Saturday, September 29, 2012

My week of super feminine dress

I had an odd experience on a trip last weekend, so I decided to up my normal girly-dressing to a whole new level.  I also decided to up my normal level of interaction - bump up the smiles, bump up the cheer.  I wanted to see what would happen...

I am definitely not in Oz anymore!  No one freaked out, in fact mostly people were a little bit nicer to me than they usually are.  I got a lot of compliments. 

Day One:  I broke out the girly stops on Tuesday.  Pink skirt.  Petticoat.  Makeup.  Perfume.   The only thing I'm missing for full-out Edwardian glory is a higher neck on my blouse and a corset.  The lady at the bath store said I looked "very fifties" and she loved the color. 

Day Two:  My cute perky dress.  Everyone was very nice.  The man at the shoestore, veryVERY nice.  DH later informed me that my effort to dress-down the dress with my overshirt didn't work at all, and I needed to pick something opaque next time.  Oops....

Day Three:  Everyone, still very nice.  DH isn't wild about this outfit, but I changed before he got home.  LOL.  Show your teeth!

Day Four:  I was told "how cute" my skirt was and how nice and feminine it is.  I gave a big toothy grin to one of the tough guys at kid pickup, and was rewarded by an actual SMILE.  -shocking-
What did I learn?  Well, I learned that 1) the town that freaked me out by being freaked out by me was a anomaly and that 2) people in SoCal like it when you dress femininely and in bright colors.   I also learned that for an introvert like yours truly, it's a real effort to to on high-perk all the time.

Oh, and I learned that I feel awesome when I really turn it out in the morning, much more powerful and focused.

If you want to have people treat you nicely... wearing girly clothes is a good way to get that done. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Dressing Like a Grown Up

This is going to be a theme on this blog... because dressing like a grown up seems to be one of those lovely ideas that has passed into the mists of history. 

Once upon a time, a certain sophistication was expected from your wardrobe as you aged.  Those clothes paid the investment back, as more sophisticated fabrics and structured lines look better on bodies that aren't young and tight and factory fresh. 

I give you... the resort look.  Beach pajamas.  This was all the rage in the 1930s, and why did we give it up?  Probably because we wanted to be tan.  But since tanning is no longer de rigeur (especially if you speak to my doctor) why not return to the elegant clothing that we wore once upon a time?

(image credit:
Does this woman look frumpy?  No, she does not.
Does this woman expose more than is appropriate for a woman at the beach?  No.
Does this woman look terribly uncomfortable?  No.

What this woman looks is elegant, rich, and ready for the resort.  Since I live in a resort area - I see nothing not to love about this look, except perhaps to add a light jacket to keep the sun from her shoulders after she's soaked in enough Vitamin D. 

Dressing like a grown up:  Beach Pajamas (Resort Wear)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Super Feminine Dress Week

You've heard of the "feminine dress week" idea before, I'm sure.  Many a conservative female blogger has urged her readers to ramp it up and wear a dress or a skirt for a week.  I want to take that a step further.  Not merely do I want skirts and dresses, but I want clothing that is unabashedly feminine in nature.  (I don't wear pants anyway).

I can break out the denim skirts any old day... but they mostly call out "conservative Christian lady".  Nothing wrong with that, that's who I am.  But I have had some interesting social interactions lately, and I want to run a little experiment. 

Lace.  Pink.  Clothing that swishes and moves.  Makeup.  Perfume.  Jewelry.  The whole shebang.  Not necessarily dressed up - most of my clothing is cotton and linen anyway, it's not dressy.  But feminine.  VERY feminine. 

Why?  Because I've noticed the oddest reactions when I break out my pink skirt.  You wouldn't think that a skirt to my ankles could tick anyone off.  But it seems to.  So I don't want to dress in that sort of thing randomly - it has to be intentional, and I have to pay attention to the people around me and what sort of reactions I get.  I also don't want to dilute my message. 

Break out the pink - and if you do, let me know how it goes. 

Slightly New Blog Direction

Because this blog was started as a how-to-dress-more-beautifully and why-that-matters blog, I've kept it very separate from my sewing and daily thoughts.  I think this has been somewhat of a mistake, since this is the blog that I have on all my blogging profiles, and I'd like more blog traffic.  I'll still have clothing philosophy posts up, how-to posts... but I'll be including more outfit posts, more sewing trials, and more of "me" here.

I am really proud of the TBL blog, and I'd like to make better use of it.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A pretty dress

Every woman on this earth needs one dress that she can pull off the hanger and *know* that she's going to look great.

Finally.  Finally.  I have a dress like that.

I combined a ready made princess-seamed flirty dress pattern with my own princess sloper (I used my sloper from the waist up, and the dress pattern from the waist down).  All those tears and all that frustration with getting things fit?  Finally.  Finally it's paid off.  I'm really thrilled. 

Properly accessorized with a very fluffy petticoat and a little shrug - I look my best.  I'm comfortable, I feel amazing, it's a very good day.

Someone should PROBABLY keep me out of the fabric store so I don't make fifteen of them! 

Anyway.  Everyone should have a dress that makes them as happy as this dress makes me.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Sheer White Overshirt

I had higher hopes for this blouse. 

Carefully, I scaled up my princess seamed sloper so that it would have a bit more wearing ease in order to translate into a buttondown shirt.  I combined it with a collarless shirt pattern, using the button placet, collar and sleeves from the pattern.  I basted it, tried it on... it was good.  Plenty of room and looked cute.  I sewed it together.  It looked good.  I made flat-felled seams out of every single seam, put on the collar, put on the button placket - and suddenly I had weirdness.

I was pretty frustrated at that point, so I put it away for a month or so.  This week I pulled it out and ripped out the offending seams (the princess seams, front and back) took it in on all four of the seams, sewed it back up and... well.  It's still not perfect. 

I'm not sure what to do about it at this point - I don't think perfect is going to happen.  BUT.  I live in Southern California, land of everpresent sunshine.  A buttondown white overshirt is *never* a bad idea - particularly a long-sleeved version.  I will get a great deal of wear out of this shirt, even if it's not the sort of wear I had in mind.

(And in every picture I tried to take of it, it was completely uncooperative.  This is the best of about ten - and I had my eyes closed).

Sometimes, you just have to call pax and move forward.  I'll use this shirt, even if I'm a little disappointed.  And hey - the topstitched french seams DO look awesome.  :)

Thursday, September 6, 2012


Steph at 3 hours Past and Sunni at A Fashionable Stitch have both written excellent articles about wardrobing this week ( and and I was inspired to do a little wardrobing of my own.

I've gotten a fairly decent skirt wardrobe at this point - I've only one more skirt to sew up from stash, and it's going to be a workhorse, but also very straight forward.  TNT all the way - beige linen.  So, I pulled the skirts from my closet and took some pictures, to do a little wardrobe planning analysis.  (I also took a picture of my lone "this doesn't match anything" shirt).

Sage/soft cornflower/charcoal/ivory skirt; baby blues skirt, forest green skirt (wool), ivory lace skirt.

Denim skirt (see last post), hot pink skirt, old straight denim skirt, beige skirt (here to represent the next beige skirt - this one is beaten up and I just tossed it), wool plaid in aqua & greys.

The color on this blouse is jade green, not the bluish turquoise it appears on my computer screen. 

I have achieved neutrality with the new denim skirt, the ivory lace skirt, and the beige skirt.  They will go with very nearly everything.  The old denim skirt probably shouldn't be in this pictoral, but it goes with my mom tshirts, so hey.

I was going to go all analysis on you, but just staring at this I can see that in addition to the ivory shirt that I have in my sewing pile, I could dearly use a pale (but bright) blue shirt, a coral/red shirt, a fitted blouse that picks up the aqua in my blue plaid skirt, a light (but bright) green shirt, and a charcoal grey shirt if I can find the right one.  (Grey is a difficult color on me - it has to be just right, or don't bother). 

As for the jade green blouse - the beige skirt will go with it, and I could do with a charcoal grey skirt in my collection ... something that suits my crayon colored sweater collection wouldn't go amiss.  I quite like this shirt, but even though it's made of thin fabrics, they're layerd and it's *warm*.  Plus it looks great with a denim jacket over it... again, warm warm warm. 

So.  I need something pink-coral, something blue, something perfectly aqua, a light green, and some charcoal... in shirts, with stash sewing (beige) and charcoal for my skirt needs. 

I think this calls for a pinterest board.  :)