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You’d think from the first half of the title I was telling you I believed in aliens or alternate universes, Signs style, but alas, I’m just gearing up to discuss a rather hot topic: Female body image.

Female Dress Forms

I want to start with a short story — my own short story from just a few weeks back.

Sitting on my Ryanair flight, listening to my headphones, and holding my white faux-leather jacket in my lap, I notice the lad to the right of me. He’s a normal looking lad, straight off work in his black pin stripe suit. He’s leaning against the window attempting to snooze on our two-hour flight to Barcelona.

As I’m attempting to stare around him out the window as the ground below shrinks, I glance at my phone as the song changes and notice my legs; then I glance at this pin-stripe suit lad’s legs; then I have to glance at the other lad’s legs to my left. “Dear lord–my thighs are MASSIVE compared to these two lads.” Maybe it’s because the lad on the right is wearing black, and black is slimming? Oh, wouldn’t you know I’m wearing black as well. Strike One.

Maybe it’s how I’m sitting? Guys get to go all spread eagle; for comfort reasons I’m always told. And I have to be lady-like and cross my feet at the ankles? Well, that’s too frigging hard to do on an airplane, so, I’m stuck with my feet rooted to the floor trying to keep myself in my tiny Ryanair seat. Lad on the left is sitting the exact same way I am on this ridiculously cramped flight. Strike Two.

Maybe I’m just making something out of nothing? It’s making me painstakingly self conscious, either way. Why, you ask? I haven’t a clue. I’m in the middle of my second thirty-day shred and I absolutely love the results I’m achieving! I’m back to running, and that’s mostly all legs! So, how–why?!–are two lads, whom I’ve never met before, will never see again, and don’t even know I exist between them, making me question every bit of self-worth? (Maybe not EVERY bit, but I did drop my tray table to hide my thunder thighs.)

It’s amazing how even the smallest of moments make us all too aware of ourselves; they make us shrink and shrivel and question our size. After I got home from Barcelona, even more uncomfortable thanks to all the AMAZING food I consumed over my two-day stay, I read a few blog posts from friends discussing women’s body image and self-consciousness.

Tape Measures

My lovely friend Vanessa discusses plus sizes, body image, and even includes a call to action by the American garment industry that I wholeheartedly support in her article, Plus Size Controversy at H&M. It’s a great write-up that every gal, regardless of size, should read.

Then there’s also a few articles by my amazing running buddy, Amy. Her write-up, Body Image and Stuff, hits home on a number of issues, but I love how she’s discussed the never-ending struggles we all face with body image and our clothing size. She even has a follow-up article, A New Playlist & Some Hopeful Thinking Was All I Needed, where she hits on her half marathon training this year and has some pretty witty comments regarding the body image issues.

What do both of my friends hit on? Size. I’m a size 4 or 6 (US) or 10 (UK/Ireland) or 38 [GASP!] (ES).

My Size Tag

And, at present day, I look at little something like this:

Photo 014

Wouldn’t you know, size is just a number? I don’t aspire to be a certain clothing size for that reason. I want to be fit and healthy and comfortable in my own skin! And THIS is what women should need to consider when we start comparing ourselves to others. It’s just a number! And you might struggle with your number, but I guarantee you the woman next to you is/has/will struggle with hers as well. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

I’ve come such a long way with my struggles in the past year, and I can see every bit of it in that photo above, but clearly I still have moments of weakness. It’s natural. It’s human. It’s female. It’s a mad, mad world we live in, but you should know it’s OK to have these thoughts occasionally, and you are NOT alone!

Comparison

We tend are our own worst enemies, so, let’s stop letting others influence how we think and feel about ourselves. I challenge you to start channeling your inner strength, your inner beauty, the inner YOU, and find YOUR confidence.

XOXO – K

Fashion and Faux Pas

February 10, 2014 — Leave a comment

I was walking into town last week from my house; I pass by several large business parts of town on this walk. As I was cutting through the Green, I began noticing shoes–which is usually a norm for me. However, in this particular instance I was noticing the men’s shoes versus the women’s. Why? Well, I’ve commented on how the Dublin business sector is mostly business professional before; and with that comes the cookie-cutter conformity of a man in a suit, and said suit is (almost always) black or grey. The distinguishing factor? SHOES.

On this particular day, I was noticing quite a bit of brown on the feet! Brown shoes with a black or grey suit? That’s a fashion faux pas right?! I begin keeping a mental note as I’m walking of the ratio of black shoes to brown. This will make an interesting blog post, I think to myself! Of course, the data can’t simply be biased, so, of course, I call up my girlfriend and have her begin keeping a mental tally along with me: what percentage of businessmen do we see walking about with a black or grey suit sporting brown shoes?

Faux Pas

Over the course of three days, she and I mentally tallied men’s shoes. The results? On any given day, roughly 1/3 of all businessmen we encountered or passed by around town are wearing brown shoes with a black or grey suit. It’s not a particularly interesting topic. But, if you know me, you know that I absolutely LOATHE a black/brown combo. They do not, will not, and have not ever been compatible!

I brought this up with one of my male friends later in the week and his response was simply: “Well that’s just your opinion, right?” Is it? Shocking thought. It is, after all in the name of fashion right? Between you and me, I might’ve even thrown that at him during our discussion…

His question led me to think about faux pas and fashion. What is a faux pas? The dictionary defines it as: “an embarrassing social mistake”. Is wearing brown with black really a faux pas? Why do we care? Should we?

I did a little google search of fashion faux pas, and the first hit I got was for the SheKnows.com Top Fashion Faux Pas. It’s a slide show of the top ten no no’s when it comes to fashion. I dare you to click on that link. It’s quite amusing. As I was scrolling through the photos, there were a few that I whole-heartedly agree with, such as visible panty lines (VPL). Gals, just don’t do it! But guess what? There were a few I stopped and seriously questioned; particularly sneakers with work wear and tights under shorts. You know where I’m going with this, right?

I live in an area where I walk three miles to/from work. Do you honestly think I’m going to hike my ass to the office in my 4 1/2 inch heels, in the rain, with the wind? HELL NO. I assure you I’ve got my runners on, as does the rest of the female population in Dublin that WALKS TO WORK. (It’s a completely different story when I lived in Nashville where the only walking I did was to/from my car at home or the office…) Can I also assure you that once I reach my office, I leave my runners under my desk and trot around in those 4 1/2 inch heels the rest of the day? ABSOLUTELY. And you know what, I don’t own a pair of jean shorts, but I do own a pair of black and white Chevron patterned shorts, and you can judge me if you want for putting those tights underneath, but hey, my legs are warm and yours aren’t. TAKE THAT.

Oh crap! Didn’t I just make my friend’s EXACT point? I’ll wear what I want, when I want, and your opinion can jump off that bridge. It’s just an opinion. Woah. LIGHT BULB. It kinda feels like the light bulb Miranda has in SATC with the whole “he’s just not that into you”. Mind blowing stuff kids.

notintoyou

So, why do we need fashion houses/designers/magazines telling us what the IT colour is this season or why I shouldn’t walk down the street rocking a crazy rainbow of colours? People–we are free thinkers and doers; it’s part of the amazing existence we lead! So, if YOU like something; if YOU think something is rockable, who the heck really cares what other people think “in the name of fashion”? I am fairly certain others will judge you, but hey, someone else is judging them right? (And this is why I try really hard not to judge people’s fashion choices — unless of course you are trying to rock leggings as pants in the shopping mall and I can see every INCH of your lower half–to this I make no promises.)

I’d really like to thank my friend for opening my eyes and brain on this one! Guys, wear your brown shoes and work it. I might not like it, but hey, I bet you question my fashion choices too, since I’m rocking Chevron shorts with tights right? Life. Goes. On. Another. Day.

XOXO-K

[Tomorrow is FasionUnfold Tuesday, so I thought this was a fitting topic for discussion in light of this!]

I’m BACK! Back in Ireland and back on the blog action — well, sort of. Today is a bit hectic with yet another job interview, so I’m pulling from the archives for today’s post because I know, I’ve left you hanging for far too long now.

One of my favorite posts for 2013 was all about capsule wardrobes. So, why not revisit this post and make 2014 the year of your capsule wardrobe? All new content coming tomorrow!

XOXO – K

“Fashions fade, style is eternal.” – Yves Saint Laurent

Vogue Paris - 1948

What is it about the French?  They just really seem to understand clothing with their sense of style, by opting for classic, polished looks.  If I had to choose a fashion Mecca, Paris outranks Milano, but only ever so slightly! Where am I going with this?

I was recently asked about a capsule wardrobe: how to put one together?  This certainly is not a new concept, but it is foreign to me, so I set out to do my research. I’ve compiled a FAQ list to help answer most of the questions I’ve been asked or have asked myself during this process.

Q1: What is a capsule wardrobe?
A1: Simply put, it is a collection of a few essential clothing items (“base”), generally in coordinating colors, which will not go out of fashion.  The idea is to minimize your wardrobe but still allow you to create a look for any occasion, from business to casual.

Q2: What are the essential pieces? And how many should I have?
A2: This answer varies by person.  However, your objective is to be able to create an outfit for every occasion, on the fly.  Therefore, you want to make sure you have work appropriate looks as well as looks for an evening out on the town. Generally speaking, because you are reducing your wardrobe, you will own higher quality, more expensive garments that will hold up over time even with continuous wear. In my research, I’ve seen capsules with as few as 10 pieces.  I personally couldn’t do so few pieces, so, pick a number that suits you and modify it as you need to!

Q3: What colors should I choose for my base?
A3: Generally you want to choose neutral colors for your base—black, white, grey, and nude.  Think about it, what can’t you mix and match in these colors? Adding color to a neutral base is EASY! (See next Q)

Q4: I like to be “so now”. How would I accomplish this with a capsule wardrobe?
A4: Every season the “in” color changes as well as the “in” shape of the garments.  The point of a capsule wardrobe is to pick a base of timeless, classic pieces that never go out of style to pair with these ever-changing seasonal items.  You can add pops of color via your accessories or tops.

Q5: How do I keep from looking like I’m wearing the same outfits every day?
A5: I have yet to figure this one out.  Of course, if you are paying more money for your higher quality garments, who cares? If you are really worried about it, maybe a solution could be to have a capsule wardrobe for each “season”? Let’s face it, this might be better for some of us anyway depending on what part of the world you live in! Southern US summers are as brutal as Northern US winters but here in Ireland the weather is pretty consistent…

I’m sure there are a million more questions I could ask myself.  But let’s just put together a capsule wardrobe, shall we? (Click on the photo for a link to Polyvore to see the pieces in a larger format and/or to purchase)

Capsule WardrobeIf you are a business person, I would expect your capsule to have more of a business purpose (like mine).  If you don’t work in a professional setting, maybe you only have one business look and a more casual base?  My point is this: a capsule can be fun, but it is also a work of art, and the art is all YOURS.  Have fun with it!

Still have questions? Shoot me an email: katie@lovelifefashion.com and ask away! And if you love what I’ve put together here, you can find the collection on Pinterest on my Love.Life.Fashion board.

Black Friday Comes Early!

November 27, 2013 — 1 Comment

The fact that I’m overseas and won’t get the thrill of waking up at 3 AM to get my shopping done on Black Friday is absolutely killing me this year. It’s been a part of my Thanksgiving tradition for so long! But, thank heavens for the internet, right? This year, I’ll be online shopping Black Friday — and with that, comes less stress, less panic, and MORE options.

And an even more awesome perk to shopping online? Well, a lot of the brands are putting their sales up early! Now, that’s not to say they won’t still be offering killer doorbusters online on Black Friday outside of these early sales, but the fact that I can shop early and save is a PLUS. Wouldn’t you agree?

And so, I’ve included some links to my absolute favorite stores and listed their early bird sales and/or Black Friday deals. The links are listed in red below the logos along with the sale information and any other information you would need. [Side Note: As only a few stores have gone live today (11/27), I will be updating this post throughout the day today/tomorrow as more and more deals are revealed to me; so check back often!] 

Now, get clicking and start shopping!

The Limited Logo

50% Off Everything plus Free Shipping with code THANKS at checkout
Shop the sale 11/27-11/30 + Earn Virtual Dollars!

 

 

Amazon Black Friday Deals WEEK

Amazon Black Friday Deals WEEK
Early Bird deals on Electronics, Cameras, & other hot gadgets

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

XOXO – K


Yesterday, we debated tights, nylons, & bare legs, and we discussed how the seasons have an impact on what leg wear you choose. We are moving into the colder months now, so I thought I would take a little time and give you some options on how to style your winter attire with your leg wear to make outfits that keep you successful & polished in the (business casual) office. Because winter is all about layers, and layers create an instant polished look, let’s discuss different ways to layer today.

My favorite layered look for the office consists of a pencil skirt, a blouse with a bow, and a cardigan. The great thing about this look is the possibilities, endless blouses paired with endless cardigans, and hey, if none of your blouses have bow/tie details, well, just throw on a silk scarf and make your own, or add a chunky necklace instead if bows aren’t your thing.

The best thing about this look is the ability to pair it with nylons and pumps (to add sophistication for that important meeting) or to pair it with tights and booties (for an everyday office look). Take a look at what I’ve put together below. You can click the photo to be taken to Polyvore, where you can shop, if you like any of the items you see.

Another great thing about layering is you can mix it up with prints. Try layering a polka dot blouse under a cashmere sweater or cardigan to add a hint of color to your winter wardrobe. Or, take a striped blouse and layer it under a blazer for an added element of class. You can pair these looks with a pencil skirt, a skater skirt, or any other skirt you might have in your closet (want to add texture, try pairing with a tweed skirt!), or even pants in case the wind is nipping with an extra bite.

Take a look at the second set I’ve pulled together for you. I’ve shown you an array of mix and match pieces that can easily be styled with pants (stick with pumps or ankle booties) or skirts. For your skirts, stick with nylons if you opt for a colored pump or tights if you want to rock your wedges or tall boots in the office. Nylons add depth where the tights will keep your look cohesive and prevent you from looking like a street-walker — because we all know tall boots can be difficult to pull off in the office! 

Now, let’s have a little fun, shall we?

Scenario: You get an email from your boss asking you to be at the 8:00 AM proposal meeting at a potential client’s office. You will be helping your boss represent your company and help her make the bid to turn the potential client into an actual client. Your boss is one of these people who gets to the office at 6AM every day and always looks like a million bucks.

You panic because you have no idea what to wear. Well, this is where your capsule wardrobe would come in REALLY handy! But, if you haven’t put one together yet, fear not, just get into your closet and grab some of your favorite pieces to create your instantly polished, “I look like a million bucks too” look.

Be sure to keep your wardrobe neutral with just a pop of color because you would never want to turn the attention to yourself during such a meeting! Below, I’ve opted for a bow blouse with a peplum skirt, tights, and booties with a pop of color, but you can always, ALWAYS opt for black pumps in this instance and add color with your accessories. For big meetings, remember that less is always more.  Now go get ’em, tiger.

So, what do you think? Ready to pull out all of your winter clothing and get to work on styling yourself for these cold months ahead? I hope you’ve gotten a few tips and tricks from me and will be applying those all winter long. As always, the items pictured are available for purchase via Polvore, so just click on the photos if you see anything you like. And of course, if some of these items are outside your budget, keep in mind you can always find great alternatives at places that are in your budget–these are merely ideas to inspire you!

Stay warm & stay chic! XOXO – K