Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Trying to use my critical powers for good.

I'm really critical. Especially of myself. While, in most instances, I'd like to think that my critical faculties result in my being 'discerning' or 'discriminating' or 'cultivated,' when it comes to self criticism I'm just a mean, unforgiving, bitter, nasty bitch. And I've been particularly bad lately, but I'm trying to reform. I'd never grade even the worst student paper without saying something complimentary and encouraging and offering some constructive suggestions for improvement. I'm going to try to do that here from now on. If I'm going to train myself not to be so negative, and use my critical powers for good, what better place to do it than on my blog? From here on out I'm going to make an attempt to be more honestly analytical. I want to assess what works and what doesn't and (most importantly) why. I'm going to start giving myself some constructive criticism, and cutting myself some slack.

Today's wins:
1) I love this skirt. It was acquired at the Goodwill President's Day sale a while back. So, win-win-win really- thrifted and half off (purchase price $2.00, I believe), recycled, and I LOVE it. It's the perfect knee covering length, with just the right amount of A-line flare, and I'm head over heels for those chevroning brown stripes.
2) I am wearing my shirt tucked in today. You might not be aware how MAJOR this actually is. Almost every day since I began blogging I've stood in front of the mirror and done the 'shirt-in-or-out? shuffle.' I've tried belts, sashes, spanx, layers, you name it, but I always end up preferring my shirt out, running visual interference for my tummy. Until today. So please understand the powerful body image implications of the seemingly simple act of wearing one's shirt inside one's waistband.
3) I'm wearing a belt. I've written before about being a bit 'belt challenged.' I'm not sure why I have so much trouble. It seems like someone who appreciates waist emphasis as much as I do should wholeheartedly embrace the belt but I seem to only employ a belt in order to keep my jeans up. Belting is one of those blogger-ey things in which I'd like to develop proficiency.
4) My shoes and my skirt are deliciously matchy-matchy. I know some people don't go in for matchy-matchy but I wouldn't mind being one of those women who wear perfectly matched ensembles that include a coat lined in the same fabric the blouse is made of, with coordinating pocketbook and shoes.

Near misses:
1) I'm not thrilled with this purple T-shirt/black cardigan combination. The purple T is on it's last legs but I keep it because I don't own a lot of tops. I usually enjoy a layered sleeve look but I don't think it really works here. I thought this black sweater would 'go' because of the black patent toe caps on my shoes but the result isn't particularly striking. I'd like to try this outfit again with a cream blouse and a chocolate colored cardigan- or would that be too boring? Maybe this skirt is crying out for some creative pattern mixing?

The verdict: I'm giving today's outfit a B- 
A great start but needs some fine tuning. It could be improved by using crisp, classic separates on top, or by generating more visual interest with creative pattern mixing. Try looking for more blouses and tops that are not T-shirts.


  1. I love the skirt too. And what is better is that the stripes match... The shoes are a great choice with this skirt. I am okay with the top and sweater as they are the supporting cast to the skirt/shoes. The tucking I think looks fine. I never knew you sweated that one so much. You do have a defined waist so what is the problem? I give you a B+ for this outfit...

  2. Well, the problem is that although my waist is fairly small I sometimes feel that there is so little space between my boobs and my tummy that I look positively like a sausage- or rather like the join between two sausages- when I tuck or belt. Thanks for the regrade.

  3. LOVE the skirt and shoes. I'm with you about tucking in and belts. I must say you look good with the top tucked in and the belt worn this way. I'm afraid I can't tuck in and belt - my waist has disappeared and my tummy is too obvious :(
    I think you might be right about the cream blouse and choc cardi combo - I think it will really bring out the colours in your skirt. By the way, lovely lipstick shade, it goes so well with your complexion.

  4. I've never been one for belts, because I think they accentuate my curves. I don't know why, but that has been one thing that I just haven't liked about my body. I find that skinny belts are easier for me to like. They don't accentuate as much, but still give added style.

    I love the tucked shirt on you. You look great!

  5. Hi Margaret - I am a long-time reader and really enjoy your comments and great fashion sense!! Don't you dare be hard on yourself! You are braver than brave to post pics and closeups of yourself - thanks for letting us in on your thought processes and choices! I will be in SF the end of March and would love to know where you like to thrift... I don't know if it's kosher to post my email, but here goes... nancyann1010@gmail.com... thanks again for all your great fashion ideas!! And that lipstick color is fab on you - just the right shade for your gorgeous skin!! Nancy