5.24.2017

Style Story: Uncommon

"In a world that's so homogenized, it feels good to be uncommon."
Glenda K. Harrison

My divergence from the norm sprouted at an early age. My neighborhood friends found joy in indulging in basic youthful activities like riding bikes, however my gratification came while positioned in the corner of my local library, and surrounded by the latest fashion magazines. There I would sit for hours on end until I felt it was time to return home. Once we returned to school, my friends would share with me about how much fun they all had. I often responded with statements like, "I had fun too. I found out about the latest collection from Dior!" My comment was often met with eye-rolling and the flippant - Oh brother. Nonetheless, their disgust never phased me. As uncommon it was for a young girl to have such an insatiable appetite for the fashion industry, I never allowed their angst to compromise how I chose to spend my leisure time.

To this very day, I'm still uncompromisingly uncommon. Make no bones about it - my world sings a unique song. So please, excuse me while I dance (even if no one else can hear my song). This fashion world (that I love) is conditioned to embrace a certain look and aesthetic. I am far from that commonality - standing at 5' 1" #mypetiterocks, silver haired, hourglass frame, and dark chocolate skin. Nor do I live my life around the latest trends. People may ask, and I have asked myself - Why do I hold such love for an industry which falters in the area of diversity? My comment to them is...

"There are people in this world who want to see, hear, read... discover an uncommon viewpoint. Rather than succumbing to what's expected, I create a place for people to dance to their own song."


The protagonist in today's style story is a very uncommon, buttercup yellow, custom made jumpsuit with ultra wide legs. This creative look was lovingly designed by my sister, Steffyne Glenn and her custom sewing service via QT Couture LLC
Everyone won't like or understand this story, but that's perfectly alright. It is uncommon, but it was made especially for me.

Other Items Worn:












Here's to all of us, in the So What to Twenty community, who are uncompromisingly uncommon, and who appreciate busting a move to the private song playing in your head 😉

Stay True,
Glenda
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Photography under the creative direction of Fred Harrison
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5.21.2017

Style Story: Goddess

The dress I'm wearing in today's style story reminds me of the luxurious living of ancient Rome. I feel as if I should be lounging poolside while beautifully built men dressed in loincloth fan me and feed me grapes. Not too far fetched from the truth. Indeed I did feel like a goddess on the day I purchased the dress. Here's the story... 

**********

I was invited to attend a Mother's Day celebration at Chico's Santa Monica by Floretta Taylor, a huge fan of So What to Twenty and Chico's. Floretta told me she discovered my blog via my appearance in the Chico's Inside Chic blog (click the link to see the story). I met Floretta when I spoke a few weeks ago at the Temecula Valley Women's Expo. When she approached me, she was so sweet and genuine, she made me feel special when she stated she and her sister-in-law spent the weekend in Temecula just so they could meet me. Well damn...somebody feed me some grapes! She then proceeded to invite me to the Chico's event, and further stated she had been telling the entire store and its customers about me. Fan boy...a little to the right.

So on May 13th, off I went to Santa Monica, with a beautiful young man, which happens to be my youngest son. Since it was Mother's Day weekend, my son decided to be nice and accompany me to the event since everyone else was unavailable. Let me further explain how extremely kind this was, since my son wants absolutely nothing to do with my fashion events. 

We were greeted with all the accoutrements of a fabulous celebration - tasty hors d'oeuvres (I think there were grapes), festive music, cheerful hosts, and a boutique full of happy guests. Upon arrival, I was asked to pose for pictures with staff and guests, and then it was off to the races. I perused the store in search of that special something. In between mingling and being pampered, I finally spotted the dress that spoke to me, and clearly defined how I felt during my time at Chico's Santa Monica - like a goddess. I hope you enjoy today's look, and I'll meet you below in the comment section.

 

This photo shoot takes place on a college campus that mirrors the look of an ancient Roman Villa. With the warm sun kissing my face, I stand tall in this regal column maxi dress of saturated ombré-inspired hues. The faux leather collar neckline, simple silhouette, and fabrication instantly takes me back to what life would have been like for the upper crust during ancient times. A beautiful, no-fuss dress (and it has pockets) adds elegance into your everyday, and will have you feeling like a goddess

Outfit Details:
I had to hem a regular length. I typically wear a size 6-8 in clothing. I'm 5 ft 1 inch. I'm wearing a size 0.5 but could have also worn the 0. However the 0.5 gave me more hip room.
Straw Clutch Bag: H&M (comes in gold and white. I have both colors)
Bangle with Turquoise stones was purchased on eBay.
Sandals are Miss Trish of Capri for Target. I've had them for years.









Sartorial Savvy:
  • I've said it once and I'll say it again - Make a good strapless/convertible bra a part of your wardrobe inventory. Without one you're missing out on the opportunity to extend your wardrobe.
  • I view metallic shoes/sandals as neutrals with an extra kick. Rather than trying to match a shoe to one of the colors in the dress, I decided to accent the gold-toned accessories. 
  • With a column dress, the more free-flowing the better. Size up if you find the line of the dress is interrupted by your curves.
  • The faux leather collar makes a neck statement on its own. No need to confuse the area by adding a necklace.
  • I wore this dress for an entire day of shopping in Pasadena, and I can't tell you how many times I was told how pretty I looked. I felt like a goddess😀



Debarah  Hendrix, Chico's Customer, myself, and Floretta Taylor

Customers were pampered and treated like Goddesses. Boutique Manager, Shannon Blaney and I pose with Chico's customers.

Examining myself in the mirror

Boutique Manager, Shannon, finalizes my purchase

Delicious bundt cakes were on hand for the guests
 
Guests were treated to delicious treats throughout the day

Brava Chico's Santa Monica for making women feel so special. As I drove away from the setting sun, on my journey home, I glowed from being a part of such a positive experience. This day will forever be earmarked as the day I truly felt like a goddess.
Stay True,
Glenda
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Photography under the creative direction of Fred Harrison
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5.14.2017

Style Story: The Enchanted Garden

I always feel embattled in my spirit during Mother's Day. At the age of 29 I buried my mother, and at the age of 31 I became a mother. I am a Motherless-Mother. For some reason, this Mother's Day has been particularly hard. Though I want my son's to enjoy celebrating me, I feel melancholy. I miss my Mother, the woman who embraced my love for fashion - I dedicate this style story.

  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As a child, I found delight in watching my Mother tend to her flowers. My bedroom overlooked our expansive backyard, which was an enchanted garden of Birds of Paradise, Gardenias, Roses...to name a few. On Saturday mornings I would open my window, take a seat on the foot of my bed, and watch as my Mother meticulously groomed her way along the periphery of our yard. My dog, Sailor, also found joy in my Mom's activity. For some strange reason, he used my Mother's gardening time to dig up his hidden bone treasures. "No Sailor!" She would shout when he came too close to her flowers. From time to time she would look in my direction and give me a wave. I'd wave back, and often used her acknowledgement as an invitation to join her by her side as she cut, pruned and planted. I recall the time when I asked about the cuttings,
"Mommy, won't the flowers last longer if you leave them attached to the plant?"
"Eventually they're going to die. Might as well enjoy them how you please," she responded
At the end of our time in the garden, she would gather the bouquet of cuttings, take them inside, arrange them into pretty vases, and position them around the house so we could enjoy them indoors as well.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This memory would be an early indicator of how I would grow to enjoy gardening, and bringing the beauty of the outdoors into my home. As I write this post, there are a variety of blooms scenting and adding beauty to several rooms in my house. When I walk into the rooms, my mind goes to a place where my heart smiles, but my eyes are filled with tears - a place where memories are dear, life is treated preciously and you're reminded to enjoy it how you please.


In honor and celebration of my Mother, and the woman I have become, I wear a botanical suit in memory of our time spent in the Enchanted Garden. The suit's botanical print is in my Mom's favorite color - navy blue. The print evokes feelings of nostalgia, and yet, it is enchanting, inviting and playful - a testament to two women - Mother and Daughter.

Outfit Details:
I'm so sorry friends, by the time I was able to show this look, the items were sold out online.
Botanical Blazer: Loft (Sold out online. Look for in stores)
Botanical Pants: Loft (Sold out online. Look for in stores)
 Rhinestone Waist Belt: I've had it for years

If you're interested in a floral pantsuit, here is a great option from Banana Republic:



 




 

Sartorial Savvy:
  • A pair of pristine white sneakers is a must-have for any wardrobe.
  • Bold floral suits are daring. Pair your bold suit with simple accessories.
  • Cropped pants make pantsuits look less severe and more playful.
  • This suit is definitely feminine - marked by the print, the slim pant, the nipped waistline of the jacket, and the bracelet sleeve length.


Flowers from my garden that now sit on my desk.
Happy Mother's Day!
May you always be reminded to enjoy life how you please.
 
Glenda
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Photography under the creative direction of Fred Harrison
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