Hello fellow fashionistas and beautynistas! I started this blog as an outlet for my infinite love of all things sartorial and beauty based. My belief is that cultivating one’s garden means looking and feeling as good as you can, exercising your mind by reading and learning new skills (throughout life), opening your mind through meeting others and traveling to new places, and loving those close to you with wild abandon.
One message I want to put out there is that for me, beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, ages, and colors. I have heard too much body shaming in my lifetime. As a former ballet dancer, I was surrounded by people with eating disorders; they would share their secrets for staying reed thin–namely bulimia. Sadly, when I first learned of this at age thirteen from another dancer who had returned to class after the summer much thinner, it sounded like a good idea. Thank God, I was unable to do it…I found out later that the girls who did had destroyed the enamel on their teeth and had burn marks inside their mouths from stomach acid.
Today, my view today is that a healthy, well-fueled body is the way to go. Personally, I want to feed my brain, nurture my skin, and stay as vigorous as I can for as long as I can. A beautiful outfit on top is the icing and confetti on the cake.
My love of clothes goes way back. I am pretty sure it all started with my mom and her mom. They both loved clothes and had a sense of style throughout their lives. I remember intently watching my mother get ready for special events. First came the makeup; then the gorgeous outfit, earrings, shoes, and purse; and finally, the spritz of perfume. To me, my mom was the most beautiful woman on the planet, something of a fairy godmother or Glinda, the Good Witch, from the Wizard of Oz. My mom filled her closet, half of mine, half of my brother’s, and a full closet downstairs with all her lovely wares. There was the persimmon-colored Calvin Klein wool coat with its thick belt, the purple wool skirt and cape suit that she wore with purple suede boots, and the cork- heeled platform sandals with red and navy woven leather tops.
Despite having two clotheshorses in my life and admiring their beauty, I was a bit of a tomboy and did not have a natural eye for style. When I was 16, I got a job in a clothing store. Most of my new monies ended right back in the store’s hands as I tried to cultivate a sense of style. It wasn’t until I traveled to France at the age of 21 for a summer study program with Marquette that I realized how out of touch and style I truly was. Suddenly my pink pants and matching pink sweater weren’t looking so good. Not only were the Parisians–all of them…not kidding–incredibly stylish, so were some of the other students on the trip. One of them had an incredibly workable wardrobe. She seemed to always have just the right outfit to wear for the occasion whether it was touring the Louvre or having a pique-nique on the grounds of a chateau in Limoges. I watched her blend in effortlessly with the chic French and, dare I say, envied her sense of style. Ever since, I have been reading all I can about fashion and designers and how to put together a really smart outfit. I am, as always, a work in progress. My belief is that I will always be a work in progress…until the day I die. I think that if you think you’ve arrived at the height of knowledge, you are shutting your mind down to the many more lessons that are likely out there. So here is to sharing my sartorial journey with you and you sharing your experiences with me. Together, we can grow in leaps and bounds…of this, I am sure.