Thursday, July 28, 2016

An F.Y.I. for the short shy folded ealier his month. I was their Salt Lake City Budget Fashion Examiner a couple of years ago, so I have decided to repost all my articles here on my blog. 

And so, we have once again arrived at 'the golden hour' of Summer. Whether you will be spending these last few precious weeks far from home on a much needed getaway or scouring the hottest back to school sales at your favorite local store; either way, you'll want to take advantage of the warmer weather and the clothing that pertains to it while you still can.
We are about to cover a potentially delicate topic today. One that leaves many a local lady looking awkwardly the other way. However, have no fear, whatever your preconceived notions about this Summer clothing item may be in regards to both yourself and others, we are here to clear some stigmas and prove to the doubters that it is possible for a any person, no matter their shape or size to look well in shorts.
That's right. Shorts.  Okay, so maybe not all of you cringe at the idea of donning these cousins of the Capri which bare a little more leg than your pioneer ancestors would have thought proper.  Anyone outside of Northern Utah may even think this cautious introduction completely unnecessary if not  insane. Yet, here in this rather diverse hemisphere and admittedly unique culture which has often been labeled as “The Bubble”; we feel that there are quite a few things going against this member of the apparel family that has rendered it a bit of a black sheep.

Though we try not to recall a time when we've seen someone wearing cycling shorts that were at least two sizes to small, we try not to dwell.
Transversely, others have just as easily made the mistake of choosing a pair too large, or simply the wrong pair for their figure. These things do happen, but they need not set your against shorts altogether.
To say no one looks good in them is a blanket statement that we are about to disprove.
Of course, it may not be your opinion of others that has you shying away from baring your legs. If are one who hasn't slipped into a pair of shorts since you were fifteen and your tactless boyfriend remarked that your legs reminded him of chicken legs--Not explaining whether he was referencing a raw drumstick or a chicken's actual scaly, stick-like leg--Well, toss those insecurities aside! this article's for you.

If you want to add curves:
For those ladies who are embarrassed to bare super thin, less shapely legs, you may rejoice that the shorts best for your body type are some of the most fun and fashion forward. To add curves look for pairs that are a bit curvy in and of themselveslike this pairHigh waistline shorts are a great way to create curves by emphasizing your natural waistline. Fun details like pleatsbuttons, gathers, big front bowscuffs, bold colors and/or patterns are also great for your body type and light, flowing fabrics will not only feel wonderfully breezy but will look wonderful as well. Many styles may even look more like skirts. If your legs are particularly twiggy find the happy balance between fitted and gaping. Koolot styles are especially un-flattering on super thin legs when they are quite wide yet cut very short. If your legs are rather long, lean toward longer pairs of shorts to balance this. We suggest mid thigh to knee length as the best for you.

To add a slimming effect:
On the other end of the spectrum, those ladies who feel shy about baring a shapely thigh need not fear! There are plenty of styles out there that not only keep your quads covered but also offer a flattering, slimming effect as well. The trick is to find that length that hits you right where your thigh naturally begins to taper toward to knee. (Never cutting yourself off at the widest part of your thigh). Stick with either single toned neutral fabrics or vertical stripes if you want a pattern.
Flat fronts
 and more fitted (though not skin tight) straight leg cuts are also great. 
Keep it simple. Avoid going too big or baggy, as well as details like pleats, tiny floral prints and pockets that pooch out. Also stay away from thin fabrics as they will not offer the support you need. Some experts say to stay away from cuffs, but we think that is something you'll have to experiment with yourself as we feel it varies from case to case. Cuffing also might be the best way to figure out your perfect length. Wearing casual heels or wedges will also add visual length and definition.

To add length:
If your legs are on the short side, the trick to adding length is actually to go for shorter length shorts. 4-5 inch inseams are best. (Knee length shorts actually just make you look shorter by cutting you in half visually).
This info may seem intimidating at first, but just think how this can really benefit you. This means that those super cute little board shorts that are often worn as cover-ups at the lake or pool will look amazing on petite little you! Granted, you may not want to put on mini shorts as an everyday attire option, yet you can still take advantage of the style in special circumstances like if participating in a sport, like tennis or jogging; when your everyday attire would be too hot or restrictive.
Pairing your shorts with wedge sandals or heeled sneakers will also add length to your legs, while keeping with the casual vibe. Also, vertical stripes can add length, but avoid them if you are already quite thin.

So you see, there are a lot of options out there! Hopefully these tips will help you in narrowing down what styles will best fit your needs (and that truly does fit. Remember, if there's a muffin top involved, you are NOT too big, the shorts are too SMALL.) Now go for it! Find that pair that's perfect for you and enjoy letting the sun shine on those stems for a bit before it's time to bundle up them again. 

Happy basking!

The Mirror Has Two Faces: What to Watch Out for When Buying Secondhand Clothing folded ealier his month, so I have decided to repost all my articles here on my blog. This one is part of a two part article looking at the two sides of buying clothes on a budget.

The Mirror Has Two Faces: What to Watch Out for When Buying Secondhand Clothing

Probably most of us on a budget know all too well that clothing does not have to be brand name or even brand new to be fabulous and fun. You can go shopping in your friend or sister's closet (with permission of course), you can get vintage clothes from older relatives, you can shop at the D.I., factory outlet stores, consignment shops or other second hand stores.
There are a lot of options out there and though it can take some serious time, finding usable used clothes can be like a treasure hunt and really can be fun and exciting. When buying secondhand though, do remember to check the item carefully before purchasing.
Be sure to check for:
  • Holes
We know this may seem obvious, but sometimes the holes themselves are not. To avoid any possible regret later take the item into a dressing room and check every inch of it for even the tiniest of holes. If it is knit material or has some stretch then gently stretch it as you search so that nothing will be missed. Be sure to check near the shoulders and around the collar or waistband areas front and back, along the side seams and the bottom edges as well as across the middle.
  • Ripped seams
This check will be easier since you can follow along each seam pulling each side gently and easily discover if there is an area where the seam popped.
  • Stained underarms
It often surprises us how often shoppers forget this important detail. When you try on a top or dress raise your arms in front of the mirror and look for even subtle discolorations. Also, this may seem gross but you also really ought to smell the armpit area. The hugest regret we have ever discovered in buying secondhand is the discovering that certain items seems to have “perma B.O.” from who knows who! Even after repeated washings and special treatments it often proves to be a lost cause that some stinky shirts are simply beyond salvation.
  • Missing buttons/broken zippers
This can even be an issue with new items occasionally so it should already be a part of your shopping routine. Always test zippers, don't forget coat pockets make sure you have tested them all, even the hidden inner pockets that some winter coats have. Also always test all the buttons. We know it is time consuming but better to spend a little more time than to take something home that you'll never wearing because the first time you tried a prominent button split.
  • Loose threads
Sometimes loose threads can be simply that, extra threads that just happened to become attached and are not part of the garment. By gently pulling on any that you find you will soon see whether the items has any that will be of later concern.
  • Other stains
This means stains around the collar or anywhere else on the body of the garment. Collar stains can sometimes be remedied by soaking them with shampoo before washing, but even this may not prove to be a permanent solution. Often it seems that once something is stained, especially with oily substances they will remain stained, or the stains will continue to resurface as the oil continues to grab new dust. Also try it on in a well lit dressing room and stand back looking for general discolorations or fading. We've also found it helpful to sit down in the garment, especially if it is pants or a skirt and look at your lap for a few minutes. This is when the tiny flaws and stains usually appear that were invisible before. Like when you're waiting at the doctor's office or are sitting in church. Don't let those places be the location in which you discover flaws in your clothes. Think about this ahead of time and you'll have much more peace of mind and be able to focus better in that important work meeting.
  • Signs of wear
Probably the most overlooked item on this list. Signs of wear can mean anything from slightly sheer elbows on a cardigan or sweater, or slight pilling or fuzziness on a knit top. Even if the pilling is not too bad, scrutinize the material carefully and ask yourself how much longer it will last before it starts to look too shabby for church. Even if you never intend to wear it to church, this is a good gauge to go by.

The same rules apply when buying used online. Be sure to ask questions if you aren't sure of the quality. Even if it seems perfect, the seller may be hiding something so it would be best to verify this list of questions with the seller.

Photo Credits:
Photo by Nathan Cox, Getty Images. Catherine Tyldesley attends Manchester Pride 2012 on August 24, 2012 in Manchester, England.
August 24, 2012 License 

CHICHESTER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 15: A lady browses vintage clothing in a shop during Day 3 of the Vintage at Goodwood Festival on August 15, 2010 in Chichester, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images for Vintage at Goodwood) 

The Mirror Has Two Faces: Redefining Your Perception of Affordable Fashion folded ealier his month. I was their Salt Lake City Budget Fashion Examiner a couple of years ago, so I have decided to repost all my articles here on my blog. This one is part of a two part article looking at the two sides of buying clothes on a budget.

Do you set reasonable limits when it comes to budget fashion? Do you carry healthy perceptions about yourself and in how you view money?
Today's focus is going to be a little more philosophical as we examine some seemingly opposing ideas behind budget fashion. 

The word budget is relatively versatile and can be used as a noun, adjective and a verb. When examining the various definitions it is easy to see which ones are most prevalent in our particular culture, or rather, foremost in our thoughts when we hear or read the word 'budget'.  
The most common definition would be the adjective form of the word, which describes something as being cheap or reasonably priced. Yet the actual noun simply means an allotment or a predicted amount of resources over a short period of time. If we examine this definition we find that the specifics of this amount will vary from person to person. 

We have found that in writing about budget fashion it has been a matter of some perplexity to know how to write articles that will apply to all budgets. We disagree with the idea that anything we write about must all be as absolutely cheap as possible, especially because some people really will not ever want to purchase second-hand. There is nothing wrong with this. Though our current culture is very much enamored of the idea of applying the three R's of being eco-friendly, there are some definite, though often overlooked cons that are often concealed behind the more obvious pros of wearing secondhand clothing. So we have also written a sister article today that covers all the things to watch out for when shopping second-hand to help you avoid these cons as much as possible. 

As for this article we are not only going to acknowledge that secondhand is not for everyone but would like to help all our fashionable readers re-evaluate their perceptions of what is affordable and what they personally feel to be expensive. Consider that perhaps you have been limiting yourself by how you define these two words in your own life.

Some of my readers may be familiar with Carol Tuttle. A local of Draper Utah, Carol is an entrepreneur and author who is known for her life changing energy healing techniques and in more recent years her personal beauty profiling system that she bases upon her theories about each person's individual expression of energy and movement. Carol's program, “Dressing Your Truth” has been life changing and empowering for thousands of women, by encouraging them to look at themselves in a new way and discover their true nature and learn how to best emphasize their own natural type of beauty.

In these videos Carol discusses how our personal perceptions of money are often false beliefs that we have been indoctrinated with throughout our lives. She offers some energy healing techniques for purging the limiting beliefs and replacing them with affirmations that will allow us to know that our personal beauty is not at all related to the size of our budgets.

We love the positive affirmations and ideas behind Carol's message and hope that in sharing this today we will encourage all our lovely (or handsome) readers to realize that they are not defined by their budgets and that perhaps they can even manifest a larger budget and elevate their perception of value and worth.

While trying our best to be smart shoppers may we not forget that some standards should be kept high. You are worth more than stained, worn or hole riddled clothing and you deserve better than this. I think often, in our Salt Lake culture, because of how we were raised, some of us can get so caught up in being thrifty that we become stingy and become personal martyrs, by denying ourselves many basic needs. Fearing that wanting nice things makes us worldly we settle for truly less than we ought to and then our self esteem suffers because we have in essence told ourselves that we're not worth it. That we're not good enough to have a nice dress or a hole free pair of socks or jeans. Let us remember that for most of us with these limiting beliefs we have also been taught to seek after anything lovely, of good report or praiseworthy. For those who recognize this teaching, you might also remember that the Temple standards are very high. All clothing is spotlessly white, furniture and d├ęcor are immaculate, clean and in good condition. If our bodies are our temples then we should dress them accordingly and never settle for something so obviously beneath us. Not even on laundry day!

One philosophy we love is that if you couldn't wear it to church, you shouldn't have it in your closet. Many who have traveled outside of the US might have noticed that of all the civilized nations we dress the most slovenly. Perhaps we could change this reputation at least within the salt Lake Community. Let us make this dream a reality as we all strive to be better at celebrating our personal beauty and fashionable tastes. 

Photo Credit: SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 23: A woman walks past a sale display at Pitt Street shopping mall on December 23, 2011 in Sydney, Australia. As retailers like Kathmandu, JB-HI Fi and Billabong report poor pre-Christmas sales, many stores are dropping prices to battle for last-minute shopper dollars to help boast the seasonally low offline retail numbers. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)