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Lookin' good - Part 1

You know, I haven't contributed much unique content to the internet and I feel mildly ashamed of that fact. I once said that people shouldn't post anything if they didn't have anything decent to say. And sadly, I then went against myself and started this blog (note* if you would like to see the one 'decent' thing I have contributed to the internet, click here)

So in that same vein, here goes this part 1 posting on "How to Look Good". Why should you listen to me? Cause I look good, and what more do you need than that?

Part 1 - Fixing your Wardrobe
- Find a Style
- Take a good look at yourself
- Don't Shop at Target

I followed a lot of wardrobe makeover advice. I had a subscription to "Missus Smarty Pants", I followed the Tim Gunn's Guide to Style Essential Wardrobe list, I constantly purged my closet of items.. and still, i felt like i had nothing to wear. So what happened? I went to the library and borrowed a whole bunch of books on how to dress myself. My first winner was "Nothing to Wear" by Garza and Lupo. This book did the one thing that had never happened before. It made me decide on an actual fashion "look". Other sources will tell you to find a celebrity to be your fashion inspiration. That was bullshit to me. The celebs get dressed by different people, all the time. Take this approach and just pick something, like Whimsical-Chic and go with it. The nice thing about this book was that they listed designers to check out. I did that and made a folder of outfits I liked for visual reference.

Now this is key: As suggested by the book (and practically every other style guide out there), I actually took a digital camera and took photos of myself wearing my own clothes, in all different combinations. I tried each of my blouses with each of my pants, with my different shoes. This took a couple of hours, even though I had already tossed out all the clothes that didn't fit or were damaged. And what I found was amazing.. as in amazingly bad.. The shoes that I thought were so cute, were awful. I had skirts that looked bad with shirt/blouse that I tried them with. My one business suit made me look like a chunky corpse. What a friggin nightmare! I even showed the pics to a couple of friends (thank you Howard and Christian) who made some amazing observations, as in "that shirt is too big for you". Holy crap! They were right, I actually owned blouses that were one size too big! So all I can say is, if you only do one thing for yourself based on this entry, do this! I threw out some more clothes!

Then, I went shopping. What really helped me this time, was that I had made a specific list of items I needed. I knew what I liked, and in this case, another book helped. "Dress Your Best" by Clinton Kelly and Stacy London (yes, the people from "What Not to Wear"). Now, this book was nice because it kind of gives you a 'come to jesus moment' about your body type. But what I got out of it was even better. It turns out that I have the same body type as Stacy London. Awww yeah! What this means is that now, when I watch the show, I don't pay much attention to the victim of the day. I just see what Stacy is wearing. We don't have the same coloring (thank you "Color Me Beautiful" by Carole Jackson - My mom owned this and I used to read it when I was a kid), but I can see the cut and structure of the clothing she wears.

ok - so a small note on the shopping. As my friend nutter-butter once said "Don't buy clothes at Target". Now, I like Target, but its true. Their clothes are crappy. I went to the outlet mall instead. Now, I may have spent $50 on a discounted Marc Jacobs blouse, when I could have spent $20 at Target, but let me tell you something. That Marc Jacobs blouse is nice! Its going to look nice from the first time I wear it, up until it dies. My Target clothes look nice the first 2 or 3 times I wear them, and then spend the rest of their life in a miserable decline of 'slightly disheveled'. I wouldn't even buy a basic t-shirt there, when I can catch a sale at GAP and get a much better version of a basic t-shirt for $10 (and yes, I hate yuppies too, but i do like a good t-shirt).

So to summarize a basic shopping list, here is what I did:
- identified my activities. turns out i was great for my workout lifestyle, but my business wardrobe was in the pits, and so was my 'evening out' wear. I decided to combine the two slightly, by buying blouses that were not only business casual but could also convert to evening wear.
- made a list based on the wardrobe analysis. I already owned basic t-shirts, i just needed nice blouses that could go under jackets, black and neutral business shoes, and some business pants. A note on the shoes* basic black shoes are boring. Since my business wardrobe was pretty low key (no psychadelic clothing) I could get some more interesting shoes as long as they coordinated.
- then I stuck to the list and visited every friggin store in the outlet mall that sold women's clothing.

and, most importantly, I got a nice haircut. because if there was one thing i could tell, it doesn't matter how well you dress when your hair says "I'm homeless".

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on July 4, 2008 12:40 PM.

The previous post in this blog was oh sweet mystery.

The next post in this blog is Lookin' good - Part 2.

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