Ikat Figure This Scarf Thing Out

Ikat Figure This Scarf Thing Out

I know, I'm really pushing the pun-velope. But seriously, even though I adore scarves I've never quite known what to do with them.

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Vamping Up A Storm

Can there be any grace in being a vamp?

The answer is yes, of course, provided that vamp is an extension of a gorgeous shoe.

I've talked about my obsession with shoes before, and I know that I'm not alone in my weakness for beautiful footwear. Who can resist a slinky strapped sandal, a revealing d'orsay pump, or a scandalous vamp that exposes tons of toe cleavage? Who hasn't teetered on a heel too high, stuffed themselves into a shoe too narrow, or wobbled on a poorly constructed stiletto?

sandal

dorsay

stiletto

Guilty, guilty, and guilty.

A beautiful shoe renders me momentarily incapable of rational thought. It is in those moments of weakness, impulse, or stubbornness that I have made most of my regrettable shoe purchases. I used to think if I really loved a pair of shoes I would somehow make them work on my wide, palsied feet. I carried on with this delusion for most of my life, until one day I caught myself looking for a pair of shoes to wear, nixing one after the other because of fit or comfort issues. I had a closet full of beautiful shoes I didn't want to wear.

The solution was obvious. I had to let go of my outdated thinking about shoes and replace it with a practical, elegant philosophy that would truly serve me. I donated all of the absolute "unwearables" at once.

The most delicate kitten heels that made my ankles turn with a single misstep.

kittenheel

The slingbacks that perpetually slipped off.

slingback

The flats with such a low vamp they couldn't conceal my foot curling up.

lowvamp

Anything too tight or uncomfortable to endure for more than an hour. They all left my closet, but I was by no means done.

Since then I've really paid attention to what works for me as well as what doesn't. Oxfords and brogues work well and they're de rigueur right now so I'm snatching them up as fast as I can. Styles range from ultra-feminine to uber eccentric and I love most of them.

oxfords

oxforcutout

agencyoxheel

Anything with a high, wide vamp like certain espadrilles works, too. So do Mary Janes and T-straps. I'd kill for the perfect pair of T-Strap shoes; they're my very favorite style!

tstrap

Boots must have a wide calf or laces for adjustment. When I'm on crutches heels for walking may not exceed 1.5", but if I'm in my chair I can double that number.

laceboot

I was actually told by a Physical Therapist that it's good for your foot to vary your heel heights within reason.

One pair at a time I replaced shoes that were "okay" looking or fit "so-so" with shoes that were beautiful and comfortable - because I refuse to wear ugly shoes unless I'm exercising or there's a zombie apocalypse. Actually, I can probably scare up some attractive boots if there's a zombie apocalypse.

zombieboot

I can certainly pull it together better than the ladies on "The Walking Dead". Never have so many needed a bath and a makeover so badly. But I digress.

Although this post is autobiographical I must tell you that this is a clarion call for all of you lovely ladies reading it. Some of you are already experiencing some form of physical disability that requires you to be creative with your footwear. I'm here to tell you that nowadays even supportive shoes are available in attractive styles, and if you are unable to wear shoes you can certainly find some stylish socks or embellish some slippers with Sworovski crystals. Whatever you can manage, own it, rock it, make it yours!

slipred

For the rest of you I'm here to give you a reality check. Sooner or later you'll have to abandon the towering and torturous footwear you have for a wider variety. The padding on the ball and heel of your foot begins to diminish as you approach 40 and the delicate bones in your feet become more malleable with age. This leaves you with increasing discomfort in those shoes that pinch and push your foot forward and at increased risk for permanent deformities such as hammer toes. I'm never anxious to welcome anyone else into the crippled community, especially a self-inflicted disability. Start putting some less extreme, but still stylish,  footwear into your rotation, please.

Okay, I confess; I still consider myself to be a bigger vamp than any of my shoes can contain.  So much for the "sensible shoe"!

All images courtesy of Pinterest

A Month To Be Passionate About

How cliche would it be to go all Cupidy-Bonbon-and-Red-Rosey this time of year?

So cliche that I'm not going to do it. Well, not literally, anyway. Lots of my fellow bloggers are doing a fine job with traditional Valentine's Day iconography so I'm going to focus on the most intense, undistilled facet of love.

I want to talk about passion. Passion is more compulsion than emotion. It focuses our attention on how something or someone makes us feel and compels us to act. It pushes any rational thought out of our minds and replaces it with a never-ending quest for fulfillment of that compulsion. Addiction is passion taken to the extreme. Extremes are usually ultimately negative and rarely a good thing.

But passion is always a good thing. It's about living instead of merely existing. So this month I'm going to share some of my passions with you, and some of them may raise an eyebrow or two.

For example, take a look at this outfit.

workout1

oinkpants

If any of you find this attractive please turn in your "Fashionista" card immediately. It's a hideous outfit; $8 velour hoodie from Old Navy, $3 Victoria's Secret sweatpants via Music City Thrift, white wool knee socks, and 2007 model Ecco Mary Janes via EBay. The only redeeming article of clothing here is the black tee with Mr Spashionista's logo on it - and it's only appropriate outside of this application when worn underneath a jacket. For the longest time I thought the lettering across the back of the sweats read, "Oink" instead of "Pink". I'm not making that up.

But I'm passionate about this outfit and wouldn't part with it for the world. This is my workout wear for the winter months. Because I am a 51 year old woman with CP being as fit as possible is important to me. Several years ago I had a leg injury that required I go through physical therapy. While I was there I learned how to stretch and exercise and began getting stronger. Now I exercise every day. I also walk around my back yard with my two dogs as often as I can. That's the reason I'm so particular about my footwear.  It's very difficult for me to walk outdoors, even with my crutches, and I've found these shoes have the best fit for that specific activity. However, they don't work well for indoor exercises or even the stationary peddler I've been using since Christmas so I usually lose them before I  work out indoors.

None of this will cancel out the fact that I have Cerebral Palsy, but it does make me healthier in other ways, and I am healthy compared to a large number of my peers. If I have to forego my workout for a day I find my body craves it. Who knew that it would take me almost a half century to become passionate about exercise?

By the way, If you think this getup is bad I actually have a Muppet-pelt parka I add if it's hovering around freezing when I go for my walk. I'm not going to show you that gem - just think Snufflecripagus.

Fashion Friday: Out Damned Spot

I promised to share with you what I wore to the Nashville Shakespeare Festival's performance of MacBeth.

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Okay, not as over the top as last week's Fashion Friday outfit. Nevertheless, it certainly stood out amidst the sea of grey sweatpants and beige puffer jackets. Honestly, is it that difficult to dress up just a little?

There's only a few recent pieces here, but the idea was to pay homage to the play and it's plot. Red, of course, is the appropriate color for this purpose. This Connected Apparel red cowl necked wool dress was purchased this past fall from TJ Maxx and set me back a mere $20. My wing tipped Mary Janes by Franco Sarto are 3" high - my maximum - and are five years old. The Marvin Richards faux fur leopard cape was my nod to the infamous soliloquy and is last year's clearance find from Stein Mart at $30. You've seen the skull clutch from Shi before so you know it was a Christmas gift. Although you can't see it in this photo I'm also wearing the antique citrine necklace I received for the holidays.

I enjoyed the production and set design of the play immensely. I did not enjoy a fair portion of the acting. It is the downfall of nearly every Shakespearean play I've seen that the actors race through their lines as if they'd just been set ablaze and must spit out their words before the fire can be extinguished. When will they learn to slow down enough to give the bard's words the weight they deserve? Lady MacBeth, in particular, was delivered manic from beginning to end, devoid of any sort of character arc whatsoever.

Still, I appreciate the actors, even Lady Mac, and those that worked so hard to realize a Shakespearean play on a cold January night in Nashville. It's not an easy task and I understand that all too well. I look forward to their interpretation of A Midsummer Night's Dream this summer.

Spashionistas Wanted

The outfits that I put together for Fashion Friday are based on my BODS profile. Sure, some of the items I use are beyond my price range but I’m certain I can find reasonable equivalents within my budget. I would love the opportunity to put some together for you for the next installment of Fashion Friday. If you’re interested email me with your BODS profile and we’ll make it happen!

Fashion Friday: Laura Hine

Meet Laura Hine.

Laura is a fellow fashion blogger and author of wefly2. She has peripheral neuropathy which, in her case, means she has to wear custom orthotics in her shoes. Laura filled out a  BODS profile to get my input on an outfit for a group get-together to discuss fashion for disabled women. Like most of us she's on a budget so she requested I keep the outfit under $100. Classic casual is Laura's preference, "No mutton-dressed-as-lamb".

I can do that.

Laura describes her body shape as,  "Formerly hourglass, now more square–menopausal gain in waist and abdomen, broad shoulders, size 18 and busty but not huge."  I've given Laura two options here. Both share a very similar upper body shape and focus bold, solid color near her face (which, incidentally, is quite pretty).

Let's start with option one. The cardinal purple medium weight cotton blend cowl neck sweater dress is from Old Navy. It has an empire waist, hits just above the knee, and is priced at $39.

Because she has to wear orthotics in her shoes they must have a rounded toe and an athletic shoe style heel. These Lower East Side Alex side bow Mary Janes from Payless have a slight heel that mimics athletic shoes,  a rounded toe, and hidden elastic in the strap. These shoes are very comfy - I know this because I own them - and they are a steal at $17.

Laura has expressed a preference for fanny packs but I thought I'd show her a different option. The small Mossimo Supply Co. quilted chain crossbody black bag is from Target; it's also $17.

Finally, stylesforless.com has these black and silver stacked 6-piece bangles for $9.

Option two replaces the dress with a top and pants. The top is also from Old Navy, a fuchsia, medium weight jersey with a natural waist and cowl neckline that sells for $32. The pants are from Amazon.com. They are Lee's Comfort Waist straight leg pant in an indigo rinse, essentially a crisp-looking, more comfortable version of jeans. They sell for $28.

If you add up the totals you'll see that option one comes in at $82. Option two is slightly over-budget at $103, but Laura can skip the bracelets and bring the grand total down to $94.

I thoroughly enjoyed doing a real BODS oriented Fashion Friday. I hope Laura likes the outfits and has a terrific time at her meetup!

Spashionistas Wanted

The outfits that I put together for Fashion Friday are based on my BODS profile. Sure, some of the items I use are beyond my price range but I’m certain I can find reasonable equivalents within my budget. I would love the opportunity to put some together for you for the next installment of Fashion Friday. If you’re interested email me with your BODS profile and we’ll make it happen!

Fashion Friday: A Union Station Thanksgiving

Last week I told you I'd be going out for Thanksgiving dinner. Here's where I went.

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App
Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

This is Nashville's historic Union Station. It was built in 1900 and, according to wikipedia, was, "to serve the passenger operations of the eight railroads then providing passenger service to Nashville." The trains don't stop here anymore but the station was converted into a hotel in the 1980's and remains a downtown landmark The restaurant in the hotel is called Prime 108 and this year they offered the following Thanksgiving buffet to a select number of people.

I'm not exaggerating when I say this was hands down the best Thanksgiving dinner I've ever eaten. The descriptions on the menu don't even begin to do the food justice. I consider myself to be an above average cook and I couldn't come close to replicating this meal. We have enough leftovers to last for several more days.

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App
Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

As you can see I did "dress to the nines" for the occasion, but my dinner was more expensive than my outfit.

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

I decided to go neutral - rare for me, I know, but it was unseasonably warm so I had the perfect outfit. The cream and lace pencil skirt is from Forever 21 and it set me back $19.80. The black beaded Ann Taylor sweater is several years old, as are the XAppeal shoes. I bought the sweater on clearance for $11.99 and the modified Mary Janes for $19.99. The string of pearls are the genuine article, having been purchased in Majorca, Spain almost 30 years ago, and the bracelet is from last month's stop at the St Louis Hard Rock Cafe - located in their Union Station.

I am incredibly thankful for my loving and supportive husband who has been by my side through the bad and good and everything in between. I'm also thankful for each and every one of you that read this blog, follow my tweets, pin from my boards, and put up with my ramblings. I appreciate you all more than you'll ever know, and I hope you had lots to be thankful for this year.

In two weeks I cook the monster meal. But, in the meantime, let the shopping begin! I'm gearing up for Black Friday and I'll share my experiences with you - if I survive!

I've got something special planned for next week. Who wants to see a music video featuring a musical performance and video clips all by your favorite Spashionista? You do? Then tune in on Cyber Monday for my multimedia debut.