The Space Between My Peers: August 2006

The Space Between My Peers

From the bottom of the fashion food chain ...

Location: The Great Northwest

I'm a home-schooling, bible-believing SAHM with an annual clothing budget of about $500 American. The Space Between My Peers reveals my secret passion: analysis of the art and science of what to wear.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

What to Wear This Very Second

Have you got a fashion emergency? Want the answer in cartoon? Check out What to Wear This Very Second.


Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Sale at the Eddie Outlet

These would go with my current swim ensemble ... or I could get a new suit and shorts. Hmmm...

Many thanks to Jody for sending me a heads-up about the big sale going on at Eddie Bauer's on-line outlet. Additional 30% off!

Several of you have mentioned recently that Eddie Bauer's clothes fit well, and I also find that they hold up to washing and wearing (good for young moms:). Being able to afford them is always the trick.

Happy shopping!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

DIY: Knee-length Board Shorts

In one of my most-googled posts ever, Modest Swimwear, I described my dream swimsuit. It remains a dream. Remember these board shorts? Only $6.99 American, plus $18.95 shipping and handling!

So ... a couple of weeks ago, at our church's family camp, I got a wild hair and made my own. You see, I have one ancient swimsuit. It's one-piece, with a modest neckline, but I'd love to replace it because it doesn't fit great. It does, however, match with EVERYTHING "swim" I own: my Reef flip-flops and my short swimshorts. I even had a pair of matching cargo capris in board short fabric. Had. That is, until I ran over to the camp kitchen, borrowed a pair of scissors, and made myself a very "hack" pair of knee-length board shorts.

Hehee. It works for me.

BTW, I got those capris from a daughter for $1, the usual going price when an item moves wardrobes within our family. For more on how we taught the ladies to budget for their own wardrobes see this old post: Crazy Budgeting Mama.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Now I Get It

Back here I was complaining about how, when going out to dinner around here, the other diners dress as if they were going to the club. The athletic club, I mean.

But now I get it. They aren't on their way to work out, they're on their way home!

This past Saturday, my husband and I had business in a little logging town an hour or so away. I was wearing khaki capris, ivory flats, and a uniform polo with a shirt tucked in under for coverage. Well, it was hot when we left at 3 and, of course, I had brought my Chacos. After obtaining my husband's permission, I whipped off my uniform shirt and I was dressed for the beach.

Unfortunately we didn't find anywhere we wanted to eat at the "beach", so there I was, at that same restaurant, dressed in heather gray men's A-shirt, capris, and Chacos, with my wind-blown hair and little make-up. Now I get it.
Chaco - Z/1 Unaweep (Axum) - Men's

Friday, August 25, 2006

When to Make an Exception

You have probably heard the expression "You have to know the rules to know when to break them". Here, from the comments on my post Growing Up Your Wardrobe Painlessly, is a great example:

Wendy said...
Hear! Hear!

Disclaimer: I own one "message shirt" -- a long sleeved hoodie promoting Manolo's shoe blog.

If you do wear a message tee do it purposefully, and for a fun reason.

And, unless you're trying to increase the space between you and your peers, never wear your bad attitude on your shirt.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Modesty in Living Color

We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,
2 Corinthians 10:5, New American Standard Bible

Recently I ran across a blog discussion of Biblical modesty where the question of the appropriateness of dressing in bright colors was raised. (After pondering the topic overnight, I am unable to find the exact post to link to. I think it was somewhere over here.)

The concept of Biblical modesty as prescribed in 1 Timothy 2:9 and elsewhere is to be orderly and not draw undue attention to oneself.

How does this relate to the colors one chooses to wear?

  • Color is one of the most notable aspects of any outfit. Any outfit which is markedly different from what people in the culture around us are accustomed to seeing is going to draw attention to itself.
  • The face should be the focal point of every outfit. Color is a tool to accomplish that purpose.
  • Conversely, color which doesn't support your natural coloring, or worse - clashes with it, draws unwelcome attention to itself. (People muttering to themselves or their neighbor, "she'd sure be pretty if she'd wear better colors".)
  • Above all, color selection should support your personality and make you feel like yourself.

Previous posts on finding and combining your personal colors:

Find Your Colors
Combining Colors
How to Wear a Black Outfit
Combining Cool and Warm Colors

Previous posts on color theory:

Characteristics of a Color
My Mental Color Wheel

More Fashion Color Resources available at The Runway Scoop.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Grow Up Your Wardrobe Painlessly

picture via Nordstrom

Occasionally I will come across someone who dresses as if it didn't matter, but really isn't happy about it. To which person I desire to say: Biff the message tees! Replace them with something pretty like this lovely ($88) marc by marc jacobs tee.

Finding everyday clothing that functions without looking frumpy, or just plain sloppy, is a worthy goal, if for no other reason than to raise your husband's esteem. Simple, stylish tee-shirts can be found at all price points. Upgrade your winter wardrobe with sweaters that fit and function like tees.

It works for me. Can't you just see me in this shirt?

From Summer to Fall Around the Blogosphere

Since I snoozed through all the blog events last week -- honk, shoe ... honk, shoe ... honk, shoe -- I'm trying hard to be a good participant this week. I'm happy to have the carnivale of couture back up and running (although, of course, I understand and respect Manolo's need for some time off. Oh yes, I really do!)

So just for fun, here are some links to things I thought were pretty, in my idiom:

And many thanks to our host!

But as for coveting beautiful, unaffordable stuff, that isn't the mission of this blog. Please do come back later for my Works for Me Wednesday post. It will be something wearable.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Carnivale of Couture: From Summer to Fall

Coquette brings the question of the week:

As we look ahead to Fall season next month, what is one item of clothing you will miss in your Summer wardrobe and what is one item you are coveting for Fall?

Great question! The answer to the first part is easy, but I confess I need to go shopping to answer the second. I shall return!

Okay, I'm back.

The summer item I'll miss is the wedge sandals. They're easy, comfortable, and straddle the functional and stylish aspects of my fashion personality perfectly, for only $30 American. Oh, and did I mention that my husband found them? Warm fuzzies about him too!

But, on my budget, I can't be too specific in my coveting. After shopping this morning, I realize I am craving something in this soft, silvery-blue teal corduroy for fall . Shopko had a blazer in a gorgeous shade; Nordstrom Rack had a lighter version of the same.

My recommendation to all you lovely people who are shopping for a fall blazer: go to your favorite place to shop and buy one in the teal, cyan, or muted blue that suits your coloring.

Me? I'll probably just wear the pants I used for this picture.

The Bargain Queen on Personal Style

Not quite sure how I missed this when it first came out. Well, actually I do know how. When the Bargain Queen moved, I immediately changed her address in my blogroll but forgot my Bloglines.

Her recent developing your personal style is a must read, a comprehensive distillation of the biggies that define personal style (what I often refer to as idiom).

A quote:

"Personally, I know that if something looks a little strange but I don't want to take it off, it's set to be a wardrobe favourite."

Yes. I love it.

That wardrobe will never be stale or outlandish.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Help! My Mom Thinks She's a Stylist!

I confess I am not much of a photographer, but I am learning. In this case, I am just too kind to make my lovely daughter put the suit back on to re-shoot. She says it's warm. Allow me to tell you my story anyway ...

This suit is AWESOME! Only one small problem: my shoulders. I had to have my daughter model for me, as she is now at least 2 inches taller.

Due to my lack of skills, you can't really see that it's brown tweed or that it has a velvet collar.

Other cool stuff you can't see:

  • My vintage suede boots. From high school.
  • My NEW suede belt. From The Rack. Today. For $3.97 American.

What you can see: my thrift store purse. Thieves, take note: there's not much in there.

Swimming in the Deep Blue SEA

I really love you guys ...

This, specifically the Holland Abilities Codes, is something I've wanted to blog about for a long time.

A year and a half or so ago, I went through a number of personality profile type assessments, with a rather disturbing outcome. Previously I have mentioned being uncomfortable with the fact that people tend to see me differently from how I see myself.

When I took the very comprehensive PLACE ministries course, a lightbulb kinda came on for me. I had never previously heard of the abilities codes; mine is SEA. What that means, in detail, is that I'm equally well-suited to working in social and enterprising environments, followed closely by artistic. Frankly, people, I may be hard-wired to do this blog.

But, until I stumbled into the blogosphere, I think it had been wearing on me. Where in our churches and communities is there a place for a person who won't stop talking about what to wear?

Did I mention that I really love you guys?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

"Boyfriend Shirt"

Okay, so this really isn't an example of the boyfriend shirt formula, his white shirt over skinny jeans, but the belt has my husband's name on the back of it. Does that count?

Random things I want to share about this outfit:

  • The shoes, which you have seen many times before, I wore because I always wear heels if I will primarily be sitting. Amy gets why.

  • The jeans are my "good" jeans for fall; my fall trousers, if you will. This is a better photo than the previous one, which was a little dark.

  • This is another example of the white t-shirt and jeans formula.

  • The pink shirt is an old Talbots dress shirt in a size bigger than I normally wear. Currently it serves as an apron.

Wearing this to a Saturday morning informal training event, I never felt inappropriately dressed. Now that I see the picture, however, I would cuff the sleeves up one more time. Fits my Type 8 silhouette better.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Choosing Where to Shop

Choosing where to shop, these days what more important topic is there?

Recently I said this in comments:

Shopping these days is so overwhelming that going to the right place is half the battle. In thinking about where you go, the stores that most often carry your size is a great way to narrow things down, then style personality, then

The reason I'm thinking about this: I have a couple of friends, one IF, one RLF, who will be going shopping soon, both at largish malls, for some fall SAHM basics. I'd love to get reader input about where the most efficient shopping is.

  • Size: For me, being able to get standard misses sizes, but small, is critical (I have unusually narrow shoulders). Both of my friends need - oh how can I say this delicately? - more generously sized tops. We all have our figure issues, why bother shopping where you will only be frustrated?

  • Style personality: Are there stores where you consistently find nothing, where the sales staff doesn't even look at you, or where you feel uncomfortable? It's probably because of style personality. I'll let you in on one of mine: Christopher & Banks. But I totally recommend shopping there IF you sit further back on the "fashion train".

  • Price: If you are going to buy just a bare-bones wardrobe, and you can afford it, I just wouldn't worry as much about this. Assuming you are a Frugal Mom, or at least a sensible person who calls herself a tightwad, you aren't likely to get yourself in too much trouble going to the mall once.
Back at this old post I revealed where I would go. What are your go-to mall shops, and why?

Monday, August 14, 2006

Got Saddlebags?

Honestly, the reason I am posting this is simply because it is after 6 pm and I haven't posted anything new since Friday. I have another, longer, more involved post I am working on. But it's not necessarily more useful.

Maybe I am the only one who needs this reminder, but I do need it. See the curve of the hip on this skirt? If my clothes look like that, I look normal. If they are straight through the hip, or too tight, I look like a pair of gigantic bulging thighs.

Just the image you needed, right? Good thing it's after dinner.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Socks and Shoes

Just in time for fall:

Via the blogs: Sock Dreams. Free shipping (to USA), and, YES! -- they carry leg warmers.

And to go with your socks: is having a Saturday Sale, August 12th.

Shop's Saturday Sale

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Illustrating the Fall Template

This post by my bloggy friend HolyMama is why I've been thinking about that classic combo, white t-shirt and jeans. Oh, and my Zafu post.

A personal secret: I always wanted to be a model. Imagine my thrill when, for the second time since I started this blog, MY HUSBAND asked me, very seriously, if one of the on-line catalog pictures I featured was a picture of me. I think he likes me!

Bringing all this around to the topic at hand, what to wear for fall , allow me to point out that white t-shirt and jeans is already the majority of the recipe I recently proposed for a fall uniform template. Just add a a salty jacket.

Unfortunately I could not find a clean white tee this morning, although I did wear these jeans and shoes, so I am making due with a previously published picture. Note the jacket, very much a leisure style, is my hair color.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

About Furs

Due to the fact that Curious George was the free movie at the cheap theatre today, I have only one Works For Me Wednesday tip for you today.

Learn how to clean old furs. I already told you how I store them.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

A Timeless Transitional Template

Here in the mountains of the Great Northwest, Fall is a lamentably short season. Beautiful, but only about six weeks. Hardly deserving of an entire wardrobe of its own; nonetheless it's a time of year when most of us want something new, fresh, and exciting.

Throw in a daily temperature span of about 40 degrees and the only sensible thing to do is layer. True, layering is a big look this fall, but allow me to propose a perennial wardrobe template for managing the transition from summer to winter:

new jeans + summer top + winter layering piece (jacket, sweater, etc)

See a poor picture of this concept at my previous post Wardrobe Planning: The Four Seasons.

In my mind, it works for me. Now I just need to get my clothes out of the freezer and try it out.

Find more great Works For Me tips at Shannon's blog.

Monday, August 07, 2006 This Is Really Cool

Thanks to Maria Palma at The Runway Scoop, for the link to Seriously you can just answer an easy series of questions and they will give you recommendations for what jeans will fit you. How cool is that?

These: Earnest Sewn Decca, $190. They didn't come off the "fit you best" page of recommendations (those were all wider flares), but off the "fit you well" page. Since dark jeans are one of my cogs, many of the jeans shown I just wouldn't be interested in. And I am not going to buy these either, simply because of the price.

These days our lives are complicated enough that to have a simple way to get some suggestions about which pants to try on could be real help.

Let me know what you think.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Fall Wardrobe Planning Begins With a Budget

Going back to this previous post, in which I dealt with a dangling question regarding semi-annual shopping & budgeting, the further question of how to "wrap your spending plan around all the items you need" remains unanswered.

Some thoughts:

If you are going to have to have a new winter coat this year, I would definitely take that money and set it aside. The best sales and selection are available in October.

One final thought: you could just budget the same amount for each piece. That would work for me, since I buy most of my stuff thrift. But realistically, if you are shopping in a real store, with real money, that method won't work too well.

Consider that jackets are often double the cost of pants or skirts, and basic tops can be very inexpensive. If you split the money evenly between those three categories, you could potentially buy one jacket, a pant and a skirt, and maybe 5 tops.

Yes, I think I like it.

Something Altogether Unrelated

I admit, this is just filler. Kinda fun, though, but not terribly fashiony.

Currently, in my fashion meditations, it's the question of cogs posed by Susie over at Style Bubble. Trying to work up the energy to attempt to do a post on the subject, while in the back of my mind wondering if I really don't need to go shopping (I'm noticing some of my favorite things really need to be demoted to oil rags.)

While you are waiting for my cog post, and don't hold your breath, you may enjoy checking out this cog post by a mother of pre-schooler and Danielle's cogs, which she terms "mechanical".

Your Linguistic Profile:

50% General American English
20% Upper Midwestern
10% Yankee
5% Dixie
5% Midwestern

Thursday, August 03, 2006

My Schedule

Sorry, Crystal, we were talking about you. No disrespect intended.

But, as long as you asked, here's the rough draft of my daily schedule. Every August I consider myself more or less on vacation, as I re-evaluate where God wants me to go during the upcoming "ministry year".

7 - 8:30: Get up, showered, etc.
8:30 - 10: Varies by day. Monday I go to Value Village; Tuesday daughter and I play tennis with friends ... if I need to be out, I try to make it now.
10 - 11:30: Household functions, usually connected to previous. For example, Mondays I then sort and start laundry.
11:30 - 1: Everyday I drive downtown to my husband's office and we go for a walk together in the nearby neighborhood.
1 - 2:30: Seek God's direction for daily living through Bible reading, prayer, and journaling.
2:30 - 4: Blogging, the segment of my life which perpetually threatens to overtake everything else.
4 - 5:30: Food preparation (also could overwhelm everything else).
5:30 - 7: Family dinner, including clean-up, of course.
7 - 8:30 Varies by day: church activities or family projects at home .
8:30 - 10 Those last few things ...

Obviously this is the schedule of a global thinker.

My suggested questions to consider in building a schedule:

  • Where does your husband fit in? Are you giving your primary relationship your leftovers?
  • Is there margin in your life? That is why I use one and a half hour increments. I try to schedule only one hour's worth of work in each.
  • Are you getting enough conversation? How about your kids?

I'm open to questions.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

It Works for Them

From this week's Works For Me Wednesday event at Rocks in My Dryer:

  • Celebrian's Delights suggests ironing with your curling iron. My most glamourous Real Life Friend uses a flattening iron (I know that isn't the right name, what is that gizmo?).

  • Shanspirations came up with the wonderful idea of hanging a second shower curtain cross-ways for things to drip-dry from. I may try it today. Anyone tired of fighting mildewed shower curtains will want to read the entire post, it's a two-fer.

  • And for on-line shopping discounts: see the Green 3.

And, of course, you've probably seen my entry.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The Sweet, Sweet Smell of Sneakers

You may have noticed, if you visited my recent home tour, that my closet is rather small. Small, but it's all mine. Consequently, I have no one but myself to blame for the fact that, until recently anyway, the aroma bore close resemblance to a boy's locker room.

I've tried baking soda. I've tried dryer sheets. I've even tried car air fresheners. What works: I stuff my shoes with dryer sheets, plus a magic ingredient. Each dryer sheet has a drop or two of lavender essential oil added.

Lavender is also supposed to repel moths. Beats moth balls!

Oh yes, that's right ... it Works For Me!

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