Fashion Friday: Christmas Day In The Morning

Early next week many of us will be celebrating Christmas in one form or another. Some of us will stay home to open presents and spend time with our immediate families. Others will invite extended family members over for the day. Some will go to religious services or less casual family functions. No matter how you celebrate I've got a great outfit for you.

Christmasday

If you're just lazing around the house, maybe cooking Christmas breakfast, you should still look cute. Start with a pair of flannel leggings - these have a Christmas deer pattern. Top them with a "Mistletoe" novelty knit, and pad around in these ivory cable knit slouch booties.

If you're hosting or visiting family try this Blue Canyon Christmas Snow Town Tee over a great pair of jeans with red Bronx brogues. The outfit is comfy enough to play with the kids and cook Christmas dinner without being dowdy.

Finally, if your plans are more upscale Santa has you in mind. How about a McQ Alexander McQueen knit and lace sweater dress and a pair of red Giuseppe Zanotti Crystal-embellished suede ballet flats?

Naturally, before you leave the house you'll need to add a coat to the second and third outfits if weather demands it . In my opinion outfit number one is strictly a stay-at-home ensemble.

However you celebrate, I hope Santa has left you wonderful fashionable goodies underneath your tree!

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: Holiday Shopping

Holiday shopping can actually be fun if you do it right, and that starts with wearing the right outfit for the task at hand.

xmasshopping

It's really important to be comfortable if you're shopping for bargains and fighting the crowds, but you don't have to sacrifice style for comfort.

I find wearing layers easier than trying to juggle a bulky coat or jacket along with a bunch of bags. Start with a pair of jeggings, these are Oasis animal print in oxblood. Pair it with a long-sleeved sweater (or lighter weight tee if weather permits) like this white basketweave cowl neck. Add a black sweater with cable knit front,  oversized neck and sleeves, and front buckle detail. If it gets too warm you can always take it off and tuck it into this classic backpack. Finally, I can't get enough of this year's studded trend, and these taupe studded combat boots are perfect for an all day mall stomp.

This outfit is suitable for just about anyone, disabled or not, but I've chosen to highlight a Tru-Motion walking cane as the "disabled accessory" of the week. Now go forth and shop 'til you drop!

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!

Call For My Carriage

You know, the one that says "Nissan".

I have a confession to make. I'm already back home. I posted last week's entry from my hotel room. Now I can tell you all about my trip.

Let me start by saying the weather forecast was for unseasonably warm temperatures. I checked for several days prior to packing and finally decided on three outfits, two pairs of shoes, and several accessories. I was ready.

Mr Spashionista and I threw our suitcases and a cooler with drinks, snacks, and lunch into our rental car and headed out early to make the 9 hour drive from our house to Cedar Rapids, Iowa. We decided it would be best to drive straight through.  Given the circumstances comfortable, casual clothing was the order of the day.

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

Nothing fancy here, just my Nine West thrift store jeans, Blue Canyon Petite top, and Lucky Brand Mary Jane clogs (not pictured). I knew that I would be sitting for the better part of nine hours so I wanted an outfit I could stretch in and shoes I could kick off if need be. I'm glad for it, too, because it was a long haul. I'm used to stretching and moving as much as possible at home to avoid aches so it was tough sitting still for so long.

Fortunately, the view on the drive up was breathtaking with the fall colors at their peak for the season. Even better, thanks to my new Note tablet, for the first time ever, I was actually able to take some good pictures.

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

I guess I can retire the Palsy Cam; hooray!

In the next few weeks I'm going to show you some beautiful places -  and some great outfits!

Your Support System

If there's one thing no Spashionista can do without it's support. The kind that you can always count on to be uplifting. The kind that makes you smile because you know it's always there for you. The kind that's so reassuring you know you can take on the world.

You do know I'm talking about your bra, right?

This is the second item in the "Budget" category of BODS that I will pay full price for if I have to because I think it's one of the most important articles of clothing you wear at any given time. Your bra should not only fit you properly, it should also be pretty enough to make you feel more beautiful for wearing it.

The majority of women give their underpinnings so little thought that they are wearing the wrong size bra, which consequently has the effect of making them look dumpy, lumpy, saggy and baggy. I already look Palsy so I need all the help I can get. If you've been paying attention you will also have noticed that I'm incredibly ample in the bosomage department. What I'm trying to tell you is if I can find beautiful bras that fit perfectly without breaking the bank so can you.

I am as enthusiastic about my lingerie as I am about my shoes with one major difference. Whereas I buy the majority of my shoes in person from Shi by Journeys I buy all of my bras online from Bare Necessities. After an exhaustive search both on and offline I find BN offers the widest variety of styles and sizes that meet my fit and fashion requirements.

First order of business is fit - potentially tricky if you're disabled, but doable. This is the part where all the other "bra fitting" blog posts out there tell you to go get professionally measured. I've been measured twice and they got it wrong (very!) both times. They measured me as a DD when I am, in fact, a G! You are better off doing this yourself or with trusted help, and it's easier to check for fit than it is to measure for it. Here's a great bra fit checklist. The important things to remember that the majority of women get wrong is your bra band shouldn't ride up in the back and needs to fit flush against your sternum. Your shoulder straps should fit comfortably without digging into your skin. Speaking of skin, make sure none of it is spilling out from the bra's cups. Got it?

In my book fashion is just as important as fit. Actually, when you're as well endowed as I am the revelation that you don't have to wear an ugly tank of a bra is purely blissful. Enter Elomi, the brand with styles every busty girl lusts after.

I own all of these bras and I don't mind at all if my décolletage offers a passing peek at them. These are but a sample of Bare Necessities' 1108 styles. I've tried other, less pricey brands but for me Elomi never disappoints. Fortunately BN offers inexpensive or occasional free returns. They always have some kind of sale going on as well and if you're a more common size you can almost always find a bargain. Alas, Elomi is one of those brands that only goes on sale several times a year but when it does I pounce and buy several more. I never buy the matching panties unless they are a cut that will flatter me and they are on sale; no exceptions. It's too easy to find inexpensive coordinating bottoms at places like TJ Maxx. So, like my shoes, I will pay retail for my brassieres if I have to - but I seldom do.

What about you?

That Cinderella Moment

Every Spashionista wants to have that Cinderella moment, the one where the handsome prince places the glass slipper on her foot and it's a perfect fit. I've had that moment, complete with handsome prince, every time I visit my friend Matthew Bretherick's shoe store. As you can see from the photo I'm a frequent visitor. Everything you see below has served me better than a coach and footman ever could - and these definitely did not turn into a pumpkin and mice after midnight.

Matty is currently the manager of a Shi by Journeys store at the Galleria Mall in Franklin, Tn, but we met several years ago while he was managing the Shi at the Opry Mills Mall. In an outlet mall filled with bargain shoe stores how do you get customers to bypass them and buy from you? How do you see to it that your store is always busy and your profits up? How do you go from managing an outlet mall store to managing the one Nashville's upper-crust and their stylists frequent?

The answer is deceptively simple. Treat your customers as if they are the most important person on the planet, because if you're in sales they are. Of course, Matty is not just a terrific salesman, he is also one of the most generous, open-hearted people I know. It doesn't matter to him that I'm old enough to be his mother and in a wheelchair, we are thick as thieves.

The ritual is always the same. We hug and catch up on life for a few minutes then Matty disappears into the back. He returns carrying many shoeboxes filled with styles he thinks I will like and can wear.  After my third or so visit not only does he remember my shoe size and favorite color, he knows my left foot is wider so it's the one I favor when trying on shoes to check for good fit. He also understands my feet don't work well in barely-there flats and I can't wear sandals or impossibly high heels - but those grey ankle boots pictured above are a dream to wear. If he doesn't have my size in a color I want he'll check for fit with a different color and have the ones I want shipped to my house. The red Frye boots are an example, and that's important to me because I find it especially difficult to find boots that fit properly. I paid full price for those boots four years ago and have never regretted it. I'd say the photo represents a  near 50-50 split of full-priced and sale-priced footwear.

There's the infamous white oxfords from Fashion Friday: American and Proud! and Red, White and Blue.

So what's the big deal? If you're a Spashionista and are lucky enough to find a Matty to help you find shoes that are not only stylish but fit you properly you are investing in clothing that works well and goes a long way towards making you look great with very little effort. If you live anywhere near Franklin, Tn it's worth you while to go see the real Matty (but, be warned, only I get to call him "Matty". You have to call him Matthew. If you call him "Matt" his Mother will not be pleased!). If not, let me know if you've found someone in your life that has proven to be your fashion angel.

Red, White and Blue

Here's a quick addendum to the "American and Proud" post. Red, White and Blue

Here's what I wore for the Fourth of July. Patriotic without being cheesy. Nothing fussy, just a cool outfit for the oppressively hot summer's day.

Recognize the shoes from the previous post? I'll be talking about shoes soon in a dedicated post. Who am I kidding? It'll be several posts!

Oh yeah, the art over my left shoulder's mine. Yup, I did that. Talk about a lady in red! If you'd like to see more of my artwork (and are old enough to view artistic nudity) visit my art site Gallery Celesta.

Enjoy the holiday everyone!