Thursday, January 1, 2009

8 things I learned in '08 thanx to this blog...

1. I’m actually not half bad to look at most days. Ok, that may seem corny -- or conversely, pompous, but the truth is having spent almost a decade of my life as an obese woman who felt simply awful about her appearance (to a large degree unnecessarily), the idea that at this stage of my life I could feel more than ok looking at myself in photographs…let alone that I would even dream of plastering those pix in cyberspace for anyone to see, well, it’s just pretty darn cool!

2. Style matters. It affects our mood, our sense of self and our impact on the community at large. It is a form of expression, an art if you will, and it is the best kind of art because it is accessible to all. Style is the personal art of choosing how to present yourself to the world visually, as a sign of self-respect, form of creativity, and to reflect a sense of pride.

3. Belts are my friends! Who knew, lol? I have an hourglass shape and belting – when done right – really accentuates that. Of course I knew that for other people…but now I see it for myself. No bravery need :)

4. The 3 most important items in a wardrobe? Accessories, accessories, accessories! Once you have a basic working wardrobe, even if it’s not complete, building an accessory collection is not only useful, it’s fun and relatively inexpensive. And you can TOTALLY change the look of so many outfits just by adding something simple, like a bold statement necklace, a scarf, or camisole (which I consider an accessory).

5. Taking photos of outfits is very beneficial, even if they are just for yourself. While I enjoy doing this blog it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. But I do urge any woman exploring her sense of style to try taking regular photos of outfits. It’s a great way to catalog looks you like, discover ones you don’t, and it helps you develop your own tastes when you have a visual record to refer to.

6. Shapes can make or break an outfit. A top that seems too full or boxy when paired with trouser jeans can work great with skinny jeans. A shirt that’s a wee bit too long for a pencil skirt can be very flattering when belted with a longer more drapey one. The key is trying things on with a critical eye and not being afraid to experiment (even if only in the privacy of your own boudoir)

7. Size doesn’t matter. Ok now, you know what I mean :) Seriously -- it really doesn’t matter what number it says on a tag or the scale, what matters is how you dress the body you have. True, there are some general rules that seem to apply to pretty much anyone (creating the appearance of an hourglass shape, making legs look as long as possible, balancing the top & bottom, etc) and then there are some things that just seem to work better on some individuals versus others. But pretty much any trend, any look can be translated in some way to fit & flatter any body. Period. Want proof? I am 45, weigh around 170 lbs (on a good day) and am a size 12-16, depending. If *I* can wear skinny jeans, puhlease, ANYONE CAN!

8. There are other women out there that share my attitude about style. Despite differences in taste, age, size, economics, culture, or a myriad of other variations there is a common thread amongst the many wonderful women I’ve “met” since doing this blog. Wanting to make a statement thru appearance and embracing not only our own exteriors but also each other’s has been such a wonderful thing to witness. The support, acceptance, ingenuity, imagination, generosity of spirit and willingness to share has been lovely to experience and participate in. I’ve felt welcomed into a neat little community that is as big as the whole world and I am enriched by all of you every day. Thank you.

Blessings to all in this New Year, may 2009 bring you all the happiness & joy you deserve!!!


Jean said...

A great post full of good advice. I've also learned a lot this year through doing the blog, and like you I've 'met' some fabulous fellow bloggers.

Here's to the next year of blogging!

Anonymous said...

Great Post - like you I've learnt alot this year through blogging and met some totally fabulous people.

Jane said...

I agree with all you conclusions. This year I will be experimenting and focusing on what works and what doesn't.

Shallow Coffee said...

Wonderful post! I have also learned a lot this year. 2009 is going to be quite the adventure for all of us!

Kayleigh said...

Thanks everybody -- and isn't it great how much we've all learned from this? I'm so glad I "met" each of you :)

Hope your first day of 2009 has been fabulous!!!!

Hillary said...

This is a wonderful post. You basically wrote how I feel about blogging and all the wonderful ladies I have "met". I'm so glad we get to ride along this journey of blogging together. You really are an inspiration and I always look forward to your posting. Best wishes in the new year!

Trace said...

Happy New Year Kayleigh!!!

Great post, I agree with all of your points! It really is amazing what you can learn from blogging. I am very blessed to have "met" you in 2008!

Sal said...

You're a smart one, you are. All very true and VERY stylistically sound realizations. So glad blogging has helped boost your confidence!

Kayleigh said...

Thanks so much!

Hillary -- thank you, and it really is a fun journey to share w/others, isn't it? I'm very flattered as I always look forward to your posts & think you are totally inspirational too!

Trace -- thanks, and I adore you & your blog, my curvy sistah! I kinda knew I'd learn a few things doing this, but I had NO IDEA just how much...not to mention the bonus of meeting amazing women like you :D

Sal -- thank you! And you know, you pegged HAS boosted my confidence, thank you for noticing that :) I'm amazed that in a relatively short time I've really seen some changes in my look, too. I think perhaps the thing is that when you feel more confident you are more willing to get creative and experiment -- not just with style, but with other life endeavors. I am always impressed w/your blog and your attitudes about women & style...I appreciate your ideas SOOO much. Thank you for that.

Happy New Year everyone -- and thank you all so much for letting me share this journey with you!!!!

*Diane* said...

This post is the truth! lol. serious great advice. Happy New Year!!

Sheila said...

This is such a great post - thank you for articulating all of those things...they are all so true.

The 2 best things that I've gotten from blogging are:
1. by taking a daily picture of myself, I am finally getting a realistic idea of what I look like. You know how you carry this picture in your head? In mine, I was still 60 lbs overweight, and just okay-looking woman. I've realized I look good - and I don't need to feel bad about myself at all.
2. there are other people out there like me, who love fashion and expressing themselves in a creative way. Wonderful people, who are kind and thoughtful. I am very thankful for them all. And you! :)

Anonymous said...

RE: number 6--I too have realized the importance of actually trying on things together physically to check them out before you wear them! It doesn't always work to just "Polyvore" on your floor to create outfits. You need to see where one hemline ends and another starts, for example.

Anonymous said...

RE: number 6--I too have realized the importance of actually trying on things together physically to check them out before you wear them! It doesn't always work to just "Polyvore" on your floor to create outfits. You need to see where one hemline ends and another starts, for example.

Imogen Lamport, AICI CIP said...

I love this post - so full of great real world advice and it's wonderful that you've discovered these things all by blogging!

Looking forward to more of your discoveries in 2009!