Friday, February 24, 2012

The Color Purple (AKA my first attempt at self portraiture)

Me and fashion. Well, we don't really get along. I wasn't raised to appreciate it, and it's never really made a move to attract my attention. For as long as I can remember, as long as it wasn't too holey, wrinkled, or immodest, it didn't really matter what style, color, brand, or quality. I went from a high school with a strict dress code, to college jeans and hoodies, to mom clothes without a second thought. If a piece of clothing didn't have a specific purpose to keep me warm or cover skin, it had no business in my wardrobe. Accessories?? Fuhgeddaboutit!

And then along came this Defrump Me idea. Let me just say, I feel like the one of us in most need of defrumping! When it comes to fashion and home decor, I just freeze like a deer in the headlights! Part of it has to do with being unable to pull the trigger on buying something of quality for myself. I think that's common for a lot of moms. We spend all our time, energy and money on others with very little left over for ourselves.

Unfortunately, this can take a toll on us emotionally and even physically. When you're looking frumpy, you're feeling frumpy. And yes, hubster loves me no matter what I've got on, but when I'm rockin' the frump, it's hard to wrap my mind around that. I feel much more confident and, well, sexy for him when I've put some effort into what I'm wearing and how I'm looking. And if you are lacking confidence in how you look already, chances are that it's going to be harder to make the lifestyle changes needed to get you where you want to be physically.

Anyway, last week I sold a baby sling, and I set aside that check for a thrift store shopping spree. Guilt free spending — all. for. me!! :-) Monday I grilled Amber and our friend Katie all day on what was in/out, what I should look for specifically, and what would look good on my body type. (I'm really hoping that Amber condenses what I learned down into a helpful blog post for the rest of you. It was amazingly helpful. Like she was in my head the whole time I was shopping.)

Wednesday, armed with my fashion cheat sheet, the baby, several hours, and some cash, I hit up the Goodwill (GW) and a great local thrift shop called Potter's House (PH) with a relaxing picnic lunch with hubster (in the 70 degree sunshine) at a park between shops. Can I just say it was a good day?

I tried on about 50 items and took pictures of each one and sent them to the girls for their input (Thanks again, gals!) For $53, I came away with 7 brand name tops (including Banana Republic and NY&Co), 3 pairs of jeans (Gap), 4 pairs of shoes (including some black patent 4" heeled Aldos for $6!), and a purse. That average is less than $3.50 per item. Woohoo!! Happy dance!!

So, in celebration, I am doing a post that is HIGHLY out of character for me - it's an outfit post! =O And, being home alone with 3 kids 5 and under (none of them capable or trustworthy enough to operate Daddy's dslr camera), it is also a test of my limited self-photography skills. (Warning: lots of pictures)

"Wait. Should I smile or not?"
"Yeeaaahh, I'm not so sure about this."

 I had the hardest time positioning this silly purse! Plus, it's empty, so, yeah, now you know my secret.

Oh, and I live in a neighborhood at a busy crossroads. So people are passing by thinking, "Who's that silly lady in the heels and purse that keeps rushing between that camera on a tripod and the wall to pose all goofy?" Oh well, gave them something to think about. I just tried to look like I knew what I was doing.

On the verge of speech. But I think this one shows the outfit the best.
So, most of this outfit came from my shopping spree:
Black tank - Old Navy $2 one of their door buster deals like 2 years ago
Purple top - Forever 21 (I think), Goodwill (GW) $3.50
Lavender cardigan - NY&Co, GW $3.50
Jeans - Gap, Potter's House $5
Black purse - ??, GW $4
Pinkish-purple shoes - Steve Madden, GW $2.50
Necklace and earrings - Premier Jewelry, like 8 years old, so it doesn't count. :-)
Oh, and the flip-flops in the pics above are also Old Navy $2.50

Grand total: $20.50!! Not too shabby! Especially since it has accessories!!

Don't you want a closer look at those shoes? Yes? Good!

Yep, desperately in need of a pedicure, but at least I got some polish on those puppies!
That polish is Sally Hansen, by the way. Bought with a coupon at Walmart a while back. The color is "No Hard Feelings." And those "imperfections" are what happens when you are too impatient to let the polish dry before putting on shoes. ;-)

Aren't they so cute? Dress this outfit right up.

From around the house and errands in flip-flops, to date night in heels, gotta love a versatile outfit!

Oh, that necklace has a story too. See, it used to be a bracelet. I loved that thing! Anyway, some curious hands broke it, but it lived a good long life of 8+ years, so nobody got into too much trouble. I saved the beads hoping someone with more skill than I have could repair it. My impatience got the better of me again today. Knowing how perfectly it would go with my outfit, I set out to make it a necklace.

 I used dental floss to string the beads for its durability, the way I could point it through the little holes without a needle, and for it's minty-fresh scent! (Just kidding about that last part, but really, why shouldn't your neck smell good?)

Then, inspired by this post about necklace repair using a ribbon, I proceeded to tie some small, black ribbon to each end of the floss.

Tied it at the side - so one side is longer than the other. And took some pictures of myself in the mirror. Someday I'll get this right!

Also, you can see the short sleeves of my purple top. It will transition well into summer.

Oh, and then I thought maybe I could point the camera at myself instead of at the mirror. That's why the tie is on the other side. Smooth.

Okay, So now you get why the title "The Color Purple" (Previously "Purple Reign" vetoed by hubster.)— what do you think? Purple overload? I like the color. Think it looks good one me, and might I suggest it could be considered monochromatic color blocking similar to this?

Alright I'm done. Let me know what you think. I know I don't know enough to get my feelings hurt, so critique away!


  1. Who are you, and what have you done with Susan?! Seriously, cute post and cute outfit. And color blocking?!! I just shed a few tears.

  2. Haha! Amber's comment cracks me up. Amber, you have taught us well. :D

  3. Love this! Don't feel too awkward about doing the outfit shots, most people aren't actually staring (even though it feels like they are sometimes...) It took a while for me to get that concept through my head, but now, I can actually enjoy taking the pictures. Cute outfit too, it makes me want to go out and do a lot of thrifting. A LOT.

  4. Haha! Thanks y'all! I have to admit, this was pretty fun - shopping, photos, the challenge of it all.
    Grace, we'll have to go together sometime! Why did I never think of that?!
    Amber, I just have to throw words out there to make it sound like I actually pay attention. ;-)

  5. Nice shoes!! :) Thank you for the pictures!