S/S 2014 - my fashion mantra

. . . but . . . I don't EVER wear heels . . . !

Apr 10, 2014

Dressing the True You: Envy & People Pleasing from Rick Warren on the Oprah Show

Hi all~~

Gosh! There is so much to share!
But this really is a true thought-cookie, for anyone wanting to Dress Their Truth...

Ricky Warren: The 2 Things Keeping You from Your Purpose - Oprah's Lifeclass

OK, so, this was quite mind blowing for me.
As this blog and journey is about 'Dressing My Truth' or 'Dressing Your Truth' I guess, it's OK to share videos like this!

I think, part of the Fashion Affliction I have, definitely has a lot to do with Envy. I look at images from Pinterest, I have watched those Miss Korea and Miss Universe shows when I was younger, and oh so many Old Hollywood and New Hollywood icons too.

Recently in my class, we were reading (I was teaching actually) a book called "Stargirl" by Jerry Spinelli. It dealt a lot with 'nonconformity' through the female protagonist, who wears a lot of 'really out there' kind of clothes. 

I think it takes a lot of courage to 'Dress Yourself' a certain way. Or at least, here in far east Asia, 'Conformity' is hugely the way of life. 

Anyway, Envy & People Pleasing.
How much of these do you have going on, regarding YOUR wardrobe and personal style? Are you clearly 'Dressing Your Truth'?

Love xoxo

Jessica


Discover Your Signature Colors & Accent Colors - Listen to the Pros Series :D

I was searching for some info on Signature styles and none of the videos proved to be what I was looking for, but I did chance upon these videos! I like the questions she poses to discover your Signature Colors! :D Enjoy~!!

Style Tip of the Week - Your Signature Color by Karen C. Hughes


3 Questions to Ask Yourself to Know Your Signature Colors
1. What color do people compliment you on?
2. What color makes you feel your best?
3. What color makes you feel your most powerful?

For me, 1) Purple, white, and midnight blue/pewter, dark brown with oatmeal, red lips, emerald green, navy/peach, red/yellow
2) buttercup yellow, aubergine, dark khaki green/black, gold/jade, teal, midnight blue, tan/grey
3) red/black, red/purple, golds/lemons/ivory, azurite malachite (intense blue & green).


Style Tip of the Week - How to Build a Wardrobe Starting with Foundation Pieces

In this video, she talks about core neutral colors. And in the video below, she talks about accent colors.

How to Build a Wardrobe with Accent Colors


Lastly, here's a video about accessories!
How to Build a Wardrobe Using Accessories


* * *
Bonus 2 tips, this time from One Chic Mama:

1. Wear your hair-colored pants and shoes for a smart "bracket effect"
2. Wear a jacket in your pearlized or metallic hair-color for instant lift & glow!


She has a lot of shorter more recent videos too! These tips remind me of David Zyla & Brenda Kinsel, as they are about your hair, skin & eye colors.

How to Wear Color with Confidence - Color Analysis

Eye Intensifier-OCM-Web.mov

OneChicMamaTV: How to Wear Your Eye Enhancer

Skin Intensifier-OCM-Web.mov

Skin Enhancer-OCM-Web.mov

OK~ These are the amazing finds from tonight!
I wish you a joyful, inspiring Fashion Journey~

Love,
xoxo

Jessica

Apr 8, 2014

Project 333: Illusion of Choice in Your Wardrobe - Illustrated & 3 Color Flow Strategies for Your Personal Wardrobe


Hi all.
Today, I'd like to show you what I sat down and learnt by actually working out my Project 333 items in outfit combinations.

Like you, or many other women, I used to subscribe to the notion that More is More where my personal wardrobe matters were concerned. More clothings = More choices, More shoes = More choices, More = More!

Well. I've been shopping for myself for many years now, and doing the Fashion Maths last week, really was an eye opener for me. Doing these 'outfit combinations' though, was a step further in my Quest For the Real More's.

* * *

First of all, let me introduce to you, the chosen 33 items for my Spring Cycle, 2014. The only thing I'm taking personal liberty with is that I'm listing and choosing my items for a whole month, rather than for the entire 3 months.


Illustration: My 33 Items & Calculating Total Possible Outfits


Next, I chose one blouse-shirt for work, gray in color, 4 tank tops, 3 skirts and 3 pants. And once I went through all the possible 24 combinations, this is what it looked like, below. 
I must admit, I was blown away by how my one gray shirt could give me so many different 'Looks' and outfit combinations! There obviously are combinations I would never have put together, by just glancing at my wardrobe with items hanging in them! I am just amazed how versatile it can be, by switching up the inner tank color and bottom colors! And I must admit, this is way more than how many I would require in a given month!

I also did charts for my patterned blouses. They are so flimsy and lovely, perfect for that Spring mood... Sadly though, because it was patterned, I couldn't pair it with my floral patterned skirt.  
I was surprised to see that by eliminating ONE SKIRT, I ended up with 4 less outfits, because the 4 tank top colors could not be utilized! Oh the math of it!

The same thing happened with my favorite Winter~Spring blouse, in a red checkered pattern. I wore this 2~3 times last week, wore it again today.  

But compared to the gray blouse, again, this gives a rather 'Limited' and 'Less versatile' look... Whatever it gets paired with, the blouse dominates, so it doesn't look as varied.


So, as you can see, you don't need 12 jeans, 8 jeans, 20 tops. Choosing sensible solid colors, that give you the variation of color choices you need will give you enough choices, if you work them right.

* * *

Here are some ideas to work out your 'Color Flow' for a 'Cohesive' and 'Versatile' wardrobe. 

#1. This lady chose 3 neutrals and 2 accent colors, and came up with the following color combination options. 



#2. You've heard me mention Bridgette Raes recently on a couple of occasions, and she's shared this on her blog. 

I think this is great for someone who prefers a wide variety of 'colors' and 'moods.' Some of us prefer to have a more 'set' look, bordering on a 'Signature Style' whereas, others of us need to look and feel fresh and different every day to express ourselves. We each have different expressive needs and scopes...

#3. Another simple yet great way is to keep 2 constant neutrals, and add a variety of accent colors to create different moods and expressions. 


OK. Well, there you have it.
I hope you got something out of this! 

Love,

xoxo

Jessica



Apr 6, 2014

Minimalism & Illusion of Control

I was just reading and taking in the words and images of this blog posting TOUR MY MINIMALIST APARTMENT by Joshua Millburns and began to wonder, if the Consumerist Trend and Minimalist Trend were perhaps in fact, just two sides of the same coin.

The masses of STUFF being produced, churning the work grind giving people their jobs and means to buy stuff to stay alive, feed families, fueled by greed and insatiable need to stay alive while keeping our own hands clean. Now contrast that with the mighty individual who dares to live counter parallel to this. The world may be inundated with stuff, but my house shall be like a hospital. Shrine of white starkness. (I'm sassin him but I don't mean to disrespect him or his choice.)

* * *

I guess what I'm just about to write and remember for myself is that, feeling Overwhelmed by the masses of stuff we've naturally collected over the years and lifetime, is one part of being natural order of things. And while the Minimalist Trend offers some comfort to us, I feel that perhaps, it may not be the ultimate goals of our lives. 

For some, the Minimalist stuff is a way to get to a better state. For others, it is a reactionary path to something we can't control. And tonight, for me, I think Minimalism is clever but also another 'Illusion of Control,' mostly because, I used to think that Wowe, if I can get my house to look like this, maybe I've attained something really cool and important. And I would have Arrived. My life would be Fixed.

Of course, this thing of 'Illusion of Control' isn't anything I thought up or anything; I was merely enjoying one of my favorite TV shows, and Patrick Jane, the lead character of "The Mentalist" just casually dropped it at the end of the show. But somehow it stuck with me. (You can watch the episode for free here: Project Free TV: The Mentalist Season 6 Episode 16)

We all want this: The Illusion of Control


Please don't get me wrong.
I'm someone who needs help with sort of stuff; I am participating in Project 333, and I am willingly doing it for my own good. I'm not against people downsizing and living more peaceful, more fully conscious lives.

But I'm commenting here, mostly for my own benefit, that while it's easy to get lost in the Frenzy of downsizing, the real meat of the Equation for me to grasp is my Deeper Level Anxieties. And I know that this type of emotion is equally shared by many in my generation, and in my peer groups.

Illusion: We all Suffer from Maya. 
And the Pain that comes when we realize this.


And here are some found images on Google, related to our topic today...
Enjoy~ & Have a great day!!



.
.
.


And finally, just do. Just be. 
Accept things As Is.


xoxo

Jessica


Apr 5, 2014

Project 333: Importance of Seeing Yourself NOW & TRYING EVERYTHING ON~!!



Wow.
You learn something new every day!

I just returned home tonight, feeling the chills a bit in my bones. And ran back home as fast as I could. The Spring weather in my city is rather capricious. And it didn't help that my workdays are split between a warm building with heating, and one without heating.

When I was choosing my 33 pieces this past weekend, my house was warm, and the weather was lovely. I really thought I could live in my Spring & Summer clothes.

Well. Tonight, I was in for a few surprises. After working on my 'Cheat Sheet Color Combinations Chart' for my 33 items, which was a true eye opener for how one single item that goes with EVERYTHING produces 24 outfits (my gray shirt, goes with all 4  tank tees, and all 6 bottoms), while a patterned blouse which I love gave me a very limited variety of looks when it came to combining with other items.

Sadly, some of my previously chosen items had to be replaced, and here are the reasons why:
a) my khaki cardigan which was GREAT on me 2~3 years ago, and which I 'wished' I could enjoy wearing with my skirts, was actually 2 sizes too small on me, once I actually tried it on. I noticed that it was beginning to show some pilling as well which I hadn't noticed previously. And the cutout and shoulder designs no longer accommodated my current figure, which is a bit unfit and needs more covering. I replaced it with a better fitting warm black cardigan which was in my 'Extra 3 Pile.'

b) the black shirt which was my go to item, when I could wear 4 skinny jeans and couple other leggings, now was too bulky to be worn with my skirts. And it was also looking a bit shoddy and unkempt. The design line of the collar was also fighting with my jacket lapels too. So it was difficult to wear with many items. I replaced it with a clean well fitting simple round neck black Tshirt with long sleeves. Which can be worn with everything, AND be layered for warmth!

c) one of the two white short sleeved Tshirts could not be worn right away, given my current weather situation, and the building I work in 2~3 days a week. I replaced one of them with a gray tank tee in warmer fabric, so that I could layer it with my tops and jackets.



Well. I guess, when you are paring down your wardrobe, it's important to make sure that all of the pieces are:
a) in good conditions
b) fits me well for my body NOW, not what it used to be!
c) I need to keep weather changes in mind, and have simple neutral pieces for layering and warmth
d) neutrals really go a long way for versatile looks
e) knowing how you want to accessorize is so key, if you do not want any redundant combinations in your wardrobe; I used to wear very little jewelry other than earrings and bracelets. Now that I have necklaces and rings as well, there is less need for 'T shirts' with lots of graphics. I never used to layer my clothes before either, so going from a Top & Bottom person, to a Tank x Top x Bottom person really changes things.

OK. Thanks for tuning in~!!
I'm going to have to rewrite my 33 items, so that I don't lose track of them!

Loving & Cherishing the Now,
xoxo

Jessica


Apr 4, 2014

Project 333: Days 1,2&3 and Trouble Shooting the Habit of More is More Thinking

As much as I have enjoyed wearing my 33 items in the first 3 days of Project 333, the night times have been a challenge for me.

My 33 would be more perfect if I ... X, Y, Z.
My 33 is not good enough ... in my eyes.

I've been raised by a caregiver who 'over stimulated' me as a child I think, and I've just grown accustomed to the notion that More Is More Must Be More thinking.

The weather was colder than I thought. I must account for the days I have periods where I need more darker colors. I just had a fantastic idea for a black necklace and a rosy beige tank tshirt. The suit jacket I picked out might be too stiff and uncomfortable to wear for teaching. My skirts don't include a black! My tank top colors look too bright suddenly, what if I get bored of them? I already feel differently than how they felt yesterday!

*Pause*

So these are the panicky voices raging through my head, having been both happy and satisfied with my initial selection of the 33.

I shared these *emotions* with the Facebook group, Thank you Courtney Carver for creating that group, it's a God Send!, and one of the ladies really held up a mirror for me! And here's what Jo shared with me:

"I think everyone new to P333 is feeling a little anxious about this commitment right now .
But if I may speak frankly, Jessica, I've been reading your blog a little while and I think you might have a fear of committing 100% to this. I noticed you have tried a LOT of different systems, looking for the answer you long for. But nothing is perfect, so you try something else.
I have the same problem! And a while ago I read a Buddhist book/essay called "The Wisdom of No Escape" that said that we keep jumping from thing to thing, looking for the answer, but we are running on a treadmill (of affliction? or "suffering" - the Buddhist word/idea is hard to translate! but do you know what I mean?) and we will never work through the fear and challenging emotions to really learn the things we need to learn because we always run away and try something else when it gets hard. I know I ALWAYS give myself an "out" (an exit) and so I always fail.
So even though I believe what other people say here and what Courtney says about "better to do it imperfectly than give up completely" I think maybe we might benefit from just sticking with it and dealing with the discomfort of doubt and fear and see what happens. I feel like I should join you in that challenge! Maybe we don't need to have things to switch out. Maybe we can be OK for a month (maybe 3?!) with what we have chosen. If we sit with the feeling..."

Well. That really made my nail, and Jo totally nailed it for me. (For Jo's adventures, you can read her blog too: http://adventuresintheherenow.wordpress.com)

It's such a wonder too, how this 'Fashion Challenge' is serving as a portal to gaining how I operate generally in my life. So, the problem isn't what is sitting or not sitting in my 33 items. The problem is my brain; it loves to come up with new combinations and create new exciting visual outfit combos, it likes to and is prone to detecting problems when there isn't one. The problem is my emotions; I feel that I must have more, what I have is just Not Enough. Living inside the chosen stuff freaks me out. There. You have my words. It's only Day 3 of the Month of April Challenge for me, and I am freaking out about it. Is it my unruly, rebelliousness? Have I grown too accustomed to defining myself by who I'm NOT, that living and bowing to the rules makes me feel uneasy?

Must admit though, there's a strange brain chemical that gives me this odd sneaky sense of satisfaction of RUINING the challenge. My mind works in mysterious ways like that. (Shaking my head...)

As for the earlier 'issues' and 'challenges' I was feeling, again, my very fast brain got to work, and although it was tempting to take out a skirt or t-shirt to replace it with a patterned dark color leggings, I could see that for heavy duty days, I COULD in fact, wear black tights with my pink work skirt, OR I could wear the longish Tshirts to cover up my derriere.

I reread the Rules and Ms. Carver says if extreme weather changes etc., one can set aside 3 extra items. I think I'll limit myself to that. And I might use one of the empty drawers in my armoire to house the lovely combos I want to try, but isn't a part of the 33. Or better yet, I should be boxing them up and hiding them away from sight!

Anywho, I'm going to stick to my original 33. And see if I can LIVE THROUGH my 'Less Than Perfect' 33. :P

Let me know, if you also suffer from this kind of Sneaky Perfectionism! And what you've been feeling and what you've been trying to deal with it!

Gotta run now...
xoxo

Jessica

Apr 3, 2014

Want to Learn Next: Fashion Maths! Calculating Outfit Combinations~!!

So, as I felt a *fresh* and well deserved smugness over my newly selected 33 pieces for the new cycle of Project 333, I couldn't help but wonder... Just exactly how MANY outfit combos can I achieve with my current wardrobe items??????????!!!!!

I really suck at maths, other than the simple arithmetic. So I Googled this, and found these images... Source: Principles of a Practical and Functional Minimalist Wardrobe


4 outers, 4 tops, 4 bottoms. Gives total of 12 items.


These well chosen pieces, apparently gives you a combination of 91 outfits, and the author states that she did not include silly combos like winter jacket x shorts. :D

That's pretty mind blowing for me. :P

Wowe, this lady is pretty 'Gungho' about $$$ it cost for her wardrobe -- Click here!

I really want to learn how to do the maths for my wardrobe items, but for now, it's really going right over my head. 

* * *

OK, I just found another helpful & insightful source to help us!

"Here’s how I calculate the number of “outfits” possible from a set of paper doll mix and match clothing pieces. First, we must define our variables. I know a certain former math teacher who would be quite irate with me if I failed to define my variables.
    X=Number of Tops
    Y=Number of Bottoms
    Z= Number of Jackets
    W=Number of Shoes
    V = Number of Dresses
    N= Number of Outfit Combinations
So… the formula looks like this:
    ((X*Y)+V)*(W+1)*(Z+1)= N
Why the formula works…
An “outfit” consists of one top plus one bottom. Since every top can be worn with every bottom, the tops multiplied by the bottom gives us the number of outfit options. Dresses are generally not worn with tops or bottoms and therefore they are added after the multiplication has taken place. The shoes (W) and the jackets (Z) both have to have one added to them, because it is possible to function without wearing shoes or jackets and the one provides for that option. If the assumption is being made that shoes will always be worn than the 1 can be omitted from the (W+1) calculation.
The formula doesn’t always work. Some sets, such as Mia at the Bathing Place or Blossom are done with the assumption that certain pieces will always be worn together or aren’t really mix and match to begin with. Further, not all paper doll sets are mix and match oriented. I generally do not take necklaces, scarves and other accessory items into consideration, because I think they don’t dramatically change the outfit enough to warrant being counted as separate outfits. For example, had I considered them, Spikes and Pleats would have included 5920 combinations, which seems a bit much, even to me.
However, if you want to include the accessory items… than take N and do the following:
    N= Number of Outfit Combinations
    A= Number of Necklaces
    B= Number of Bracelets
    C= Number of Scarves
    D= Number of Outfit Combinations including Accessories
So… now the formula gets to look like this:
    N*(A+C+1)*B=D"
End of quote.


Isn't it wonderful that there are smarter people, who have already figured our 'hard questions' for us?! It's getting real late for me, so I will just do a simple try out and tuck myself in... :D

    X=Number of Tops (11)
    Y=Number of Bottoms (7)
    Z= Number of Jackets (2)
    W=Number of Shoes (2)
    V = Number of Dresses (0)
    N= Number of Outfit Combinations
So… the formula looks like this:
    ((X*Y)+V)*(W+1)*(Z+1)= N
    ((11*7)+0)*(2+1)*(2+1)= 77x3x3 = 77x9 = 693
@_@~!! Wot! Wot! Wot!
Does not compute * Does not compute * Does not compute

OK. It probably won't be quite as many...
Because I don't wear tank tops by themselves, my shoes won't match all the skirts...

But still, even if I weeded out all the 'bad' combinations, it's still a LOT more than what my brain can compute without the formula!

This reminds me of what Nancy Nix Rice teaches quite a bit too... Hmmm... 
If there could be some kind of a 'magic' formula, to know how to create a wardrobe where ALL of these combos work, wouldn't that just be AWESOME-CRAZY!?!!


Now, using the 2nd formula for accessories...
    "N= Number of Outfit Combinations
    A= Number of Necklaces (4)
    B= Number of Bracelets (1)
    C= Number of Scarves (0)
    D= Number of Outfit Combinations including Accessories
    N*(A+C+1)*B=D"
693*(4+0+1)*1 = 693*(5)*1 = 693*5 = 3,465

Image of anonymous cat. This math has got me totally floored.

Of course, given enough time, I might actually just try it out, and see if my actual combinations come even *remotely* close. I'd be surprised if I come up with more than 40 combos though.

OK. Enough *fashion maths* for one night.
Good night y'all~!!

Love,

xoxo

Jessica


Apr 2, 2014

Project 333 - Month of April Selections~!! :D


I did make a few changes from my working list of 333...

The best advice I had was from Bridgette Raes on how to NOT have a lot of duplications... I noticed the brown pants I was going to wear was not a huge lot different from my black jeggings. And the navy tank I chose was pretty similar to the black tank I already selected! :D


Watch video here, if you have not seen it before!

My shoes need updating though. I don't have 'good shoes' to wear so I might need to switch out my black/white Converse to a new pair of chic black flats...

I also lost all of my scarves, and included earrings instead. Lost a light wool coat, and included a cardigan instead.

I LOVE everything in this closet so far! It's got a mix of some reliable pieces, some of my current favorites, and a few items I haven't worn much before. It'll be fun mixing and matching them up to create different kinds of looks~!!


Project 333 Participant, xoxo Jessica



Project 333 - April 2014 Begins!

Image from Google: Elasticity! That's what I really like~

So, I'm busy working on the new cycle of Project 333! I've been happy drawing up my list of 33 yesterday and today...

I am so happy I have clothes that I LOVE in my current wardrobe. I'm doubly happy that I am not rushing out to get more clothes too! (This is real progress for me, guys!)

The only thing I'm going to change this time round though, is to draw up a list each month. The weather changes in my city are pretty severe and unpredictable. I cannot possibly foresee the future 3 months...

I hope by doing so, I won't 'fall off' the wagon like I did last time! :D

I really liked this reminder from the lady who started Project 333! Courtney Carver. Thank you for creating this & sharing it with the world!


Image: Tweety Bird, I am so ruminating on what it's going to be like to invite Simpler into my life, this Spring!!



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