Thursday, August 07, 2008

Penelope and Quirky Girl Style

If you loved the fantasy like appeal of Amelie and the TV show Pushing up Daisies, you will love the costume design in Penelope.  I watched this movie last night while G is out of town to spare him from too many chick flicks.  





Penelope was produced by Reese Witherspoon's company and she said she wanted to make something that she could take her kids to see.  The story line is sweet and has a great message to love yourself no matter what.  It is a must see for young girls especially.  

The wardrobe for Penelope completely inspired me!  I have always had a thing for quirky girl style.  Pippi Longstocking had a huge influence on me from childhood.  When we first started dating, my husband used to call me Punky Brewster.  There is something about striped tights that get my heart beating faster and I love crazy colors mixed together.  

I started thinking about how I dress now and realized that I've sterilized my wardrobe in a lot of ways.  It's time to bring back some personality into my clothes.  Maybe I can't dress exactly like these characters, but elements of fun can be mixed into anyone's wardrobe.

For inspiration I'm going to send you straight back to J Crew because these layouts are a quirky girl's dream. This is a more subtle Penelope look.




And for year-round quirky girl style, Anthropologie will always tempt and thrill you.  I love this store and can spend hours there.  It is expensive, however a little goes a long way in this store. It is easy to find a statement piece or accessory that will take your classic clothes to the eclectic in a second.  Imagine what you already have that you can add any of these little sweaters to and voila you have fairytale style a la Penelope.  Even adding a fun necklace to an all black outfit will do the trick.






There is a scene in the movie that sent me over the moon with shoe envy.  Mary janes are so versatile and eccentric and she had a pair of green ones that I'll be dreaming about tonight. There are maryjanes to suit every style.  Go to Piperlime and search "maryjane" and pick your pleasure. They even have a couple green ones.  I saw a few conservative ones that would translate this look for work like these.

 

This is the shot of the cool shoes scene.  


Even though I don't like to be cliche in my dressing, it helps to define or name your style. Obviously I like to have "quirky girl style" as part of my style, but I also like to see my wardrobe as mainstreamed and simple.  Even when they are opposites, you can do both.  Again the key is having a small and workable wardrobe.  

Think about how you would define your style.  I've heard "sexy librarian", "bohemian", "minimalist", "preppy", and many others.  Make up your own to really help you focus what your lifestyle is right now.  Maybe you are "new mommy chic" which means you need simplicity to the max, or "soccer mom redefined".  It's not about following the trends, but picking through the trends and developing your own little creation.  Have fun!

Video is from youtube.  Pictures are from Anthropologie.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Breaking News: Katie Got a Haircut

Yep, you probably didn't hear it hear first but there it is. She'd chopped her darling little bob into a sweet pixie. But it's definitely not "sweet" or "cute" on her.  Katie is all grown up in this look.  

I liked her bob with bangs but it had become so popular that she probably got tired of seeing herself coming and going.  Maybe little Suri needed the look for herself.  

Check out this outfit.  If you wonder how to wear those long, skinny scarves, here is a perfect casual example.  I love this outfit and her style in general.  To me she is the ultimate in French Chic.  You don't have to have a big wardrobe or a lot of time to put together this look.  Go ahead, copy it, and the haircut too if you dare!

All you need is a tshirt, cardigan, well-fitted jeans, cool belt and accent scarf expertly tied.  If you love scarves but don't know how to wear them, go to a little scarf website called Hermes and download their book called "Playtime with Your Scarf" on how to tie scarves.

I can't see what kind of purse she has on, but one thing I notice is that it isn't ginormous. Maybe it is a glimmer of normal sized bags coming back on the scene.  

Look how shiny and healthy her hair looks.  I'm not going to be naive and think that there is not color involved here, however I think that having healthy looking hair should be our goal. The overprocessed look is so over.  Oh, that reminds me to tell you that after 3 years of natural color hair I had my hair highlighted.  G wanted to see me with blonde again.  I told him it's a slippery slope of expense and damaged hair, but whatever.  The heart wants what it wants.  I don't think my hair was ever this shiny anyway.  Who am I kidding?  I do think blondes haver more fun too.

Whatever Katie does with her hair, she is a beauty.  She has one of my favorite styles to steal.  My other favorites are Reese Witherspoon, Eva Mendes and Salma Hayek.  

Here is the old haircut with Suri.  Wouldn't it be great if we could all have a stylist to make us over every so often?  I know I would love an impartial person to make these decisions for me, shop for me and whose job it is to make me look good.  Because even Katie Holmes, as glamorous as she is now, had a girl-next-door style before Tom Cruise.  



I am not a stylist, but an important part of the style process is cleaning out what you don't want to be "you" anymore.  Going through your closet and feeling how each item makes you feel is a start for you to see how you have moved on from a certain style.  If you can't decide, try it on and look in the mirror or in front of a friend.  Focus on how it makes you feel.  If it's the color, fabric, shape, fit that is giving you a bad feeling, don't make yourself look at it anymore.  Let it go to someone who will wear it.  You deserve to have a closet full of clothes that make you feel great.  

The last two pictures came from Daily Mail.  The first picture came from Jolie.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Bubble Wrapped Pleasure

Anyone else like to pop the bubble wrap in packages?  I loved popping these when I was a kid. Even now I still love doing it, but it scares my dog and then it's like I'm just being mean.  

Go ahead, click on the link.  You know you like it too.

Care to share your wacky little pleasures in life?  I know my friend Shannon loves to have the first scoop of peanut butter out of the jar.  My Mom likes the chips that are doubled over themselves.  I love it when a container of anything is finally empty.  

Friday, August 01, 2008

Possessions

"Possessions are not given that we may rely on them and glory in them...but that we may use and enjoy them and share them with others....Our possessions should be in our hands, not in our hearts."  Anonymous

This quote sums up how I aspire to view possessions in my life.  As much as anyone I enjoy having beautiful things to wear and in my home, it is important to sometimes give our perspective a check-up.  There are several important pieces of advice that this quote gives. When I read it, powerful feelings just keep rolling over me.  I want to pick it apart a bit and tell you what it means to me.

The first thought that it gives me is the ultimate reason for owning things and that is usefulness.  There was a time when owning so many things as the modern American family does now would have been reserved for the rich.  We have lost the meaning of true usefulness in each item we purchase.  It is a symptom of the times and we often don't even realize it.  Of course when there is a new gadget a minute, we find ourselves finding use for many things that we don't actually ever use.  Advertisements create the need for us to find their item useful.  I'm talking to you garlic peeler and margarita machine.

Pride in our possessions can be viewed two ways.  It is not wrong to take care of our things and be happy that we have them.  When the good pride turns sour is when you value yourself more because you have these things.  If you have a certain brand and feel yourself more powerful or better because of it, you are heading into the pride/over-inflated ego zone.  Humility is the opposite of pride.  Realizing that what you own is a blessing inspires humility.  Also recognizing that these things can also slip through your hands may give you a more realistic perspective. After all we can't keep things forever, can we? 

When I was in college, I had a little dog named Dixie.  Someone fed her a bunch of trout bones and she puked all over my white eyelet bedspread that my Grandmother bought me.  This bedspread was so beautiful and very expensive and I was furious.  It was this event in my life that I realized I couldn't put things before people, or dogs in this example.  When we value the thing more than the person, there is a serious issue with guarding these things too tightly.   Even now, I won't buy something that I would be so upset if it got messed up by me or someone else.  My bedspread came clean but I learned a lot that day about possessions.
  
This whole idea brings up the topic of idolizing things.  I have done it many times when I would become obsessed with a brand or even a line of makeup.  I think it is in our nature and a huge temptation to want to conquer, as silly as it sounds.  Maybe it makes us feel included or able to complete something.  If I could only have this certain item, my life would be so much better is the start of idolization.  It's not that there is anything wrong with the having of these things, but a matter of perspective.  When you realize that a LV purse is still just a purse, then you are making progress.  Yes, it has better quality than Target.  No, it doesn't make your life more complete.  When I was in high school I wanted a pair of Guess jeans like nothing else.  I babysat and saved up my $42 (!!!) and got them.  (My stepdad Randy asked me if I got kissed....because I sure did get screwed!  He was always spouting street wisdom like that.)  As a teenager I would venture to say it did make my life a little better, but more because I worked hard for them and enjoyed them immensely.  They later became cut-offs which went brilliantly with my huge teased bangs.

Often I think about this quote when I encounter people who hold on to everything so dearly. What is holding them back from letting go?  It is this psychology that intrigues me so much about cleaning out closets or homes.  We take our possessions and internalize them to become a part of us.  When we have to let them go a part of us feels like it is taken.  Recently my hard drive failed and I thought that I didn't have backup.  Even though I would have lost pictures and music, it felt like a weight lifted from me. Even when we initially resist the purging of things from our life, we have to trust that letting go will bring us freedom and a lightness.  It could mean a starting over or a clean slate which everyone needs once in awhile.

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