STYLE: Made For Me

I describe my style as classic, with a touch of romantic. Case in point, this chambray dress, that I wore to church last Sunday. E-shakti, a company that specializes in custom made clothes sent this frock to me to try out and share my thoughts. I picked this one, in part, because it bears a resemblance to one worn by my style icon Audrey Hepburn in “Roman Holiday.”

 There are several things I love about this dress:

  • The skirt. It’s so twirly! And it has amazing pockets!
  • The fabric is a lovely dark navy with a beautiful sheen.
  • The collar and buttons add nautical flair, which I love.
  • It arrived crazy fast after I ordered it! 
But most of all, I love that this dress really fit me. 

As a big chested, small waisted woman, finding dresses and tops that fit well and flatter can be a challenge.
I think for the average woman, buying clothes that are made to fit all body types, lumped into general categories of small, medium, and large, is frustrating. Since most clothes are made to fit such a wide range of figures, they end up not fitting anyone perfectly. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve loved almost everything about a blouse or dress. Except for those cap sleeves, or an awkward ruffle, or the skirt was too long, or too short. 
I customized this dress by changing the cap sleeves to elbow length, and the skirt from below the knee, to right at the knee. It absolutely made the difference between an “ok” dress and a dress that I can’t wait to wear again and again.

e-skakti allows you to customize skirt length, sleeve style, and even the neckline on most garments. And the extra cost? $7.50, for any number of changes to a single garment!
Another one of my favorite things about this dress is that I know that the people who made it were fairly paid. Initially when e-shakti contacted me, I was concerned by the fact that they manufactured their dresses in India. But I discovered some helpful information on their website that put my mind at ease: 

“No one who is not eligible to be employed under the Indian Government’s minimum age policy is ever employed by our manufacturing units. The Indian government has been progressive, and with India’s increasing affluence, they have been raising the minimum wage stipulation over time. And wages paid by eShakti are typically 50% to 100% over the Indian government’s minimum stipulation.
The people who work to make eShakti’s clothes are typically the main wage-earners of their families, and provide for them, including education for their children. eShakti is proud that hundreds of families enjoy the advantages of such employment provided by it. Indeed, it is a part of our organizational ethos and goal to contribute to the welfare of society in India as a responsible corporate citizen and employer, just as we contribute in the USA by creating new jobs as we grow.
eShakti’s covenant with its customers is this: we will never allow anything that is opposed to human dignity or the laws of the land where we operate.”

For more information, visit their about us page.

Whether or not you’re going on a Roman holiday anytime soon, you’ll find beautiful, high quality dresses, tops, and skirts to fit your style. Here’s a few of my other favorites: 

And this one makes me laugh: 

Right now, new customers get a $25 gift coupon, so go check them out! Let me know what your favorites are. Who’s your style icon? Share your inspiration in the comments below!

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DECOR: Bedroom Before and After (So Far)

On Monday, I showed you how I made our book page headboard. Our poor neglected bedroom’s makeover is still very much in progress, but here’s a tour of how it’s coming along.

Before:

As you know,  we got rid of the white bedspread for something more practical, aka, machine washable!
Quilt: Target. Lamp on the left: Walmart. Lamp on the right: Free. 

Before:

On the sofa table under the window: a quilt, a lamp, some “spring” eggs (they’re not Easter eggs, because if they were, I should have put them away by now!), a really neat map bag that’s empty, and a bunch of pictures we havent’ hung up. 


After:

This beautiful French/botanical style box was a gift from my sister. Thanks Elissa!
I also moved my black box full of stationery to this table, kept the spring eggs, and stuffed the map bag with the quilt. 
And we hung some curtains! The sheers don’t keep light out, they diffuse it, which creates a soft ambiance I love. 

Before:

The top of our dresser was a mess: my handmade bulletin board, a painting of mine, Brian’s baseball picture frame with a family photo, and our change collecting box. 

After:

I still don’t like it. But, at least the photos are off of the table under the window, and it’s a little less cluttered.


Before:

The top of the bookshelf: a whiteboard we never wrote on, random cards, black box of stationery, a clock (also from my sister) and Brian’s diploma.

After:

I covered the whiteboard with my vision board! It’s inspiring to look at first thing in the morning. I also added the little wood box and starfish pin, two souvenirs from my trip to Oregon. I’d like to do something with that typewriter photo holder. Any ideas?
I moved my bulletin board into my closet. My side of the closet has several shelves, one of which I turned into my jewelry shelf. All of this stuff used to be on our dresser, so it used to be even more cluttered! I really like it here in the closet, the bulletin board works especially well for holding pins and necklaces.

Before:

This is Brian’s side of the bed, the wall with the door to the closet. The large picture with the tower was a wedding gift from Brian’s parents, depicting a couple outside of the Iowa State campanile, a famous romantic spot. 
And notice the fighter jet calendar. He needed to personalize the space somehow. 

After:

I found this vintage New York City poster in a shop in Cannon Beach, and knew it was perfect for Brian. He lived in NYC for two years, and has always wanted to take me back there. 
I moved the ISU print to the wall between the bookshelf and dresser, and I hung the fighter jet calendar in the closet!
Where there was once blank wall on my side, I hung this vintage French poster, which I also bought in Cannon Beach.

So it’s coming along! I’d like to unify the color scheme more, and do something different with the top of our dresser. Maybe one big piece of art? Or will that be too much with the other large prints and posters? Hm. 

Do you have any tips for decorating problematic spaces? Thanks for reading this little tour of our place!

How to Find Your Style Personality

Welcome to Fashion 101! This week one of you lucky ladies will win a lovely accessory, courtesy of Handmade and Lovely. More about that at the end of today’s lesson!

I don’t usually think about my clothes as having personality. I just buy what I feel like in the moment,  or what I like or need, or deals too good to pass up. Maybe you’re like me. If you are, you don’t often consider that your clothes are talking about you, much louder than you words are, to everyone within  earshot eyesight!

Your clothes are an expression of yourself. They should express your personality, your tastes, and even your priorities. You can tell a lot about someone based on what they wear, and I don’t mean just what their favorite color is or what they ate for lunch.

There’s even some “science” backing up why people gravitate towards certain clothes. Studies show that certain personality and character traits tend to like similar colors, patterns, textures, and styles.

There are roughly six different clothing personality types. Sometimes they’re called other names, and sometimes there are only five listed, but I think this covers the bases best. They are Classic, Dramatic, Romantic, Ingénue, Natural, and Gamine.

Note: you might not fit perfectly in one category. In fact, you probably won’t. You are a unique and multi-faceted being! Read through the following descriptions and notice the images. What fits you best?

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