Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I will not be a schlumpadink

I was born and raised in a tiny hamlet, raised my family and worked in a small town most of my adult life, and five years ago moved to a very small, yet rural city.

And the one thing I notice? No matter where I’ve lived, I see beautiful and unique women of all shapes and sizes that don’t know that they are beautiful and unique. They have forgotten (or perhaps never known) that two extra minutes of makeup, a regular hair appointment and a few wardrobe basics will enhance every amazing feature that they already own. What they have also forgotten (or may have never known) is that enhancing those features will indeed make them stand taller, feel prouder, live livelier, work and relate in a whole new way...even though they live far removed from the big city.

Please don’t misunderstand…this is not about vanity….which may seem odd coming from me, and my community of sewing bloggers…since we appear to love photographing ourselves!  It’s about being aware of our own individuality and recognizing that deep down, feeling put together and confident can have a huge impact on how we relate to others and the world around us. And make no mistake about it, it’s not about emulating the exact images we see in magazines and on the internet and in runway shows. It’s about being inspired to take that one step toward confidence. And it doesn’t take a lot of time or money.


(Today's work outfit. Simple black cardigan, a stripey peplum top ( no kidding... Kohl's clearance for under $7.00 and a black ponte slim skirt that I made.)

Heaven knows, I have always loved fashion. Even in that little hamlet, surrounded by an agricultural community, I noticed the things my sister wore that I thought were cool. I noticed that my mom was always put together, even though she had a factory job and we camped on weekends…not in a glamourpuss way, but a natural, reasonable confident sort of way. I noticed fabrics and how they worked together. I poured over every Seventeen magazine that came in the mail. I dared to wear a mini skirt to school only to have my father called to come and get me. I wanted to be different, I wanted to be individual and I wanted my clothes to reflect that. I was and am a smart girl…I am interested and passionate about many things in my life and in the world. The clothes that I wear in no way minimize who I am on the inside…they are one more way to reflect the complex person that I am…my individuality.

This is what makes the outfit special...I envisioned this necklace in my mind, then I bartered beads so that my friend Janelle would make it for me. I LOVE it!


My husband and I are a normal, hardworking couple and we do not have an unlimited budget. Sounds like most people, right? That’s why I sew. And thrift. And barter. And make careful selections about what’s in my closet.  I still feel like I’m trying to find my unique style, but that’s the fun of it! My body is not perfect, so I am always trying to find that place where comfort meets flattery and where comfort does not mean hiding. A little makeup goes a long way… A haircut every four weeks is without question. I don't fool myself into thinking that I will ever be what I see on television, in print or online.  But I'm learning to love the whole unique package of me and that’s an ever changing process, even at my age!

Thoughts?

24 comments:

  1. Thanks! I needed that today. I have been collecting fabric for more than ten years now, and occasionally I sew. Mostly I just let it marinate. Most of my issue has been that until I lose a certain amount of weight. I've lost 27 pounds so far and my goal weight, which would have been healthy, would have been another 15 pounds. I've decided to call it good after 8 more pounds. But, I've also started sewing and learning again what I like on my body. So, thanks again, and that was great timing in my little corner of the world.

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  2. I think you dress very well, and this outfit is positively flattering!

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  3. I think the biggest problem I have is knowledge. I have no idea HOW to apply make up. How do girls learn this stuff? My mom didn't wear make up - but my girls do and look fabulous. But still I try. And I do get regular maintenance cuts and I wear skirts and dresses when everyone else would say jeans or shorts are perfect for what we are doing. I do feel better in a skirt - so I wear them.

    Today's outfit is stunning and I love that necklace. There is nothing wrong with sewing, thrifting, or bartering. Enjoy and keep sharing. g

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  4. I agree with you 100%! I also grew up in a rural hamlet and learned to sew from my mother. I have been sewing for 40+ years. I always have at least one project going and am thinking about the next before I finish the first. And I never leave the house without being put together. I still live in a rural area and the problem I now have is finding good quality fabric. The internet helps but I like to feel the fabric before buying. I understand that you live in western NY. I live in the Fingerlakes and would like to know where you find your fabric. I always look forward to your blog posts!

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  5. Thanks for this...it was the kick in the pants I needed. I have slacked off in this lately...blaming it on working long hours and always being tired...when in reality I have just given up on myself because of weight gain. My only goal for 2013 was to take better care of myself...and I start right now! Thanks!

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  6. Fantastic post, you are so right. It is an ever-changing process and we are blessed with this circle of internet friends to help us with our style. Your outfit is fabulous, you have the best luck at Kohls.

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  7. Great post! you look fabulous in that outfit! Love the necklace too!

    Joy

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  8. Im trying to improve in my clothing dept. I want to improve. Im way too casual. TO the point of frumpy

    I need a few good basics and I need them now before I lose weight so I can feel pretty anyhow.

    I must go for that haircut as you say! It makes an enormous difference...
    time to call my gal

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  9. Amen...I NEVER stick my nose out of the front door without bare minimum makeup, something done with my hair (even if its just a pony) and wearing something I wouldn't mind meeting my worst enemy in.
    We owe it to ourselves.

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  10. What a fabulous post! I am a bit of a schlumpadink... and need to break out of it. It really doesn't take much to go from frumpy to fabulous. You are such a fabulous motivator! Keep it up!!!

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  11. Love your attitude -- and your style! I am in my late forties and working on not being frumpy, but I still have a ways to go.

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  13. Great post! I'm not all that fashionable in real life (I wear jeans to work every day and could get away with wearing sweatshirts), but I find that I feel way more confident and productive if I make a little effort. Even if it's a Saturday and I'm not planning to leave the house, I put on a little makeup. I'm much more likely to accomplish things and feel better if I'm not slugging around in sweats. :)

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  14. youve inspired me...got my hair cut short and sassy!

    I told my hair person TERRI that my new years resolution is good cuts every 6 weeks!!!!

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  15. Well you know you're singing my song! I think just taking a little care makes you feel so much better about yourself and you don't need to be thin, or young or extraordinarily beautiful to look good!

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  16. Great post! I just discovered your blog via Carolyn, and delighted to be here! :)

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  17. Yeah, would be nice to have the money for some good heir cuts or a new sewing maschine, but right now my fulltime job and a small one besides it do pay enough for getting not deeper in dept and feed me and my dogs.

    There are some people in this world, who can´t afford such stuff as make up- you are blessed if you can.


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  18. Inspiring! Just found you and I just love your attitude and fresh, realistic approach to style! Thanks

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  19. Jessygirl, I totally get what you are saying. Many of us have been there. For me personally, I always have had to make choices about how my budget is spent and sometimes that really sucks. But I look forward with positivism and determination to change myself and my circumstances and in the most amazing ways, the world respond and I may actually get to make a difference in someone's life beyond all the stuff. Indeed, I never forget that I live in a world where some people have very little, and some people have much...those things like make-up clothes,and sewing machines and debt, dogs and jobs are all temorary and changing things. And I think the most important thing is that we learn to be content no matter what the circumstances...in plenty and in want...that is where true beauty and blessing lies.

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  20. I so agree on all these points. I started sewing because I couldn't find things that felt like me, and the more I've learned and the more I've risked in learning to sew, the more comfortable I've become in my own skin. I live in a very casual, not terribly feminine dressing sort of place, but that's not me. But sewing has given me the confidence to stand out. All women are indeed beautiful and unique, and it's something special when you see women put themselves together to reflect that.

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  21. I totally agree with you. Except, I really, seriously hate wearing makeup. I do once in a while and always spend the whole time desperately wanting to get home so I can wash it all off.

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  22. great post, needed that kick in the rear. I've even stopped wearing lipstick, and jeans and pullover knit tops are my wardrobe. Since my mom passed 3 years ago, I just have not cared what I look like. It's like (lump it). Found you thru Carolyn's blog and between her and the various links it's time for me to buck up and pull out the sewing machine and get with it. thanks again.

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