Women’s body image in today’s culture

I had a wonderful time with my friends Jen and Erika last weekend; we talked about all sorts of things including women’s body image.  As a person who has been everything from size 4 to size 14, and “felt fat” at every size, I’m always interested in body image.  As a nurse who has watched young women die as a result of anorexia nervosa, I’d like to have a role in changing our culture’s preoccupation with thinness.  As an image consultant who will be helping women of all sizes develop and celebrate their unique style, I want to know as much as possible about stylish affordable clothes in all sizes.

Some resources that help inspire me to know that things are changing:

With Get Real Image, I hope to inspire every woman to put her authentic self out there with confidence, knowing she is true to herself no matter her size, age or sexual identity, and that other women support her in doing so.  It doesn’t cost a fortune but it does take some effort and the courage to jump into the pool.  There’s water there – and it’s deep…

Really and truly yours,

Sarah

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Evolving my style…

Wear bling syle challenge

Wear bling style challenge

I decided to take a bit of my own medicine by joining the Evolve Your Style group with Imogen Lamport from Inside Out Style blog and Bespoke Image.  I’ve completed one week of the month-long challenge and it has been a great learning experience!!  I’ve learned about a database for selecting the best bras (who knew?) and about a site for making it possible to turn sleeveless garments into ones with sleeves (Sleevey Wonders).  Some of the challenges have been easy and some have pushed me way out of my comfort zone…  My favorite was “wear bling” and I picked out my most blingy piece – one that I sometimes have trouble wearing.  With boyfriend jeans and studded flats, I think I nailed it.  What do you think?

I’ve also started using my Stylebook app to organize my wardrobe.  This is a marvelous help once you have everything photographed, and it occurs to me it will come in handy for insurance purposes if there is ever a fire.

Tomorrow I’m conducting my first real style consultation – still as an image consulting student but I’m excited to get started.

Still real,

Sarah

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How your attitude about money affects your wardrobe…

Hello there,

As my image consulting classes continue with the Academy of Professional Image, I’ve learned so much about styling both myself and others. It is very worthwhile for me to go through the process I plan in the future to share with others, as I see more clearly my blind spots and soft areas (literally and figuratively)…

I know my face and body shape and my proportions and now I’m auditing my wardrobe. I spend about 30% of my non-sleep time working, about 30% in home-related activities (which includes going out for groceries and on trips with family and friends), about 30% socializing and about 10% on relaxation (fitness, hobbies, chores and relaxing). And I discovered several things:
I have no dressy business attire – I grew out of my good 3-piece suit about 10 pounds and two years ago! I also have no “date night” dresses, so if I am asked out to someplace a little on the fancy side or to a wedding or a similar event, I will have to do emergency shopping. Never a good idea!
I have too few items of classic and smart business attire (things you would wear every day for work at a university) and a lot of casual and business casual clothes. About the time I realized this I watched a video of Imogen Lamport from Bespoke Image (she is also my image class instructor) talking with Jill Chivers from Shop your Wardrobe, about the messages we received growing up and how they affect our wardrobe choices as an adult. You can catch Imogen and Jill discussing a variety of topics on YouTube.

My mother was a talented seamstress and made many of my dressier clothes – I fondly remember a silky turquoise fit and flare number with puffy sleeves and a high collar with lace at the neck – but like many families in the 1950’s my parents had a lot of children to raise on one income and they were very frugal. We got new store-bought clothes at the beginning of the school year and a new outfit at Easter.

As an adult, this has translated to my not feeling comfortable spending much money on clothes; almost everything I own has been purchased primarily because it was on sale. I don’t hesitate to spend $100.00 taking family members out to dinner but I won’t spend that much on good shoes, even though I have a bunion and fit makes the difference between comfort and misery.

So, I am going to make this a goal and give myself permission to spend money on good clothes that fit and flatter, are versatile and will last a long time. I’m going to fill in the gaps in my wardrobe with nice business attire and get at least one dressy dress. I just purchased a cream-colored Diane Von Furstenberg blazer on sale at The RealReal (a consignment shop for designer items)… When it comes in I’ll post a picture. I purchased a lovely pair of Vivanz summer sandals from Zappos at full price. They are modern looking and sexy but constructed with elasticized fabric for comfort.

How does your attitude about yourself, your money and your image affect your shopping habits?

Stay real,

Sarah

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