightweight cotton, a long midi-length on me, and has a set in waist.  You can already see the start of the wrinkles and by the time I got home it was a LOT worse.

Before I left my office to take these pictures I actually put lipstick on.  Damned if I know how it disappeared in the 15 minutes it took me to get from my office to this little nook I’ve been using for pictures.

One other thing I can clearly see in these pictures – time for a haircut.

pleated poppy

Something bright for a Monday

IMG_0050This dress is the reason that I rejoined Gwynnie Bee.  I saw it in a blog post from Authentically Emmie and fell head over heals in love with the dress.  It’s a Melissa Masse, a designer I’ve never heard of before, so I had no idea what the price point would be, but since Emmie’s post came up on my birthday I took it as a sign that I needed to have it. So I went out and looked around for it.  And found it at Bloomingdales for $295.00.  *GASP* Now, I make good money.  But I only barely paid that for my WEDDING dress, I sure as heck wasn’t going to pay it for a casual dress. So I rejoined Gwynnie Bee, just so that I could wear it, and discovered a a whole pile of upgrades to the program.  The first was obviously the brands; when I left I complained that most of the items were from less expensive brands; ASOS Curve and comparable.  All brands that I could just go out and buy if I wanted.  Obviously that’s changed. The next improvement I found was that Gwynnie Bee lets you BUY the items you have at home, generally for a considerable discount.  Talk about happy dance!  It took a few weeks, but when this dress finally came and I tried it on, I vowed that it was NOT going back.  That meant that when it showed up with a price of $120, I jumped all over it. IMG_0055 Seriously, what’s a girl to do? Anyway, here are the details:

  • Dress: Melissa Masse, mine now but originally through Gwynnie Bee
  • Shoes: Earthies (older, similar)
  • Purse: Kate Spade (Kirk Park Maise, similar)
  • Bracelet: Kate Spade (Locked In, pink, older)
  • Necklace: unknown

(Yes, as a matter of fact, I AM a huge kate spade fan.  If she would JUST make her clothes in plus-sizes, I would be happily broke for the rest of my life…) rebecca-minkoff-multi-poppy-crossbody-criss-cross-weave-mini-mac-product-1-7537801-078475253_large_flexNote that this bag is somewhat larger than I usually carry, but I have a whole bunch of meetings today and needed to bring my notes.  I also have a lovely graphic Rebecca Minkoff Mac that is black with pink details and more in line with the size I usually carry.  This bag, except in Black and Pink instead of Navy and Pink.  Looks just as good (actually potentially better since it echos the pattern) but carries a fraction as much. IMG_0071   Sorry for the complete lack of smiles – it was hot (95) when I took these pictures, my hair was lifeless from the rather high (for arizona) humidity (50% – it started raining minutes later) and I was quite literally melting.  It made me kind of grumpy.  See how much I love you?

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