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Style Therapy experiment

I'm having a mid-life thingy. That time when every mom turns around to find her fabulous children well launched, her husband retired without loss of good health, a sweet part-time job to keep her socialized - but she realizes she's missing something.

And did I mention my hair went gray?

Oh, and did I switch to first person. (yes. yes, I did.)


OK. Here's the deal. Somewhere in being a girl from the South via East Coast who was way overdressed and getting married and gaining weight and wearing my husbands sweatshirts and even his jeans way beyond the point of cute and romantic. Somewhere in there, I lost all sense of me.

Long story short, I've been on a journey. I'm trying to rediscover who I used to be pretty sure of. I wore the colors I loved, the styles that looked good on me, and I had strong opinions that worked. But I got completely derailed somewhere.

With the help of my husband and a couple of great friends, I started to research how to find my personal style, my best colors, and revamp my wardrobe to reflect my best me.

Can I just say that writing this in first person is extreeeemely awkward feeling?

So Rich gave me an amazing gift of a color and style consultation with House of Color in Magnolia. Kim showed me so much I had forgotten. And helped me come to terms with 30 extra pounds over the last 30 years.

So going into this next phase, I know that I'm a deep summer.

I know that my key style words are romantic/poetic - refined/European/adventurous - uninhibited/effortless/comfortable/uncomplicated (must have enough flow to hug others).

I know that I'm a Classic Romantic according to David Zyla.

I know that my favorite bloggers are Alyssa Beltempo, Aly Art, Audrey Coyne, Justine LaConte, Ellie-Jean Royden, Style Me Jenn or Emily Elizabeth May. These are listed in the order of discovery. Totally identify with Emily Elizabeth May, but I translate it into a more mature version.

I know that in the Kibbe System I'm a flamboyant natural (with a hit of Romantic).

I'm not at all sure in the Kitchner essences/archetypes but I to like to think there's some ethereal going on.

If all of this sounds like Greek to you, don't worry about it. You can go on your own journey of extensive soul searching research. I suggest you go to the bloggers I mentioned and type "Kibbe" into their sites, or "color analysis" or "how to find your personal style."

Somewhere in there, I realized wearing black depresses me. So when my old roomate came cross country for a reunion, I pulled out all my black and said, "Take what you want since black actually sings on you!"

Black, by the way, is not a Summer's best color. My personal best "black" is navy blue or deep cranberry or eggplant.

I know, I know. You don't have to be limited in a season. If you love it, wear it. But as an artist, getting draped in all those fabric swatches, I watched how my eyes, skin tone and hair played with the different hues and tones of the complete color wheel. There's definitely a sweet spot on the color wheel for every person. And yes, it is REALLY different doing it with real fabric and consultant than online. But the David Zyla method was pretty amazing if you have a paint swatch book, which I do.

I even used the Zyla method for Rich and we overhauled his closet. He's thrilled not to have an overwhelming selection of clothes he wasn't thrilled with. And he looks good every day!

So, now it's time to do the actual work of taking all these ingredients and learning how to put outfits together.


I really don't view my body as a canvas I want to work with. But Kim, my consultant, said something that gives me what I need. She said when you don't where your true personal style, you get hurt more often because you're dressing like someone else and therefore are treated like someone else. It's not the other person's fault. They are simply treating you according to the signals you are sending. huh. Makes sense.

If I wear uber tailored clothes and clean or dramatic makeup and hair, people perceive me as a determined, no nonsense, bottom line person. They talk to me in a crisp business like manner and assume I'm tough enough to handle straight talk. And believe me, I have done exactly this scenario and gotten super hurt as I felt people were being insensitive to me or harsh. Incidentally, I also hated that job.

Sooooooo.... I ordered one more book because it's a 30 day process. I feel armed with the tools to make it work. The book is called Style Therapy by

I can't tell you what I think of it yet because I'm just going to do it on day at a time and not look ahead.

I hate selfies as a rule. I always look like a lizard.

But I've read over and over that taking selfies is beneficial on several levels. One, it helps you remember outfits that work when you don't feel like starting from scratch. But the most powerful one is that a camera really gives a more accurate view of proportions than the mirror. I don't know exactly why this is true, but it is. You'll see this on day 2 when I realized my first outfit cut me in half. NOT a good thing for my body.

Eh hem... soooooo... if you stumble here and get inspired, it's not my fault. I don't know what I'm doing. I'm not an expert. I'm just stumbling along the best I know how, but today is my only day so I might as well go for it.

So from this point on, I'll try to blog my daily journey for at least 30 days. No idea after that and no promises.

This is already Day 2 . I'll post it separately, but here's Day 1

DAY 1 of Style Therapy

Wide leg jeans, high waist. Steve Madden white sneakers. Briton stripe 3/4 sleeve tee. Light weight summer denim jacket, sleeves rolled. Pearl earrings. Layered silver bracelets - one a promise verse and the other an Stuart Nye from the Appalachians.

I felt relaxed and fun for an airport run followed by IKEA shopping. It was sunny so I could layer off and on. The jeans have stretch for car ride comfort. We are an hour and a half from SEATAC.

How people reacted: girls my daughter's age felt really comfortable with me and seemed to want to connect. It was cute. I felt good next to Rich who had on nice shorts and a nice tee.

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