Whew! It's been a whirlwind of a week.  Visiting family, reunion, etc.  Lots of fun.  While I unpack and wash all our camping clothes, here's the latest inspiration from Piperlime to dress well.  As I mentioned in this post covering all the previous Piperlime ads, I adore these ads.  Sometimes we just need a little weekly wake-up call to present our best selves to the world.
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"BE THE GIRL YOU WERE TOO LAZY TO BE YESTERDAY."

Oh boy, have I ever had lazy days. I'm sure we all have. When they come, I hope we all turn them into a springboard for looking extra great the next day.  
 
 
A few housekeeping items:
1. I'm still hoping the perfect buyer(s) comes along for the wedding dress and crib bedding (see previous post).
2. My L.L. Bean items arrived and are great! I'll profile them later this week.

Before I launch into a study of more spring styles, I'd like to start this week with a little inspiration to dress better. The main goal of this site, as evidenced by it's name, is to interpret what is out there by way of fashion and translate it into real style for real women, most specifically modest dressers.  But I subtitled the blog section "Fight The Frump" to serve as a reminder that frumpy is never stylish.
As further inspiration this lovely Monday, I am showcasing one of my favorite ad campaigns: Piperlime's "Let's Get Dressed" series. Enjoy!
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I believe the sweats ad above and "OK, IT'S TIME" ad below were the first to hit the streets. Apparently some women were not happy about being called out, publishing blog posts along the lines of, "Forget you. I love my sweats!" I for one, sat up and took notice.  These ads hit at a time that I was getting really tired of my really casual baby-mommy wardrobe. 
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As with the Dockers ad for the men, this ad really resonated with me. It IS time to dress like we respect ourselves and our fellow humans. To embrace the joy that is looking chic; whether you're dressed to the 9's or simply dressed for the park. To remember we're worth the effort and it is absolutely true "you get what you dress for."
I so love the line, "It's time to give up lazy dressing altogether because it's time to LOOK FABULOUS again." Hear! Hear!
And I'd like to make one small edit.  "Let's put Saturday-night effort into Sunday Best!"
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How about, "Let's try harder than modesty t-shirts!"
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I own a hoodie. It's packed in my 72-hour emergency kit with our camping gear.
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I told you! Shoes make the outfit!
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Review this post if your actual heels & feet need help.
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I hope you heed all this good advice.
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I often hear the excuse, "It takes too much effort to create actual outfits."
Baloney! It takes less actual physical effort to put on a dress than to pull on sweat pants and a t-shirt. And it takes the same effort to pull on a skirt and shirt. 10 seconds to grab a couple accessories and put them on. Next excuse?

"Why bother? I just stay home with the kids."
Bother for YOU.  Bother for your kids who will remember what you were like growing up.  Bother for your husband who will come home at some point that afternoon and see you. You're worth the effort. You're worth the fun that clothing and accessories can be.

"My friends will think I'm weird."
Why? You're not naked at the park. What will most likely happen is half of them will think and acknowledge that you look great. The other half will be jealous. Either way, you'll inspire someone to dress better. Good style, just like a smile and happiness, is contagious. Infect everyone you know!
 
 
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"Shop for an evening gown when you don't need one.  That way you'll get one you love!"
- Isaac Mizrahi

I fear I've failed you, readers.  I wanted to share this quote before it was too late.  Too late as in, the week before your Christmas party when you're frantically racing through stores trying to find something to wear.  Frantically buying something you'll probably never wear again!  I should have posted this in June but what can I say.  I have kids.  But onward and upward, right?

The details for my husband's company Christmas party (the largest party we attend each year) were sent out this week and this year it will be a casual affair held at Costco of all places!  I've never heard of a Costco party but since it's one of the places I frequent the most (out of necessity and enjoyment) I'm looking forward to it.  I'm a little bummed there won't be a reason to get all decked out, but that's alright..  There will be other events and other times.

Your assignment this weekend is...
  1. Take a look at your calendar.  Do you have any fancy dress festivals on the horizon?  Do you know the details?  Venue, time of day, dress code.  If not, make the calls to gather those details!
  2. Go to your closet.  Yes, right after you're done reading this post.  Do you have anything suitable?  Sparkly? Shiny? Shimmery? A fabulous color? (Simple designs can merit fancy dress status if the color is right!) Does the occasion call for an evening gown or will black dress pants and a sparkly top be more suitable?
  3. Try your outfit on.  You probably haven't worn it in a while.  Does it look as good as you want it to?  Pick the shoes and accessories you're going to wear with it.  Put the whole thing on.  If you're happy then rest easy knowing you're set for the party season.  And yes, it is perfectly ok to wear the same outfit to different events.
  4. No outfit or not happy?  Before you start shopping for one - SECURE A BACKUP! It could be a dress you borrow from your sister or black jeans and your fanciest shoes and shirt.  Making sure you have a default outfit to fall back on will go a long way toward helping you avoid a pointless purchase.  You should have an LBD (Little Black Dress) in your wardrobe and an LBD can almost always be made appropriate for any party.
  5. Browse before buying.  Or maybe better put, "Surf before shopping."  Browsing the internet helps save wasted hours on the road and in the malls.  Look at what's out there right now, narrow down a style, then hit the shops with a plan.  If you don't have an LBD, I would suggest dedicating this shopping time to invest in one.  You'll get millions of miles out of it and now is the perfect season to find one that suits you. 
  6. Do not buy something you don't love.  There's no point in wasting the dollars.  Keep looking.  And avoid expensive, overly trendy items.  This is already an outfit you won't wear very often (most of us aren't hitting the fancy party circuit every month).  Your dollars will be best spent on something timeless that still fits your style.             
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Nordstrom


I hit Nordstrom to find a few quick pics to spark your creativity.

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Those sleeves are beaded, not see through!

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Sparkly jackets, blazers, boleros, and shrugs can instantly pop a basic outfit into party territory!  The same can be said for sparkly shirts and tanks under more basic jackets.

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Nordstrom


I just can't pass up a retro silhouette! 
And this color is gorgeous!

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Nordstrom
Don't forget the shoes!!

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Nordstrom
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Nordstrom

Enjoy your homework this weekend!  I hope it gets you excited for all the fun to be had in the coming months! 

Even if it's just you and your husband all cozy at home on New Year's Eve.  Dress up for each other and make that midnight kiss a little more fun!


 
 
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"Everything you put on your body tells the world how you expect to be treated."
- Clinton Kelly, What Not To Wear

Every so often I dream that Stacy London and Clinton Kelly show up at my door to recruit me for What Not To Wear.  "The burden of battling bad style is just too great.", they say, "You must help us!"  It's a lovely dream that's always fun.  I like to pop onto their website regularly to check for new tips and Style Quizzes.  My scores on the most recent two?  Smart Shopper Quiz = 100% Wow! You are truly a smart shopper! Your friends should always heed your fashion advice.  (See! I told you!) Style Myths Quiz - 100% Shut up! You're so fashion forward!

On a What Not To Wear episode this week, Clinton once again inspired me with the great quote above.  It's just like I said in my very first blog post, whether we want to or not, everyone makes a fashion statement.  Clinton is absolutely right - what we wear sends a message to the world about how to treat us.  During my years as a road warrior in the sales and marketing world, I saw the amazing power a dressier outfit can wield.  Not only did I get upgraded more often, I also moved through security lines faster, was approached in conversation by other well-dressed travelers, and received more courteous service from flight attendants and hotel staff.  I was able to pack less because I was already wearing some of the pieces of my suit.  If we were traveling as a team, I was always ready for dinner, in case we wanted to skip stopping at the hotel.

I'm no longer flying the friendly skies every week (Thank Heaven! Though I do miss the frequent flier perks!) and many of you are in a similar situation, no longer out in the working world, or at last not going to an office everyday.  But it doesn't mean there's nothing to dress for.  Every day is a new opportunity to tell the world how we expect to be treated.  And if you haven't liked the message you've been sending - change your tune TODAY!  I've been working with a good friend of mine who would like to dress more stylishly.  She's beautiful and thin and mentioned yesterday that she worries people will say, "Who does she think she is?" when she suddenly starts wearing better outfits.  I told her there will be two basic camps.  The "Wow! She looks so great!  I wish I could look that great!" camp and the sneering "Whatever!" jealous camp.  Never pay attention to the jealous camp!  Who cares what they think anyway.

Just as many of us start a new diet one random morning, you can also start new style.  Instead of sweats and a ratty t-shirt to the grocery store, try your nice trouser jeans and a blouse.  Takes the same amount of time to put on!  Or slip on a skirt with a sleek T and fun sandals.  I promise, you'll feel so much better than you did the day before.  And someday, somehow, good style always pays off.