Wardrobe Essentials … Esteem & Compassion … Saving The Craft


 “Dressing Down Is A Crime Against Humanity” -- Simon Doonan

Could not find inspiration for this one (#25) — Too many ideas, nothing concrete, nothing I was juiced up about — then it happened, kind of suddenly, but not easily. The quote from Simon Doonan made me laugh and want to say something good. Then I came across the compassion article, then saw a post about craftsmanship, possibly dying … and I had myself some interesting tid bits to discuss with you all. Don’t know just how many people read our blog posts, or what people who do read them think of them, but I will keep writing until it no longer makes sense.  ;-) THIS is a slow-fashion journey blog, but it is so much more ... I hope it's fun to read.

The current topics: wardrobe building continued, self-compassion, the survival of craftsmanship. Read on …

Self Esteem is overrated — Self Compassion is where it’s at. It's what I read recently, must say I agree. — “The self-worth that comes from being kind to yourself is much more stable than that which comes from judging yourself positively.” - says Kristin Neff in an article by Olga Khazan, titled ‘Why Self-Compassion Works Better Than Self-Esteem’ — “Boosting your ego won’t make you feel better. Instead, try talking to yourself like you would your best friend.” Khazan interviewed Neff (a psychology professor at the University of Texas) about how self-esteem has failed us — “Though self-esteem continues to reverberate as a pop-psych cure-all, the quest for inflated egos, in her view, is misguided and largely pointless. There’s nothing wrong with being confident … The trouble is how we try to achieve high self-regard. Often, it’s by undermining others or comparing our achievements to those around us. That’s not just unsustainable, Neff argues, it can also lead to narcissism or depressive bouts during hard times.” — Truth. Comparing oneself is often a waste of time and mostly riddled with negativity. “Neff proposes a better path: Self-compassion. In other words, treating yourself just like you would your best friends, even when they (you) screw up.” — writes Khazan   

Can we do this? Yes, of course we can! Self-compassion is so much kinder, and don’t we all want to live in a kinder, gentler world?

There ya have it. What do you guys think? Here’s the whole article — read on and decide for yourself.

Wardrobe Building Continued … Dressing Down Is A Crime Against Humanity” — a quote that rings true to some, but not very many. Those who live by it, I reckon, don’t need much style advice, just some ideas on fabulous finds, most likely. — However, to most of us, whether it’s unfortunate or not, we live in a dress-down world where leggings are pants and other similar style tragedies. (Jeans don’t count, denim is fabulous when you're selective.) So, we’ve got to, kind of, play it where it lies and perhaps try our best to improve upon it, should the spirits of better style move us to do so. *NOTE: Building a wardrobe has much to do about style vs. trends. For a truly fabulous and versatile and self-serving wardrobe you’ve got to favor style instead of trend.

In the last post I wrote that it is infinitely better to stand apart from the heard … but the heard is so big, sometimes overwhelmingly so, and we blend in whether we like it or not. And in our effort to nurture personal style and build a fabulous wardrobe … we must push on, happily and inspired by life and beauty. — Let’s go!

I’m gonna give you a few essentials here — in no particular order. And will continue to give you what I think are essentials in ongoing posts. Remember, I’m here to HELP — feel free to ask questions. Now, if you already have these (the items I'm suggesting, below), either stay tuned, search for some new essential pieces, do nothing, or start editing your wardrobe and ridding it of things you don’t want or need.

These are 3 recommendations to explore — with good details included. I’ll give more in the next post.

A dramatic dress — that will work and wear well for a long time. A style you can likely go from day or evening … something that stands out beautifully, but does not scream too loud. Made in a high quality fabric, and that you can wear almost any season. It should work with a few different types of shoes, like pumps, strappy, boots, etc. Is easy to throw a cover over, like a shawl, blazer, cardigan, coat. It’s a tall order, but this dress delivers. I can recommend other style in future post.

A Good (tailored) pant — in a easy to wear, season-less fabric. A solid color that you can wear different kinds of tops with. One you can dress up and dress down as needed, and of course, it fits you nicely, whether it's fitted or loose. I recommend light weight wool, denim, viscose blends, wool blends. (No poly - it pills, it does not wear well.)

A fitted jacket/blazer — that works with a lot of stuff. Go for quality fabric, the cheap stuff is just not worth it, take it from me, it looks cheap too. A fitted shape is more versatile, believe it or not, it goes with more silhouettes, but if you prefer looser, if it flatters you better, then go for it. It should work with pants, skirts, dresses, (not everything, but a lot of things). Choose color according with what you have in your wardrobe. Start with solid, later you can always add a print or pattern. It should have some structure, but not be too stiff. Light enough to wear a lot, but not flimsy.

As we get nearer to Summer, yay! You will get my list of Summer Essentials, yay!
However, I will keep up these wardrobe building ideas — they’re ongoing, so keep reading.

PS — Here’s just one problem with trends — “If you can’t stand to look at one more off-the-shoulder top… We’ve got three cool alternatives for Summer” — is what I saw recently in another blog. Gotta say, stuff like this kinda makes me cringe … I know we cannot fully get away from trends, but they're unsustainable, costly and mostly foolish. I’ll leave it there … as people ponder what to do with that (off the shoulder or whatever) trendy item now that they're sick of it cause everybody has one and it looks lame. Clue: don't head off to fast-fashion bastions like forever 21, H&M, etc... please. Save your money for something good, that you'll enjoy for longer than a season or year. Good clothes serve you better.

How can traditional craftsmanship survive in the modern world?

I believe, YES! We can collectively save it, if not all, then at the very least half or better, because we can do better …  “Around the world, the beauty and cultural wisdom of age-old craftsmanship is on the verge of extinction. Highly-skilled craftsmen and women have become an endangered species as more young people have chosen other career options. This, and the proliferation of merchandised, globalized production has brought many traditional, craft-based businesses to their knees. Those that remain are often small, family-run enterprises, without the financial resources to attract and develop new talent and without the skills to create sustainable business models. How can traditional craftsmanship survive in the modern world?” Read More.

What's The Answer? TBA — in the next post. For now, please ponder what this could mean and the consequences of dying arts and crafts … perhaps some ideas will come as to how to help.

      Until then — 2-weeks from now — Ciao & Happy Dressing!

PPS> Mercury is FINALLY out of retrograde! It’s been a trying time that has tested our patience and our faith. Here’s to far more fabulous times ahead … peace, harmony, prosperity to us all!

What Are You Wearing?

Fabulous Stefanie at work — in kaj.ani silk blouse & good-ass harem pant. Pant: Made to order. Blouse: one left here.