This outfit is brought to you by a happy, undercaffienated accident.Read More
Birthday cake, of course.
It's been a crazy week. I've technically been on vacation, but found myself dealing with important issues that I hadn't planned on for a good chunk of my time. My apologies to my fellow bloggers for my absence in reading your posts last week, but I was determined to have a little fun, too. After all, it was my birthday and I wanted to celebrate in style.
Here you see wardrobe elements I've always loved. Polka dots, low-cut, body conscious frocks, retro shoes and jewelry. What puts them out of my comfort zone is whether my beloved wardrobe choices still look good on my 50+ body.
I purchased the Mlle Gabrielle dress for less than $20 and had it altered to fit me perfectly. I know I'm very curvy and 20 years ago I would've availed myself of some serious control top action to try to look less round - but I am round and no longer feel compelled to hide it. The shoes are Chelsea Crew Sofia Mary Janes. My skull clutch from Shi is making a return appearance. The lavender pearl bracelet was a birthday gift, as was the turn-of-the-century amethyst necklace.
These photos were taken inside the beautiful Opryland Hotel where I was treated to a fabulous dinner by my better half. I think we look pretty good together, if I may say so myself. In the future I'll be sharing my strategy for healthy eating - but not today. No, not at all. On one's birthday it's only fitting to eat cake. Specifically, a humongous slice of dark chocolate layer cake no sane person would ever attempt to finish in one sitting.
Call me crazy; I didn't leave so much as a crumb on the plate.
Hmm, I'm not so sure. Let's see what you think.
In keeping with this month's theme this is definitely way outside of my comfort zone. The plum floral print is actually a shirt dress. It's from Express and I purchased it last year during the grand reopening of Opry Mills Mall for $17. It's 100% polyester, very unstructured, and too short - all three things I generally avoid. If I'm honest this is a "what was I thinking?" moment. Initially my intention was to wear it over a pair of pants for 40+style's fashion challenge. That was an epic fail of a look. It made me appear even shorter and rounder than I am.
On to Plan B, which is what you're seeing here. I tucked the dress into this royal blue Briggs New York pencil skirt from Ross. The colors work well together and the floral print is large but not overwhelming, but I'm not entirely convinced the shapes are complimentary. It is better sitting than standing, which is a blessing because I maneuvered through ThriftSmart in my chair. Minimal bling here; both the crystal cuff and Medic Alert bracelet were made for me by my friend Charisse. The white Not Rated oxfords are from last Summer but remain among my favorite warm weather shoes.
What do you think? Does this dress work or does it need to be evicted from my closet?
"While ye mayOld Time is still a-flying: And this same flower that smiles to-day To-morrow will be dying."
The first stanza of Robert Herrick's poem "To The Virgins, To Make Much Of Time" tells us to live in the moment. Appreciate what you have while you have it because nothing lasts forever.
The first red rose to bloom in my garden. I took a picture of it because in a few weeks it will start to wither and eventually die. Just like the backdrop for this week's photos.
Behind me is what remains of the Bellevue Mall. Years ago, when enclosed malls were all the rage, it was a busy, thriving place of business. Then the stores began to close and were eventually replaced with flea market-like clearance and secondhand booths. About five years ago the property was purchased and plans were approved by the city to turn the area into a "lifestyle shopping area" with an outdoor strip mall, bike path, courtyard park, and restaurants. Then the economy soured, plans were abandoned, and the mall became a dried out, empty husk of its former glory.
This is a very dressed-down day. I'm in errand running mode here so this is my version of "slob". Rosey red Bandolino jeans, Cable and Gauge black polka-dotted top, and Jessica Simpson bag. The Not Rated Get Shorty black oxfords from Shi are making their inaugural appearance. My rope twist silver and gold bracelet is at least 25 years old but the style is back with a vengeance. The watch is last year's genuine Betty Boop light-up model I picked up for a song.
Even if you're tired, harried and just want to run out the door, get what you need, and hurry home to collapse into your couch you can still look rosier than you feel.
I always know that Spring is here when the tulips start peeking up in the garden.
This week I decided to use these lovely bulbs as my inspiration. These photos were taken in my backyard on the first day that showed any sign of Springlike weather.
I love purple and red and I think they work well together. All of the pieces are from Stein Mart. Pencil skirts were in last fall and they suit my body type so I stocked up. This red one is by Sharagamo and the watermelon jacket is by Baccini. I'm also wearing a purple Vintage Suzie tank that was photographed in detail but I suffered a slight "wardrobe malfunction" so those shots were nixed.
Of course you recognize the Coach and Four purple suede boots from Where's That Groundhog? They still work nicely when the weather is less frigid. Likewise, the purple Anne Klein Watch from Give A Girl The Right Pair Of Shoes and Art Nouveau inspired bangle from A Date With Inspiration are making encore appearances. I wanted to keep the accessories in the same color as the tank and boots.
Lest you forget I do use my polka-dotted crutches around the house and for short jaunts. They are from Cool Crutches and if you ever find yourself in need of some stylish crutches this website offers them in a variety of colors and patterns.
No joking. One year ago I posted my very first blog post, Meet Your Spashionista. It seems like a lifetime ago. So many things have changed while others have stayed the same.
When I started this blog I wasn't sure if I would have an audience interested in what I had to say. After all, I have a unique perspective. It would be disingenuous to confine my subject matter to fashion without including my unique experiences as a disabled woman over 50. But it would be a boring misrepresentation of myself to dwell on my age and disability on a constant basis to the exclusion of my sense of style.
Was the blog going to be too geared towards the disabled to be interesting to able-bodied women, or too mainstream to be of any value to the handicapped? Did I dress too old for the young fashionistas or too bright and youthful for the 40+ crowd? Was I too round for the trendy blogs and too thin for the plus sized bloggers? Could I impart my sense of style within a low enough budget to be of help to women of limited means without being snubbed by the higher end style blogs?
It turns out the answer is all of the above. over the past year many of my suspicions, both positive and negative, have been confirmed. My audience runs the gamut of abilities and ages. Women who have cerebral palsy, bell's palsy, rheumatoid arthritis, peripheral neuropathy, multiple sclerosis, limb differences, and disabled daughters. Followers ranging in age from 17 to 70 with fashion aesthetics that are whimsical, restrained, colorful, reserved, chic, bohemian and everything in between. Tall, thin women; short, round women; thrift store aficionados to high-end label wearers.
I've been written about and written to by many. Praised for being an inspiration, cursed for being an elitist cripple. Complimented on my wardrobe, derided for daring to put up my palsied pictures. Embraced as an icon and written off as too old and fat. Called fashion-forward and dismissed as mutton-dressed-as-lamb. Told my clothing is too cheap and berated for shopping anywhere but Goodwill.
I haven't won any awards or had any sponsors clamoring to put their swag up on my blog. I've been wooed by link submission "branding" sites that have to date rejected 99% of my posts. But I've always been honest about the things I wear and the people I meet, and I'm used to being the square peg that doesn't quite fit into the round hole.
I have met some incredible, amazing, beautiful, gutsy, sweet, sincere women - and a few terrific guys, too. If you're reading this then you are probably one of them. I want to take this opportunity to thank you for following me and showing me tons of support in chronicling my adventures as your one and only Spashionista. I'd also like to ask you if there's anything in particular you'd like to see me address in the next year of this blog. What can I do to make this blog more interesting and a farther-reaching voice for anyone who has ever been made to feel less-than-beautiful because of their imperfections? I really value your input and appreciate all of the help and advice I've received so far.
Here's to another year of fabulousness!