Quality v. Quantity

Since I have now adjusted to my new body, I am faced with the dilemma of quality v. quality in designing my new wardrobe.

If you read all the fashion books and magazines, they will tell you to mix a little of both. They tell you to put your money in the quality staples such as your perfect black suit, handbags, shoes, and other timeless pieces. The items of fashion that are sure to change are where you can spare the expense and go for some quantity.

After thinking through this concept, I have determined where I have decided to put my quality and where to put my quantity. Since my style belongs to me, I have the latitude to make this decision for myself.

I will address my quality items first.

As I have mentioned in a previous article, my skin is always visible.  This is an area where I choose to spend for quality products. If my skin is well-cared for and maintained, then the quality of makeup is a lesser issue. Of course I prefer quality makeup, but that is a personal choice, not a necessity.

A great hair cut is another item I must have in quality.  My hair is as visible as my skin, and I want my hairstyle to scream quality.

My quality accessories include shoes, handbags, and jewelry. Regardless of my body shape or size, these items rarely change, and they are hard to outgrow. I know to wear shoes appropriate to my size and lifestyle, not too high and not to skinny. A lower heel, regardless of style, just looks better on me. It keeps me from looking like I am teetering on stilts. Plus, it is much easier on my aging joints.

I love medium-sized to large handbags. I am very picky regarding my handbags. They must be of quality, have a superb organization system inside, and of course be a neutral color of the rainbow. I do not like shoulder bags. My shoulders are broad with a slight slope, and I prefer to carry my handbag rather than constantly moving it back up on my shoulder.

Jewelry is wonderful! I prefer original, large pieces. And I have found wonderful places to buy from. Have you considered looking at pawn shops and estate sales? I love these. It is ok to wear used precious metals and stones. It’s a heck of a lot cheaper too. Plus, there may be an interesting history that goes with the piece your purchase. I prefer quality on my jewelry because it will last forever and I will not outgrow it.

I prefer an organized closet so that I can locate any item I need immediately. This includes my full-size mirror. Remember, no VPL’s.

The rest of my wardrobe is simply purchased based on my love of the look of the item. I cannot put a price tag on my style and overall look, as I rely on confidence.

Confidence! Where the world of quality, quantity, and style meet. There are days where I have worn the best quality piece I owned, but did not wear it with confidence. All the money in the world could not make me look quality. And, there are days where I felt beautiful in a very inexpensive outfit.

So my formula is going for confidence. The quality and quantity will balance on their own.

Stay Real,

Julia

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Watch Where you Slit

I have this beautiful red skirt suit. As noted in my last posting, I am getting to know myself, again.

I have determined skirt suits and dresses are a great way to get me through the hot months while making friends with my new me. Unlike most, I tend to retain water and am actually larger in the warmer months. The water retention and my new shape-Wow!

Back to the red skirt. This beautiful red skirt had a fun slit over the left leg to give it an edge. When worn in the past, the slit gave just a glimpse of my thigh, but not in an unprofessional manner. Well guess what? When I wore it the other day, the skirt slid half-way up my leg and the slit opened for all to see. Talk about road maps!

This eye opener made me realize that not all slits are appropriate for real women.

I prefer all my skirts to have a slit knowing that straight skirts look best on me. I must have a slit in my skirt so that I can easily enter most vehicles, and so no one hears a seam rip while moving. But in trying on various skirts and noticing the cut and style of the garment, I prefer all slits to be in the back of my skirt. Not only does the slit maintain professionalism, it does not create a disruptive line in my overall look.

Real women styles are made with these facts known. Their styles are created with the slits, curves, and darts in the correct place. Buying a bigger size in a misses does not always provide the best overall silhouette as illustrated in my red skirt. It is a beautiful skirt, but not designed for my body.

Regardless of which department you purchase your skirts, make sure you watch your slit. You can’t go wrong with a back slit.

Stay Real,

Julia

 

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Getting to Know Myself, Again

I have spent the past few months getting to know myself, again.

I had a birthday a few months ago, and my body made several changes in shape that caused me to completely learn how to dress myself.

I did not gain weight, I merely rearranged into a shape that was foreign to the body I had known all my life. I ate the same; I worked out the same; I weigh the same, but my body decided to expand its middle (I do not know where it pulled the size from, possible my ears and forearms).

I have tried on every article of clothing I have, to determine the new best way to wear it. If I cannot make an item work, and I have several of these, then I donate it. The iffy items are at the tailors being reworked to fit my new “me.”

At first I was in denial, and blamed the change on a lack of fiber in my diet, water retention, breathing incorrectly during my workouts, etc. But the truth is, after a few weeks, I could see that my new body was here to stay, at least for a while. Perhaps it is hormones?

Regardless of the reason, I am excited about getting to know my new body. The change made me reflect on my body’s devotion to me. Regardless what I asked of my body, it was there and performed. I abused it, denied it sleep, fed it poorly, and overworked it. But, it never complained about it until now. So, I am going to give my body the same devotion it has given me all these years. If my body needs to rearrange to a new shape, then it has a reason that I am not questioning.

My body is a Real Woman, with a Real Style. The style is now evolving.

Stay Real,

Julia

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My Best Style

My daughter is a martial artist. She bows on the floor stating she will do her best, and she bows off the floor stating she did her best. I love this concept.

What if each morning when our feet hit the floor we say “I will do my best”? What a way to start the day. And each night when we go to bed we say “I did my best”? That alone should make us have a successful, accomplished day.  Do not say you will try to do your best, or will work on being your best, but do your best. One cannot ask more than that.

Now let’s apply this same concept to our style. Style is our individuality expressed in our fashions and actions.

Do my best fashion – remember that go-to outfit that is fail proof? Well, when you are facing a challenging day and need a “best” to start the day, wear that outfit. Don’t forget your artful application to your face, your smile, and your color. We all have challenging days, but we can always be our best. When you wake up facing a wonderful day, pump up the volume on your fashion while still remaining true to your style.

Do my best actions – style not only encompass fashion’s tangible items, but intangible items as well. Your fashion style is enhanced and contains your poise, confidence, and body-language. These items are strong definitions to your style. You want your body-language to match your verbal language. You want to appear confident and poised; if you are not now, with practice and best, you will be. These qualities enhance a person’s style, so make these your best.

Do your best style.

Stay Real,

Julia

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Art v. Makeup

Fortunately, I was invited to attend a two-hour workshop taught by the national makeup artist of Chanel.

The makeup artist was just that, a degreed artist. After the workshop, I had a different view on applying makeup and skin care. I will paraphrase the main points that I picked up that had never occurred to me. I now look at makeup application through the eyes of an artist using canvases and color mediums, and not as a quick application of product.

Your face is a canvas. Since your face is three-dimensional and not flat, your makeup should be applied to a three-dimensional canvas, allowing for shadowing and contouring in creating your beautiful masterpiece. For example, blush is considered part of the foundation of creating your face. It is not an afterthought. Products are used in creative ways to create the perfect canvas. It does not require more products, just a different application of the correct products.

Makeup is your medium. It should be applied to your canvas as paint is applied to a canvas by an artist. Look at your features. Study your face and neck. Once you know the contours and details of your canvas, your application of the medium will be easier as it has a specific purpose and not just a quick, three-step approach called makeup application.

Once the medium is applied, pull out your hand mirror and inspect your work. Look at all sides of your canvas to determine if the medium is uniformly applied to create your envisioned masterpiece. Look at the finished product as an artist views theirs.

 Skin care is applied the same way. Determine the areas of the canvas that need treatment and treat only those areas. A minor blemish on a canvas does not require the entire canvas to be treated, just the blemish. And different treatments may be required on different areas of the canvas. Remember this is art, not just a smacking on of product onto a flat face.

Treat your face as the masterpiece it is, and you will enjoy the rewards of your beauty.

Stay Real,

Julia

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Piercing the Corporate Veil

As a freshman in college, I was stylish and cool. I double pierced one of my ears. It looked great. Of course I had to wake up after passing out when getting it pierced, but one look in the mirror at the piercing and I knew I was cool.

I was cool until I had to begin my career, so my piercing became a tiny hole in my ear. But wearing the BIG earrings of the 80’s, no one really noticed.

About 10 years ago I decided to try cool one more time. This time I pierced my belly. I could actually see my belly then, so I went to my favorite tattoo parlor and said to pierce me up. I wasn’t allowed to pass out after this piercing because I had signed an agreement stating that I didn’t have a fainting issue. And I really don’t, I only pass out for pain. So, when I looked at my piercing after the cold sweats had passed, once again I was cool. The problem with this piercing is that I had to wear a huge band-aid over the piercing to avoid the waistband of my professional clothing from pulling or hurting it. I gave up on this one after a year.

Then I decided to move on to the cartilage piercing. I had my upper ear pierced with a whopping 3mm white-gold stud that no one could see. But, I knew it was there. That piercing lasted a couple of months until it came out during one of my workouts.

So the moral of my story is cool body, face, cartilage, tongue, and multiple ear piercings are better left to those in the non-corporate world. It just doesn’t “suit.”

Stay Real,

Julia

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Hose Me Down

To hose or not to hose, that is the dilemma. Yes, I am talking about pantyhose. With warmer weather on the horizon, many of us will face this issue when wearing skirts and dresses to work.

The fashion police say pantyhose are no longer in vogue. You cannot wear pantyhose with sandals or peep-toe shoes, and if you do, you will be hung by your pedicured toes, and beaten with wet noodles. But who are these gurus? I have yet to meet one that is my gender, age, weight, or professional peer.

Personally, I prefer to wear hose when wearing a skirt or dress. Why? Well to begin, I think it is kinder to society if I wear them. If I do not want to look at my cellulite, translucent skin, and roadmaps to nowhere, why would others?

To avoid the peep-toe/sandal shoe issue, buy only closed-toe shoes for your professional wear. Then it is your choice to wear hose or not. If I am wearing a true peep-toe shoe, no one can really tell if I am wearing pantyhose by looking at my shoes. The hose give me an overall polished look for my professional style. The fashion police have yet to arrest me for this violation, and yes the earth is still revolving.

So, I say Hose Me Down!

Stay Real,

Julia

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