Tinkering To Perfection

Tinkering To Perfection

The Better Half gives us a little insight into accessibility tweaking 101. 

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I'm So Metal I'm Fearless

Well, not exactly.

Next month I will be celebrating my 52nd birthday. I'm not depressed or upset by it, but I do feel a pressing sense that time is running out for me to accomplish everything I'm planning to achieve before my warranty expires. So, in that vein, I'm going to venture outside of my comfort zone and try a few things I've always been afraid would look ridiculous. There will be successes and there will be failures, and I will be the first one to point them both out.

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I'm standing in front of Nashville's iconic Exit Inn night club. The wall behind me is actually a who's who of predominantly rock royalty that have graced the club with their performances. I've never been - they used to be inaccessible - but I plan on trying to check them out soon.

I'm wearing all white (terrifying), sleeveless (mortifying), and wearing florals to boot (mystifying). But I'm being brave about my leukophobia, anthrophobia, and cellulitephobia! Here I am in a white peplum top by Premise. I've always has big arms so I normally steer very clear of sleeveless tops and elasticized waistbands but this one is cut in such a way that it really works for my body type. Here are my white jeans from Chico's making their inaugural appearance. They are very comfy and fit just right. I do think they're still a tad too long and probably need to go back to Ann Rich to be hemmed even shorter. The floral scarf is from Shi. I was visiting my friend Matty there recently and I confessed that I was clueless as to how to wear a scarf. He draped it on me just so and said, "Like that". The beautiful silver multicolored cuff is from Stein Mart. The bandage on my other wrist is from Vanderbilt Orthopaedic Hand Clinic - more on that in the future. I'm reprising my metallic pewter skull clutch, also from Shi, as are the ZigiSoho metallic pewter spiked shoes from several seasons ago.

Linking up for Visible Monday, Monday Mingle and How I Wear My Metallics.

Gather Ye Rosebuds

"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.

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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.

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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.

Thanks once again to Patti for hosting all of us divas for Visible Monday and Jill for Monday Mingle.

A Tulip In The Garden

I always know that Spring is here when the tulips start peeking up in the garden.

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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.

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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.

Linking up again with wonderful Patti for Visible Monday, Nicole for Monday Mingle and Bella Q for Shoe Shine.

Love Is Love When It Alteration Finds

Shakespeare was wrong.

No conversation about renewal and graceful adaptation would be complete without discussing the most important element of any successful wardrobe. Clothes that have been altered to fit your body like a glove. If you don't have a good seamstress you're missing out on the difference between looking good and looking great. For someone like me who is short, round, and physically limited a tailor is indispensable.

Need proof? I often need to have long sleeves shortened on coats and jackets, even if they are Petite. My grey Petite Jessica Simpson coat in Where's That Groundhog? has had the sleeves shortened by a considerable 5". Here it is before the alteration.

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So has the green jacket in Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month. I have trouble doing up buttoned cuffs so I had them removed to make it easier for me to wear.

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And this trench coat in Fashion Friday: #23 had to have 8" of sleeve shortened and the cuff reconstructed. I challenge you to see any flaw in the alteration.

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Then there are the pants that need hemming, the button-down and V-necked tops that need sewing up so I don't "burst" out of them. If I posted a picture of every garment my seamstress has made a perfect fit we'd be here all day. Instead, I'll post this one and tell you about this very special lady.

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Meet Ann Rich, proud owner of Rich's Alterations on the outskirts of Ashland City. She's been instrumental in insuring my clothes suit my particularly hard-to-fit shape for a number of years now. She knows exactly what to do to make any garment fit me like a glove.

I have yet to walk into her shop and find her relaxing with nothing to do. Although there are always lots of garments stacked up behind her counter waiting to be altered Ann always makes time to talk to me. This little wisp of a lady is smart, witty, and no-nonsense - just what I like in other people.  Every time I come in she tells me a story from her past or shares some of her views about the world that confirm my assessment.

The 81 year old has seen her share of hardships. She lost her husband years ago to pancreatic cancer and is a cancer survivor herself. But there have been lots of high points in Ann's life as well. Fourteen years ago her grandson helped her secure the space that is her shop. Those are his shirts to my right waiting to be tailored. "John's picky about how he wears his shirts," she confessed. "He brought me one that fits him just right and he wants the rest fixed up just like that one."

Have you figured out who her grandson is yet? That poster over her right shoulder with the gold record is a clue. Ann's grandson is one half of the country music duo Big & Rich. The rest of her shop walls are covered in Big & Rich swag and autographed pictures of other country music stars. What's really endearing is he helped her get into business before he made it big.  That's how much he loves his Grandmother. That's really saying something.

I owe him a debt of gratitude for it. Now I know if I find a piece I really love that doesn't quite fit chances are Ann Rich can make it look like it was made for me. She enjoys her life and her work, and she likes me because I'm "so colorful".

Rich's Design & Alterations is located at 1100 N Main St  in Ashland City, Tn. Her number is 615 792-1234.

Do you have a tailor you go to regularly to have your clothes altered? If not, why not?

Fashion Friday: A Spike In Fashion - And An Honorable Mention

How about a real life Fashion Friday this week?

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Actress, singer, songwriter Demi Lovato broke her leg slipping on a polished floor (sounds like something I would do!). Instead of schlepping around in a frumpy cast she bedazzled her cast boot in a big way, breaking out the spikes for the Topshop Grove opening.

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These images are courtesy of The Dailymail UK and you can read the full story here.

And now for a nice footnote (no pun intended) Susan at Flattering 50 has written a lovely piece about yours truly which you can read here. She's a fellow over 50 fashion blogger - way cuter than me - and I encourage all of you to follow her blog.

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!