Wednesday, April 2, 2014

OOTDs: Stripes, Plaid, and Sequins. And Chicken for Lunch.

Good Wednesday, you all!

Before I get this parade of (two) outfits started, I wanted to see if you all would mind answering a question for me?  I was recently pulled aside by a good IRL friend, B., who asked me why I *never* gave myself 5 out of 5 in the "coolness" category in my ootd posts.  She's right, I rarely do, every once in a while I will, but usually I give myself a 3 to 4 tops.  There are a couple of reasons for this:

1. I use the term coolness to represent all personal style blogs out there, from young girls parading around in teeny shorts and oversized muscle tees, to older women wearing beautiful printed frocks and glamorous jewelry.  In the great grand scheme of personal style blogging, I very *rarely* manage to get to the peak of very cool, I would say I am lucky to get there three to four times a year.  I just don't have what some of these ladies have...they are, without fail, giving their sartorial "all" with every darn outfit they publish, and I just can't compete.  I am okay with that, really!  I love seeing beautiful clothing styled in lovely ways, so I don't begrudge anyone for bringing *it* to the table.

2. I also don't have a whole lot of confidence in myself, and I tend to not love outfits unless they are perfection on me.  I only will be willing to rate my own outfits super high for coolness if it fits my own higher standards.  That doesn't mean that I should only publish outfits that I deem the coolest since that doesn't really represent me, I am a SAHM with a substitute teaching part time job, and maybe being the coolest personal style maven blogger isn't the best goal for me right now, so maybe the "3" outfits are great, just not "cool."

3. I have seen an evolution in my style since this blog started way back in 2009.  Back then I just wore whatever, and most of the time it was cute SAHM style, but being able to see the outfits with a critical eye, after publishing, I realized what really did work for me, and what really doesn't.  I still struggle a bit with that, but I can say that I am now more able to put together outfits that fully represent my style, fit well, and yes, even can be "cool" sometimes, but if I am evolving, then the pinnacle of "5" should still be hard to reach, even if I am better at this style thing.

Anyhow, long story short...I do wonder if I should change up the criteria, especially since B. is not the only person who has asked me to "bump" up my scores.  Should I stop rating the "cool" against other bigger, more established, fashion mavens in the blogging world, and instead rate "cool" as how I am doing as a SAHM/substitute teacher out in the real world?  I don't know, I find it all so subjective.  I don't even know if I would rate myself high if I changed it up, since I still have a lot of issues rating myself high, even if I have "lowered" the proverbial bar.  I like the rating system since I am always challenging myself to dress better, but I don't think I deserve 5 out of 5 just because I happen to put on a sheath dress, a pretty necklace, and cute heels.  (And hello, there are really cool SAHMs/teachers out there that smoke me, style wise, everyday, and they make the bar high, too, even if they don't have their own style blogs.)   If the outfit doesn't make the mark in my mind, I don't think I deserve the 5, even if I am no longer competing with the likes of Ms. Atlantic-Pacific herself.

Okay, that's it.  And to show that I can give a 5 out of 5, the first outfit below is what I would consider a 5 out of 5, so see, I do think I am "cool" some of the time.  ;-)

Day: Thursday, March 27, 2014.

Where: Rex's doctors appointment and Harris Teeter with a jaunt to Chik-Fil-A for lunch.

Ease of Wear: (4.5 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.)  It was still cold last week, but bright and sunny, so I decided to wear something beautiful, but warm.  The Amelie dress (on clearance here, most current review here) is so warm since it is made from a merino wool blend, but also very comfortable since it has a fit and flare shape that nicely works with my figure.  The coat is an older J. Crew double cloth (called the Ingenue coat) that I purchased a few years back.  This was the right weight for the day, and it kept me nice and warm during the day.

I took a half-point off for the boots, which while comfy, were a touch too high, and by the end of the grocery run, I felt a bit pinched in the toes.

Cool Factor: (5 of 5 stars--5 being the coolest--for both outfits.)  This outfit is one of my favorites ever, and I normally hate black and brown on me.  I don't know what it is, but it all worked so well together.  I will try and replicate this look with other pieces in my wardrobe, but I can guarantee I will wear this exact look again next winter.

I think my new haircut and makeup help, I think that helps make the look appear effortless.  :-)

Anecdote from the Day: I love the annual physical days.  Those are the days where I take the kids out of school for the day and let them choose what we do.  Rex was so excited.  I asked him where he wanted to go for lunch and he said a local diner chain, but when I mentioned that Chik-Fil-A was on the way home, he immediately changed his mind and decided that was where he wanted to go instead.  (He LOVES their shakes, and I have to agree, those are really really really yummy.)  Rex is huge, btw, nearing 50 inches and weighing 60 pounds.  I don't think I made it to 60 pounds until I was in third grade.  I think he may end up being a really big man one day.  I told him if that happens he needs to carry me around like I used carry him when he was a baby.

Day: Monday, March 31, 2014.

Where: Taking Mr. Dina's parents to the airport, a local Peruvian chicken place for lunch, and the school run.

Ease of Wear: (3 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.)  The outfit is fine, but the sweatshirt kept riding up in the back (never in the front, btw).  Darn it, all.  That's the problem with having a bit of a butt, all tops ride up in the back, and unless I size up to the point where my butt is completely covered (that would probably be a large in this top), I will have this issue.  But if I size up to a large, my entire bodice is clothed in far too much material.  Sigh.  I will just deal with it, but man do I envy those of you whose hips and bottom match their upper body. 

Cool Factor: (3.5 of 5 stars--5 being the coolest--for both outfits.)  Neat mix of colors, textures, and shapes, but ultimately with the fit being a bit off, not as cool as it could be.

Anecdote from the Day: I grew up eating Peruvian chicken, so I didn't even realize this wasn't a common occurrence in other parts of this country.  I think I realized that it was a geographic anomaly when watching the Anthony Bourdain "No Reservations" show about Washington, D.C., and he visited one of the local Peruvian chicken joints.  Huh.  Anyhow, if you are in the area, you definitely need to go to one of these, the chicken is amazing, the spices they use to cook them in are just on the right side of spicy, and every single piece of chicken I have ever eaten has been cooked exactly right, not too underdone (ewwwww!) or overdone.

Okay, that's all for now.  I hope your Wednesday continues to be awesome!