8 Steps to Building Your New Look

Today I am going to talk about clothes, about clothes and getting dressed. I am speaking as a mother, a homeschooler and a quilt artist since I have noticed a common thread that runs through all of these things and I am venturing into some murky water here with the statement that a hell of a lot of us could be looking a lot better than we do when we are out in public.

The fact is that as artists, mothers, homeschoolers we are walking billboards for what we do. How we project ourselves to the world is what the world reflects back to us. So when we go out looking like something that cat dragged in is it any wonder that we don't get the respect that we deserve for the awesome  job/jobs we are doing?

You can make the most beautiful quilt in the world but if you shlep around in stained sweats and unkempt hair it honestly makes you and your work hard to connect together and it does not make a life in the arts look all that good either.

You can have the best homeschooling life ever but if you go out wearing clothes that make you look dumpy and frumpy and sport a haircut like you did it with pinking-shears is it any wonder that people think that homeschooling is awful and degrading to women and would NEVER want to do it?

Honestly there was a time that  I thought it was much more virtuous to be the "good mother" and own three Hanes sweatsuits ( green, gray and maroon) which I wore in rotation with a saggy nursing bra and granny panties ( also sort of  saggy).. I was a GOOD MOTHER DAMMIT I spent more on my kids, I did more for my kids and I looked like shit on a cracker - really and my my spending more time on them than me proved it.. or so the story goes.

Of course times have changed and not many are wearing Hanes sweatsuits but a whole hell of a lot are wearing today's version of this uniform - yoga pants anyone??

Well at some point I woke up from this deep and stupid coma ( there is a whole hitting rock bottom story here, but I will save that for another day) and I decided to get my act together and look like I wanted to feel ..but quickly understood that I had lost touch with how or where to start. This is the same thing I hear from a lot of others ... so with that mind...

Maddie's Rock your Mama/ Artist style guide. Version 1

If you are starting with a virtually blank slate the world is your oyster so you might as well have fun with it. In my case I am generally sort of trendy/preppy conservative so this is an ideal everyday outfit for me.

1) Start with some great jeans that REALLY fit. This will take time but is SO worth it no matter what your size.

2)Tops that flatter your figure ( watch that neck line!) and are a bump up from t-shirt. With Fall coming this is easy with thin and supple sweaters that have the comfort of a t-shirt with a dash more style.

3) A great jacket. I am currently hunting a red trench for Fall but just about any jacket/blazer/ cardigan will serve the purpose of bringing an outfit together and making it look more polished.  Want a few tips on how to wear those cardigans without looking like Ms. Doubtfire?   The point of the topper is the " rule of three" thing.. top- bottom and ? (jacket, great scarf, statement necklace)

4) A fantastic purse. One without rips, undone stitching or a lingering order of a tippy cup gone south. Big enough to hold what you need but no so big that you look like a sherpa.

5) Great scarf. - Scarfs scare some people but they can be the best way to add flair and finish to an outfit.  Start with a nice neutral.. this season navy is going to be big.. this one from Old Navy would be a great place to start.

6) Shoes.  These red clogs are CALLING MY NAME..  Go for comfort of course for daily wear but kick it up a notch with great color and style.

7) Jewelry - find some pieces you love and start wearing them.  Just putting on a nice necklace each day can give you a reason to smile.

8) Awesome sunglasses. There was a time when I could take or leave sunglasses but as I age (sigh) my eyes are getting more sun sensitive so great glasses are the blessing of that total PIA.. might as well have fun!

 Of course there are days when I miss the mark  but over all since spending more time on me I am amazed at how much more respect I get for the job(s) I do and more than that.. how I feel I deserve respect and demand nothing less.

How about you.. are you ready for a new look?  My look is not your look, try playing around on Polyvore and see what you can come with and then drop me a line and let me see it!


Jenny said...

I agree with you! Great post. It is important how we project ourselves. Plus, it just makes you feel better anway. :)

Amanda said...

I'm there this year! My kids are older and can take care of their morning prep leaving me with time to attend to my look. I definitely know my style and just need to spend some time collecting pieces. I have a freshly cleaned out closet, just need to shop :-)

Karen Gibson said...

I'm new to Polyvore, but it was fun. Here's my set:


Maddie Kertay- The Domestic Anarchist said...

Amanda, the shoping was so hard at first but once I got a clear vision on what looked goo on me it became easier.

Karen.. LOVE your choices at Polyvore.. the are so you!.. I can just see you wearing it to have lunch!