Sunday, March 23, 2014

How to Take Off 20 Pounds With Your Outfit

The Man I Married (also known in some circles as The Pool Boy) decided to change the living room around while I was sleeping in. This because the place where he sits on the couch to read and watch TV has recessed over the years causing issues with his back.

Ever one to solve a problem, he got industrious this morning and endeavoured to move a back friendly chair into our prime TV watching spot, thus turning my universe upside down. Why? Because he changed the couch placement without consulting with me first. On more levels than I can explain this is not a good thing for me because:
  1. I do not care for change.
  2. I am now situated in a new seat and it isn't working for me.
I feel too low to the ground. My computer sits haphazardly on my lap. And don't even get me started on butt indentation because with the way he placed the couch I am now on the recessed spot that his butt caved in over the years - and my butt isn't happy about this.

By now you're probably thinking "What does this have to do with The Menopause?" and to that, I would like to respond "Everything."

Men should Pause before they take any kind of radical household action.

Take a moment to discuss while I get through this hot flash.

All that said, it occurs to me that I'm becoming set in my ways - which is way too early! People shouldn't even begin to get set in their ways until they're at least 85; and even then, I'm not so sure it's a good idea because resistance to change is a sure fire way to eliminate adventure from your life - and without adventure, where would the fun be?

And I'm not even talking about the big adventures like back packing across Europe or jumping out of a plane - no. I'm talking about the little everyday adventures we can still strive to have - like keeping updated on our hair styles, and not getting stuck in fashion ruts - a hole I have found myself sinking into on more than one occasion.

You know the drill. You're a certain, age or a certain weight. You don't fit into the same kinds of clothes you used to, and the florescent lighting in the change rooms at most retail outlets is enough to send you down the chip and dip aisle in fits of silent desperation.

Or, you've become set in your ways and cling stubbornly to the ghost of fashion past either by wearing ill fitting clothing, outfits that are too young - or worse, fashion that dates you or isn't flattering.

Now before you get irate at me, yelling "TOWANDA! Women are beautiful in many different packages - what about beauty from the inside out lady?" please know I agree with you. But I also think that when we get stuck in ruts - like the one I was in when I started this blog - we might not be feeling as marvelous as we could and in the immortal words of Billy Crystal, "When you look Mahvelous, you feel mahvelous." So this is about my journey back toward fabulousity, finding fashion and ideas that work for me. If I inspire a few people along the way, awesome.

So, on this day of great change and upheaval in the life of my couch and rear end, I have decided to embrace the new. In honour of that I'm going to introduce into my fashion repertoire something that is on trend, that I see pinned all over the fashion boards on Pinterest, and that I have seen very few women of my age and, erm, stature, wearing: The Skinny Jean.

A clothing item I would not have, in a million years - no make that a trillion - ever considered wearing. But that was the old me. The one in a rut who said things like "I feel invisible," while she ate pie. The new me sits on couches with new grooves and says "To HELL with that!"

And verily, I have purchased a skinny jean. But here's the thing. When you want to freshen up your wardrobe by adding clothes that are on trend, when you reach a certain age (and by that I mean anyone over the age 22), you want to balance out the trend with other more classic elements. Second, and this is so important I want you to indelibly etch it into your brains - you HAVE to wear the right shoe. And by shoe, I mean pump, or boot - not a sneaker, cheap flat, or running shoe. People, I feel very strongly about this. Running shoes, by law, should never be worn anywhere outside of a gym.

Let me show you.

I've put together a few looks featuring the skinny jean to demonstrate how someone like me can go from a Fashion No to a Fashion Yes in a matter of minutes simply by pairing said jeans with the right shoes and looks.In the process, you will see first hand how the fashion choices we make can either add or detract weight!

Let's begin at the beginning with a fashion faux pas I see many women of my age (and size) making: Teaming up tights or skinny pants with an over-sized shirt and a pair of flats. While this look may have looked good on Gidget once upon a time, it does not work on most women (unless you are 5'11 and weigh less than 120 pounds). Even then, it's questionable.

Case in point...

Fashion No

Okay, so let's take little time to improve the look. Start by opening the shirt to make it into a jacket, add a belt to give some definition to the body and lose the ugly flat shoes, replacing them with a flat boot.

Fashion getting there...
We now have a definite improvement - but we're not there yet. Sure, this outfit would be okay for, say, mowing the lawn - but do you really want to bump into your first love from high school at the grocery store wearing this?

I didn't think so.

Next look...
Fashion better...

Do you see it slowly getting better? First, I removed the denim shirt - and let me just say, it looked a whole lot better in my mirror than it did in the reality of a picture so take the time to get pictures of what you wear! You might be very surprised by what you discover..

I kept the belt for definition as I'm an apple shape and really benefit from the illusion of a waist. Next I added an elongating drapey black sweater and a universal scarf to keep the look casual - you know, for that trip to the grocery store!

I'd be okay meeting up with people from my past in this...

However, I still think I can do better.

Remember what I said about shoes? Well it has never been more important than it is with the skinny jean. Pretty much, if you have the nerve a rock a pair out, I want you to go all in with it and pair the jeans with a pair of awesome heels or boots - making sure to avoid anything clunky or shoes with a rounded or square toe. You want that elegant point because it does amazing things for the legs - as does the height you'll get from wearing a heel. 

People, there is a reason Carrie Bradshaw loves her Manolos.

Fashion Awesome

Let's recap...

From Don't
To Do!

And that, my friends, is what they call a wrap! I'll be having more fun with fashion in the weeks and months ahead because, as a girly gal at heart, I am reaffirmed by the belief that Fabulous is as Fabulous does!

Now go out and make some noise!! The world needs to hear from you.

And then dish! Do you like change? Got any fashion faux pas to share with the group? Go for it sisters - you are among friends :-)


Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, and a website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.

Visit her on her blogs, The Kitchen Witch, and Just. That. Fabulous. or on her YouTube Channel, CHARMED With The Kitchen Witch.

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  1. looks great and you're right, what a difference, I have big calves an thighs, skinny jeans were not made for me, at all, I am very pear shaped, I do not have your lovely slim legs
    My husband has never moved a piece of furniture in his life, you hubby is adventuresome,

    1. Thanks Laurie! Ha ha ha! My husband LOVES change - drives me crazy :-) Have a wonderful week!!

  2. Lyndsay you have a great sense of style. It's been a long time since I've cared about what I look like below the neck. I wear yoga pants and tennis shoes every day. I have to be presentable next Saturday at my niece's wedding and shopped for palazzo pants because it's a dressed up version of yoga pants. Oh well! One more thing to work on.

    I don't think I'm set in my ways yet. It might be different if I had to share my space/life with another human, but I'm divorced and all the kids are out on their own. I'm surprised it's taking me so long to settle into the life of solitude I've been craving for for so long. I'm just real tired of taking care of things and sharing my space. I'm one 12 year old dog away from being by myself for the first time in my life.

    So, whether you want an empty nest or you don't, it's hard to get used to.

    1. Thanks so much Pam! Palazzo pants are also very flattering - I love them. It's weird, isn't it, how difficult change can be - even when we want it. Have a wonderful week my friend and enjoy that wedding.

  3. wow what a difference the style and design of the clothes makes. You look fabulous! It made you look younger too! I guess I may have to pay a little more attention to what I wear instead of just grabbing anything just to cover and keep warm. loving this blog

    1. Isn't it fascinating the difference it makes? I only wish I could get Vaughan to take my picture every time I get dressed - ha ha ha!!!

  4. My "sneaks" are my best friend LOL.
    Heels and I are not friends. I do where them when I "have" to but otherwise I wear my sneaks.
    I have a pin in my left ankle - since I was 17. When I worked in downtown Toronto I wore heels until the world went "business casual" and then it was all bets off and flats and low heels were the norm and I loved it. But they didn't love me and I ended up with tendonitis in the arch of my left foot - who would have thought that was possible. After a round of cortisone shots it was fixed and I was back to "sensible shoes".
    Now, I have 3 pairs of winter boots - one of them higher that I wear on appointments to see clients. The others, it depends on how bad the weather is. I own one pair of dress shoes that I can wear with pants and I always have my bff's collection of every kind of heels to choose from if I need to. LOL

    you look fabulous in the pics Lyndsay - I wish I could rock a pair of jeans like you do. I wear skinny jeans but to be honest I am more comfy in my yoga pants or sweats. LOL In the summer its shorts. LOL

    You are correct though, shoes do make an outfit.
    Now that I am back to work I do try to take the time to look better than I do when I have a day off LOL. Its funny, I spent 21 years dressing for a career. When I moved here I got rid of most of my "work" clothes - I knew that I was never going to need them again and it was like cutting off a limb while I did it. But now, 10 years later - I am no longer the clothes shopper I was which is freeing in itself but I am sure that VISA isn't happy about my new found freedom LOL.

  5. Hate to be the one to tell you but...