2.28.2016

Pulled Together Comfort

I'm often asked the question - How do you dress comfortable while still having a pulled together look?

This idea is very simple if you take the time to simplify, but still maintain a high level of dignity with your dress. Often times, the idea of comfort is equated to not caring about your appearance. Sure, we all have those particular items we throw on to lounge around the house. But if you're anything like me, by no means would I allow the public to see me in those garments. They are strictly for my at-home indulgence of eating a bowl of popcorn while watching hours upon hours of Lifetime movies. If anyone other than my immediate family caught me in them I would simply die. You know what I mean...a pair of your son's junior high sweat pants with the worn out elastic, t-shirts with silly sayings, an over-sized mou-mou picked up on clearance for three bucks, jeans with far too many holes. Yes, all of these types of things need to stay in the privacy of our own homes, and away from the judging eye of the public.

For today, I'm sharing a look which I'll deem appropriate as pulled together comfort. A look that is simple, yet still manages to have a bit of finesse. An ensemble which could definitely be worn to a variety of occasions - parent/teacher conference, volunteering, lunch with friends, to the office, business meeting...where ever your life may take you. A little further down, I'll share some tips on how I maintain a pulled together but comfortable look. I hope you enjoy the pictures, and I'll meet you in the comment section.

Outfit Details: Scuba Skirt: Ann Taylor Loft (Last year. Very similar Ponte Flounce Skirt; Short-sleeve Turtleneck by Anne Klein via TJ Maxx (Many short-sleeve turtleneck options on Shopstyle); Opaque Tights: Ann Taylor Loft; Flat Shoes with Ankle Straps: Zara (Last worn in Different).(Unfortunately these are sold out. However, don't fret, they have plenty of interesting flat shoes at Zara); Gold Chain Belt (Mine is a long necklace, but there are many gold chain belts on Amazon; Horseshoe Bracelet: Purchased from Polka Dots and Moonbeams in West Hollywood many years ago. Leather Band Bracelet by Juicy Couture via Macy's (Many Juicy Couture Leather Bracelet on Ebay). Cateye Sunnies from Getty Museums (Identical BCBG Cateye Sunglasses at Nordstrom); Clutch is vintage.


    How to Create A Pulled Together Comfort Look





  1. Save the athletic shoes for the gym and sporting events. Invest in flats that are fun and interesting.
  2. Select garments that are free of complicated details. In order to feel comfortable, you don't want to spend your time futzing with their garments. A minimalism approach to dressing is key.
  3. Don't forget to accessorize. Now's the time to wear basic jewelry pieces: Hoop earrings, studs, etc. Keep it simple and tone it down. Now is not the time to indulge in the 'more is more' philosophy of accessorizing.
  4. Leave the sweat pants at home. Comfort doesn't always mean slouchy. Maintain your fashion poise by selecting garments that fit and flatter your figure, but still offer ease in movement. By fit I mean, not too tight nor too big, but hang on your body in the utmost flattering way.
  5. Keep your color palette simple. My basic rule of thumb is to wear two colors (3 max).
  6. Check out stores like Zara to buy fun and interesting flats. You'll be surprised at the level of comfort in their shoes and the variety is incredible.
  7. One last thing. Though I know many ladies may find this task difficult, but now is the time to scale back on your purse. For me, this process is easy. Since I wear very little makeup and my hair is low maintenance, pairing down into a small bag is super easy. When I don't feel like being weighed down by a big bag, I'll switch into a clutch, a small cross-body or a fashionable backpack.




I hope you enjoyed today's post as much as I enjoyed creating it for you. Just remember, comfort does not mean tacky or slouchy. Always maintain a high level of fashion dignity even when you crave comfort and plan on spending the day watching your children or grandchildren play sports. You'll be happy if you do {wink}

Stay True,
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2.24.2016

Transformation

Each time I look at the below snap-shot, I'm completely blown away by the transformation. Yet, there was so much more than the desire for physical results that got me to here. If you ever have doubts about the connection between the mind and body, this will change your mind. Please click Bloom. I hope you enjoy my story.


Gateway to Bloom

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2.22.2016

Score!

Can you identify with this scenario...when you're in the mood to shop, you can't find anything that strikes a chord. You find yourself rummaging through the racks in search of that hidden treasure - that one thing that taunts you with, Buy me - buy me. From store to store to store, you're on the hunt, only to find yourself defeated in the end. 

On the other hand, when shopping isn't necessarily on the repertoire, you happen to pop into your favorite shop, and when you least expect, something magical catches your eye. You hear angels singing from above. An angelic light seems to shine directly upon it. You get all warm and tingly. You enter the dressing room. The item slides on effortlessly. You examine yourself in the mirror. You beam from ear-to-ear. In your mind you say, "SCORE! Oh yeah, this one is coming home with mama."

Such is the case for the top I'm showcasing for today's style story. Recently, the hubs and I went out to dinner. We had some time to kill before our name would be called, so we decided to pop into the neighboring shops. I wasn't thinking of shopping, nor was there any particular clothing item on my mind. Then lo and behold (insert angels singing) - there it was...one of the coolest designed peplums to add to my growing collection. I hope you enjoy the look and I'll meet you in the comment section below.


California is still experiencing unseasonal warm weather with temps nearing the 85 degree mark. I thought is was a perfect time to highlight this adorable top. If you haven't noticed by now, I am a sucker for certain cuts...the peplum being one of my favorites. The fit and flare design of a peplum, with it's nipped at the waist style, naturally accentuates an hourglass figure. We can all thank master designer, Christian Dior, for creating this "New Look" when on February 12, 1947, Dior presented the groundbreaking silhouette to the public. The rest was fashion history. With today's look, I've decided to accent the flare of the top by carrying the same flare element in a pair of DIY cropped kick-hem pants. By doing so, I've created a line that's both lean, but is also less severe and gives the look a playful appearance. I selected to accent the metallic detail in the top with gold accessories.

Outfit Details: Nathalie Peplum Top: Anthropologie; DIY Cropped Kick Pants: Check out the Bi-Stretch Kick Crop Pants at Loft; Gold Filigree Bangles: Vintage; Rose Earrings: Vintage; Wrapped Feather Rings: Anthropologie; Cat-eye Sunglasses: The Getty Museum Gift Shop: Great selection of Cateye Sunglasses at Nordstrom; Strap Heeled Sandals: Ann Taylor Loft (Almost identical Steve Madden 'Stecy' Sandal at Nordstrom), Patent Clutch Purse: Vintage.

The design of the peplum makes it appear as if it's two tops in one.







Christian Dior's the New Look {source Google Images)


Whether you're intentionally shopping, or just happen upon something you absolutely love, it's great to walk away from the experience knowing you did, indeed - SCORE! Tell me friends, do you have a similar story? Do tell (wink)
 Stay True,
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Whitney Nic James

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2.17.2016

Empowered

Empowered:
Make (someone) stronger and more confident, especially in controlling their life and claiming their rights.

When my youngest son was around nine years old, his ambitions were to become a famous artist. One day he came to me and stated..
"I need a Beret because all famous artists wear berets." 
"Then I'll have to get you one," I replied
Being a family that strongly encourages the arts, many of our weekend afternoons are spent visiting California's museums. Armed with his sketch pad, colored pencils, and beret, the youngest would find his subject among the gallery paintings, and begin to create his own interpretation. I watched as museum guests stopped and smiled at seeing my young man so engrossed with his drawings. I asked him about the beret, "How does wearing the hat make you feel?"
"Like I can draw anything."
"That's cool," I stated. "It makes you feel empowered." He nodded his head in agreement.
The beret has a long and rich history, with mass production beginning in the 19th century in France and Spain. Traditionally, the hat was a part of uniforms for military and police. In later years it became popularized in Europe as typical Basque head-wear, and evolving as the stereotypical image of an intellectual, film director, artist, poet, bohemian and beatnik. The painter, Rembrandt, wore berets, as well as famous jazz artist like, Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monk. By the 1960s and 70s the black beret became a symbol of empowerment, and was adopted by several revolutionary groups, such as the Provisional Irish Republican Army and the Black Panthers in the United States. It is, without a doubt, the most recognizable hat in the world, and conjures several types of images - the artist, armed forces, entire cultures, and empowerment.


For today's style story, I've captured a look which embodies the idea of empowerment. I could thoroughly relate to my son's earlier idea of the beret making him feel like he could draw anything. It goes without saying, when we put on our favorite outfits and/or accessories - we feel like we're empowered to conquer the world! In today's look I feel imaginative, strong, confident, bold, and yes, sexy. The mystique of a woman shrouded in black, but taunts her subjects with her playfulness in a high-voltage silver metallic skirt, and the boldness of a leopard backpack.

Outfit Details - Beret purchased from a vintage shop near my home: Black berets on Amazon; Silver Metallic Knife-pleat Skirt: Talbot's via eBay (similar skirt Do & Be Silver Pleated Skirt from Shoptiques); Black Short-Sleeved Turtleneck: Anne Klein via TJ Maxx (great options on Shopstyle); Black Mid-Calf Boots: Gianni Bini via eBay; Nordstrom 'Everyday' Opaque Black Tights; Leopard Backpack by Liz Claiborne purchased in the 90s (variety of leopard backpacks on Shopstyle); Medium Basic Sunglasses: Loft; Large Silver Hoop Earrings: The Icing.  






      


My son has since replaced his artist ambitions with sports. He gave up the beret in place of a football. What happened to the beret you ask? Well...I'm wearing it. Perhaps I'll take my empower cues from my son and wear it when I feel the urge to write my next book {wink}.

Stay True,
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Whitney Nic James
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2.16.2016

Soul Food: In the Garden


Hello My Friends!

If your soul is in need of nourishment to get you through the week and beyond, here is a post I believe you'll enjoy - a nostalgic story that parallels our life journey with time spent IN THE GARDEN. I wrote the piece yesterday, after spending time working in the yard - weeding, cutting, digging and pruning. After the work was complete, I sat and pondered how the time spent in the garden was directly related to the work that needed to be done in my mind. It had, in fact, become over-grown with weeds that were choking my thoughts and creativity. I hope it'll inspire you. If the weather permits, I should be back with another style story on Thursday. In the meantime, click the live links and I'll meet you at Bloom.

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2.14.2016

Face Your (Fashion) Fears

F.E.A.R.
False Evidence Appearing Real

Isn't the above acronym the perfect description for Fear? In most cases (not discounting the real fear that predicts danger), fear is exactly that - False Evidence Appearing Real. It rolls around in our minds causing us to lose sleep; over/under eat; sabotage ourselves; make ourselves ill...the list of self-induced defeat is mind-numbing, and often produces a paralysis state within us. Speaking from experience, the best way to combat the paralysis is to acknowledge and then face your fears, whether by jumping straight into the arena, or by conquering with precise baby-steps. There have been instances when I have used both approaches. One of my greatest fears is public speaking (one shared by many). Having to stand before others scares the (insert word) out of me. And though my career choices in recent years have segued into me standing at some type of podium, the fear never seems to escape me. Rather than running from the inevitable, I've begun to purposely throw myself into the arena of public speaking. Drastic?...Yes, but I refuse to let this fear stop me from reaching my goals.

In fashion, one of my greatest fears is pattern mixing (not to be confused with texture mixing). If you have been reading So What to Twenty for some time, you may recall I mentioned this on occasion. For me, mixing patterns isn't for the faint-of-heart (done right it looks effortless, but when it's done wrong - it looks like a big mistake), and though fashion and style run through my veins, the idea still causing me to flinch. So today, I choose to face my fashion fear by taking baby steps in the idea of pattern mixing. Today I take a common mix of stripe and floral and use them in a subtle way. Also, notice the mix of masonry work in this location. I hope you enjoy today's style story and I'll meet you in the comment section.


Today's look is comprised of two key elements - a pair of floral pants and a striped top. Both prints are subtle in detail. The pant, though splattered with a floral motif, the repeat of the pattern is loose and not overly busy with design or colors. I picked up on the more quiet shade of blue in the pant to use as my accent color. By selecting the baby blue to play with, the contrast between the pant and top create a nice juxtaposition. Also, the blue and white stripe shirt is less obvious - From a distance, it looks as if I'm wearing a solid color top. The look, paired with my vintage Nine West booties (last seen in Carnaby Street), straddles the fence between girly and edgy.

Outfit Details - Striped Shirred Blouse: Ann Taylor Loft; Floral Pant: H&M (from a few years ago. Love the Topshop Floral Crop Cigarette Trouser at Nordstrom); Patent Booties are vintage Nine West via eBay (Check out the incredible N.Y.L.A. Go-Go Booties at Nordstrom); Patent Clutch purchased from a vintage boutique; blue socks from Target.

 

 



We're here on this earth for a purpose and a season, if we allow FEAR to take hold of us, we won't live the life intended, rather a life of hopes and dreams that never move into our reality. My dear friends, because I care for you, I challenge you - Face Your Fears...whatever they may be {wink}

Tyneisha F.


Happy Valentine's Day!
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Whitney Nic James

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2.10.2016

Love is in the Air (Giveaway)


With February being the month for Valentine's Day - Love is in the Air. To continue spreading love, and to show my appreciation to my So What to Twenty friends, I'm having an Instagram Giveaway! The winner will receive a copy of A Place Called Peace, a journal with a Coco Chanel quote, and a custom made bookmark (eyeglasses not included).

Win a copy of A Place Called Peace, Bookmark and Journal (eyeglasses not included)

In order to win, you must play along on Instagram. If you're not already a friend of mine on Instagram, please follow me HERE. The contest begins today, Wednesday, February 10, 2016. The winner will be announced by random drawing on Valentine's Day, Sunday, February 14th at 9:00am (PST). Remember to use #APCPBook when you share with your Instagram community. Look for the below picture on Instagram.



Much Love,
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2.09.2016

Keeping it Simple

After a week of feeling pretty blah, and then having to re-coop as quickly as possible for Saturday's big festivities at FIDM's Art of Motion Picture Costume Design exhibition, today's post represents my current state of mind - Keeping it Simple. My goodness, I really don't see, nor can I relate to the present thought process among today's younger business minded community. Apparently we're suppose to dawn our super hero cape and tackle all obstacles with brute strength; never tire; always on your A-game; the sun rises and sets with feelings that I can conquer the world; the more I take on - the more awesome I become. Yeah...not! The thought process alone is tiring, unrealistic, and most definitely a set-up for a serious case of burnout...to say the least.

Yes, there are times when we have to hustle when we don't feel up to it, but I much prefer to move within the flow of what feels natural for my life. Yes, indeed, I like to keep it simple. For today's look, what is more simple than jeans and t-shirt in black and white? This week, Southern California is experiencing summer-like temperatures, so I'm taking this opportunity to show an easy outfit that takes the guess work out of guessing. On this day I have a few errands to run, and to keep myself cool, I selected comfortable, uncomplicated pieces that meld seamlessly with my lifestyle. I hope you enjoy the photos and I'll meet you in the comment section.


Outfit Details: Mixed Media Peplum Top: Ann Taylor Loft; Petite Curvy Skinny Jeans (white): Ann Taylor Loft; Medium Basic Sunglasses (black): Ann Taylor Loft; Rings and Stacked Silver Cuff purchased in Mexico; Faux Patent Leather Backpack via TJ Maxx: In LOVE with this backpack by Kenox on Amazon; Polish is Recessionista by essie. Ankle Strap Sandal: Ann Taylor Loft (Past Season). Almost identical Kacey by Pelle Moda at Nordstrom Ankle Strap Sandal.





 



Enjoy the rest of your day. What on your agenda? What's on mine? Not too much. I decided to give my cape away. After all, I have wings now...and I much prefer it that way {wink}

Stay True,
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