As above, so below, as within, so without, as the universe, so the soulHermes Trismegistus
Let me begin with saying that this Chica misses getting dressed for the office as I have been a part of the millions who are now working from home for the most part. While my job still requires me to leave my home, it often doesn’t make much sense to carry out the full routine for only a short period of the day. Getting dressed up now is often coupled with comments from my boyfriend suggesting I either have a hot date or I’m meeting the girls for happy hour.
This is a comical considering neither have happened in far too long. *Ahem*
I am long over the initial online shopping frenzy of the early pandemic days when I had imagined coming out of the pandemic lockdown and sporting a new #ootd every day of the week in celebration of re-entering society. Those dreams are long gone, washed away along with the 28 inch waistline I intended to have by the end of the summer. As I sit here eating Nutella from a spoon wearing my boyfriends oversized Alabama Crimson Tide Sweater, paired with Monday’s Yoga Pants my sadness deepens. And not because my waistline isn’t 28 inches but rather 34 inches, but because the outfit does not reflect my creativity and personal style when it comes to expressing myself through fashion. I wish I could be as forgiving as the stretch in my Yoga Pants on the matter, but I simply cannot take this laying down any further.
Literally I cannot…I have bruised ribs from a Snowboarding Fall. Laying down hurts. And so does breathing.
I had intended on photographing more of my #ootd and I think we can call agree Yoga Pants will not cut it. I continue to watch and admire Instagram Feeds and admire the flow of beautiful content being produced and wonder how are you all staying so motivated? It often makes me feel like I’m living in parallel universe and I’m on the side of the fence where everything is going to shit. I’m not travelling anywhere in which would provide opportunities for exotic photo ops, and frolicking down a cute cobble stone road whimsically holding a basket of fresh flowers. There are no glamorous nights out capturing me in all my glory popping the Champagne; my perfectly outlined Chanel Red Lips beaming with Dom kissed elation. It’s Winter here in Calgary where I’d typically be sporting some beautiful knee high boots with rich sweater dresses and holiday sparkled ensembles. But things just aren’t happening in my world that would even warrant the kind of effort I typically have applied in the past to a Wine Wednesday evening out. In addition we as a Province just entered a State of Health Emergency so I’m really not going anywhere.
But I still managed on Sunday to get back into the habit of planning my outfits for my work week. This is something I used to do habitually which I feel has often made my life so much easier. There are so many benefits to laying out your outfits ahead of time.
- You get to sleep longer since you don’t have to mess about trying to find or put together an outfit. Who doesn’t love an extra 15-20 minutes of beauty sleep. Pre-planning outfits means you don’t have to think about what to wear after the alarm rings.
- You avoid Outfit Blunder Frustration that creates “Morning Stress”- Ever start your day upset because you cant find something to wear, cutting into your ability to stop at Starbucks drive thru. It just spirals down-hill from here. Why do another task in the morning when there is already so much to do? It can be a mad scramble getting you and your family out the door as it is. Don’t spend precious moments reconsidering what goes together, what is appropriate for the day’s activities and what is clean. Why empty your closet as you toss things about, trying to find where you put that nude-for-you camisole, or those shoes you thought you put in the bin under your bed? Alternatively, if you gather all the parts of your outfit the night before, you reduce that morning craziness.
- You Get Noticed-When you are well put together people appreciate the efforts you take. Confidence can be contagious. When you can put what you are wearing at the back of your mind, you feel happier about your clothes. If you are not irritated by the clothes you yanked on at the last minute, unhappy with the forced, early morning decisions you had to make, you will be more content with the clothing you already own. Stylish people look put-together. It’s easier to look put-together when you’ve spent some time and thought putting an outfit together. If increasing your stylishness is your goal, outfit planning is a sure-fire way to get there.
- You are more likely to wear things in your closet that have been tucked away gathering dust. Generally, we have a tendency to wear 20% of our clothes 80% of the time. This seems like a bit of a waste of clothes, dollars and closet space. Make a plan to figure out how to wear those items that you never seem to wear. Put your closet to work for you. You are less likely to feel like you have nothing to wear if you spend a few extra minutes building an outfit around some of the clothing items you haven’t been wearing.
- When you have a visual reminder of what you have you are far less likely to shop for things you already have, and saving your money!
- Finding new ways to wear things in your wardrobe can be so fun and provide you hours of music fueled entertainment during a time that we are spending much more time at home.
- Advertising your gift of style in your personal life as well as via social media could lead to side jobs like being a personal shopper, stylist, or closet consultant.
- Going through your closet allows you to get rid of stuff that is ready for donation and no longer serves purpose taking up space in your closet. As Marie Kondo would say “By acknowledging their contribution and letting them go with gratitude, you will be able to truly put the things you own, and your life, in order.”
Above I have what I’d call a Casual Friday Outfit that’s ready for the Happy Hour Girls that keep it going long after Happy Hour is done. I like that you can either strip the blouse and wear the body suit with some high waisted booty hugging jeans, or strip the body suit and wear a sexy black bra under the floral blouse for an equally seductive look.
Above I can mix and match jackets, tops, pants and shoes. I’m in love with a Chanel inspired look that again can shed layers interchangeably.
Tips on How to Make It Happen
- When you are putting together an outfit, think about using a completer piece. Pick out the completer piece first and build the outfit around it.
- Some will pick out their shoes first and build the outfit around them. Shoes do a great job of setting the tone for what you will wear. Also, shoes are one closet item that bring a lot of people closet joy.
- If you plan your outfit ahead, you are more likely to wear accessories. Accessories go a long way to looking stylishly put-together. Accessories are like the icing on the cake. It’s hard to ice a cake when you’re eating bites of breakfast in between blowdrying and demands to sign permission forms.
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Hands down Red Lipstick has got to be my absolute favorite go to color for lips, and has never disappointed. Red lipstick has always been there for me when I paired a white t-shirt with some jeans and needed a touch of glam, or when I’ve gone all black and required a pop of drama. It’s been there for me during the holidays and complimented my agenda for seduction. If Red Lipstick was a girlfriend, she’d be the one who knew all your darkest secrets and be the one encouraging you to live your best hoe life. Red lipstick, like many of us girls has had a checkered past, carrying reputation with the harlots, hussies, and courtesans -victims of slut shaming. Perhaps that is why I feel wearing Red Lipstick is my tribute to the women before me who paved the way to paint my face as I see fit, without prejudice.
In the article Empowering, alluring, degenerate? The evolution of red lipstick it mentions that “Until lipstick was popularized in the early 20th century, red lips were often associated with morally dubious women: impolite, sexually amoral, even heretical. In the Dark Ages, red lips were seen as a sign of commingling with the devil. The makeup “was associated with this mysterious, frightening femininity,” says Rachel Felder, author of last year’s “Red Lipstick: An Ode to a Beauty Icon.
Red lipstick also has its roots in political movements throughout history, so wear it loud and wear it proud!
Here are some of the Reds I have come across and use!
Best Reds For Every Skin Tone
Shiseido’s most popular lipstick is a long-lasting, full-coverage lipstick that features a special gel technology that is weightless on the lips and also delvers full-coverage. The shade name is really something special to the brand too; Shizuka translates to “quiet” or “calm” in Japanese.
$26 (Shop Now)
When it comes to universal beauty, Fenty Beauty does best. The vibrancy and high pigmentation of Uncensored make it a favorite in Lagos, says Nigerian makeup artist Joyce Jacob.
$24 (Shop Now)
This luxurious lipstick may seem like a stretch, price-wise, but there is a reason it’s Net-a-Porter’s best-selling red in Paris, the city of red lipstick.
$90 (Shop Now)
By Mid-November the last of the fall colors here in Calgary have been covered by the frigid snow and ice, revealing a prism of deep and rich romance. Velvety navy blues and crimson reds paint the morning skies as our breath kisses the air; the warmth is transformed into a dimension of little crystalized diamonds. It is the time of year when wearing Satin and Sequins help emulate magic as they capture the glow from the twinkling lights that dance throughout our homes and city scape during the festive winter Months.
And as Christmas winds down, the next event many of us look forward too is New Years Eve, whereby we can drape ourselves in decadent sequins and Sexy Satins. This year was unlike any New Years we have ever endured, as many slept their way into the New Year, cloaked in cotton jammies. I on the other hand was working a night shift and can only remember wearing the drool that had dried on my cheek during a lapse of mid-shift narcolepsy.
Glamorous I know.
So you can imagine I missed the pomp and circumstance that I anticipate each year when I get to have my Cinderella Moment, glass slippers and all.
I can appreciate not everyone feels comfortable wearing something that demands the attention of a room, as we all have our own version of what we feel good in. For myself I don’t believe I can wait for another year to bust out my sequins, I need glamour, and I need it now.
Many shy away from wearing sequins and should not save these little textile gems for just the holiday season or for ones children’s dance recital costumes. According to Meghan Nesmith who wrote A HISTORY OF SEQUINS, FROM KING TUT’S TOMB TO YOUR NEW YEAR’S EVE OUTFIT, Sequins have been around since since Ancient Egypt. They have been unearthed in archeological sites from Pakistan to Egypt. The earliest versions were gold nuggets, hammered into thin circles and pierced through the center. Heaps of them were found scattered across Tutankhamun’s tomb, some deeply colored by iron deposits in shades of red and purple, or sewn in shapes of flowers along his ceremonial robe, both to indicate his importance and keep the king tricked out in the afterlife.
Like the sun god himself, King Tut literally beamed. He was the drag queen of his time in my opinion!
I figured there is no time like the now to still adorn yourself like Cleopatra, and unleash your inner queen. Here are some of my fave’s I came across:
So Lets not delay my friends, the Satin and Sequins are feeling neglected these days. Whether its a trip to the fridge, or your home office is tired of seeing you in the same dirty sweats- there is no wrong time to be glamorous!
I’ll leave you with this:
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We all have been guilty of trying to hide the evidence of our impulsive online shopping. I’m a heavy subscriber of the Treat Yo’Self Tribe and have been caught a few times. Its usually a minimal response by the witnesses such as a head shake or an unsolicited opinion on if I really need more shoes. Uhhhh Duh! Yes.
I believe the first thing we need to ask ourselves is what are my shopping habits when it comes to personal style. Are you more likely to buy high end whereby your focus is namely on a feature piece that you style around. Do you stay with the current trends often buying the up to date items then ditching within months to make room for the new ones. Do you get bored easily and seek to wear new stuff on the regular but regrettably left with items in your closet you’ve worn once having moved on to the next best look? I tend to be the last one which requires a more strategic shopping approach.
I’ve compiled a few of my favorite online clothing and beauty stores that have the best loyalty rewards programs that you can optimize your savings but also get free dollars to spend!
Loyalty Rewards + Sales = Free Stuff!
Be prepared to tell those Shopping Shamer’s “Look what I got for free!” and stop lying about that outfit you’re wearing is old and has been sitting in your closet for awhile. They’re not buying it anymore babes!
I love this website and currently have an ongoing cart with over a 100 items in it. The quality varies but I’ve never gotten one item from here that I wouldn’t wear and didn’t fit. The sizes are accurate, and the clothing is priced perfectly for someone who likes variety and changes their look up often. What I love about this site the most is that they have so many opportunities to earn reward points that wont take forever to build up for free items.
One of my favorite things to do on the Shein App is creating Look Books of outfits you can create with their items. You can submit the looks you create to win and earn points.
This is an example of one I created and was awarded Editors Pick Points:
For the longest time I never went in this store because I thought they didn’t have jeans that would fit my Big Ass. Boy was I wrong! They have some of the softest and best fitting denim for the ladies with smaller waists and luscious goddess curves. At AEO you earn ten points for every dollar spent at American Eagle and Aerie in-store or online, and 2,500 points equal a $10 rewards. Bonus, earn a 15% off birthday coupon, and for every 5 bras or jeans purchased, you get one free! Spend more to level up, and if you spend over $350 a year, you could earn free shipping on every order!
This online store lets you earn rewards by not only purchasing from Urban Outfitters, but you can also earn points by sharing, entering contests, visiting store events, connecting your social media accounts and more! With VIP status, you get a birthday reward and tons of chances to win signed merch from your favourite artists! You can redeem your points to get deeper sale discounts, early access, and tons more.
4. The Bay
The Bay is no longer your moms department store and has an amazing online selection of high end designer items. It’s “Canada’s Iconic Department Store” that has been often underestimated in terms of the clothing lines they carry depending on what store you’ve visited in person. They are notorious for their Bay Days whereby you can find that one item you’ve been holding off for a significant discount.
With the Bay’s HBC Rewards, you can earn a point for every dollar spent at the Bay in-store or online, if you spend up to $399.99 a year. If spending more than $400 a year, you can earn 1.5 points for every dollar spent and 2 points for every dollar spent if you’re spending over $1,200 a year. You can redeem your points for The Bay gift cards, Air Miles rewards, and even donate to charity! HBC Rewards isn’t the fanciest or the best of the rewards programs out there, but you’re probably spending money at The Bay anyway, so might as well sign up!
I love this store for all the essential basics that are needed to pad your wardrobe. Everyone has a “favorite white t-shirt” that gets worn weekly whereby their quality works in your favor for this exact reason. Simons rewards lets you earn one point for every dollar spent. You earn a $10 rewards card for the first 500 points earned, and $1 for every 50 points following that. It’s not the most lucrative program for earning and spending, but The Simons also lets you earn 2X the points for your birthday month, exclusive online contests, and an extended return period. Keep spending to level up, where you could earn free delivery and free alterations!
Shopping Addict Pro Tip:
I’ve never loved selling my barely worn clothes on Facebook Marketplace as its time consuming and hit or miss. Consignment stores can also be picky and selective of what they are looking for making a trip out there a waist of time. Below are a couple sites I’ve used to put money in my pocket and keep my wardrobe fresh and exciting with each new season.
Here’s how ThredUp works. You send your high quality clothing that you no longer want to ThredUp. When they receive it, they’ll assess it and give you a credit to ThredUp so you can get clothes for free.
You can also get credits for referring others to use ThredUp – up to $10 per referral. With ThredUp you’ll only find items in excellent condition, so you can be sure you’re getting quality clothing at a great price – especially if you get it for free by using store credits!
Rehash allows you to list the clothes you have that you want to swap for something else. When you list, you can give specifics about what you want to trade for. Another option you have is to simply put “anything” in that section and see what kinds of offers come your way.
There aren’t any fees to join Rehash or to list or sell your items, however you may have to work out shipping plans and costs with other swappers.