Winterspring!

Dang I am behind on posting! I have been posting to my Facebook page: www.facebook.com/whyilikerainbows but I really need to catch up here. So with that in mind here are my latest winter-spring wears! During my monthlong travels in January and February I picked up a couple new outfits in Boston- it was so fun to shop with my dear old friend Trianis from college, and we happened upon a wicked Anthro sale that we couldn't pass up! Also... I cut my hair even shorter! Laugh In the spirit of lightening the load overall the hair had to go too. Shortest it's even been and I'm honestly loving it!

12728968_10153684733582935_5435399012054644128_n

535121_10153742063362935_204682175496191841_n

12670768_1037203839656916_4280030155521978616_n

fall fashion.

Falling into fall fashion... and massive closet cleaning! The positive effects of working through the Life Changing Magic book are coming to fruition, having reduced my closet by 30-35% (wheew!), making room for the things I really love to jump out at me. It truly is a joy!

Top left 2 photos are dress clothing swap scores (2 dresses, burgundy belt and pink heels- ow though, heels getting re-donated Happy) which was an incredibly fun event I was pushing to get the closet sort done by, and the beginnings of sweater weather... I also scored this amazing jean jacket in the trading process, something I've needed since letting go of my J. Crew one from high school a while back!


12065602_10153442647907935_4623375895610059532_n12109142_10153442645087935_1135528326734518570_n

clothes hoarding.

So I realized through this process that low and behold, I am a clothes hoarder. Happy I guess that shouldn't come as a surprise... but it did somehow, to realize my habits. I collect things, not to wear necessarily, but to have, so that I am "prepared"... but... you can only wear so many clothes at a time, in a week, in a month. And the fact is I just don't wear that much in that time and have way too much. It has made it hard for the things I love to really stand out.

For example, I adore cardigans, and have many on hand for temperature transitions. I spent hours finding the perfect one, fit, and bought it in 4 colors. I have had them for years now, hardly worn, and now they just don't really fit! So I bought something to covet and not to WEAR. Our bodies change over time and clothes aren't really meant to save forever and ever and to always be able to wear, at least not for me- I think that's a realization from this work. Instead they are meant to be worn and enjoyed, right now.

Another is that just because something fits and is comfortable (i.e. shoes), doesn't mean it is my style. Out went a bunch of brand name quality shoes that are both those things, yet I don't wear because they don't reflect who I am.

I need to think much more carefully when I bring something in, that's for sure. This is some of what went out in the clothing exchange and sold/donated, and there was more than pictured. All told I got rid of about 30% of my current wardrobe. It feels so much better already! I should have taken before/after photos.

Goodbye, extra small cardis. You are no longer for me, but that doesn't mean I can't look fabulous at my current stage in life! Now that I'm free of what no longer works, I can focus on what does and that feels awesome.


photkkkko

lists and notes, that's me!

I LOVE lists and list making. Been doing it all my life as far as I can remember. I have notebooks upon notebooks and piles of lists. In working on tidying up the clothing area this week, I came across this notebook- #nerdalert! I took the time to create all these labels and sections, in the hopes I could get a handle on my stock and help me know what to wear more easily. It makes me feel good to make these lists (and as I go through this process, I'm tempted to do it again!) but the thing is I don't look back at them... so they aren't a whole lot of help. Happy (This notebook had 2 entries, one from 2011- I have none of the clothes listed there now!, and early 2015).

I think what I probably need to do is a look book with Polaroid snapshots of my outfits in a visible place. I put things together when I'm organizing and have time to experiment, and want to remember to do certain things (none of which I can do when I'm in a hurry getting dressed daily).

I don't do so great with things tucked away in a drawer. It has taken me a while to learn this, first via a quiz in Real Simple magazine about left brained and right brained storage, and I'm totally a have-everything-out-on-display kind of person (with a flair for list making, which forays into left brain territory- I had 9 things right brained on quiz and 4 left- this also aligns with what I know about my MBTI Laugh). My Mom on the other hand, is totally a put-everything-away-in-a-drawer person. Once I figured this out it was easy to get my storage solutions and I love them all. See previous post on jewelry displays. So for now, I'm moving on from you outfit notebook, and saying thanks to you also, for helping me refine the best vehicle for my ideas!

phnnnnnnoto 2phoooooooto 1

goodbye old friend.

Day 2 of the Life Changing Magic - I did a first pass through of my jewelry, and quickly (and surprisingly) was able to pick out things that no longer "sparked joy" for me and out they went. Couple more nooks and crannies and I'll be finished up with jewelry- I am very pleased with how much I am getting rid of! And more importantly, how appealing what I have remaining now feels.

I have been skipping around Kondo's order a tiny bit when things jump out at me, like my trusty old favorite gold Banana Republic sweater from fall 2001. They just don't make 'em like they used to- this thing was a workhorse! I got it in Austin, TX, and it seemed to shrink and grow right along with me, and somehow despite my contracting and expanding size, it always fit perfectly! Now finally, with holes in the armpits Laugh, it is sadly time to retire her. Thank you goldy, for the 14 good years you have served me so well- we have been together through a lot of important times. I have happy memories wearing you in TX, when I moved to NC, and at least 3 different jobs. I can only hope to find another even halfway like you one day. Happy (PS- Kondo does suggest thanking items for the role and purpose they have served in your life when you let something go).


RIP favorite gold sweater- some of the jewelry I parted with,
and my reorganized and paired down displays below!
psssshoto

life changing magic.

So I am working through the Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up book by Marie Kondo slowly- if you don't know this book, you definitely have been under a rock because I am under a rock and I have heard about this book a ton Happy. There's so much out there already about this, so I am not going to go into the details of her work and principles. Basically you gather all like items together in one place, hold each item (starting with clothes), and ask "Does this spark joy?". I've been on my purging/tidying journey for years now, going at a turtle's place, but making progress, and I know how good it feels. I also know I still have more to do.

First she has you set your intentions, thinking about what it will be like to live in a clutter free space, and to journal about it. Then, to examine WHY you want those things. It is very powerful actually, and essentially boils down to the desire to be happy, in all its forms.

With these clear intentions in mind, I lit a candle, said a little prayer, and started with off-season clothes last night, which was good timing bringing in fall/winter items from my other closet. I was surprised that even though I was able to let go of a number of things, I rediscovered how much I love hoodies! They had been crammed behind my door in a corner, where I couldn't see them. Bringing them out, holding them, and folding them in a prominent place made a big difference! I am keeping an open mind during this process, and this was just a fun realization I didn't expect.

I've always loved hoodies, they make me smile, remind me of my 90s grunge skater music scene roots, feel core to who I am, and given the size of my collection (at least 14, and I got rid of 2 Laugh) that should be obvious, but it wasn't until doing this. I kept the most of these of any category I worked through by far, almost all of them, which is where the surprise came in. They are a source of comfort and relaxation (and mostly blue and green, clear colors of calm for me- my bedroom is these colors), which leads to me feeling fun and like myself, they can be customized with patches, they are super flattering for my body type, open V at the neck, with generous covering at the waist, like a jacket, so no wonder I love them. Feels amazing that I never clearly identified this before, and I'm already grateful for this process and what it will continue to uncover.


The 20 year old (OMG) XL U of R Tennis sweatshirt I can't part with- that can be my 1 loungewear item Happy, the amazing heart on sleeve shirt I DID part with because it was stained, but cut out the wording for the scrapbook pile (brilliant), the off-season pile I'm working through- you never realize how much you have until it is heaped all in one place!!, and my hoodies that I'm keeping,
very happy in their new prominent location.
phbhhoto

rule breakin'.

Recent outfits... and white jeans after Labor Day! It has been a quick and colorful summer! Many things I did not get to wear. My daily Tim Gunn calendar says I should get rid of the summer clothes I didn't wear... hmmm I will at least consider a few things Tim Happy

Also, holy hair growth! Chopping my hair has given it new life and it has been growing like a weed! Had to chop again yesterday.

11986345_10153374637702935_1864832806725748798_n

throwback thursday.

Since it's Thursday, I thought I would share some vintage items I've worn this past week: blue skirt, in heavy rotation at the moment, amazing vintage geometric blouse borrowed from my sweet gal pal Allison, and The Cure tee shirt I've had since 7th grade... Laugh

11904692_10153330969467935_8013432382868596933_n

business casual.

Good morning and happy Tuesday! Here's a look at my digs from last week. I was in a facilitator training program and had to look respectable most days- more exhausting than it looks! I have a closet full of "comfortable" heels etc., but you can bet they were kicked off at the end of each day!


phwsssoto

out with the old!

So I chopped off my hair... I woke up one morning and it was just time! Funny enough I did it 5 years ago, and then 5 years ago before that, so maybe I have a 5 year itch Laugh It has taken some getting used to and is more maintenance than my long hair funny enough, which I could go a week without washing or doing much with, but I'm really enjoying having something different and lightening the load! What I wore the past two weeks:


phosssssto 1
My incredibly talented friend and stylist Allison with the ponytail-
still looking into the best place to donate it!
1514970_10153261148722935_4973238163385049529_n11539788_10153261149052935_3447895247280975109_n
I had a green shoe theme going this week Happy
phohhhhto 2

shorts!

I have never worn shorts, even as a kid. They are just not my thing. When I lived in 110 degree plus Arizona in the middle of the summer, I wore my Levi's jeans and a tee shirt. ! I remember being so confused about all these half naked women running around on campus, with tiny short shorts with U of A or Wildcats on their butts... I came from the northeastern land of huge heavy knit sweaters, corduroys, socks, Birkenstocks, and clogs.

Some of it though, I realize, was due to not being especially fond of my legs. I have always had "thunder thighs", even as a small child. When I was very slender throughout my youth, my thighs were still there... and I remembered my goal of wanting to gain weight and "get a tan" so my legs weren't so white. The recent body positivity movement has influenced me for sure as I have seen curvy women of all sizes rocking their shorts, and I know something was blocking me from wearing shorts besides just not caring for them, in that I didn't feel I was built for them and was just embarrassed in a way to wear them.

It is true that my body is very well suited to skirts of all kinds and that shorts are harder for me. But all of a sudden, I was ready for shorts and I wanted to go out and get some. This is one of the pairs I got below that I have been slowly starting to wear around... a big step, and I feel great in them! My legs are far from perfect, but they get me around and are strong and stable. I am really happy that I am trying on another option and not limiting myself!


phovvvvto
Someone sent me this one the other day and I always liked it when I saw it around- what is this business about Mother Teresa not being good after all?! Sad Regardless, the sentiment is there of focusing on the good work of life and not little body idiosyncrasies.
11700948_787517891353146_3211059168813240256_n

fashion icon: Carly Simon.

Can we talk about outfit perfection here for Carly Simon's album cover No Secrets? My color palette and 70's vibe to a T... down to the blue suede clogs!


Carly_Simon3carlysimon_72
Some more shots in the hat... I love her so!
324edf0d00488ce31ce66ef2145d7ae61921ba8b_mtumblr_nmogb9DbBy1tb32yzo8_1280

clothes closets and fridge behavior?

My clothes closets are full in the same way that people who feel most comfortable having an overstocked kitchen fridges and cupboards are full. I have way more than I actually wear, and I feel comforted knowing I have many GOOD options on any given day for any situation. I don’t have the same need for my fridge and cupboards to be jam packed, although I do dislike having no food at all... Happy

It took me sitting in front of my closets on my trunk at the end of my bed frantically writing another entry before it left my brain to realize this fact about myself! It gave me a different perspective and I was able to look at volume and see what I have from a different angle.

Its time to work on that "highly edited" closet concept and at least take a few baby steps towards it by moving things out that I don't feel utterly fantastic in.

2014: a year of style!

What I wore this year...

photo 1-1photo 1-2photo 3photo 2-2photo 1-3photo 1-2photo 3-1photo 1-1photo 2-5photo 4-3photo 3-3photo 1-4photo 4-2photo 1-5photo 3-5photo 1-6photo 4-1photo 3-2photo 1photo 4photo 2

meeting the birth fam!

What do you wear to meet your birth family for the first time? This is pretty much the first question that popped into my head once I knew I was going to attend my new birth cousin Brian and his fiancé Becca's wedding in Connecticut in October! OMG! Meeting 160 new people at this event!

Even more importantly, I will be meeting almost the entire birth family, including 12 cousins, 2 aunts, 1 uncle, and birth mother in Vermont in the days before and after the wedding. They are having a welcome party for me when I first arrive, and so that is the first outfit to plan... then there is the rehearsal dinner outfit... I have been working to determine all these outfits down to the exact accessories, and only once I got them covered have I been able to breathe a little easier! I keep saying to people how funny it is that I'm so hyperfocused on what to wear, but, it's such a huge deal, and these feel like some important first impressions! I don't think I've ever been this obsessed!

Only down side is that both dresses require help zipping them up! They both fit perfectly but it is an inconvenience to say the least Happy

Welcome party outfit
psdfsdfsdfhoto 2
At welcome party with my sweet cousin Milo!
10713010_10152648995647935_5725037113157599990_n

Rehearsal dinner outfit - I loved the vintage retro feel of the silk dress with the graphic orange flowers, and the giant pearl baubles tied on with a satin ribbon. Also, my green patent leather clutch!

sdfsd
Meeting my new cousins at rehearsal dinner Happy
10291081_10152623784957935_4635604319380405984_n

I didn't have a before pic of wedding outfit... I wore a floor length red skirt, and this bright magenta/purple top, with a red belt and colorful chunky necklace. I wanted to feel completely myself and comfortable for the big day, and think I nailed it!

10514569_10152625292342935_7732302329324218874_n 10404130_10152626586227935_5488654919957403442_n

apple shirt.

My Momma and I: twinsies!
photo 2-4
Love it with my stretchy navy capris and blue suede shoes!
photo 2-6

werkin' it.

We just wrapped our biggest week long series of events to date at work, and it culminated in an evening graduation event that I spent a year planning. I got to wear the old LBD for a second time, and paired it with this scarf, which has a couple of our program colors in it, teal and green. You better believe I was happy to put my feet up at the end of a very successful evening!


Week at a glance, from low to high glam

photddddo 1

Graduation chic!
photo 3

Grammy, my style icon.

My Gram has always loved fashion, shoes, bags, and jewelry, and her and I certainly share this love (unlike my Mom! Happy). We have a lot of fun making a fuss over these things. Recently I had a couple sessions with her trying on some new clothes and going through her old jewelry...


Quelle heure est-il? Grammy's watch collection over the years- she got many of them from her special friend Pete.

photo 2-1

Isn't she the cutest? None of her clothes fit her, so I got her some new digs... she LOVED doing a fashion show for us!
photo 2

We went through her extensive jewelry collection, and had a blast trying everything on and looking through all the gems! Even Marshall helped Happy I now have many new hand-me-downs!
phfffotophotgramo

Grammy admiring my new purse from my friend Debra
10404141_10152415376987935_1865950437982966162_n

San Fran vintage style.

Just got back from an inspiring trip to the Bay area, my favorite, and couldn't let a trip pass me by without a little style digging while there... I had some amazing vintage Levi's finds in the Mission district by the pound... all high waisted in their 70's glory! My body was so meant to thrive in another decade Happy When I reside somewhere with less amazing wardrobe options, it's so easy for me to slip into dressing like an Old Navy drone... no offense ON because I do find many cute things there... but I when I visit places like SF, I remember how I really want to represent my best self via what I wear, and know I need to work harder to cultivate that, even if it means shopping only when traveling!

photo 2-3

Home road tripping in NC to the beach, raring to go in said Levi's, favorite tree necklace, and Chuck Taylor's, bringing back my Cali love memorabilia from days gone by Happy
photokjkjkjo

My friend Ry guy and I in a before and after- us on the left, 18 years ago... wow Happy (I remember those suede J.Crew maryjanes!) and on the right, San Francisco, August 2014
phovvvvto

Birk chic!

I played tennis after many years of not playing, and needless to say I overdid it, fell on the clay (played for 4 hours!!), then fell again the next day in my platform sandals walking on the sidewalk in my neighborhood and messed up my ankle. Major bummer, because I am so psyched about playing tennis again!

You realize very quickly when you sprain your ankle that you own absolutely no practical, comfortable shoes except sneakers... and I have a big trip coming up and need something walkable. So, I have jumped on the Birk trend! This is my very first pair of Birks, if you can believe it! (I had a fake pair in college but that doesn't count). I have been wearing these every single day, with my sexy compression stocking... :O I got the cutest, most versatile pair I could find and I am very pleased.

They also happen to be very in vogue right now with all the fashionistas...
http://racked.com/archives/2014/04/23/jcrew-claims-to-be-calling-the-birkenstock-revival-first.php

I'm sure I will get another bright colored pair sometime to add to the comfort collection!


photo 1-3

au natural.

Doing a little experiment this week. I have tinted my eyelashes and eyebrows with henna dye for 15 + years now for two reasons:

1) Because I was told I had really long lashes but no one could see them
2) Because when I'm bare faced liked this, I get lots of "you look tired" comments, from coworkers, friends, family etc.

Fair haired models can pull it off in close up photos, but it seems much harder in real life to look striking and not "tired" with light features. Going to give it a try this week and see how it goes!


photo 4-5

70's green bell bottoms.

Look at my Godmother and Godsister in the late 70s... Wow do I love those green bell bottoms! Wish she still had them Happy They are so my color!

photo 2-1

tattoo style.

I got my first ever tattoo last week in Dallas, TX. It is something I've thought about for 20 years... I wrote about it, shared about it, and suddenly it was the right time for this rite of passage. I knew I wanted a retro, round, very vibrant and colorful design to match my aesthetic... this is a piece of art that I will wear forever and it had to be right on! I traveled to see friends and work with an artist with 20 years of experience that I trusted. It hurt like hell, and the process was more complicated than I realized, but I'm so happy with the result!


1468814_10151961567382935_894691564_n
Jeff getting set up
1459787_10151961565147935_143989539_n
OMG! I have a tattoo!!!
1466030_10151961565152935_872624224_n
While I pulled from lots of things, this design came the closest to articulating what I wanted:
pddddhoto
With my designer YoungDoo, who helped map out my vision!
photo 3-1
pddddhoto

Dallas!

I visited my dear friends in Dallas this weekend, my first time really experiencing the big city, and had a blast. Went to a swanky holiday party, out on the town, and ate some delicious food. The weekend called for a bit more upscale dressing than bumming around Greensboro, and I was up for the challenge. This is my very first LBD! The fit is not bad for having zero time for alterations. It has a sexy gold zipper all the way up the back too! I am wearing my Grandma's beautiful chartreuse pearls and clip on earrings Happy I love this rusty red blazer as well - it needs to come out to play more!


photo photo 1

holiday partyin'

What I wore to my work holiday party- a semi LBD, wool with flecks of all colors ... love this dress and feel so grown up in it, but its pretty hot and I've only worn it a couple times!

photo 3-4

birthday.

Had a great birthday, wearing my new Free People vegan pleather mini skirt, sparkly crop top from thrift store, tights, my beautiful bordeaux Frye boots, copper circle necklace, and a white tee at one point in the day too Happy


photo 4-4

color girl.

In the spirit of expanding on the rainbow theme, another reason I love it so is because I love color.

Over the past few years my appreciation of color, style and aesthetics, and sharing this with the world through what I wear has blossomed, and it has become something easy and enjoyable for me to do. I am a novice now, but I'm sure I'll get more polished - in the meantime, it's just fun! A few recent fall outfits:


IMG_6190IMG_6241IMG_5803IMG_5563IMG_5605IMG_5700IMG_5857IMG_5924IMG_6176IMG_6138IMG_6086

back to school.

Came across this gem, and in honor of back to school, I post it with great nostalgia of this time... Picture it, Sicily, 1914... wait. Upstate NY, the country, first day of 6th grade. I had gone to New York City over the summer and HAD TO HAVE the latest fashion ensemble, which was this tubular situation you see below.... each piece was sold separately, even the hair bow, and I know it was not cheap, all told. Leggings, shirt dress, waist tube, neck tube, hair tube. Added my own orange nylon knee highs and black slip on dance shoes Laugh Topped it off with a fresh perm and curled bangs. I swore to my Mom I would wear it, of course.

My friend Molly went with the preppy look, peg legged rolled Guess? jeans, huge rugby shirt and loafers. And, oh yes, scrunchy white socks.

I took the road less traveled by alright... and wore this outfit exactly once. Happy I'm happy it gets to live again in retrospect!


photo 3-2

housewarming party.

I had a housewarming party this month to commemorate all the hard work I've been doing in my house... the theme colors were red, orange, and yellow.


photo 4-1

I wore a tried and true old standby outfit, something that feels comfortable and completely Valeriffic: J.Crew yellow skirt I got for $6 at a thrift store, that I have worn for past 10 summers, and Abercrombie tank top, which I have also had for at least 10 years, another great thrift find! Topped it off with a bright handmade enamel orange and yellow ring from one of my trips to Colorado.
1230057_10151741868767935_1979486373_n

Had fun with the primary color theme!!
1238748_10151741867982935_1894468422_n

Group sing a long with my buddy Terri
1236239_10151741869107935_1901153295_n