Red Head

The only thing holding me back from going red is the upkeep.

I was reminded of this recently when exchanging blog comments with Meghan from Sweat Daily(dot)com. Meghan is a blonde gone red, a runner and a hair stylist, who was kind enough to give me the low down on making the change.

Here was her advice:

“RED is the most high maintenance of all the colors. The reason why is because the red color molecule is soooo large that it has a difficult time getting into the hair shaft. And because of this, it fades very easily. Fading is thought to be a negative aspect, but it can actually be quite positive. Because the hair fades, you have opportunity to try whatever color you desire, and can easily switch it up. For example, you can start out with a more vibrant red that may fade to a ginger or strawberry color.”

Yesterday, as I cruised the Interwebz while re-watching every episode of Girls (and the Boardwalk Empire finale thrown in .. ..cause yes), and I came across an image of two of the most perfect redheads on Earth.

It’s enough to make me reconsider the color.

I’ve written before about my love for Christina Hendricks, but Vivienne Westwood (for the non-fashiony-fans) is a legend; a visionary and icon in the industry. My respect for this woman runs deep.

This photo …

I’m calling my hair girl tomorrow.

M.

Ever dyed your hair a radically different color? Did it stick or did you go back au natural?

Incredible redheads Vivienne Westwood and Christina Hendricks, photographed by Greg Williams.

Original Image Source.

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Body Dysmorphia and the Plus-Sized Revolution

Confession: Nothing in my closet fits me. My skinny jeans won’t zip and my boyfriend jeans fit like the skinnies used to.

Confession: I haven’t run more than three miles in a month.

Confession: Although there are six days in which it’s feasible to exercise my body, I have chosen to do other things the majority of the time.

Confession: I ate a gigantic spoonful of raw chocolate chip cookie dough from out of the garage refrigerator yesterday, not because I was craving cookie dough, but because I wanted the sugar high to get me through the afternoon.

With all of the back and forth I have going on in my head, in regard to food and exercise and health, it occurred to me more than once this week that in addition, I might be body dysmorphic.

How come?

Twice in the past few days, while feeling low about my size, I happened upon images of plus-sized women that I thought had bodies similar to mine. There is a plus-size revolution occurring and the women being held up as images to admire are nothing short of beautiful.

But, I’m … fat?

Since I’m currently squeezed out of my size 10s, I am furious with my body; angry at myself. Compared to the those plus size goddesses, my image of myself is not as kind.

Body dysmorphia, according to the Mayo Clinic, is described as, “imagined ugliness.” It turns out, upon further research that it is a real mental illness and people with dysmoraphobia often go to extreme lengths to manage their perceptions (plastic surgery, hiding from others, etc.).

While I’m not willing to diagnose myself with full-blown BD, I do think that my perceived flaws are skewed based on my expectations of self, and how I’ve once again slipped from, “I am healthy girl, hear me roar.”

I am stuck, then, between my own expectations of how I think I should look, the expectations of what the world views as acceptable, and the reality of what it’s like to live in my own body.

If I use the functioning part of my brain filled with endless information about health and well-being, I can dig myself, once again, out of this rut.

Solution # 1: I’ve ordered the Tracy Anderson mat series to do through the winter with the goal to firm up, confuse my muscles into performing as they should (again), and hopefully gather new information to write a helpful review, to boot.

Solution # 2: I will not buy any clothing, period, until I have become consistent again on the exercise front. If I then need to accept that I fit better in a bigger size, I will accept it, but not without a fight.

Solution # 3: I’ll try to eat more wisely, but am sticking to my belief that weighing myself is damaging to my psyche. Cutting out food groups will also be avoided, as anything completely off-limits will inevitably lead me to consume entire batches of cookie dough, just because I can.

To combine two of my favorite songs (as an homage to the place that I find myself today), here is a mashup (care of Madonna and Gene Sir Harlan) …

What it feels like for a girl … For a girl in this world.

But I’m doing the best that I can.”

M.

Do you ever think you suffer from body dysmorphia or any other body image related issues? How do you manage? How do you conquer?

Image 4 of ASOS CURVE Exclusive Belted Wrap Top
Asos Curve Plus-Size Belted Wrap Top.
Image from the Size Issue of V Magazine.
Crystal Renn is a size 12. Gorgeous, no?
An image from V's Size Issue
An image from V’s Size Issue. The depths of my love for this picture run deep, but I wouldn’t be caught dead allowing a picture of me like this to surface. Is it my modesty or insecurity? I’m not sure.

A Fashion Fight

I kept the girls home from picture day yesterday. The drama that ensued over what to wear became much too much; screaming and crying and clothes tossing and hysterics over matching tights to dresses to shoes.

While all of their friends were having their photos taken, my daughters sat in their room with their lunch boxes while I huffed and puffed; would have blown this place down had I been able to find the lung power.

I’d love to say that it was all them, but it wasn’t. I did my share of screaming and clothes tossing, too. I, their mother, was the ringleader of the madness; the curator of the crazy.

I feel badly about it today.

Did it matter if Soph wore the brown/green/orange polka dot tights with her navy dress? Would it have been so terrible if Grace had worn her red and white Christmas dress with the “they’re comfortable” salt water faded Keen boat shoes?

I am an easy-going mom. I let my kids have an awful lot of choices about what to wear, what to eat, where to go, what to do.

I’m not a “You WILL wear this!” kind of mom.

But yesterday I wanted pretty pictures of my girls in the Liberty print Petit Bateau dresses I’ve been waiting for them to fit into. I bought those dresses with images of my sweet daughters looking tres French. Lovely sophisticated little girls. The fairy tale image of what I always imagined my daughters would be…

They hate the dresses. They hate the print, despite my lessons on the history of Liberty of London. They hate the weight of the fabric and the style of the sleeves. Grace especially hates the front button placket.

I sent them off to school this morning in outfits of their choosing.

It’s a gorgeous day here, the sun shining bright for the first time in a week, and I chose not to fight the what to wear battle.

Do I need to start picking more battles for control?

Probably a good idea to create more limits.

What’s a mother to do when you realize that your parenting style has created a personality trait in your children (in my case stubborn minded fashion forward not at all French little monsters) that could potentially become a bigger problem? Fix it, right? And fast…

XOM

I have a nostalgia thing for Petit Bateau and Liberty of London, since I wore them myself as a little girl. I know that this is not bright pink and covered in ruffles, but would it have killed them to wear it for one day? Apparently, yes.

The Emmys; Boobs and Dresses

It wasn’t until I met my biological sister that I realized my boobs were a genetic component to the makeup of me. Before then I’d assumed they were a terrible mistake meant to be placed above someone else’s heart.

But within the last year (or so) I’ve come to grips with what God gave me (thanks to my sister and the way she wears hers gorgeously) and I’m starting to kind of like them. I wish they’d stand up without help, but I don’t hate them like I did.

Last night’s Emmys red carpet was a bosom baring display.

One after another busty girls allowed their flesh to peek out from the beneath most dazzling dresses.

I felt a kinship.

Femininity in fashion never looked prettier.

But many on Twitter didn’t feel the same.

A barrage of nasty tweets proclaimed the look tacky and cheap, trying too hard and pathetic. The disdain for what I viewed as fashion risk taking (I do consider it a risk) combined with body acceptance was a disappointment.

So why all the fuss?

There were plenty of legs showing, too. And backs. And shoulders. And low cut dresses on flatter chested girls.

I don’t have an answer on this. I can’t explain why there was so much backlash, though I bet it has something to do with the new female empowerment or some sort of hatred toward women or the whole mother prostitute thingy. I don’t write about that stuff. I don’t think I’m deep enough.

I liked all the boobs.

I liked Heidi showing all that leg, though I wasn’t crazy about the dress.

I liked Ginnifer Goodwin’s choice not to show very much at all in that unbelievable red and nude flowered Monique Lhullier.

I liked that each woman chose the image that she wanted to project for the night.

As for the girls who put their girls on display.

I think you looked lovely (and not in a sexy vroom vroom kind of way).

Just plain lovely.

What did you think about the dresses? Did the boobs bother you? Have a favorite I didn’t mention?

XOM

Kat Dennings. I didn’t even know who this girl was before last night. She has received the most press for the bosom baring. I’m sure it’s because the boobs look so great, but even if the dress covered them,  she’s still stunning!
Zooey Deschanel. Everyone talked about her Reem Acra Princess dress, because she really did look like a princess. The top, if you’ll notice, was just as low cut as Kat’s, but no one spoke about her cleavage.
Christina Hendrikcks in Christian Siriano. This girl is my hero.
Heidi Klum. The legs could not be denied and the sea-foam green is lovely against her skin. Again, the top is very revealing, but the press went wild (in a good way as opposed to the nasty twerps) over the legs.
Ginny Goodwin in Monique Lhullier. I loved loved loved this dress. The pixie hair and the shoes (clear Laboutins’s); epitome of chic. Even though I’ve embraced the boobs, I still love a good high neck. After to Zosia Mamet from Girls, this wins second place for most fashion forward of the night.
Sofia Vergara. Not one of my favorites, still my Emmys post wouldn’t be complete without the addition of Sofia in this Zuhair Murad. When the camera panned down the dress my daughters’ eyes got huge. “Look mom! A real mermaid!” So for that, thank you Sofia!

Hipiti for Fashion

Paying full price is silly these days, unless of course you are rolling in dollar bills and buying the most high-end fashion straight from the runway (even then, I’m not sure those girls are paying full price).

For the rest of us who only dream of sitting in tents at fashion week, our hearts pine, but our pocketbooks do not. The creation of flash sale websites like Gilt Groupe (my favorite), Haute Look, and Rue La La have up to this point helped make us fashionable, while not breaking the bank.

This morning I received an early invite to a soon to be launched site called Hipiti created by co-founders Rama Katkar and Kristin Flink (friends from Stanford business school whose love for Internet shopping and finding great deals spurred the idea). Their website was built to simplify the shopping experience by collecting information about your favorite retailers and compiling a dashboard of recent sales (Gilt Groupe included) making the need to filter through mass promotional emails a thing of the past.

Even Lululemon is listed as a choice to add to your dashboard! Those of us always following the We Made to Much section recognize how fast LLL’s sales pieces are scooped up lightning fast only to be gone forever.

Even better (according to their Twitter feed), new companies and lines will be added as the demand grows.

Hipiti hop….hip fashion calls!

How about you? Will it be a site that will help you in your busy life?

XOM

Hipiti
Marchesa Spring 2013 RTW photo by Marcus Tondo. Vogue.com Fancy.
Band of Outsiders Spring 2013 RTW photo by Fillipo Fior. Vogue.com LOVE… almost practical… LOVE!
Creatures of the Wind Spring 2013 RTW photo by Monica Feudi. Vogue.com. A wearable collection, but I’m unsure of price point. I imagine that top is more than my monthly fixed expenses, though, since even their collection for J. Crew was pricey.
Marc by Marc Jacobs RTW Spring 2013 photo by Marcus Tondo. Vogue.com. Could be sweet, not so layered.
Rag and Bone Spring 2013 RTW photo by Fillipo Fior. Vogue.com. I love this line!
Tory Burch Spring 2013 RTW photo by Fillipo Fior. Vogue.com Terrific Tory. Her line is always wearable, but I don’t know if I always agree with her price point.

Image

By the time I turn forty I’ll have my look all figured out.

It’s what happens when a woman turns that age.

All of my mom’s friends had it figured out by forty. Turn forty and you’re a grown up at last with a real grown up look.

These were the thoughts of my twenty something self as I pondered my many incarnations.

The day before seventh grade I walked through school in a Flashdance one shouldered sweat shirt, leopard print zip jeans and flourescent pink jellies, while wearing fish bait earrings (rubbery, not real) dangling near my shoulders. I ran into a teacher who said, “Oh my, Miss Martha! Haven’t you changed this summer!” She was over forty-ish and her look hadn’t changed at all in those short sweet months.

In the tenth grade I went mod accessorizing my Catholic school uniform with illegally pointy toed black flats, black tights, and a black second-hand men’s cardigan. My hair was worn in a tight clean bob, my eye lids liquid painted, carefully winging upward. After school my mod boyfriend would pick me up on the back of his mod scooter and we’d make plans for Fishbone concerts that I would lie to my mother about to be able to go.

Early nineties? The beginning of grunge and I cut my hair Amber Valetta pixie short, just like hers on that one cover of Vogue. I did wear plaid, but styled myself more eclectic/fashion forward; a pea coat embroidered with flowers (early Free People I wish I’d kept), Minnie Mouse minnie skirts, big fat clogs, Big Star jeans and lots of Betsey Johnson.

I always took risks; tattooing my left middle finger because I thought it would be cute (early twenties), pierced my nose so there’d always be a bit of sparkle emanating from my face (mid twenties), and more than once changed my boring blonde locks to shades from platinum white to sleek dark brown (over and over again).

As I drove the kids to school on Tuesday I took a good look in the visor mirror. No makeup, except for the Mac Omega eyebrows that are brushed on daily. No colorful cheeks, no lined eyes, too grown out highlights, no sparkle whatsoever.

I looked down at my outfit; Be Present yoga pants (okay fine, they are the ones with the lotus on the back, but still) and a gray t-shirt. On my feet? Havainas. God forsaken Havainas; not even a decent pair of shoes.

While looking in that mirror I wondered. A pierced nose? Double pierced ears? Maybe committing to liquid liner? Maybe committing to a daily red lip.

I have an appointment to get my hair colored next week and I’m taking a break from boring buttered blonde. The upkeep on red might be too much. Too dark isn’t right for my complexion. Pink? Ombre? The hair world is my oyster.

Mom clothes? They are a job requirement, but I’m done buying yoga pants for a while. Instead, I am going to focus on shoes beginning with the Swedish Hasbeens that appeared on my doorstep just yesterday.

I was wrong in believing that by forty I’d have grown stylishly wise, settling on my appropriate grown up look. Its a new world these 2010’s, so maybe the old rules don’t apply.

Besides, I think it’s true what they say about forty being the new thirty.

If that’s the case, I have almost ten more years of creative expression before I turn fifty, a very grown up age. Let’s hope fifty will not be the new forty or I’ll be one very confused lady.

How about you? Are you happy with your look or do you mix it up? Do you agree that change is good or is consistency a better approach?

Original 1980’s Jellies. I had the pink and the clear.
Modern Mod. Richard Bush for i-d magazine September 2011.
Free People embroidered pea coat. Mine had the embroidery up and down the front along the buttons. Loved it madly.
Betsey Johnson Fillmore Street store was like a home away from home. I loved walking through those doors.
The libra symbol I had tattoed on my left middle finger. Didn’t take long to remove, only a few visits to the zapping machine. Didn’t think it was appropriate when I became a teacher. Too many questions.
Gold Havainas. I was so determined not to buy a pair (or two) this year and instead opted for Tkees and Ipanemas. My resolve failed when the Tkees got killed on the New York streets and I found this pair at Club Monaco on the Upper West side. Boring, right?
Be Present Agility pant with the pink lotus embroidered at center back. I do love these.
Lauren Conrad apparently got tired of her blonde, too.
Butterscotch reddish blonde for Fall. But is it different enough?
Swedish Hasbeens Classic Slip On Super High (Hello Kitty stickers not included). They’re super easy to walk in even my four year old can do it. Do yourself a favor, if you buy a pair online, and buy an entire size up. They rum really small! 

XOM

Maxi-Million

A few years back I decided I’d try a maxi dress. I found a great one at Forever 21 that cost next to nothing. It was stretchy and comfortable and cool (in both style and temperature), slim to the knee and finished with a two foot gathered hem, which spoke loudly to my inner Mother Earth.

But as happens when I take fashion risks, I got it home, tried it on, and lost my nerve. The rules for an apple-shaped girl with boobs and skinny legs screamed, “NO!”

Fitted is what works. Tent like is tough, so back it went (and fast).

With the resurgence of warm weather the maxi dressed mammas have re-appeared. They are at pre-school and the grocery store, walking down the street and playing in the park. I eye them with a mix of envy for their ability to pull of the fashion risk and hope that I might find one (one day) for my frame that would allow me to play in the game.

There’s a bunch that I like that I’ve seen and so I’ll dip my toe into maxi-million territory by posting some of my favorites.

Who knows, though? With all of the evolving that’s been going on lately, a maxi dress just might act as the finishing piece to not only round out the warm weathered wardrobe, but be the catalyst for a summer of self acceptance (I will like myself in this tent, I will like myself in this tent).

The more I think about it, the better it sounds.

Monochrome Maxi Dress
Monochrome Maxi from Cheap Monday at Asos.
maxi dress
Anthropologie Maxi. This is way chic, but sadly, I don’t do strappy.
Red maxi dress
This I would do. Sleeves, yes. Color, yes. Still a bit sack like, yes. But I like it.
Holy Maxi Dress, Women, Dresses, AllSaints Spitalfields
Holy Maxi Dress AllSaints Spitalfields. I doubt I’d have a place to go where this would be appropriate and I’m note sure that it would work on my shape, but in my dreams I am wearing it with a pair of flat golden sandals and hair that’s been coiffed and set with flowers. I love it that much!
Splendid. Could easily be a part of the mommy clothes board on Pinterest.
Ella Moss. A little ikat, a little space dye, a little tribal. Love it!
Nettie Silk Lace Up dress at Calypso.