Significant Style: The Black and White Shirtdress.
While I absolutely love fashion, I haven't done a lot of style-focused posts in this space, but lately, I've been pressing into why I've been less-than-eager to explore (and share) that side of myself. After pondering the subject quite a bit, I came up with some arguably compelling reasons.
1. Almost everyone is doing fashion posts (and many are absolutely killin' it!), so how do I stand out in a very saturated market? Also, why make more work for myself?
2. I'm a wife and mom of three—I'm lucky if I get the opportunity to take a shower and brush my teeth! Where will I find the time to pick an outfit that's on-trend, find a photographer, scout a location, and take care of my daughter in addition to all the stuff I already have on my plate?
3. I'm...not as young or thin as I used to be. What if I look awful in the photos?
4. Since the move, my wardrobe is painfully small and I don't have the budget to buy new things every week. How will I keep up with the ever-changing trends without spending a fortune?
5. What if I just...suck?
1. There's so much room for everyone out here on the interwebs! You enjoy fashion, so why not consider it a labor of love? You are the only you on the planet, which automatically sets you apart from the rest.
2. So, being a spouse and mama is reason to let yourself go? Nah, you know you love looking cute too much to let yourself completely off the hook. And look, no one's saying you need to have a beat face and bangin' outfit every single day! Once a week, though, you take that time for yourself because it brings you joy. Get a little glamour in your life amidst the endless stream of diaper changes, homework assignments, and loads of laundry. As for the photographer, you've got a husband who'd love to help! Bonus: he knows his way around the beautiful city of Denver. Throw Joy in the stroller with a toy and/or snack, and you're all set.
3. First of all, don't let society's creepy obsession with youth make you think there's something wrong with looking your age or gaining a few pounds. You've grown three human beings, for God's sake! Secondly, the more often you're photographed, the better you'll get at finding your most flattering angles. Third, you took Photoshop for Bloggers course from A Beautiful Mess, right? As long as you don't go overboard with Liquify, vaya con Dios.
4. I know what you gave up in order to move to Colorado. I was there when you sold some of your most-cherished items because they brought in the most money. They were a loss and I get that, but did you ever stop to think about the weight of the items that made the journey? How much more precious are they? Tell your readers what you're wearing, but also why you're wearing it, because there's a deeper meaning there. For you, style isn't superficial; it is significant. I've just given you a niche. You're welcome.
5. It is so you to jump to the worst case scenario! What if you soar, thus giving other women with similar hang-ups and insecurities permission to fly, too? You won't know either way unless you actually put thought to action. Yes, you may fail, but at least you'll have learned some valuable lessons. Blake Lively admitted her website wasn't right and you totally respected her for being honest. Everyone fails at some point; it's how we handle it that truly reflects our character.
The Final Decision
You can probably tell by the name of this post and the photos sprinkled throughout the page that I've chosen to make Significant Style a recurring feature of this blog. Fashion, makeup, and sparkly jewelry make me happy, and I'm tired of finding ways to talk myself out of joy! The thing that I hope will set me apart from the others is that I will be sharing my thought process, addressing the hows and whys of my outfit choices. The inspiration could be anything from a mood or memory, to a pretty flower I happened to see at the park. That's the beauty of creativity—anything can spark an idea that illuminates the imagination.
Take this black and white BCBG shirtdress, for example. I chose it for Significant Style for two reasons: 1.) I broke the zipper on my first choice (on the morning of the shoot!*sigh*); and 2) It's a classic look that will never go out of style. I should know because I've had it for awhile and get compliments every time I wear it. Also, because it's made of a jersey material, wrinkle-free, breathable, and glides over my thighs without clinging, which is extremely useful for this former sprinter! It's a few years old, so I can't link to it, but this one from Asos is a nice alternative. I paired the dress with this "Posey" bag by Kelly Moore because it's compact, versatile, and grey is a favorite color of mine. Oh, and it's also a camera bag! I can fit my Nikon and one extra lens in it, plus there's storage for cash, ID, and slots for memory cards. I don't believe Kelly Moore is making this style anymore, but there's a bunch of 'em for sale on eBay in a wide array of colors!
The sunglasses are from good ol' Target and I wear them every single day! Sadly, I sold my Tom Fords before we moved, but I think these heart-shaped sunnies do a better job of reflecting my current season of life, anyway. The necklace was bought at a jewelry party featuring Premier Designs, so I can't link to it, though eBay might be the way to go.
The boots are from Forever 21 and are one of the most comfortable shoes I own. I believe I paid less than $30 several years ago and wear them every Fall. Here's a similar pair in faux suede. And lastly, the belt was purchased from Marshall's for a very specific reason I don't recall now. The cool thing about it is that it's reversible; the other side is red.
And with that, I'd like to turn the focus to you! Is there a step in your life you've been afraid to take? What's stopping you from diving in? I want to encourage you to revisit it over the next week and write down your loudest objections. Then, I want you to provide a counter argument for each one, just as I did in my Rebuttals section. I bet you'll be amazed at what you discover. Leave me a comment here or drop me a line elsewhere! Click on any of those pretty gold icons in the sidebar and they'll take ya wherever you want to go.