Let's discuss...how we achieve strength, confidence, youthful thinking, inspiration and head-turning personal style!

Oct 31, 2010

You Have to See This

Happy October 31st!



Cruella Deville in all of her glory!!

I am not a big fan of Halloween, but I had to share with you this photo of Gigi as Cruella Deville.  Have a safe and beautiful day everyone!

Oct 30, 2010

Friday Night Lights

Day 5 & 6: No Shopping Challenge
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Road Trip! There is nothing quite like Friday night small town football in Texas. We love it…cold wind…sausage wraps…marching bands and all.


You can see here that even in a small town, there is the temptation of boutique shopping, but thank goodness the need to be there in time to cheer our team on to the field, left no time for shopping.


Even small towns have boutiques

During the game, I mostly wore a spirit blanket. It was the coldest night of the season. But, throughout the day, I chose to completely wear Lane Bryant, because of school colors:



Maroon, Gold, White…Lions Let’s Fight!





I chose a maroon cowl neck sweater, a black fitted jacket, and dark denims. I actually have a soft spot in my heart for Lane Bryant. Years ago, I did not want to be seen walking into the store because it meant I was fat! What Not To Wear convinced me that I needed to get over the hangup, and that I would feel better about myself if I dressed the body I presently had…instead of waiting for the day I would be skinny again. ( I think I was in middle school then!)


Football Spirit Earrings



I decided to suck it up and give it a try. The first store I walked into was Catherine’s and it completely depressed me. The clothes looked to me like they were for older women…I wanted to look thinner and younger!



Lane Bryant was the answer. Though I believe they predominantly sell for the younger, curvier clan, I found so many things that did in fact make me look thinner, younger, and more fashionable! They got me through! It was amazing how much better I looked just because these were clothes made for my body…in other words, they fit!

I now shop many different places, but Lane Bryant will always be special to me. Also, I hope to continue losing weight because I am now eating healthier and taking better care of myself.  I mentioned the sausage wraps, but I had the veggie sandwich before we arrived at the stadium and resisted the concession eating all around me!


Saturday errand running!





Today, I ran mega errands. This look was so easy…just a V neck forest green knit T, and a scarf I love with that new matching bag (remember my last purchase over a week ago)









WISH LIST



One of my students wore these flats to class on Friday! She bought them at Journey’s in the mall and I really love them! I believe there are locations all over the US.


Journey's

Love Them!

Just so you can see that I like a fun patterned shoe, here are a couple of styles I already own (both are about three years old).








I only have two with this square toe



Great for Christmas season!

Oct 28, 2010

Digging Deep

Day #4: The No-Shopping Challenge

 
I like my money right where I can see it... hanging in my closet
Sarah Jessica Parker
BREAKING NEWS: COLD FRONT BLOWS THROUGH TEXAS!

YES!....in the 70s today!  Feels like fall!

 
By now, you are looking at these pictures and wondering, DOES THIS WOMAN HAVE LEGS! I do have skirts and just a very few dresses; but, I honestly prefer trousers and jeans. I will, however, reach for a skirt at least once next week.



Today, I dug really deep into the closet. I wanted to look for something I had not even thought of in a while.  The best part of this challenge has been looking over pieces that had been out of sight and out of mind.   Here's what I found….a short sleeved, cardigan with an antique print that is very different, but somehow, I loved from the start. The sleeves are gathered for a special detail. This is another Macy’s Red Apple Sale item which began at $50 and after coupons, became $11!! (I do remember that story, because I was so excited with the purchase.) I paired it with some vintage jewelry that I don’t believe I have worn in over a year.


A gathered sleeve makes the sweater



The best part….opening the front door. A cold wind was actually blowing! So, I went back for a black, Esprit trench coat! By this time last year, I had worn this coat almost every day. Today is the first time in 2010.

Vintage Jewelry




Cool breezes make me think of sweaters…so, today’s WISH LIST features some wonderful sweaters that I would love to add to the closet!  One of my new blogging friends asked why I don't look at Nordstrom's so I did...this would be a very dangerous store for me to spend time in right now!  But, oh how I would love to.........



The Wish List

 
I would wear this one just as shown...T and jeans...I love the buttons...


http://shop.nordstrom.com/S/3112576?origin=category&resultback=209

I would wear this one to work...any neutral on the bottom..bold earrings



Football Games!!


Extras that I would love to own:

http://shop.nordstrom.com/S/3119048?origin=category&resultback=4436

http://shop.nordstrom.com/S/3124457?origin=category&resultback=3242


Just a note:  Tomorrow is football Friday, I will blog the looks on Saturday!  Have a fabulous Friday everyone!



Tired of the classroom shot already!


Oct 27, 2010

PURPLE, POTS , AND ALL THINGS NOT!

Day Three: No Shopping Challenge

Perfectly Purple





I love to begin and end the day with purple! Especially a beautiful purple like the one in this blouse. I added this to my wardrobe last year. It is a Coldwater Creek, no-iron blouse with feminine touches on the sleeves. I highly recommend their no-iron line and they do have some incredible saturated colors.


It was perfect for another hot day in SA! I just let the scarf hang down the front to elongate and add some more beautiful colors. It has a deep brown in it, so I like to wear this with these brown slacks.

Detail is important!

Steve Madden Flats


Final touches are my gold Steve Madden flats and gold earrings which also bring a touch of red.

Remember, I am caring for my mother, who just asked me what I am doing…….

“I’m writing a blog.”

“A clog?? Yes, I was clogged today. I sat on the pot for hours just trying to get it going!”


(Sigh) Glad my outfit made me happy…it might be a stressful evening!


THE WISH LIST


Love Her Blouse!
I have to add Gigi’s colorful knit top and her fashionable heels to my wish list. She found these heels at Marshall’s for only $20 and they make her over 50 legs look fierce.




These I love.....Marshall's!



The other wish list item is this knit jacket the forever smiling Mrs. Joy is wearing. I love the slouchy pockets and her grey & black scheme. This outfit keeps her feeling and looking cool on our warm autumn days.




The Slouchy Pockets on the
Jacket Make the Look



Oct 26, 2010

Thanks for the Buttering Up!

Day Two: No Shopping Challenge


"Remember, man does not live on bread alone: sometimes he needs a little buttering up!" 
-John C. Maxwell
Day #2 Look!



Today is definitely a new day! Since I am currently out of “bread” the buttering up of the ladies who read this blog has been such a blessing!! Thank you all, for your encouragement and ideas! Keep them coming, please……

I feel much better today…though the autumn heat continues. As I reached for one of my many jackets , I grabbed first this navy blue, thin cardigan. I purchased the sweater at a Macy’s Red Apple Sale maybe three years ago and know I have not worn it in over a year.  For weather like today.... It feels great! Not hot at all. The pants are a casual cotton twill from Lane Bryant; the pointy toed flats from Target (again); and the green sleeveless sweater and amazing scarf are both items I have mentioned in recent posts.

To complete the look….a large bronze watch from Target; a bronze cuff from Kohl’s; bronze Stein Mart earrings; and unseen is a thin, bronze headband!!

Since this is the second day for Target shoes, I would like to tell you that I find most of their shoes very comfortable (and I am picky!); stylish, and affordable. I have three pair that I wear often…you have just seen two of them!!


Temptation!!

Naturally, the day had its temptations.  When I opened the mail, there was an envelope announcing my upgrade in shopping status at Stein Mart..woo hoo, more coupons, private sales, perks....like offering a an ice cream cake to someone who just started a diet!!  Also, I received a mailer from Talbot's which leads to the next WISH LIST.



WISH LIST (a gift certificate from here would be nice)


The Talbot's mailer promoted some of the prettiest styles I have seen in a long time.  Beautiful fabrics (love cashmere), feminine details, soft colors....true strength in classy femininty.  Check out the collection at http://www.talbots.com/

Love the detail on these V Necks!
Femininty is so strong!



There jewelry is gorgeous!

http://www.talbots.com/online/browse/product_details.jsp?id=prdi25672&rootCategory=cat70012&catId=cat630049&sortKey=Default&section=Regular&conceptIdUnderSale=cat70012
Love those trousers!



This purse was my last official purchase!
I love it...good way
to go out!




Ahhh, Shopping, good night sweetheart!

Oct 25, 2010

This Is Not Going To Be Easy!

DAY ONE: NO SHOPPING CHALLENGE!!!



Of course, right from the beginning there was a challenge. First, the coffee maker was broken! (headache coming on) Next, the forecast was 92 sizzling degrees... with high humidity. (headache growing) Warm weather in South Texas goes on and on and on for a really long time, so it’s easy to get weary of those warm weather clothes! Do I really have to wear them????  Actually,  long term forecast says: La Nina Winter, warm & Dry!



Today is also a teacher workday (without students day.) So, I chose to go with my dark denim and wear a fun jacket that I have not reached for since last May. This cotton jacket is from Chico’s and I love the artsy print and flattering seams.  All of the accessories have been purchased in the last year. In fact, Chico’s tried to sell me a complimentary bracelet stack for over $40 when I bought the jacket. At that time, I decided to go by Avenue and select a very similar silver and black stack for only $7. But, I did go for the Chico’s studs....nice touch with a statement necklace. Despite the lack of caffeine, the mirror made me smile, and I began to feel better.
Shoes: Target Ballet Slippers


   But, this budgeting thing covers many areas (not just fashion)…so I drove past two Starbuck’s knowing there was coffee at work!  Of course, when I arrived both coffee makers were not usable…one without pots, the other without coffee!



So, holding my head, I opened all of the usual emails offering coupons from my favorite retailers…. Ugh, where’s the coffee?? I had already decided to just delete them for awhile without reading….even though I may be deleting incredible savings opportunities. These sent me running from the computer to stake out a coffee location until the supplies arrived.


Bracelets only $7.00!

Once I was caffeinated....the day got better and I received many kudos on the jacket.  After work though, I had to take the freelance funds and pay off my account at Kohl's.  Normally, that is no big deal...but, normally, if my eye catches something I like, I might be able to buy it!  Today, though, Kohl's items will begin my first WISH LIST.  The WISH LIST will be items that if I had the money, I might purchase, but now recommend for those of you with discretionary funds.....




Today's Wish List (I did not buy!)


Simply Vera Wang Jacket
$88 full price




Apt. Nine Sweater,
Great blue Color,
Tiny buttons on a fitted sleeve
V Neck for slimming


Sorry, bad Picture!
Vibrant Red outdoor sweater by
Chaps.  Cute, casual look
with jeans!

As I approached the scarves, I had to walk faster, but I made it out!!

Oct 24, 2010

When Life Gives You Lemons!




     Changing my style helped me to become a new more confident woman. It also helped me discover something I love: shopping. One of the comments on this blog said, “You sound like a serious shopper.” (http://fashionoverfifty.blogspot.com/) That’s putting it mildly. Treasure hunting for affordable fashion has become my hobby for the past seven years. My closest friends, my daughter, and I love a day when we can eat out and hit the stores. I do not believe I am a shopaholic, by any means, but I do enjoy the sport!

So, I write with great sadness that I must hang up the shopping shoes for a while….maybe even, a long while. My family is living the headlines….



We are paying on at least two college loans with a third coming up next fall.


My teacher’s salary (especially in private school) is a pittance


My husband was laid off over a year ago and now does contract work, so we hold our breath from contract to contract.


Yes, we have a mortgage


My 85 year old mother is currently living with us.


I have used my monthly freelance writing check to treat myself with bargains. But, it looks like those funds are needed on a larger scale.

I was really whiny at first, but now I have decided to use this blog for therapy to help me get through this difficult financial time. Beginning, Monday October 25, I am going to challenge myself to see how many different outfits I can fashion from the clothes currently in my closet. Each day must be a completely different look and I cannot buy anything…not even a $2 resale item!

I promise if I get weak and give in, I will confess. However, I plan to log all of the temptations and WISH LIST ITEMS here.  The ultimate goal is to see how far my creativity goes or how far my will power goes....which one will go first???  Every outfit, every day must be different.

So, tomorrow it begins….the NO SHOPPING CHALLENGE!

How Many Outfits Lie Within These Doors??

Oct 23, 2010

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT COMING SUNDAY




Today, has been a difficult day.  But, I believe it has led to a new topic for this blog!  Special announcment coming on Sunday!

For now, enjoy these autumn pumpkins taken by my student, Andrew Matalon!  It's warm outside, but autumn's beauty is still nearby!

See you tomorrow!




Oct 20, 2010

Autumn Heat & Paul Revere

Just thought this student painting was appropriate...not
sure WHY exactly!
 




  South Texas during Autumn is completely not fun! The temperatures often soar up into the nineties with humidity levels that make it feel even higher. So, wearing fun, cute, fall-like fashion can be quite frustrating for many days on end.  Today I drove past a store window only to sigh as I looked at the elegant outfits with coats and boots gracing the display.
     One of the ways I deal with the heat are these sleeveless blouses that I can wear underneath jackets and still be cool…literally, cool. They are beautiful in flowy fabrics and give a real professional touch. If the weather cools down, I can easily use them with a heavier jacket and boots.
     But, I will say…they remind me of a singing group that I loved when in middle school. Some of you might remember Paul Revere & The Raiders! (Is Mark Lyndsay still alive, he would be about 68) The group wore the ruffled blouses and long coats (The Red Coats are Coming type coats) and when I looked in my mirror today, they are what came to mind! So, I hummed KICKS all day while I wore an outfit that I really like. It takes my mind off the humidity!


Kicks just keep gettin' harder to find


And all your kicks ain't bringin' you peace of mind


Before you find out it's too late, girl


You better get straight................................
 

The Paul Revere Look!
 
 

Jaipur
 

Kenneth Cole Reaction



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtOE3Cy-FJI&feature=related

Oct 16, 2010

Know Your Neighborhood Retailers Well!

The Neckline was Unique




As I began to rebuild my wardrobe with clothes that flattered my shape, I learned more about the retailers near where I live and work. It helps to know when they move clothes to sale racks….what day racks are filled from the Marshall’s delivery (Monday for me) ….to know that on Tuesday’s anyone over 55 can get a discount at Ross….etc. etc. So, yesterday, I knew to stop by my Stein Mart to check the sale racks. I am a “Preferred Customer” there and get coupons through the mail and email. I found an Adrienne Vittadini top on the sale rack. Adrienne Vittadini is a designer known for quality and often found at places like Nordstrom’s. The top was my favorite green and a soft, thick sweater knit; but it had a funky neckline. It had gone from $30 down to $15 and with my coupon was going to be $11.


I really think the neckline is what landed it on the sale rack because the knit and the color are so beautiful, but something inside told me that it would look great with a jacket and it was worth giving it a try. In a transition season like fall, a sleeveless layering top under a great jacket makes for a comfortable look…the days can really heat up in Texas. I’m so glad I took it home because I really like it.

This morning I had to meet a former student at La Madeleine for lunch and follow that with grocery shopping. So I put on a pair of dark denim; the sale top; a Khaki jacket; some caramel pointy toed flats and a patterned bangle with the different browns. I actually paid $2 for the earrings in a summer clearance sale at a boutique my 24 year old daughter likes. I could’ve gone without the bangle and done the leopard shoes instead, but I will save that for another day. The neckline gives the same effect as a V-neck, but was more interesting and unique. It really opened up my face. All in all, the shirt was worth the stop and the risk!

Accessories could go either way!

The fit of the knit is very flattering under a
jacket.

                                                                                                           




Oct 14, 2010

Inspiration



 Recently, I threw on a long Boho, military green skirt, denim jacket, and the scarf pictured to the left.  I was really surprised at the attention the scarf received...so many, young and older, were attracted to the color scheme in the scarf (which I picked up in September at Marshall's). Someone asked me how I learned to put colors together.  In the past seven years, style shows and magazines have helped; but, honestly, I have always used art as an inspiration for color in fashion.  Sometimes I will look at works of art and suddenly see how an outfit could be put together with the same color scheme.

Last month, some of our students were asked to paticipate in a gallery showing at art360, a new gallery here in San Antonio.  When I looked at some of the pieces prepared just for this show, I saw so many potential outfit schemes.  See what you think........

AND TELL ME, WHERE DOES YOUR INSPIRATION COME FROM??




A student once asked me, HOW MANY SCARVES DO YOU HAVE?

When I look at these paintings, I think.....not enough!