FIND YOUR FOCUS

Hi Everyone,

I am so excited about this blog! The response to my earlier introductory blog was so well received and I can’t believe how many people checked it out! Since I don’t know that many people, let me give you a little description of myself for those who have never met me. I am 66 years old, 5 feet 9 inches tall, and I weigh 195 pounds (way too much eating while socializing during retirement) and I have a pear shape (why are we compared to fruit?). If I were to sit down in a chair naked, I will have 3 tiers of fat sitting in my lap (sorry, not a pretty picture but I am being brutally honest and VERY transparent). Tier one is my belly, tier two the fat pad around my mid-section, and tier three is my saggy breasts. Tier three is the easiest to fix, just wear a good bra. Tier two is not really a problem because it looks small when compared to tier one (the dreaded belly). One of life’s cruelest tricks is that when I stand up, the only thing that disappears is my lap and the tiers remain!

Unless I get liposuction, my belly is going nowhere. It’s been with me for twenty years and it thinks it has squatters right. Therefore, I am going to try to solve the problem at tier one with some sort of intervention (to all my educator friends, doesn’t this sound like RTI?). Since I’m not going the liposuction route, I have to find a way to put outfits together that will do their best to create a “focus” where I want it and to minimize those areas that I don’ want to be the focus.

I love this quote by Stacy London, “Finding tricks to creating flattering body shapes is the key to style”. I also like the quote by Irma Bombeck, ” Sometimes I can’t figure designers out. It’s as if they flunked human anatomy”.

So with those quotes in mind, let’s get started!

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Regardless of whether you are into landscape design, interior design or outfit design, you start by creating a focus. To do this, you want to place something in a spot that draws the eye. This also means that the surrounding environment will be minimized in comparison. From my introductory blog, you know that I was a teacher, a school psychologist, and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst but I also have a degree in horticulture and enjoy landscape design. The pictures above show the focus I created when you walk out my front door. Your eyes are drawn to the color of the 6 foot x 4 foot hibiscus plant. The hardscape plus the monochromatic green coloring of the rest of the environment help to make the the grouping into a “focus”.

When putting an outfit together, I take that same design element into consideration. Hence, the title of this blog, “FIND YOU FOCUS”. Before looking at the first outfit, I wanted to say that I am not a professional model and my sister is not a professional photographer but we do the best we can with the talents we have been given. With that in mind, let’s look at the first outfit.

I love this outfit! First, let me say to anyone who doesn’t know me, I NEVER where real fur and I rarely spend over $100 for a piece of clothing. I got this great sweater for $60 dollars at the Saugatuck, Michigan sidewalk sale. This black sweater is a very lightweight knit and falls just below the knee. It has a belt but I just let it hang. I rarely wear a belt. I match it with a lightweight, high neck top and some very form fitting pants. I always wear tops that are somewhat loose fitting over my “tiers”. The fur becomes so much of a focus that I wear minimal jewelry. I have on a pair of small hoops and a black watch. The fur at the collar and cuffs act as accessories. I am 5’9″ so I can get by with a break in color at my ankles, but if you are short in stature, you might want to wear black all the way down to your toes. I have given up on wearing 4 inch heels but I will break them out for this outfit.

Black is the Great Minimizer and is a very sexy color (Hey, no gasps, I may be old but I am not dead yet!). All of today’s fashions will use the color black as a minimizer and put the “focus” where I want it.

I can be very bold with my fashion. I LOVE this look! I really like the combination of gold and black. I am wearing a loose knit top with a scoop neckline. The jacket is lightweight and I paired it with form fitting pants that look like leather ( the pants I like to wear are mostly polyester with a little spandex and can be thrown into the washing machine). I like to wear a pair of black flats with it but any size heel looks great. If you are not comfortable with this style of pants, the outfit also looks great with dark black jeans and short boots. I created a little focus with my jewelry. When I choose jewelry to wear with an outfit, I try to pair similar “lines”. Both my large hoop earrings and wide gold necklace have similar curved lines. Here’s the caveat, if you don’t like the look of your neck, don’t highlight it by wearing bold jewelry around your neck. Instead, wear a longer chained necklace but make it bold.

I love this jacket. It is fitted on top and flairs at the bottom. It hides all the “tiers”. There is nothing like a little white-on-black to draw your eyes to your focus area. I am wearing a simple black and white scarf that I have paired with a furry pin. Taking the black all the way down tends to make me look thinner. I am carrying the black and white theme in my jewelry. I don’t have much in the way of fine jewelry but I do like a good pair of pearl earrings.

This is just a fun outfit! I call this my Michael Jackson jacket. It may be a long jacket but I wear it as a dress. This is one of the few pieces I paid over $100. When I bought the jacket in a cute little store in Saugatuck, they told me not to put it in the washing machine. Each little figure is made of silk and is hand stitched. I can wear any color accessories I want but they need to be bold. I have paired this jacket with black tights and over-the knee, stretchy boots. However, the jacket looks great with black tights and a pair of black heels.

Well, that’s it for today. I hope you have enjoyed the blog. I also hope you will send me some of your own fashion successes and mistakes. For those of you with an apple shape (there’s that fruit thing again), remember it is not so much about what I wear but about you finding your own focus and minimizing where the focus shouldn’t go.

By the way, I lost 2 pounds this week by giving up chips. Still trying to decrease the sweets but that might take a while around the holidays. Hope all of you will join me next time and remember,

God loves you and so do I.

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