*The Happy Diet — Building a Wardrobe — Minimalism vs. Maximalism*

(+ Bonnie Cashin —Rule Breaker + Wear What Now)

* Happy (model) in my fav    Liberty dress*     Classic-Bold-Artful — Fashion for Keeps.   

*Happy (model) in my fav Liberty dress* Classic-Bold-Artful — Fashion for Keeps.


This is #24 — and each time I still get nervous posting the newest blog. I wonder if you all will like it, find it interesting-inspiring-fun-provocative-boring-whatever ... well, not whatever. I always hope for more engagement-dialogue-feedback from my readers ... that you might oblige because it'll be more fun and would mean a lot. After all, I’m a designer (not a professional writer), and I’m trying to bring you what I hope is creative-practical-interesting perspective a couple times a month — on style, creativity, consciousness, and other things related. So, come on, I know you have a voice…


*Before we Begin>> Sending Love To All The Beautiful Mamas, Everywhere -- Beyond Mothere's Day*


The HAPPY DIET? Why, yes, there is such a thing! And I did not invent it, but I’m going to do it. (Have been trying to implement it, but this past week has been a bit rough, and I've dropped the ball and forgetten on a few occasion.) Try this — especially if you’ve been feeling overwhelmed and uninspired by all the ‘to-do’ lists, often stripping your daily life of the joy you deserve to experience in living it. Getting caught up in absolutely everything we have to do and forgetting to live is no fun at all. Institute a new practice — whereupon YOU get to do something you enjoy, one thing, big or small, every day, or at least a few times a week. Even little things can have a big impact. It is nothing less than actively acknowledging wonderfulness, no matter how small — be it flowers or pizza.

Some Ideas: (or your definition of what I’m describing here)

  1. Take yourself out to lunch to a place you’ve been wanting to try and haven’t. Meet a friend there, or fly solo.

  2. Go to a favorite coffee spot … take a break, relish the time, read something you enjoy, or just people watch.

  3. Treat yourself to some favorite flowers. Sometimes nothing is lovelier than fresh flowers.

  4. Take time to make a meal you love … can’t cook? — Get take-out of a favorite meal.

  5. Spend some time browsing in a bookstore …find something fun or inspiring to read.

  6. Call or see someone you really like, maybe haven’t been in touch with lately — catch up with people whose company enjoy.

  7. You’ve got errands — take at least a 30 to 60 minute excursion to do something you enjoy. Like, taking a walk in a park ... sit on a bench, with a snack, day-dream, dwell in possibilities ...

  8. Sneak off to a movie, by yourself. Enjoy some popcorn and get lost in a story for a little while.

OK, these are just some ideas. Everyone’s life and schedules are different, I’m certain you can come up with some on your own plans and ideas. IF you try the Happy Diet, do let us know how it went.


Building A Wardrobe — Minimalism — Maximalism (part 1)

Plain & Fancy Building Blocks: Trends are less prominent, or obvious, these days, and that's a good thing. Elements of both minimal and maximal are in the air — there for the taker of whatever aesthetic they prefer. You decide, (as is said on lame stream media), which camp you are in. Can’t decide? You don’t have to … it is possible to have the best of both, a marriage of minimalism & maximalism, in today’s world. (Things are so kooky anyway.)  And, if like me, if you happen to enjoy both ends of the style spectrum, go for it, build that cool and chic and quirky wardrobe … just make sure it serves you well, really make it your own, put in your special twist. In a world where leggings are officially considered pants — and almost every other woman I see is wearing them that way — it is better to stand apart than be part of the heard. *Feel free to ask me questions.

There is something wonderful about not blending in … carving out your own niche is infinitely more interesting. So don’t shy away from some statement pieces, dramatic, yet trendless, they can serve you really well — year after year, season after season. A fabulous print or pattern, bold color, unusual fabric, embroidery, sparkle ... Coats, dresses, jackets, blouses, etc. These statemnt pieces will make your basics better. — But they gotta be good clothes, well made, made-to-order, good vintage. You get where I'm going with this. Just like anything else, bolder pieces take a bit of practice. It may feel weird in the beginning, but you’ll go from novice to style maven in almost no time, and you’ll feel really good about it! This, in turn, will contribute to your happiness factor. You might get so good that you’ll even be able to mix prints and patterns with aplomb.

Of course you cannot build a fabulous wardrobe without good basics. (Note: building a good wardrobe has little to do with buying what’s on sale or what’s trendy, it is more about being thoughtful and selective) I’m talking about classic trousers, simple shirts, good tees, jackets, jeans, LBDs, etc. — These are the canvases for your statement pieces. They are often classics that last, that you continue to build upon. — And this can be that marriage of minimal and maximal. *I’m here for style tips* Now, if it is your aim to just blend-in, forget my advice. And let me tell you, I am often guilty of this ‘dulldom’ myself, since I work from my abode, I get lazy and don’t make an effort. When I do make an effort I feel fantastic! So, in honor of the Happy Diet, I shall make more of an effort to get dressed-up, because, truth be told, I have a fabulous wardrobe that gets very lonely. Time to stop ignoring all those items that bring such joie de vivre.

Note: These suggestions are inclusive of shoes, but a good wardrobe is not built on shoes alone. Basic jeans and tee with fancy shoes is not very interesting, trust me. Perhaps one of these days I’ll invite my good friend Nicole to write a shoe segment. Perhaps I’ll even do an accessories segment featuring other makers.

Meanwhile, I hope you got something useful out of this segment. I know it's not very detailed … but I’ve covered lots of details in previous posts and will continue to do so going forward. Plus, I'm counting on you to use your imaginations, and always encourage you to chime in, participate in whatever way you like.

*Items Of The Month: These pieces encompass that interesting combination of basic & statement — minimal & maximal. A classically modern blouse in an arty print. A bold skirt in a basic, neutral, classic color. They have endless possibilities. See where I’m going here? Wear them with existing items in your wardrobe and wear them together, top with bottom. The blouse is great with jeans, the skirt is great with simple tank or tee.


This Is Part One: I challenge you >> WEAR that one thing in your closet that you never wear, but keep hanging on to … can’t get rid of, because it’s there for a reason, dang-it! And one day you’re gonna wear it. Now is your chance. Put it on — send me a picture, via email or social media — I will help you put it to rest, either make use of it with some ideas or tell you that it truly is no good and you should donate it* Are YOU up for the challenge? I’m offering my ‘stylist’ services — gratis. IF you’re too shy, just show me picture of the item, sans you.
*PS — This is the last month of our Spring Dress-A-Thon. Your 20% Off Dress-Purchase-Discount ends May 31* ShopCode: DRESS20 — Don’t miss it. Something you’ll love and wear for a long time. @kajanistudio & @SpeakEasyBoutique

I’m recommending this even before I’ve read it … but I am going to.

Now hear this! >> Bonnie didn’t play by the ‘fashion-rules’ and neither do we. It’s not easy, but the fashion rules so often suck. — A book about the late-great Bonnie Cashin is coming soon, and I aim to read it. In this age of ‘fast-fashion’ — it’s nice to go back in time to when things were more sensible, more intimate, more civilized. When creativity was much more than a commodity ... Plus, I love that she started her label at 43! “Bonnie Cashin as Revealed by Author and Archivist Stephanie Lake”Article HERE.


That's all folks! -- Have a glorious month of May and I’ll see you all in 2-weeks.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this post.


*What Are You Wearing?

Me at the cutting table -- decided to make some chic little Liberty scarfs toadd to the shop mix @kajanistudio -- wearing my trusty, chunky, charcoal sweater and Liberty-daisy swing-skirt with metallic flats. (It gets cold and warm on a minute by minute basis here in May) Sweater and skirt - kaj.ani, shoes - Jeffrey Campbell.