Archive for June, 2011

June 29, 2011

I Think We Need A Bigger Boat

Handbags: It’s been on my brain for a few days now. I don’t know if this blog is going to help me redefine my wardrobe or send me into a panic attack thinking about all the things I can’t afford.

I happened to have dinner with a friend last night and she owns so many lovely and expensive things and always looks fabulous. She has 9 Prada bags! She even told me she worked and saved for a really long time to own a Birkin and after reaching $7000 she changed her mind. When I asked her if she came to the realization that it was “just a bag”, she told me “oh no, nothing is ever ‘just a bag'”. Help! I’m in unchartered waters!

Maybe it’s because I’m new at this whole thing, but the amount of blog/support groups for women who own expensive things is a puzzle to me. I’d love to know if they live in debt over an accessory. Do they sleep at night because of the amount of money they owe to Visa because they carry a fabulous handbag? I just spent 4 years crawling out of credit card debt and I am living by the rules, “If you can’t pay for it in cash, then you can’t buy it”. My purse, or handbag, as I’m learning the proper terminology, sits on the floor next to me. If I had an expensive bag, would I sit it on my desk so the three guys in the shared basement workspace could “oooh” and “aaahh” over some leather?

One of my co-workers and I were chatting over my new found obsession of owning a Birkin Bag and she asked me, “Which size do you want?” My eyes almost shot out of my head. So now there are different sizes? And how does she now this? She then went on to tell me about the different Louis Vitton factories in France and Spain and what it means to own different bags from different factories. Useless info, she said, but she knows these sorts of things. Fascinating!

I think I’m going to have to refine my initial goal a bit. And I never did say that I was going after the most expensive stuff, but I know that quality is better than immediate satisfaction. Stay tuned.

June 28, 2011

Shoes & the Cost Per Wear Dilemma

I read that wearing good quality shoes is key to pulling together an outfit. My daily footwear of choice is the Old Navy flip flop. What’s not to love? They usually cost less than a cup of the Bucks and if you add up the cost per wear, they are practically free. On a side note, have you heard of this Cost Per Wear nonsense? Experts basically say if a pair of jeans costs $60 and you wear them twice a week for a year, then they really cost you $2.50, or something like that. Well, if I buy a pair of flip flops for $5 and I wear them 180 days a year then they really only cost me 27 cents! Which is a hell of a lot cheaper than $2.50! Regardless, I kind of get it, I just know that if I also spend $100 on a quality piece of clothing, I also have to eat a little less for one month and sacrifice a margarita at my favorite Mexican neighborhood joint.

So I took a good look at my shoe closet. Wait, did I say ‘shoe closet’? I mean the small dedicated space I have for a few boxes of shoes. And here is what I have:

A fabulous selection of Old Navy flip flops in grey, red, green and some old flops with a shiny thong. A pair of blue shoes purchased off the Coach sale rack. The fabulous Badgley Mischka blue shoes that I wore for my wedding, that I don’t know if I’ll ever wear again, and the very first pair I purchased after I lost everything in Hurricane Katrina. Yes, before a pair of flip flops or tennis shoes, I bought these. And then a variety of black ballet flats, wedges, and ankle boots. See, I have good things, just not GREAT things!

I’d like to take a look at what a well-stocked shoe closet should consist of and what I seem to be missing. After reading countless blogs on The Top 5, 6, 8, 10 Shoes Every Woman Should Own, I have compiled a list.

Ballet Flats. In black of course, and then a neutral and one trendy, like a leopard print or something. I don’t know!
Brown Hue Thong Sandal.  I went on a mission to my local DSW to find this. I tried on at least 20 pairs and didn’t love the way I looked in any of them. I walked away with a pair of white low-rise Converse All-Star shoestring-less shoes that I have yet to wear.
Classic Black Pump – pointed or round. I think I have this. It’s got a peep-toe. I don’t love it, but it’s comfortable. I’d love a pair of Louboutin’s.
Tall Stiletto Boot. I have these too. They are more cowboy on the top and super uncomfortable. I almost threw them out because I didn’t wear them once last year but I decided to hang onto them one more year.
Wedge/Espadrilles.  Not quite sure what espadrilles mean but I did buy two pairs of Steve Madden wedges in different colors, one black, one neutral and have worn the them once or twice. It was a splurge. I went to France and I didn’t want to stand out as an American. haha
Kitten Heels.  I have never been a fan of these. I may have a pair of brown ones that qualify as kitten heels but they are so loud, you can hear me coming from a mile away.
All Weather Boots/Uggs.  I’ve never felt the need for these but I always regret that I don’t have them when it’s freezing cold in Atlanta. I’m from the deep south of New Orleans and I still have a hard time accepting winter.
Ankle Boots.  I purchased my first pair last winter and I really do love these. I find they go better with skirts.

Okay, so that’s the list. Whew, I know women have a sickness when it comes to shoes but this is a lot to digest. I know baby steps are in order because we haven’t even covered the 5 types of handbags every woman should own, or the massive amounts of accessories. Hmmmmm….Stuff to think about.

June 28, 2011

Where Do I Begin?

As part of this yearlong journey to transform my wardrobe, I have made a list an extensive list of essentials, seeing that I’m coming from logo tees and ripped jeans. After scouring blogs and blogs and more blogs I have come up with lists and lists that are scary and long:

  • 10 Pairs of Shoes Every Woman Should Own
  • Handbags For Every Occasion
  • A Nautical Top
  • The Perfect Jean, Black Pant, Cardigan, Trench…
  • Accessories: Sunglasses, Belts, Hats, Jewelry, Nail Polish
And of course seasons change so winter, spring, fall, summer all need appropriate clothing. Oh my goodness, this is going to cost me more than graduate school. I’ve come up with a plan of action. I like to believe that some of the things I own are salvageable so I’m not going to donate everything! My husband may shoot me. But I will have to budget and wisely choose what’s necessary. Going with that, I’m going to start with shoes.
June 27, 2011

Dear Diary

Dear Diary:

We are about to become great friends. I plan on sharing my style secrets, or lack thereof, as I spend the next year revamping my style and wardrobe. I am in my mid-thirties but I dress like I am 12. I have had the same hairstyle, wardrobe, and attitude about clothing for as long as I can remember: Buy for comfort and what you can afford. My wardrobe channels Daria Morgendorffer, wear the same thing day after day and try not to get noticed.

I work at a super creative job where I rarely meet with clients and sit in a bottom level basement where dress is casual and I’m surrounded by guys. What brought on this change? I have recently become fascinated with the world of new wave French cinema and desire to live the lifestyles portrayed in these films. A few months back, I watched a film called La Piscine. I had no idea who the beautiful young actress in the film was and after doing some research, learning that it was Jane Birkin, Charlotte Gainsbourg’s mother and I guess more importantly, the muse behind the Birkin Bag. The Birkin what? I felt like an idiot reading about all this high fashion jargon that I knew nothing about. I felt so completely out of the loop. The more I researched online, the more I started to learn about the simple chic wardrobes of French women. And interestingly enough, a wardrobe that hasn’t changed much in decades.

For the most part, with a little bit of research, the idea of a classic and timeless French wardrobe seems attainable. I’d like to take on the challenge of transforming my plain Jane wardrobe and lifestyle to a super chic and sophisticated wardrobe that rivals the closets of Jane Birkin and Anna Karina. Why a challenge you ask, if all the information is available on the web. Why not a huge shopping spree? Well old habits die hard. It takes time to develop good strong habits. Plus, I’m not rich! I think part of owning and developing a new style is that it has to be earned in order to be appreciated. Now that also doesn’t mean that I won’t shop sales and try to look expensive for less. I just want to be smart about my purchases because I will have to get rid of a ton of stuff that I’ve been hanging on to for a few years. I hope to learn a lot of new info along the way and the first big step is to face the facts. That fact is my closet and over the next few weeks, I will be analyzing what went wrong in the first place and see how I can improve, salvage, mock, whatever!

One last bit of information that I’d like to share. I’m not a model nor do I strive to be one. I am your everyday, run of the mill, non-perfect looking lady. I’m 4’11” so finding the right fitting clothes has and always will be a challenge, regardless of the petite shops popping up all over mainstream America. I do not have a tailor nor do I plan on getting one. You always hear, ‘oh a tailor this and a tailor that’. How about the fact that I make a modest living, paying off a student loan equivalent to a Mercedes or two over the next 28 years. I know no one in the fashion industry and don’t expect to get any outside help, personal shoppers, promotions, nada! I am your average chick about to educate myself through online research, what I believe will be the best and smartest style choices.