Sunday, February 23, 2014

Dare Not to Compare!




There have been some great posts on folks' blogs lately, from saving money and spending less/spending wisely and investment dressing versus faster fashion.

These topics seems cyclical to me. 

I did a post myself on investment dressing in May of last year that generated a 114 comments!

I think as one season begins to wind down we are naturally drawn to the next season.  At the same time, we review the current season's purchases and decide what worked, what must go, what was a "what the hell was I thinking?" purchase.

These reviews make us determine if the next season's wardrobe options contain any gaps and if those gaps exist  how will we fill them?  Are we spending too much, too little?  Are we getting a good bang for our buck?


I do not know if men suffer from this as much as women - GSL, if you are reading, please chime in, dear man!


In the early days of the blog world or online I would see something attractive on someone and think "wow, I love that, I think I'll have one of those, too, please." or I might think "I don't have that, why don't I have that, am I the only person in the whole wide world that doesn't have that?"

I would forget that I wasn't six feet tall.  Or a size 0. or didn't live in California or wasn't invited out weekly to cocktails.    So there were deadly mistakes....

I'm not going to lie: this sweater was a mistake and I gave it away a few months later...

Quite a while ago now I switched and began to use blogs and retail sites as pure inspiration.  And if there were rules or "must haves" I treated those as suggestions.  I am convinced that these so-called lists of essentials have made us all kind of clone-like.  Sure we may be tasteful, but is it us?


Well some of it is.  But do we always want to be tasteful?  (This is the rebel in me coming out!)
 
One thing that less expensive clothes allow us to do is dabble in styles not typically our own.  The boho top or the minimalist dress, the corporate suit or the romantic lace top.

One of the best purchases I made in 2013 was a faux leather H&M moto jacket.  I have so much fun with it.  I would never have bought the real leather version as I would have second-guessed myself as to whether or not I would wear it enough to justify the price.  It turns out I might have been able to!

The sequin dress below was a J Crew score for a very cheap price 3 years ago.  When I wear it with a plain black tuxedo blazer, and black heels it looks quite tasteful and fun, as opposed to the Studio 54 version! 





I read a quote the other day by Iyanla Vanzant that really struck me


Comparison is an act


I'm not all that familiar with Iyanla, except that I know she has a show on Oprah's network, but I was so struck by this quote that it stopped me dead in my tracks.

I am trying hard these days to be grateful, and I am especially trying NOT to compare myself to anyone else anymore about ANYTHING.  When we compare we are either putting someone else on the short end of the stick our ourselves.

So my two cents (we don't even have pennies any more in Canada!) is this: dress how you want to dress and buy where you want to buy and spend however much you want to spend so long as you can afford it.  There is no one path to happiness and no one definition of beauty or perfect taste. 

So while I may be using someone like Sophia Coppola as a muse, with a bit of Kerry Washington sprinkled in like fairy dust, I will not be comparing myself to these women.  I would encourage them not to get caught up in what I'm wearing either, in case it makes them sad...



Kerry - I'm dressing and drinking for the three of us: you , me and your baby...
 
No Sophia, you CAN'T borrow my $40 Monoprix dress...Sacre Bleu!


 

Dress and please yourself.  I am pretty sure if you do so, others will be pleased for you.   

Some days we are thin, some years, not so much.  Some things work, others, not so much.  I will continue to make mistakes, but they will be interesting mistakes!

Have an awesome day and no matter how jealous you may feel as you look at these drop-dead gorgeous photos of me remember this: I have a whole team working on me, around the clock.  Don't beat yourself up.... :-)

Have a great day and stay safe out there!

69 comments:

  1. Great post! But what is wrong with that short sleeved blue sweater? I think it looks good!

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    1. Cate, I just never wore it - always felt mummy - don't know why!

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    2. It was the crew neck...sorry, I'm just sayin

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    3. Ha! And that is higher or it needed something to drag it down...

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    4. Confused... are crewnecks mummy? Is this on J. Crew's short sleeved cashmere tee?

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    5. No - I don't think crewnecks are mumsy - I have some and quite love them, though the best neckline for me is more of a scoop neck.. I think this one hit me eye and seemed to make me look even bustier than I am, which is why I said that. It is the short sleeved tee. The black version doesn't seem to do it as much to me? I don't know - probably my own perception!

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    6. Don't mind me, I love blue ;) If you don't feel good in it, I agree it's best to get rid of it.

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    7. I should have sent it to you! I will no better next time!

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  2. As always, thought provoking and entertaining!

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    1. Thanks Julie! Am excited to read your upcoming post on wardrobes!

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  3. Good post!

    One of my fashion dilemmas is distinguishing consistent personal style from a fashion rut. Sometimes biting into a little sartorial candy is the only way to tell the difference. Case in point: the Crewlet revival of the hummingbird/botanical print. I *never* wear liight blue, and I promised myself that I'd avoid pastels, because they remain unworn. But this one, I might bite. Did you say that you'd order the trousers?

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    1. No pants, but I have ordered the skirt to try after Gigi did her review, as I loved that it was unlined cotton. We shall see about that one! I was imagining wearing it very plainly. I loved the print last summer and could never catch it! I wouldn't have liked to pay $300 for it last summer and then see it at the factory site for $60!

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    2. Just as you posted never compare I found myself following your lead and ordered the skirt to try. Cotton works better for my lifestyle and I have several Tippis I can wear with it. I also have the minaudiere and wouldn't it be fun to wear that combo in the grocery (as I leaf through my coupons)? Ha ha. Keep us posted on how the skirt works out for you. Can I borrow your team to help me get dressed in the mornings?

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    3. That's not compare Marie, that's sistah's helping each other! I love that print! Wish they would ressurect the old giverny print in cotton! I mentioned that to Dani today!

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    4. I LOVE the hummingbird print, and also ordered this skirt (and hi!! It feels nice to comment again!) It just came today, and since I didn't get a chance to try on, I guessed at the size. I never wear pencil skirts, but I couldn't let this one go. I think the size is right, but it is way sexier than the full skirts I am used to. I would guess that sizing up may help me feel "less sexy" but then would it be mumsy? It is a beautiful skirt, certainly overpriced, but beautiful and unique.

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    5. I have been all over the place lately on their sizing (not sure if it's me or JC). if it fits in waist okay and is slightly baggy on the side, I'll just get it altered. I have been awful about alterations and need to start! did you find $50 over-priced? Oh now I am worried that is not going to be as nice as I'd hoped!

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    6. Wendy, the fabric is lovely, and like you, I also like that it is not lined. Won't be able to wear it with tights, but it is perfect for spring and summer! I have a bone to pick with the stitching though, as it is visible right under the waist. Since I ordered it over the phone, I didn't have a chance to look the skirt over before purchasing. I think it's very "you"!

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  4. HOORAY!!!! We are alive for so short of a time...bloody lighten up and live. Thanks for the sanity stick whack- I needed it.

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    1. Well I must have too, cause that quote gave me a definite whack!

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  5. Fab post, Wendy. I try to never compare myself with anyone, but it's hard sometimes. I struggle with wardrobe boredom at this time of year.... I'm sort of sick of my summer clothes, but will still need them for another month or two. I really don't want to buy any more summer stuff, though.
    I really love that blue sweater you got rid of - lovely colour on you. I don't think it looks mumsy at all, but I guess you didn't feel good in it?

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    1. It's funny, I just never felt good in it, but I kept the matching cardigan!

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  6. Good reminder not to compare. Before, if we played that game, we just had that glamazon in the neighbourhood with whom to compare ourselves; now, thanks to the web, we have all of the glamazons on the planet!

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    1. Jen - you are so right! And then there are all the blogs where they do have a team!

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    2. We need a team too! Dibs on one of those fellows who holds the umbrella over one's head when it rains.

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    3. Oh I want that guy. And the guy who always has flats "in case" and champagne "in case"

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  7. Good post Wendy. I remember seeing photos from one of those blogger conferences a few years ago, and the attendee (cannot remember who it was) was pointing out that there were very definite trends in dressing amongst bloggers, that weren't out in the 'real' world. Obviously the blogs and bloggers were influencing one another. It's a bit like you've said - what suits one, doesn't necessarily suit another. I have succumbed once to something that a blogger posted that looked great on her, and I thought would work with me. It didn't. It was a sticky-out skirt, and I just don't really like sticky-out skirts. It should have gone back to anthropologie, but I kept it thinking it would work if I did something different - different top/ shoes etc, as it's a nice skirt. It hasn't. Every time i put it on, I take it off again... I really should ditch it as I don't think I'll ever wear it. So lesson learnt, and agree with you that something can look great on someone else and not work for you at all!

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    1. The history of my closet has been thinking that I can wear things that I cannot. I am getting better, but I do not like a bad purchase now as it just makes me feel like that was money that could have bought a book or wine! As for bloggers, there are some of the "professional sites" that dress like magazine mannequins - they do not seem like they are living in the real world!

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  8. Hear hear! I think we all needed a reminder to lighten up a bit and just have some fun! I have been thinking the same thing - if we are all following the same style guide, must-have list of investment pieces, and whatever other list of essentials, then we would all end up looking the same. Time to break out of the mold!

    Thanks for another excellent post, Wendy, I loved reading this!

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    1. I just want to love my clothes. I don't need anyone else to love them, but I need to! I was interested to see pics of Carolina Herrera's home. Her style is so minimalist if, but her home - wowza! What fun she is having at home!

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    2. Wendy, the first two lines is what my husband just said to me! Now I can tell him he is wise, and you can add to your resume being quoted by a prominent husband :)

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    3. That you do! He is terribly good looking :-)

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  9. I totally agree with you on not comparing yourself to others. Like you said, if you don't want to covet something; don't look. It's the same thing in comparing yourself to others online, then don't look either. But it's so hard not too look AND compare. I think it's only natural to compare ourselves to others, so how do we go against human nature? Logically, we all know how detrimental it is compare ourselves to others but it feels so natural emotionally. Something I think about on my long commutes during the week.

    I bought the Hummingbird skirt and scarf. I loved the print last year but for that price range, I wasn't going to bite. The factory version of the skirt is very nice. I can think of five tippis to go with it already. I think it's ok to jump on the bandwagon on some items every now and then, but quite a different matter if you're waiting for trends to start before you start buying. You have a personal style a lot of the times, but sprinkling it with some trends is completely fine too! Great post, yet again, Wendy!

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    1. I hope you write a post on your hummingbird skirt. That shade of blue will look divine with your hair color and complexion! Ok, will stop typing. Been a long day with young kids...

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    2. Thanks Wendy! If the skirt looks good I will definitely post! I think it is especially natural for women - my husband does not engage in that as much, and for sure not with clothes! I think we always end up feeling less when we do. I am also honestly at the point where I see some things as trends, others as just nice fun items. I don't think we would find the hummingbird skirt trendy at all if it fits good - it will be just a lovely spring/summer puck me up for years to come!

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  10. Fabulous post!! There is a reason I don't post pictures of my wardrobe...I always break those dumb ass rules and as an Image Consultant , should be shot for it. But there it is :-)) I love that quote. I think it is the most prevalent poison women serve themselves these days and shouldn't. Thank you Wendy, for so eloquently saying what needs to be said. And BTW...inexpensive doesn't always translate to mean cheap. I own $30 items that look and function like couture for my wardrobe.

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    1. Thanks Jennifer! The one thing I am trying to avoid these days is looking like a sheep. I'd rather try and fail with some interesting things, regardless or price points, than be exactly the same as everyone else, if that makes sense?

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  11. Darling Wendy,

    We have just found you but love you already.

    However, you cannot fool us. We are absolutely certain that, dressed in that fabulous sequinned number (and the shades) you will be invited to every cocktail party on the continent. Truly wonderful. And, we are sure that you have the sparkling personality to match the frock!

    We cannot remember how we found you......possibly we went down the rabbit hole ....but we are so pleased to have arrived. If you want to get to know us, then we are only a click away.

    Cannot wait for the next post!

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    1. Hello Jane and Lance (are you both there and if yes, who types? My silly mind always goes to these questions...)

      Many thanks! I am glad you found me and I am off to find you!

      I'm not going to lie, I am pretty sure I could get into any bar in NYC with that outfit! I'm not sure what would happen to me inside, but I am convinced it would be fun while it lasts!!

      As for rabbit holes, I am convinced that there are secret doors everywhere, but my daughter tells me that they are called links... she is very proper....

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  12. Love this one Wendy. I too have a blue sweater that I really want to like but as soon as I put it on I feel like my mother. She is and was a lovely woman but she is also tiny and five foot three to my big and five foot seven so not a good idea for me. May have to part with it soon to make room in my closet.

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    1. Those are frustrating things aren't they? I still struggle to get let go of things that cost money...

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  13. Wonderful post and sage advice. Thank you, Wendy.

    Bonnie

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  14. Another great post!
    So glad you are lighening up a bit on the fun shopping. Cant wait to think what you say about the hummingbird print skirt:). The print never really spoke to me,but i might get the clutch at the outlet.

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  15. I have loved, loved this post Wendy. Thank you for writing this... It will stay in my mind for a while!

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    1. Thanks Steph! I keep thinking of how comparison likely leads to many social ills, not the least of which is over-shopping!

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    2. This is so true Wendy! And comparison usually start on a very early stage/age...

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  16. There is always someone prettier/richer/thinner/more stylish, but staying true to oneself while borrowing ideas from other admired women makes more sense than constantly measuring. Love that sequin dress! I'm headed to a bz party dinner tonight for which the dress is "beach". What?? So, white jeans and tunic, Jack Rogers for me and no comparisons!

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    1. Oh good reminder - I want to try a pair of jack rogers when I am in FLA! beach dress - a kind of wear that has never been put on an invitation where I live!

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  17. Hi Wendy, sorry I'm late laptop in for yet another repair so must phone it in. First things first Monoprix a big hit and love that near midnight blue. Dressing for men is easy as pie unless you take a dandy approach and then it actually becomes fashion. While dandyism is not my thing, I do find it interesting, very worthwhile if done with panache, and supports fine tailoring which I hope never goes away.
    My woolen wardrobe was ravaged by moths 3 years ago so I'm slowly rebuilding. I have all the essentials for those frantic last minute calls I occasionlly get from a gal who needs a plus 1 (bennies open to negotiation on favourable terms).

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    1. Oh hate the laptop on fritz! And moths! It's like a plague of locusts! You are living the life of Riley! Are you sure you aren't living in a mansion on Long Island?

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  18. http://t.today.com/health/stop-obsessing-women-waste-2-weeks-year-their-appearance-today-2D12104866

    This is an article on how much time women spend primping themselves. Reminded me of this post, Wendy

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  19. I enjoyed this post. I'm not sure how it's been communicated and accepted by so many of us, that we need to be perfect. A few months ago at a dinner, a friend said to me, "You need to stop putting yourself down." Even though I was taken aback initially, I recognized that she was absolutely right. I guess it is a good thing in life to want to do better and be better, but I for one need to stop being my own worst critic. Sometimes the comparison is between oneself and the idealized version of oneself. I think a little lightening up is in order!

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    1. Teacups - you are right on! How many of us have a self-deprecating type of humour? I really am working so hard to stop that and you are so right about the idealized version of oneself. I have been anything from a 0 to a 10 and there was no difference - I was still hard on myself!

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  20. Wendy, this post was what it took to get me out of my recent "lurkdom" and it was exactly what I needed. I have been struggling with these comparisons, not only from a looks perspective but other things as I am going through a less than ideal moment, so thank you for reminding me! There is a way in which we are cosmically connected, my dear fellow writer, and I cherish it. My apologies for my absence, Ive been reading along but lagged behind on the comments. It feels nice to be part of the discussion again.

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    1. Oh, and if you don't feel I'm meddling, I have some suggestions after browsing your website. Feel free to shoot me an email if that interests you! (can't wait for your book, already hooked on the mystery of it all!)

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    2. Hi AB - most definitely interested in the advice - as I have said, I am just getting starting down the road so the more free advice I get the better it will be!!!

      I hear you on the less than ideal moment! All of my clothes are too tight! The yoga is going well, but not enough cardio! The funny thing is that I plan to kickstart the cardio at Disney, since we will be walking 5 to 7 miles every day if previous experience bears out!!!

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    3. Well, tight clothes or not, you look smashing! I think Florida is going to be a nice change from the snow. I get lazy here in our tropical weather if the sun is not out, what a spoiled brat I am! Though in my defense, I did grow up in cold cold winters!

      Keep your eyes peeled for an email from me later on today. Off to take another quick look at your site so I can send the advice over. But I am comfortable saying here that I love the design and colors, and that my friend the plant is luring in the background of one of your self portraits! :-)

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    4. Oh awesome! I need real pictures taken!

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  21. Lovely post, Wendy! I agree that we should all be true to who we are, within our means. For many of us, that means playing around with different looks, finding what works, and then starting all over again! Thank God! Otherwise it would all be so boring. I always thought fashion should be fun!

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    1. Rebecca - you are so right! I was thinking the same could be said of other people's houses, jobs, marriages, etc. We have to be content with our lot and if we are not, not beat ourselves up but change what's not working!

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  22. Wise words, madam (hmmm...hankering after that hummingbird skirt now...doh! This is hard!)

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    1. well I will be curious to see what I think! It is worth a try as I adore birds...

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  23. Guilty as charged your honor on the comparison problem. My closet is bursting at the seams. I have always loved fashion and being best dressed but it has now almost come time for a intervention.
    I blame it on these issues:
    1. My iPhone. My phone allows me to check sites at anytime to shop not just on a day off at home. This is the number 1 reason.
    2. A change in my weight. Thankfully a weight loss necesitated a need to purchase new clothes as nothing fit.
    3. Bloggers and website emails. (See #1)
    4. Being a Leo.
    5. Cause I love shopping and a bargain.
    I could go on and beat myself up for a lack of self control. I have reined it in a bit lately compared to last year but I still could go further without too much depression. That being said, I like that hummingbird/botanical print and probably will end up with a piece of it before it is all over. Maybe the pants or shorts. I hope the skirt works for you! Is there any shopping trip planned during your Disney vacation? If so pack light so there will be room to bring home all of your treasures.

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    1. Hi SC - I do not think you have a comparison problem (a Leo one maybe..)

      I think comparisons in shopping or other parts of our lives are problems if we are trying to keep up or be like someone else who we think has it more together. Girl, I think you got it all going on! We have 2 hours set aside at the Mall at the Millenia in Orlando. Very tight schedule, thank god!

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Kindness is a virtue...