Lions and Tigers and Bears, OH MY!

Hi Everyone,

It is hard to believe another 3 weeks have gone by! We have survived the brutal cold while feeling like bears in hibernation. I was getting cabin fever and lifted my mood by dancing around the house to classic rock songs. It is funny how a song can bring back such great memories. Do any of my gal pals remember dancing at Valley View Club House in Frankfort? As I was dancing around my house to Cream’s “Sunshine of Your Love” I found myself smiling thinking about those fun times with my friends.

I was recently out to breakfast with my friend, Sharon, and we got to talking about the emotional aspect of fashion. We both felt that what a person wears affects how they feel. That is so true for me! I am not an emotional eater but I am an emotional dresser. When I feel down I wear a fun outfit like the outfit with the maroon, furry vest and paisley pants shown in blog 3. When I feel like I look dumpy I wear the sexy, black, leather looking outfit in blog 1. When I am feeling insecure I wear animal print because it makes me feel like “I am woman, hear me roar!”. I recently read a poster that said “Never underestimate the power of a good outfit on a bad day”. There is research demonstrating the phenomenon that dressing/clothing has an affect on the personality of an individual. Some research articles discuss the positive affects on mood when wearing new articles of clothing and wearing certain colors while others show how clothes affects perceptions of one’s competence. You know by now that I am always looking for a good quote that highlights the topic of the blog. I don’t know the author but I love the saying “I’m nicer when I like my outfit”.

So let’s go back to the topic of animal prints and how it brings out my inner cougar. When I know I am going to go into a situation where I have to exude confidence, my natural choice is to go for an outfit with the print of a powerful animal. When I am going into a meeting where I want to make sure I am heard, I wear either a power suit or an animal print outfit.

OK, I am on a roll finding great sayings pertaining to this blog so I am going to hit you with another one. “Stress doesn’t really go with my outfit”. This quote helps me transition right into how garden design and fashion design both have an affect on your mood. There is something about a garden that takes all my stress away and lifts my mood. Check out the following picture.

Whenever I feel stressed I sit in this lounge chair and feel nothing but peace. The sound of the waterfall in the pond (not pictured) next to the chair has such a calming affect. When the gardenia plant behind the chair is in full bloom, the beautiful smell of the blooms transport me to the tropics and all my troubles fade away. My mood changes and I am re-energized to face whatever life throws at me. Just like sitting in my garden, my clothes can change my mood and my attitude.

I have quite a lot of animal print clothes so I decided to hang some of them so I can feel like “The Leader of the Pack”. The top I am wearing looks like it is made of snake skin. Not only does the top have a snake skin pattern but the material it is made of looks like real snake skin. The top is such a statement piece that I don’t wear much in the way of jewelry other than a brown topaz ring and black hoop earrings. The top has a black hood that I rarely wear on my head but it adds an interesting feature to the outfit. It looks great with the leather looking pants seen in other blogs. I am wearing this outfit with a high heeled pair of shoes but it looks just as good with flats. It is amazing to me that I love to wear snake skin patterns because I have such a snake phobia!

I love the ruffles and uneven hem on this cheetah skirt. It seems only appropriate that I wear it with a brown safari jacket. I am wearing a cream colored sleeveless top, a copper colored snake skin belt and a multi-layered, multi-colored chain necklace. I have accessorized with gold earrings and watch to match the gold chains of the necklace. I will tell you the only time I will wear a belt is when I wear a jacket or vest over it. I love these 3 inch wedge heels because the wedge gives me great support and the cut-outs on each side of the heel (you probably can’t see this) gives the outfit a little edgy feel. You cannot wear this outfit with flats.

This outfit exudes power and class. The silver and black material just shines in this alligator printed jacket. Since I want the jacket to stand out I DO NOT wear it with black pants that have a sheen. I wear it with black patten leather heels and silver and black accessories. Have you noticed that I keep changing the outfits in the background? I have more animal prints than I have pictures for this blog so you are only seeing a portion of them. I just saw a stylist on a morning TV show who stated that tie-dye will be more popular than animal print this year but that animal print never goes out of style.

I have heard it said that you shouldn’t wear black and brown together but as long as you wear a transition piece, the outfit will look great. This vest is such a piece because it has both colors in it. This vest was made by the same woman who made the first top I showed in my last blog. She loves to combine different patterns and this piece is made up of different animal prints. I love South Haven craft shows! Under this vest I am wearing a black turtleneck top and brown pants. One of the great features about this vest is that you can wear just about any animal print in your accessories. I chose to wear a zebra patterned necklace and earrings. The rest of my jewelry is of gold tones because of the gold in the necklace. My brown shoes have a 1 inch heel and a brown buckle on them.

Well that is all for now. I wish I could say I was doing well on my diet but I am not. As I am going through my closets to figure out what to give to Amvets, I say to myself “Am I ever going to be able to fit into this again?”. While I would like to be able to say “yes”, I have doubts. I haven’t lost any weight but neither have I gained any so that is a plus! In March I start spring clean-up in my garden if the groundhog’s prediction comes true. Working in the backyard tends to help me lose a few pounds and tightens my muscles.

It will probably be another 3 weeks till my next blog. I have to start getting my house ready before putting it up for sale. Until then, remember,

God loves you and so do I.

What a Contrast!

Hi Everyone,

I can’t believe that it has been 3 weeks since my last post! Time flies when you live life to the fullest during retirement. In case anyone is new to this blog, it is basically my opinion on how to use clothes to minimize the areas of my 66 year old body that I need to hide so I don’t need to use a body shaper (yuck!). I use the clothes in my closet as examples of how to do just that. I recently looked at Lynn Slater’s fashion blog. She is a 70 year old woman with great fashion sense. The problem is that I can’t afford the clothes she wears and I can’t pull them off because she is very thin (definitely not me!). However, I like the way she mixes textures in her outfits. I also liked the quote she wrote on her blog: “Spend time knowing who you are and then thinking about your clothes as expressing who you are”. I am a very open minded person so I think of my style as very eclectic. Lynn also said that people talk about when you age you become invisible. I think she would agree with me that one way to become visible is through the outfits that we wear. I agree with her that age is irrelevant when it comes to fashion style.

I always like to talk about current fashion trends though I wear what I like even if it is not trendy. I don’t want to seem like a chronic complainer in my blogs but what is this trend of tucking a small portion of the front of a shirt into the front of a waistband and letting the rest of the shirt hang out?!! When I was looking at Lynn Slater’s pictures, there she was wearing the above said trend showing a very flat belly. If I tucked my shirt in, even a small portion, I might just as well strap on a neon sign on my midsection that flashes “LOOK OUT, BELLY BELOW”. The last thing I want people to notice is the protrusion of tier 1 (the dreaded belly). I never thought I would thank Kim Kardashian for anything (I just don’t get her popularity) but let’s face it, she made big butts popular so that is one problem I can leave “behind” me (sorry that was a “back ended” play on words). Because of her, I can solely concentrate on the problem in front of me. There is no way I can tuck my shirt in the front. Not only would people notice how large my belly is but they might also see the less-than-appealing rubber band I sometimes use to connect the waistband because I just couldn’t get the pants buttoned or snapped on that day (not a pretty picture, but true).

So let’s talk about a fashion element that I do find interesting which is “contrast”. Let me give you a few non-clothing examples to make my point. There is not one room in my house designed in “country” decor but if I walk into a touristy general store or an Amish shop, I am mesmerized by the amazing quilts. I am in awe of the choice of contrasting squares of cloth that shouldn’t go together and yet they do. Another example is when I peruse through a magazine and come upon a picture of a French country living room. I am drawn to the style of combining a striped couch with flowered pillows or chairs. The contrasting patterns hold my attention. It’s like going to an art museum where I eventually become bored with looking at landscapes, portraits, and floral paintings. Just when I think I can’t look at another painting, I walk up to an abstract Picasso and I say “Whoa, what the heck is this?!!” and because of all the contrast, I can’t take my eyes off of it. It is because it makes no sense, I find it interesting.

I think the best example of contrast in design can be found in my back yard.

This is a picture of my backyard as I am looking out the sliding glass door of my family room. I have over 30 containers around my lot that I planted not counting the flower box around part of my deck. When I invite my friends to my backyard , they usually take their time looking at each container or grouping. I believe my landscape design, including containers, is interesting because I use a contrast of textures, colors or shapes. For example, in the container seen in the lower left hand corner of the picture, you can see the fuzzy plumes of the Rubra grass and its spiky red leaves next to the dark, scratchy green leaf of the heliotrope with its purple flower that smells like vanilla bean when the sun hits it. Also in the container is the spade shaped, deep purple leaf of the potato vine and a red geranium with coral begonias, both with lighter green leaves. Let me relate this to articles of clothing. To me, a top is a top is a top, some are pretty to look at but after one glance you don’t need to look any further. It would be like planting all 30 containers with geraniums. However, when you wear an article of clothing that has a lot of contrast, just like my plant groupings, it becomes interesting and fun to look at.

On that note, let’s look at some interesting outfits. Remember, it is not important if you like or dislike my clothes, they are only a way to demonstrate the concept of “contrast” in fashion.

Who would have ever thought that a camouflage pattern would look perfectly fine on a pink flowered background or that a tie-dye pattern would look good with a flowered pattern. How about all the different colors of green. I wish I was in the Bahamas! I paired this top with a pair of green jeans and an olive color tee underneath. With a casual outfit, I wear what I consider to be my casual accessories. Those of you who know me are aware that I am technologically challenged. I still use a flip phone and I have no idea how to use the phone’s camera. I do not want to be digging through my purse to find out what time it is so I always wear a watch. I have watches of many colors so I always try to use them as an accessory by coordinating them with the color of my outfit. Here I an wearing a green watch and an small antique gold metal plate that says “Well behaved women rarely make history – Eleanor Roosevelt”. That is so me!!! I am also wearing dangling hoop earrings with multiple antique gold charms and colored beads. If I am wearing metal jewelry I like to keep it all in the same metallic family, silver with silver, gold with gold, copper with copper. I tend to wear dangling earrings when there is no other accessory around my neck because they distract the eye away from my long neck, much like an outfit with contrast tends to distract the eye away from all my lumps and bumps.

I love this jacket! It is made up of several different patterns all of which have a shiny gold metallic thread running through each swatch. What could be better than that! It is the closest I will ever get to the real thing. What makes the jacket so interesting is that each pattern not only has a different design bit they are also different in shape and texture. I have paired it with the somewhat shiny material of both the top underneath and the black, polyester blend pants I am wearing. The accessories include a gold and black watch, bracelet, and ring. I have added more contrast by pairing a curved line gold necklace with a pair of straight line gold earrings.

This gray and black jacket has swatches depicting several different animal prints and is combined with an argyle pattern. All the swatches are made of rayon and wool so I added more texture by wearing a previously worn pin (earlier blog) that is made up of feathers that reminds me of zebra stripes. I am wearing a black top and dark gray pants. Because my face tends to look washed out when I am wearing gray, I wear a bold, shiny, silver necklace which brightens up the skin color of my face. I am also wearing shiny silver earring, rings and a silver and black watch.

I decided to throw this jumper dress into the mix. It is made up of two different flower patterns and a cheetah print, each print is divided by a black stripe with a small pattern running through it. I am wearing it with a black jewel necked top but you could wear it with any top that matches one of the colors in the jumper dress. I am wearing a sunflower pin because one of the patterns is made up of sunflowers. I am wearing cheetah print earrings with a solid brown bracelet with gold trim. Because of the gold trim in the bracelet, I wear the outfit with a gold bracelet watch. The ring I am wearing is made up of three different metals of varying shapes and colors that match the colors in the dress. I said I don’t usually mix my metal accessories but this is the exception because they are all in a single piece.

That is it for today. Just one order of business before I talk about my diet. As I have said, I have little knowledge of technology. I realized that if you are reading this blog on your iPhone, the place to indicate that you want to follow my blog is at the very end unlike on the iPad where it is located on the title page. Just hit the word “Follow” if you want to get a message telling you when the next blog will be posted.

As far as my diet goes, I lost the weight I gained over Christmas but nothing more. So really, I am starting from square one. Here is my problem, I don’t cook or bake but I am obsessed with baking contest shows on Netflix. My sister recently showed me how to get to Netflix on my iPad and I have been through every episode of every baking contest I had access to on the streaming service. The design of each dessert is amazing! I really think I am getting subliminal messages to stop at the bakery I pass when I drop my dog off at doggie day care. I don’ think I could drive safely with blinders on my eyes so I have been taking a longer route to and from the daycare so I won’t have to pass by the bakery. Willpower, Willpower, where for out thou, Willpower!

Until next time,

Remember, God loves you and so do I.

Bring It On Up!

Happy New Year to all of Pam’s gal pals! After re-reading my last Facebook post, I realized I referred to all of you as my “lady friends”. I decided that sounded way too matronly so this time my greeting reflects the fun loving nature of the women who are my followers. Pam’s “gal pals” is not as over-the-top as Lady Gaga’s “little monsters” or Beyonce’s “beyhive” but it does reflect a group of women who just “wanna have fun” with fashion. To all my educator friends who went back to work this week, spring break is right around the corner!

For all my new friends who are visiting the blog for the first time, you might want to scroll down to the introductory blog and blog #1 to understand what this blog is all about. In a nut shell, it is to give my opinion about one of my favorite subjects – “fashion”. Specifically, the fashions that enhance the bodies of those of us over 55 and are fun to wear (not necessarily what is currently trending). Since most designers don’t focus on our age group, we have to help each other. I use the clothes in my closets to discuss fashion styles (I have 5 closets because I never throw anything away).

I was just in Morris, Illinois,with my friend Caryn, to take advantage of the after Christmas sales at the cute little shops in the downtown area. I saw a dish towel for sale that really made me laugh because it was so true. On the towel was written, “Being cremated is my last hope for a smokin hot body”. At 55 and over, with all the body issues that come along with the age (belly issues, anyone?), we have to use our clothes to help minimize those areas we wish were a little smaller or a little more shapely. Just because our bodies are not perfect, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have fun with our clothes. Just because we are over 55 doesn’t mean we don’t want others to notice us! Never would I have thought that I would be using a quote from my favorite children’s author in my fashion blog but it was Dr. Seuss who said, “Why fit in when you can stand out!” So let me show you how I stand out.

I am going to start the first blog of the new year complaining about a fashion trend that I think is a fashion faux pas but is often seen on starlets and models in fashion magazines (and on my very fashionable daughter. Sorry Jess). Let me ask you, why do women create a focus by putting a “pop of color” on their feet? When women wear outfits that are muted, neutral, or monochromatic in color, why do they want others to look down and focus on their feet? Unless someone is trying to appeal to those who have a real foot fetish, I don’t get it. I wear a size 10 shoe. That is a lot of “pop”. If you can help me understand this fashion trend, please hit the word “comment” at the end of this blog and tell me what I’m missing. I was watching one of the morning shows today and the guest was wearing a red pair of shoes trying to match it to a little bit of red in her shirt. Her pants were dark and the rest of the print in her shirt was dark. When the camera pulled back to show her whole body, you could not even see that there was red in her shirt but my eyes were constantly drawn to her red shoes.

I always like to prove a point by using a design element in my garden. Below you will be looking at the outcropped area in the corner of my flag stone patio. It is filled with plants that don’t require a lot of water.

The bed contains some perennials that bloom in pale colors of yellow and light pink for a few weeks but it is the annual lantana to your right that produces vivid colors of red, orange and yellow providing that pop of color. It is still a young plant in this picture but at maturity it is extremely eye catching. The eye is immediately drawn downward to the lantana on floor of the bed because of the monochromatic background. It is not until the late summer that the eye is then drawn back up when the copper flowers of the tall grasses are in bloom.

The same thing happens when your pop of color is on your feet or on your pants. The eyes of the beholder will look down at your legs or feet. This is OK if you have on a great pair of pants or shoes but you need a way to draw the eyes back upward. That is unless your legs are your best feature and you don’t mind others talking to them instead of looking at your face when conversing. Seems kind of creepy to me but what do I know. So let me show you how to “bring it on up” so the eyes of those looking at you are closer to eye level or how to diffuse that single focal point so that the whole outfit becomes the focus.

I can’t imagine that the first item you focused on wasn’t this great pair of pants. I think this whole outfit came from my favorite local women’s retail shop. I feel like I have bubbles going up my legs. I bring the eye back up through my accessories. My white “bubble” necklace is enhanced by the black background. It is hard to see my earrings in this picture but they are black with white outlined concentric circles. My bracelets match the rope of my necklace. I love this top! It is made of viscose (rayon) and spandex. It is very stretchy and is a great length. However, if you have it in any other color other than black (the great minimizer) it can make you look like the broad side of a barn and reveal every bump on your body. Fortunately, there are ways to work around this.

For those of you who know me well, you know that this outfit is sooooo me! Fun, fun fun! This is one of those outfits where you end up focusing on the whole instead of it’s parts (Wow! That makes me sound like a psychologist. Wait, I am a psychologist!). These are the same boots I wore in an earlier blog. Instead of wearing them over the knees, I scrunched them up below the knees. The leggings are a wild paisley pattern ( I bought two pair of leggings for $12 at Walgreens last year). Your eyes might go directly towards them but they are quickly drawn to this great faux fur trimmed vest. I wore a black top to minimize my tiers (see blog#1) and this great necklace was the closest thing I had to a peace sign. The earrings match the necklace. I was just watching a fashion stylist on one of the morning TV shows who said the fashions of the 70’s are trending this year, especially tie-dye clothing. So, since I have been wearing this outfit for over a year, does that mean I am a trend setter or am I so far behind that I am just catching up to the styles of the 70’s?

Thank you, Blake Lively! She has been so instrumental in promoting this style. A more masculine look has been trending due to her fashion influence. I was just reading a women’s magazine in which a stylist said that a sleek, long blazer directs focus vertically for an instant long and lean look. I’m going with that! This pair of pants are like a Monet water color painting. They are wide legged pants that flow when you walk and have an elastic waist (yeah!). One of the reasons I love pants with a colorful pattern is that you have so many options for your shoe color. All it takes is a large, colorful flower pin on a black background to draw the eye upward. I am wearing copper colored earrings because there is a copper color in the pants. Don’t I look sophisticated in this pose? It’s amazing that I could figure out how to look like that. It doesn’t come naturally.

I threw in this summer outfit because I wanted to show you how a simple, brightly colored top could bring your eyes upward. I know it is hard to see but the center of some of the flowers are coral. I am very trendy in this picture because the color for 2019 is coral. I love this navy blue dress. I originally bought it as a swimsuit coverup. However, I also like to wear it as a top. You will probably see it again in a later blog when I highlight accessories. It is so versatile and hides all sins. The pants are so colorful that I could have worn any color sandals but I decided to match them with the navy dress. With all the color in this outfit, I wore a very simple, coral colored, flower necklace with matching earrings and pair of navy sunglasses. Boy I wish it was summer!

Well, that is it until next time. Hard to believe it has been three weeks since my last blog. Between getting ready to host both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day get-togethers with family and so many Christmas get-togethers with friends, the time has gone by quickly. Now I have to start getting my house ready to sell. I will miss my garden but will always find a way to enjoy the beauty of nature. As far as my weight, I have gained my usual 5 pounds from all those cookies and Christmas candy. Many were gifts so I had to eat them so as not to offend anyone. So I am going to get serious about losing a few pounds so I can fit in some of my favorite outfits. My New Years resolution was to drink more water. I am such a Diet Coke addict that it is hard not to reach for a can of pop. It is a hard habit to break. I am up to two glasses of water a day. Baby steps.

Remember, God loves you and so do I.

Over the Top

Hi Everyone,

Welcome to another dramatic episode of “Hide Your Tiers” (sorry, kind of sounds like the beginning of a soap opera “Like sands through the hourglass….”). For those of you who didn’t catch the “Tiers” humor, you should probably scroll down to Blog #1 where I explain the “tiers”. It has been three weeks since my last blog and I read somewhere that I should post more frequently. The problem is now that I’m retired I’m busier then ever and with the holidays it has made it difficult for me to post any sooner. So first a little blog business for those who keep checking up on me. I believe that if you hit the word “Follow” on the lower right hand corner of the title page screen and put in your e-mail address, you will be notified when each new blog is posted. DON’T press the three little dots or you will end up writing your life’s history.

For those of you who read my past posts, you know that I don’t let my age of 66 dictate what I wear. I love this quote I read on a poster, “Life is short so make every outfit count”. Blog #2 is called “Over the Top” because I am showcasing a few of my favorite ponchos. You have to wear a poncho over another top unless you have a million dollar, diamond studded bra. Since I worked in the field of education, I can assure you that the closest I come to baubles on my bra is the hook-and-eye on the strap. It’s not an ugly hook-and-eye but it’s not worth risking getting arrested for exhibitionism.

I LOVE PONCHOS! I can eat all I want and get bloated to the point of feeling pregnant but nobody else notices. How great is that! Unlike when I have to wear a body shaper to minimize my tiers, I am free to let it all hang out. That brings up the topic of Spandex. I am about to go off on a tangent so bear with me. I was reading a woman’s magazine featuring this very thin actress and it talked about using shapewear to hide her belly (tier 1) under her formal wear. OH, PLEASE! In order to even make a dent in minimizing my belly, I would have to wear a a body shaper that was at least one size too small. Of course, I wouldn’t be able to eat, talk or breath just so people might notice I was a millimeter smaller in profile before I faint. To be perfectly honest, by the time I tugged and pulled and tugged and pulled on my Spandex for at least a half hour, I would be too exhausted to finish getting ready (voice of experience). So why bother? The best solution to a tier one problem (the dreaded belly protrusion) is wearing a poncho. So let’s get started.

I love this look! It is a black and white outfit that screams for red accessories. The poncho came from Chicos, my favorite local clothing store. When I wear a poncho I like to pair it with jeans and boots. It makes me feel like I should be in the Alps in a small chalet. However, unless I win the lottery, I will have to settle for someplace local that has a little fire place. Now you are going to see how obsessive I get in my thought process when picking out accessories. My earrings are black hoops because they are circular. When you spin around in this outfit, the stripes seem to circle around your body. How’s that for a rationale? I have paired the poncho with black jeans and a short, black boot. When your pants and your footwear are the same color, it makes you look long and lean. I’ll take whatever help I can get! Underneath I am wearing a black top with three quarter length sleeves but if you are at that stage in life where you are always warm, wear a black tank top.

When I buy an article of clothing, I always look for a unique piece. I love how these colors blend together. I typically don’t wear multicolored outfits, but this poncho and my Michael Jackson jacket (Blog #1) are the exceptions. The last color at the bottom of the poncho is navy blue so I continue that color with navy blue jeans and a short, navy boot. I paired it with a beautiful burnt orange flower pin and bracelet, and navy, hoop earrings. Since the poncho is extremely light weight, I wore a long-sleeved, navy, mock turtleneck top underneath the poncho. You can’t see it, but I am also wearing a round faced watch with a navy blue strap (I keep that circular thing throughout).

This poncho really makes me look slimmer than I am, regardless of whether my stance is in portrait or profile. It has a false sleeve as it is connected only from the elbow to the cuff. I am wearing it with a pair blue jeans that has threading, at the seams, similar to the color of the poncho. I wear accessories that compliment the long, narrow look of the fringe. This is a rope necklace with a long, narrow gold colored leaf. Again I am wearing the navy boots for that long, lean look.

I took a picture of the hoop earrings because I wanted you to be able to see that they look like they have little pieces of fringe hanging off the hoops (obsessive, right?).

This is a dressier poncho so I forgo the jeans and opt for a a nice pair of pants. I have the option of wearing the poncho with any of the four blocked colors. The blocked pattern really draws the eye upward. I decided to have fun with my pose in the first picture instead of trying to look like I know what I am doing when modeling. Thank goodness I got my nails done before this picture was taken! In the first picture, I paired the outfit with cream and black flats. In the second picture, I paired the outfit with black shoes with a graded two inch heel. Because of the square shapes on the poncho, I wore a cream colored watch with a square face and a black leather bracelet with gold accents. The zipper of the poncho is a brassy gold so I paired it with a pair of brassy gold earrings that have a dangling cream colored pearl in the middle (See description below).

These pearl earrings are unique so I took a picture of them. They look like they are braided with pieces of gold metal but they are actually made from grass stalk (Syngonanthus Nitens) that can only be found in the most northern part of Brazil. The stalks are harvested once a year during flowering season in order to protect and sustain future crops. No chemicals or dyes are used. Amazing! The weave pattern looks a lot like the alternating teeth of the poncho’s zipper.

Instead of a garden picture, I decided to throw in a coat picture. If you are going to wear a poncho you need a cape coat to wear over it. If you wear a sleeved coat your poncho will have an awful lot of wrinkles when you take the sleeved coat off. Of course for me this could be a positive because the “focus” will be on the large wrinkles of my poncho instead of on the smaller wrinkles on my face.

So in conclusion, ponchos rock! If you have any thoughts you would like to share with me, like how you feel about body shapers, hit the “comment” icon at the end of this blog. By the way, I haven’t had any snack chips since I started this blog back in November but I have not lost one pound. It might have something to do with the 4 pounds of chocolate candy that has mysteriously disappeared from the holiday candy bowls. I think the candy might be hiding in my tiers.

Until next time, remember, God loves you and so do I.

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.

To all my friends far and near,

So many of you told me you would like a peek into my closets. As a school psychologist and BCBA, I was fortunate that I never had to wear the exact outfit twice during the school year. I was able to do this through creatively putting together pieces I had and the fun accessories I put with them.

However, this blog is not just about my clothes but rather about using them as a springboard for a discussion, with all of you, about fashion. I don’t know about you, but the magazines I read or the flyers I get are not reflective of our age group. Even if you found a company who uses older models, their bodies do not look like mine. There is a reason most women’s magazines have articles on losing “the belly”. It is not that younger women don’t have “the belly” but it is so much harder for us to lose it.

As someone who worked with children with behavior problems, I would start working on changing the environmental factors before working directly with the child. I use the same concept when deciding on an outfit that would enhance my body. I will work directly on my body during this blog because, like many of you, I have a few different sizes in my closets of clothes I would like to show you. So if any of you would like to share diet tips with me or offer words of encouragement, I would be grateful. One of my favorite Irma Bombeck quotes is ” I am not a glutton, I am an explorer of food”. If you don’t know who Irma Bombeck is, you might not be a baby-boomer. Have you ever added up the pounds you’ve lost over your lifetime? Considering how much I have lost, I should be really skinny.

I hope you will search for my blog each week and talk fashion with me. I will also be showing you pictures of my beautiful gardens to show you how nature influences fashion and vice-versa.

The blog officially starts December 3rd. Hope to hear from you then.

Remember friends, new and old, that God loves you and so do I.

Pam