The Pursuit Of HAPPINESS ... Is Not What It Seems ...

Food For Thought + Outfit Of The Month + The Interview + Etsy Sales Heaven


*Q: Is the pursuit of happiness creating more stress than joy?

Because we’re living in such…CRAZY times — I thought we’d address some ways of thinking-coping-living-being that may be apropos in this current climate, that may help us stay sane, and maybe to relax a little (yes, in spite of all the cray-cray) — Let's give ourselves a break, and others, too. More importantly, let us become freer, more independent thinkers and doers. — I’ll be referring you to some reading that may make you feel good, or at least better, about this subject.


*But First — I was interviewed by the E-zine ‘The Crazy Mind’ — here’s an excerpt and link to the interview. Check it out and feel free to share your thoughts. “Interview with fashion designer Ani Kiramichyan"

"Today our guest is Ani Kiramichyan from Los Angeles, CA. She is the designer of kaj.ani, high quality fashion-apparel, and also an advocate for conscious commerce. — She focuses on adding value, beauty, sustainability to the way women dress, by providing what she calls 'Fashion-for-Keeps'.

*Also — let me introduce you to the new thing on fb that some of us Etsy people have created called ‘Etsy Sales Heaven’ — consisting of several product specific pages where everything posted is on SALE. I'll get more into this in the next issue, but here's an example: Etsy Sale Fashion — Free to join and browse, it's an open group. Check it out, see if you like it, feel free to ask questions. + Below, I give you item of the month, expanded into Outfit Of The Month, that I hope you can sink your (glam-eccentric) teeth into.

*Happiness — I have in no less than 2-weeks come across similarly themed messages, while not particularly searching for them, but which have resonated with me to the point where I felt like the Universe was giving me a topic. Okay, I thought, even in a fashion blog this is a very worthy discussion. — Having recently heard the tail-end of an interview with author Ruth Whippman, who wrote The pursuit of HAPPINESS And Why It’s Making Us Anxious’. — When I heard her say — ‘it seems that the American obsession with finding happiness is driving everyone crazy’ — I thought, yes, she is likely right. It is national obsession, (I have a feeling it may go beyond just the u.s.a.) this constant pursuit, obsessive chasing after, goal-setting, etc. It’s friggin exhausting — So I encourage you to give it a gander.

Then, in the Laissez Faire daily newsletter (which I highly recommend for non-fashion related good sense) I came to read several good articles about similar topics of how to stay sane’ and ‘how to be happy’... (I've provided links, check out at your leisure)

How to be Happy: 15 Ways to Live Healthy, Happy and Free — here’s an excerpt from that article — “Gratitude is an important human strengths that contributes to subjective happiness. Grateful individuals are especially appreciative of the contribution of others to their happiness… Results imply reciprocal relationships among gratitude, subjective happiness, and good social relationships. Consequently, compared with unhappy people, happy people report close and satisfying relationships and feel more gratitude in their lives.”  Read on…

I also read — “Confession time: I believe happiness is hopelessly overrated. I know. I know. Sounds strange, right? What am I, neurotic? After all, I shared with you Dr. Axe’s How to be Happy guide, chock-full of 15 ways to live a happier, healthier existence. — While all of Dr. Axe’s tips were great, and I’ve incorporated many of them into my life with great results, to “find happiness” should not be the reason you take care of yourself. For some, it’s a good entryway out of a funk. But it’s never going to be the end-all, be-all. — Point blank: The pursuit of happiness alone is not enough to make you happy." ... "In fact, paradoxically enough… Happiness is what happens when you’re no longer striving to be happy. Happiness happens when you could live without it. Happiness is like a small child or a herd of feral cats. If you try to force happiness into your lap, it’ll simply run off. Or slice open your face.” — writes Chris Campbell.

I have to say I agree with this, too. — Now this may seem like a contradiction with the above (happy) advice, but no. I fully realize the connection, and you might also ... once you’ve had some time to read, contemplate, process, and surrender. — Concluding, perhaps, that Happiness as a pursuit or obsession is (or can get) kind of crazy. However, there are ways to choose to be happy, and the '15 Ways' list can be a good way to start...

I also recommend this > 3 Ways to Stay Sane in an Insane World > Take your time, it may be more enjoyable and enlightening than it first seems.

And now … Outfit Of the Month! … what I wore to my birthday dinner (and beyond). See my picture, below.

*I'm wearing: Liberty-Print Keyhole Dirndl Dress w/Obi + Chunky Wool Shawl-Wrap-Cardi-Sweater + Gray Suede Boots (had forever, but seldom wear, because heel is too high for me). Other details: Fabulous Vintage Leather Purse + Gray Pearl Dangly Earrings.

Here are the actual dress & sweater + similar accoutrements from fellow Etsy makers.




Note: This goes to show that one can wear these lovely dresses almost all year.  And the above items are definitely 'fashion-for-keeps.' Also, since being inspired by Simon Doonan’s book Eccentric Glamour — I am a designer, after all — I promised myself that I will dress more like the real me, beyond just special occasions (like my b-day). I’ll wear more of my fabulous ensembles for more everyday things/outings, thus making the ‘everyday’ less mundane. Harder than it sounds ... but do-able. And just because I wore this fab ensemble to dinner, does not mean it’s only for a special occasion, I can easily make this more of a ‘day look’ by skipping the high-heels, opting for flat boots, to go just about anywhere, beyond my morning walk or grocery shopping.


Do not conform to dumbing it down, Simon would caution. (You're not a dullard and neither should your look be.) Also, 'say no to ho', but do 'tart it up' — the latter is a glam thing. Apparently, back in the day, in the U.K. 'tarting it up' meant doing oneself up to look fabulous. This is not to be confused by what Simon cautions to be a diturbingly spreading trend of dressing like a 'hoochie'. — Insert laughter, because I see an aweful lot of this in Los Angeles. :-)

Hey, if you’ve got fashion questions — chime in. The above outfit works well with many different dress styles and is a great way to wear Transitional clothes, and make more of your clothes year-round wearable. I'll show more of these in upcoming issues.


*Lastly — Some food-for-thought regarding Conscious-Commerce (or lack thereof).

The coming fast-fashion boom in the developing world spells big trouble for the environment.""A boom in cheap fashion is coming. And unless we change the way we produce and sell clothes, it's going to put massive strain on the environment and the people who make them.” (NOTE: every purchase is a VOTE with your wallet)

And not just the environment, but also labor — salve-labor, to be precise. The consumer holds the key to what is acceptable ... and this is just gross, most especially for those who claim to care about the environment, etc.

Okay, that’s it — I’m outta here — See y’all in 2-weeks, I hope. 

Meanwhile, please share our blog … with the world*