Wednesday, September 30, 2015

A Note on Dressing Confidently

In all my years of dressing myself -- through the ups of young high school style and the downs of poor grad school choices, the decades of thrift store shopping and the more recent years of Nordstrom purchases, the shifts in weight and size and age and hair length, along with my love for patterns and prints and wide leg pants and experimental looks -- I've learned a lot. But no lesson has been as important as this one: It really doesn't matter what you wear, as long as you wear it with an unapologetic and unyielding sense of confidence.

Of course, there are things that matter in attaining a certain style: fit (the most important of all, really) and visual interest (texture, shine, color, pattern according to Stacy London and Clinton Kelly, the What Not To Wear gurus) and current trend (if you care) and situation (retaining a sense of appropriateness... like not wearing a strapless bridesmaid dress to work, for example). But really, the most vital part of getting dressed (and feeling good overall) is not actually style per se. It's confidence. Let me say it again:

The most important element of getting dressed is confidence.

In fact, I really believe that confidence is one of the most essential parts of life. I mean, what are we if not confident? We are all unique and lovely individuals in our own rite; we each have something meaningful to contribute to the world and to humankind. Yes, it's important to be kind. Sure, we should try our best not to judge others. Of course, let's respect our fellow humans. Please try to be clever and intelligent as we most certainly need that in the world. And yet how can you succeed in any of these domains if not filled with a sense of confidence?

I'm not talking about the kind of confidence that makes you come off like an arrogant asshole with a huge ego. I'm talking about the kind of confidence that generates kindness towards others. The kind that breeds self love from within so you can go into the world as your best self. The kind that allows you to dance naked in the middle of the living room floor because you feel so damn good in your body. Let's celebrate the pock marks and discoloration and loose skin! Let's get wild about our strong legs and our nice cheekbones and our big heart! Let's shake our tight rump and our hardworking stomach and our reliable quads! Our bodies are masterpieces!

Quite honestly, it really chaps my ass to hear people criticizing themselves and their bodies. YOU are your biggest ally. YOU are your own best champion. It's really just bad business to be hatin' on your sweet bod. I see a variety of people with their clothes off in the dressing room and each time, I am struck by how lovely and wonderful each individual body looks. People may think I am judging them, and yet, I am really thinking: Wow! Her arms are amazing! Her calves look so strong! She has a such a delicate neckline - we should really capitalize on that with the next batch of shirts we try on!

I'm focused on the most positive and beautiful parts of people. As a stylist and as a human, I tend to see people's best parts -- parts that I'm really hoping they'll see too (if they don't see them already). It's interesting: often, I feel I must make it clear, perhaps even give my clients permission to feel joy around dressing themselves. Then many of them can at least start to take themselves and their closets less seriously. Who cares if someone judges you about what you're wearing? Who cares if you "make a mistake?" In so many situations, a person's sense of style is more about the confidence they have in their clothes than what they're actually wearing. Have they given themselves permission to feel good in their clothes? For stylish people (the people we see walking down the street who we want to emulate), the answer is often a resounding YES.

Let's promise each other one thing: Let's try to feel more confident and joyful in the coming weeks. And if it's especially hard, let's fake it until we make it. Take that compliment and try to believe it. Look at yourself in the mirror with love and respect and kindness. Try to be less serious and more playful when dressing yourself in the morning. Here's a secret: IT DOESN'T REALLY MATTER THAT MUCH. No one really cares. And if they do, let's not take it too personally. 'Cause our opinions of ourselves matter the most, right?


Wednesday, September 23, 2015


Happy 1st Day of Fall! I wore a new scarf today, drank my first pumpkin spice latte of the season, and took a long walk on this beautiful, crisp, perfect fall day.

New scarf :) Thanks Yvette!

First PSL this season

Since I've taken a hiatus from my Wardrobe Theme Weeks, I also thought I'd take a little break from blogging, too. Sometimes it's nice to step away from something and then come back to it after a little while. It feels fresher, lighter, more meaningful. The change in the seasons makes me want to reexamine my life -- where I spend my time and money, what I choose to do with my days, who I want to hang out with most often. It's a good reminder that I get to decide what works for me and it doesn't have to be the same all the time. I can change, just like the seasons do.

Can I share some photos with you? I don't know when I've ever asked to do such a thing, but it seemed appropriate, as if we are having a conversation through my blog...

Outfit photo!

Red lips and half a pompadore

 My dear friend Annie B and I went to dinner (long overdue for her 30th bday) at this lovely little restaurant in Ballard called Ristorante Picolinos and it was SO amazing! We had the most delectable ravioli I've ever eaten -- it was something like brown butter sage and oooommmmgggg, it was so good.

Isn't she the CUTEST? And the best dinner date!

Doesn't look like much, but it was homemade goodness

On Saturday, I baked alllllll day for my dear friend Yvette's bridal shower. I literally spent 4 very enjoyable hours baking coconut chocolate chip scones and quiche lorraine and coconut cupcakes and pumpkin bread. It was relaxing and therapeutic and mindless and lovely. 

 I went to the market to get some flowers for decoration!

Look at all these goodies! Isn't it just lovely?

We were being so goofy!

Yvette and her mama

The Packers game on Sunday night was a nail biter! I was so stressed during the game. Jason and I didn't watch it together -- it's best for our relationship if we're separated so we can cheer in peace for our respective teams.

Monday was chilly, so I packed on the layers. The photo below amuses me -- I had on a tank top, a sleeveless blouse (with the bow), a sweater (with the furry neckline), and a jean jacket! I also wore a skirt with tights. I was totally covered! I was DEFINITELY warm...

I also may have bought another summer dress at Anthro...

I'm off to San Francisco this weekend to spend time with some of my girlfriends from college. It's been a while since we've all been together -- my wedding was the last time and that was 4 years ago! Time sure flies when you're over 30... :) I'm also gonna see my bestie and I think we're gonna try out this place ---> Mr. Holmes Bakehouse

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Savannah Wedding

Y'all, I reckon my dear friend, Amber, had the prettiest southern wedding last week. On Wednesday morning, I flew to Savannah, Georgia at the butt crack of dawn (seriously: my flight departed at 5am) and I arrived just in time for the rehearsal dinner. A special thanks to my cab driver who graciously let me change my clothes and do my makeup in her cab. Always wanted to do that.

This is the outfit I started in (note the flannel)

Middle America

Flyin' over clouds

Savannah land

Birds eye view of the shipyard right before landing

The wedding site. So pretty :)

My rehearsal outfit...ironically bought in Savannah last time!

She's gorge and one of the kindest people I know. On point with the brows, too

Thursday was wedding time! I didn't realize it, but I ended up doing the majority of her hair that morning and I also styled her photo session. It was a long and beautiful day!

Makeup time!

Figuring out where to place the veil

Finishing touches

The final look with her bouquet

Their first look

They're REALLY first looking ;)

Such love and happiness!

Seriously, it was a like a Vogue fashion shoot

That dress

Can you believe she MADE her veil? True story.

So lovely

In the sweltering heat


Reception time!!

Their crest, African table runners, and WINE

My "I-got-ready-in-10 minutes" look complete w/Savannah frizz

We love each other.

Vintage reception dress. My favorite!

The night ended with a bang around 1am. They had such a fun dance party!! The next day, I went shopping. What else would you expect? Savannah has great shops! I've been there several times and I love to walk around the squares and the River Walk, sure, but I mostly want to shop. :)

True dat

After trying on lots of clothes and buying nothing more than a brie and apple sandwich for lunch (and macarons, I admit), we packed up the cars and drove south to Tybee Island which is basically the Georgia coast. First, I got a picture of the pineapple dress with the pineapple elevator. 

Our place on the beach in Tybee was so cute!

She's married now :)

My gear

That's pretty much the end of the trip. I ate breakfast the next morning and flew right out and back to Seattle.

I love cloud pictures :)

It was a lovely trip and I am so happy that I traveled to the other side of the country to see these two special people get married. Lifelong friends!