May 13, 2013

2013 S/S I Like ::: A New Board On Pinterest


I've just spent quite a bit of time putting together inspirational images for Spring/Summer 2013. I am currently really into long bangs and of all the images I found, this top one is the one I LOVE LOVE LOVE the most~! More than anything, I love the overall attitude and spirit of the look. Her hairstyle and makeup are exactly right; bold yet natural, yang but still yin. The colors seem a bit heavy but the sheerness keeps it sufficiently yin...




Here's another lady with a bold bang with natural wavy hair. She seems like an alter-twin for the first image to me! ^__^ Still brunette and hip, but much more fun and bright!




* * *
I've done my leg-work for S/S season 2013 with my friend who also loves fashion and these two images above sum up the overall attitude and temperature of 'What's In' at the moment. 



Lots of prints, heavily ethnic accessorized with influences from Mexico, Tibet, and Egypt. It's going to be a walk down the fine-line knowing what is going to be a fad and what's going to be an ethnic print or jewelry that you can continue mixing up in the years to come. If you live in big cities, there'll have to be enough control and restraint to keep the overall look more edgy and modern, rather than costume-y and worse yet, 'Trying Too Hard.'



* * *
Below are two images I feel are very much 'On the Pulse' that any girl or woman can wear to work or anywhere around the city! As you can see they are plain t-shirts worn under a semi-casual jacket with appropriate amount of accessorizing to match your personality. The first one is more modern and chic in a more subdued monochromatic palette; the second has more pizzazz with that bright cheerful red and gold combo!



Notice how these jackets are boxy yet not military, not a traditional classic suit jacket, nor a lady jacket with a cinched waist! 

Are these what you call a Boyfriend Jacket? Maybe, I'm not too sure what constitutes a Boyfriend Jacket, although I've heard of it lots.

What's available (in Seoul right now) is actually a whole range of jackets like these, some longer cut, some more formal looking, others looking a bit too baggy, but these were the two I found on Pinterest last night, so there you go... ^^



* * *
The other really cool trend which my fashion savvy girlfriends wore to a baby's birthday party yesterday was this gauzy creation, soft and beautiful enough to melt any girl's heart...



Normally, I totally totally reject any pleated skirt of any scale or any size... Growing up, my Mom wanted me to wear those on numerous occasions, bought one for me too once, and I managed to dress myself sans pleated skirt ESPECIALLY those accordian-style ones because I feel extreme discomfort in them. Last year she bought me a blouse with those accordian-pleat thingy (Issey Miyake, I blame you for this fashion!) and unbeknownst to her, I went back to exchange it for a nice green skirt instead.

Anyhow. I digress a little.

What Pinterest didn't have though was a similar type of sheer skirt but with a high front-hem, and a low back-hem. It's the perfect weekend skirt and there are many colors being offered right now. 

My friend taught me something useful though; I was trying to match the color to my T-shirt I was wearing today, but it was a boxy big T-shirt. She immediately told me NOT to wear these two items together. (I picked out a neutral beige tone skirt in this trend.) She said since the skirt is so flowy, the top part should be a more fitted style, and like the two models above, cinching at the waist will help you look slimmer.



* * *


As prints are really big right now, some of them have a more silky luxe look like the above, or they can be more soft/feminine/warm/delicate like below.

The above look has been offered quite a bit since last year, but at least in my circle of 'teacher' friends, nobody's been seen in that style yet!

If I were to shop for a print, I think I might go for the bottom one, just because it could probably span the Spring-Summer-Autumn season really well. And because it feels fresher than the one above.



* * *


Et voila!
The Summer is kind of already here!

Well, at least in Seoul, now that we have sort of a 'Desert' weather, you could probably pull this off from now until the crazy-sweaty-Summer-days hit us.

Hmmm, it's funny how they both turned out to be bubble-gum pink shorts with black belts, but I think it's super cute and hip right now to do the 'Front-Tuck' for your shirt or t-shirts. 

If you've got legs, go for it!




You could also have them in a more neutral color like beige or peach-beige...
First below is more dressy chic, second one below is more breezy mellow casual.

I LOVE how these two look effortlessly chic yet so feminine. Especially the second one below is a really nice update on the tried-and-true Marine Look with those blue and white striped t-shirt!






BUT, for my money, and my lifestyle, I'd be more tempted to try these two below!
These items in black/grey/gold can be worn with a tsunami of other items!




The navy/orange/tan-gold-blue outfit can see me through Autumn no problem. All I'll need is a slouchy big cardigan in either black or gold or warm ivory for pre-Autumn. Then I could wear the short denims with tights (I've never actually done that before though!) and some boots maybe, or find some slacks if that's too weird...



* * *
Along with the ethinic prints, gauzy accordian skirts, cute shorts, there are these uber-feminine and hmmm what's the word... I guess romantic? Well, whatever the adjective it is, there's definitely a huge investment in lace and beads!

Some of the lace feel more antique and ladylike, others feel more Spanish in vibe, then there are the very hip Bohemian ones...

So take your pick!







All right, I've Saved the Best For Last... ^^
Mmmmm... Both of these below just look so so so 'In' and a whole lot more wearable than the above three... (The first two above could even be wedding dresses in my world! Lol~)



Gush. How cute are these!!!



* * *
Now, the color blocking fever is pretty much over, unless you're a total Mod-dresser, but I can still see some traces of them.

Lots of vivid neons are still pretty hot and offered to us in chic dresses like below, or in necklaces or collar-necklaces. I particularly love these two ones. Rosie Huntington always looks great whatever she puts on her body... but I think these two are total winners. The first one can suit a lot of body types I think... and it can be worn in a multitude of ways with different accessories and you'll never look out of style in and around the city!





* * *
OK. Fashion-reader, are you still with me? 
(It's 3:30am now, and I need to sleep soon due to my driving lesson at 9:30am...)

One can't pass over though, however late in the night or early in the morning it is, these glam-rock styles! With a lot of over the top jewelry and accessorizing infecting our cityscape, this studded gala thing of a skirt which has been graced by the Midas Touch, the bed-haired girl wearing the Egyptian looking print, or the glamorized stratum skirt in the third picture... all have been sprinkled with Rocker-Chick-Chic with lots of gold in them... Metallica, hear our prayers!





And these, I guess could be an on-going trend, well well well into Winter and pre-Spring of 2014.




* * *

These images are my inspirations for Spring/Summer 2013.
There are tons more images to inspire you, including lots of statement necklaces.




Thanks to Pinterest for a genius technology!



* * *

All right, folks! Time for me to turn off my puter.

Love to you~*
Thanks for reading my personal trend report for S/S 2013!


I hope that these will inspire you to jazz up your wardrobe and spice up your spirits!



More to come soon,

xoxo

Princess Valerie Darling Cherry-Pie.


May 11, 2013

You Voted! Series #002: More Troubles of Figuring Out Your Style

Dear Fashion-Reader,

I stayed up all night, embellishing my previous blog post with Audrey Hepburn photos, and highlighting the text with different highlights and such, but I am now waiting for my delivery food, and my brain is still churning out more thoughts on the Trials and Tribulations for the Fashion Journey.

In my last blog post, I mentioned that a lot of us in our fashion explorer group, have spent a lot of time trying out different 'Style Systems' and we all thought we WANTED to find The Ultimate Fix-It-All System and Solution and we also thought that we COULD stick to it and LIVE IT and breathe it too... BUT two years later, we are still not satisfied, and we are still searching! I also shared one Style Needs Quiz that helped you figure out what VALUES are ACTUALLY at play, and the 7 Different Types of Wardrobes that Target Different Needs You May Have. Mine totally surprised me, and I most valued a #1. Time Efficient Wardrobe, and #2. Versatile Wardrobe.

Since I went back to read the book that had the quiz again last night and this morning, let me relate a little bit more on the different Strategies and Solutions the author shared to meet those needs and goals.

Author Sheehan Warren does cover a more regular quiz for knowing your style preference in the earlier section of her book, in case you are wondering, but those quizzes are available online so that probably won't surprise you as much. Her three 'Solutions' or 'Strategies' are to use the... a) Mix and match technique, b) Spectrum technique, and c) Monochromatic technique.

Her book does illustrate these techniques with examples based on 8 items, be they 4 tops and 4 bottoms, or 5 tops and 3 bottoms. But they are in black and white drawing for my Kindle so it's not as easy to see the 'whole effect' of a 'totally executed and strategized wardrobe' as those we might find in a NEW exciting site I found in the wee hours of dawn, called "No Fail Formula" by Morgan Wiley! She has some great examples on Polyvore that really feel 'cohesive' and 'catered to the individual' as well as 'well thought out.' I'm considering her service but not sure if I want to spend $180 just yet, since I've already spent so much money on DYT, Sterling Style Academy, color draping, and actual shopping sprees...

So now, I'll cover what the 3 techniques mean (in my own words), and if time permits, share Ms. Wiley's formula for one of her clients which totally inspires me right now!

So, first off, the Mix and Match Technique, probably is something you've heard even as a teenager, an aspiring Fashionista and Style Icon... The goal is to take those 4 bottoms and 4 tops to provide a maximum number of outcomes, and here, there isn't a set 'Color Goal' so if Versatility means a lot to you, this could be great.

Next, there is the Spectrum Technique, which I haven't heard of before, and for this one you pick a single neutral color for the bottoms, but go for a plentitude of colors for the tops. Apparently, this is the technique that will help me achieve my Time-Efficient Wardrobe.

Lastly, there is the Monochromatic approach, which I'm sure you've heard is often quoted as the most 'Slimming' solution on many a fashion websites! This works for both the reliable and the time-efficient wardrobe. I think for me, this is what I need for my special occasions.

* * *
This reminds me of the 6 Strategies in "Simple Isn't Easy by: How to Find Your Personal Style and Look Fantastic Every Day!" by Olivia Goldsmith and Amy Fine Collins, which I read like a decade ago...


In Chapter 7. Strategies, these ladies mentioned six never-fail fixes such as...

a) Use a Single Color (aka your ENTIRE wardrobe uses ONE COLOR, like ALL BLACK or ALL RED, which I guess corresponds to Warren's Monochromatic Technique),

b) Stick with the Perennial Fashion Colors (according to them, black, white, red, beige, and navy, which to me sound like 5 Neutral or Universal Colors in other systems, although the color analyst folks will now divide that into at least 4 different quadrants and give you cools/warms/hards/softs!),

c) Select a Single Silhouette and Stick With It (They do mention that his is harder to do, and they give example of Sophia Loren and her 'bifurbicated version' of this strategy, wearing "classic clothes for day, but ... fluffy evening dresses" for night, as well as an elderly lady who sews her own clothes using ONE design pattern in all kinds of fabrics and details to keep it interesting)

d) Stick With a Single Designer (Not sure how many of us in such a pluralist culture!),

e) Stick with a Single Outfit in Every Color Possible (This would kill my soul!), and

f) Dark Bottom, Colored Top (which the authoress herself uses as she is a pear-shaped figure; and she has 6 slacks and lots of silk tops in her Lean Closet, but here, the authors say that you should group your articles of clothing not bottoms all together and tops all together etc., but hang them with the best matched tops and bottoms, as not all tops and bottoms go together.)

(Sorry, this is becoming like a braindump! But I hope you find something here!)


* * *
Now, onto the recent discovery of Ms. Wiley's formula!

Last night, I hit a goldmine on Pinterest, where a lady named Marjorie had this super-collection of useful information on her board called, "Image Consulting Board" (Yes, I was surprised she included me here! Thanks Marjorie!) had so much information on creating your Ultimate Wardrobe! Of all the contestants listed, I really really liked Ms. Wiley's formula! Below is an example of her client's formula, and you can see that her 3 recipes are, a) tone on tone, b) cinched waist, and c) edgy accessories.
To go slightly more in-depth, and this is now from Ms. Wiley's website for her services:




The No Fail Formula

Style + Colour + YOU = The Perfect Combination!

The No Fail Formula is the stress free solution for effortless style. Follow the formula and eliminate those “nothing to wear” moments.

In the No Fail Formula, the most important part of the equation is YOU! I will coach you on the colours and styles that work best for you, and together we will define your unique style profile.

The formula is made up of three essential components:
  • How to wear your best colours – your natural beauty enhancing colours that make your eyes sparkle and make you look alive and vibrant.
  • Key style elements for your individual body shape – embrace your body and feel confident and attractive!
  • PLUS a whopping injection of your own vivacious personality – the most important component to creating your unique individual style!

* * *
Ms. Wiley's blog also shares...

What you get
An individual consultation either by a series of emails over a few days or a 30 minute Skype session

Style package which includes:
  • Your No Fail Formula
  • Your individual style assessment and type
  • Your colour palette assessment and type
  • Your body shape assessment and type
  • 3 key colours for you
  • 3 key rules for your shape
  • 3 key styles for your shape

* * *
Reading through the detailed list of what is in her Style Package, it feels like pretty much all of us in our fashion group have gathered enough knowledge on pretty much all of these points. It's not that we don't know what these factors are, it is that despite all this overwhelming amount of information, putting them into a Real Wow, Real Us, Real Laundry Schedule Worthy, Real Lasting Wardrobe still takes some Real Work...

To be honest, I am not sure if having this newly found No Fail Formula could be something I would stick to, even if I invested in it. No offense, Ms. Wiley, truly! 

If it were just about knowing this stuff, if it were just about being given a guideline/suggestion/formula, why, DYT or IE, FFS, Kibbe, or JK's assessment, or Zyla's Archetypes may have gotten us to a 'Finish Line' already.

If it were that easy, other things like Project 333 or the Capsule Wardrobe, or the Fashion Code or Fashion Fit Formula, or the Dozen Formula, ad nauseum would have solved our Need for a Fashion Fix. Or a realistic workable Fashion Soul-ution. (Ooh, I googled it just now and this word doesn't come up! I just made a new word, yay!!!)


* * *
And as we progress along our 'age continuum' harsher realities set in; my body doesn't hold its elasticity and firmness to the degree that it used to, so now, fitness and diet are huge issues and hurdles for me. 

  • It's harder to find the right clothes compared to before locally, so now I tend to spend more on hair, makeup, and accessories.
  • Jobs and roles evolve, so even if I wear jeans and t-shirts and cardigans majority of the time, Jackets are a must.
  • I've begun to take driving lesson this week, and actually since I moved closer to work, my commute to work has completely changed too...
So yeah. It takes a lot of work, continuous work, to really get to our Distinctive Fashion Statement. And to maintain and update it.


* * *
There are other Myths To Bust too. I would love to be able to dispel and debunk the myths and erroneous information flow regarding... 

  1. Personality VS What You Should Wear Ideally (Both DYT/IE, as well as CE/FFS/Bazi)
  2. Body Shapes and Discrepancies In How You Measure For It
  3. Capsule Wardrobes and Choosing a Color Story
  4. Discrepancy in Color Draping Results VS DYT
  5. Challenges in Doing/Sustaining Project 333
  6. How Shopping Becomes More Difficult the More You Know! (Both Color Draping & DYT)
  7. The Real Wardrobe Needs VS Fantasy Wardrobe Needs

There.
I've laid it all down. :-)

Let me know what thoughts you have on Your Fashion Journey!
Enjoy the Spring weather, Fashion-Reader! 


Yours cordially and gratefully,


Princess Valerie-Cherry-Pie


You Voted! Series #001: The Troubles of Figuring Out Your Style (& A Possible Solution)



Dear fashion-reader,

Well, tonight, I would like to address an issue that has been brewing on my mind for quite some time now. Thank you JA for casting your Vote! Your opinions matter! :-)

>> If you want to get right to the Solution Part, 
please scroll down to the Quiz Section!

A group of us have been sharing our fashion journey for about two to three years now, and we've been exploring and *exhausting* the different fashion systems available to us, exchanging our joys, exhilaration, as well as venting sessions, and truly tearful moments.

A lot of us have actually met through a program called Dressing Your Truth (aka DYT), and I am truly grateful for the communal spirit Carol Tuttle created and allowed in her entrepreneurial endeavors.

I think what we all had in common was to a) figure our inner selves out, and b) find a way to express that in a pleasing, satisfying way.

A lot of the fashion courses we explored have all marketed themselves and in some cases 'promised us' this elusive yet so engaging quest for a Defined Styled Image of Ourselves.

The ironic thing that is actually taking place though is that less than half of us have found The Answer or The Solution to our quest, two years later!

Of course, this Fashion Quest Thingy will be an enduring journey, one that will evolve and take turns and twists throughout the different stages of our lives. But having explored possibly somewhere between two dozen to three dozen different 'theories' and 'systems' I really wonder if I will ever really 'get there' after all... and now I must admit, this current stasis begs the question, How will one truly know when they have figured out their style? or What gives?



Of course, for some of us, we now know what DYT type we are, or what distinct color season we are, or what Kibbe type we are, or we have worked out our Personal Style Statement with our Foundation Word and a Creative Edge Word. Some of us have done collages and worked out our Chinese Elements or figured out our Fashion Feng Shui colors, shapes, and textures are. We have created Pinterest Boards, after consulting with Christine Scaman, or John Kitchener, or perhaps David Zyla. Others of us have tried the Fashion Fit Formula or the Fashion Code, or Private Stylist online also, extending our research into Tropical Astrology, Vedic Astrology, MBTI and the 4 Humours and even DISC Tests, and scarier still, we've even plunged into checking out our Iridology and ventured bravely into Physiognomy. And not to mention, spending hours shopping for, trying to simplify with other niches like Project 333, and then ending up on Polyvore trying to get inspired with trending OOTDs from around the world.

(By the way, if a lot of these sound fascinating to you,
you should definitely check out Jane Rekas's blog -->

Anyhow, to climb out of this totally fatiguing merry-go-round and quite the palm-to-forehead situation, I would like to question just WHAT IT IS that makes it so challenging for us to a) Figure Out Our Style, and b) To Stick To The Type or Palette or Style Statement or Style Solution which the Fashion and Style Gurus have touted for us and often for which we have gladly exchanged our cash, attention, resources, and energies for.



In my personal reflective moment last year, regarding this exact issue, which was right around the time I finally got typed by Carol Tuttle in DYT and I dressed as a Type 4 for a handful of successive months, then subsequently hit a major trouble zone once cooler months settled in Seoul, and realized there was no way in hell or Earth, I was going to wear Hard/Cool Colors of T4 in the dead and thick of Winter. No. I just couldn't do it. I craved warm colors, heat sources, it felt just WRONG to wear those colors that made my Summers so fun and icy-cold, now that I shivered even at the sound of clinking silver chains and shiny surfaces.

So, followed a whole slew of months since that moment, where I fell off the wagon again, trying really hard to sort this mess out. I flirted a lot more successfully in late Autumn last year, joining a group for Project 333. The editing process was tougher and easier at the same time, but after the whole phase was over, I got real busy at work and fell off that wagon also.

I feel like I'm back to point zero again. But my wardrobe for sure isn't at point zero with me; now it's full of my experiments from T2 and T4, some Autumn colors and some T1 feelin' jewelry. And with the whole new Spring weather upon us in urban Seoul, I just need a Rebirth of Some Kind.


Some of my attempts in fashion, actually, most of my fashion attempts boil down to three major problems I think:

a) I have a high 'P' in my ENTP personality trait; which means, I like to keep my options OPEN. I am sure some of us in our fashion/style group have a similar trait!

b) My laundry schedule rejects the whole notion and foundation of a Capsule or Capsule-Like Wardrobe... Seriously, if money were not an issue, I'd buy new clothes all the time like disposable wipes...!

c) When I took a quiz in one of the fashion/style books, I found out my Most Important Criteria for my Clothes were in actual fact, a) Speed and b) Versatility. Before taking the quiz, I'd have guessed without a whiff of suspicion that what I'd always wanted were a 'Fashion Forward Wardrobe' since pretty much all of my style quizzes had me at "Glamorous Style" or "Dramatic Style" or "Sexy and Alluring Style," yet, what I wore to work day in and day out are more casual/trendy-urban-yet clean-looking style, leaning much more towards a Polished-Natural-Style than anything else!


* * *
[Solution Begins Here-->>]


Hence, I would like to now share this AWESOME quiz with you, that may or may not shed light on your personal quest in 'Figuring Out Your Style,' if you have not Fully Arrived At Your Absolute Iconic Fashion Statement That You Live and Dress By!



Taken from my Kindle Book... "It's So You! A Light-Hearted And Easy Way of Finding Your Personal Style" By Sheehan Warren.

Location 3194 of 6745, 47% through the pages:



Style Profile #10: My Needs Assessment
Read each statement below and choose the appropriate rating. You must decide how important each issue is for selecting clothing and accessories and plan according to your priorities.

1. I must purchase clothing and accessories as economically as possible (an affordable wardrobe). Not important at all / Not very important / Important / Very important

2. I must wear the most fashionable clothing possible for my budget and my circumstances (a fashion-forward wardrobe). Not important at all / Not very important / Important / Very important

3. I must wear the most comfortable clothing possible for my budget and my circumstances (a comfortable wardrobe). Not important at all / Not very important / Important / Very important

4. I maintain a high profile within the community and must be ready for impromptu appearances before an audience (a reliable wardrobe). Not important at all / Not very important / Important / Very important

5. I must have flexible wardrobes which work with my constantly changing size (a flexible wardrobe). Not important at all / Not very important / Important / Very important

6. I must have a great number of different types of clothes for the great number of tasks I do in any given week (a versatile wardrobe). Not important at all / Not very important / Important / Very important

7. I must have a wardrobe which is conducive to quick and thoughtless mixing and matching for effective time management (a time-efficient wardrobe). Not important at all / Not very important / Important / Very important


Next, rank them in the order of importance.
1. _______________________
2. _______________________
3. _______________________
4. _______________________
5. _______________________
6. _______________________
7. _______________________

How you prioritize these issues and, in turn, apply them to your fashion choices will add to the overall flavor of your style.

* * *
(OK, I tried to create a poll for this but it won't sort the answers the way it can help you get answers in one click! I'll try and learn how to format ranking questions and code it onto a blog post some day!)


OK. So, please share how you feel about this topic of 'Figuring Out Your Style' -- whether you've already had great success with your Style Statement and are living it, or you're still getting there and want to share your journey thus far! I'm all ears!!

Love,

xoxox


Princess Valerie-Cherry-Pie
(This is my new nickname ^_^)