Sunday, November 2, 2014

Playing With Clothes Part 4: I've learned a lot that is helpful


At this point I am at day 26 out of the 31 days of challenge for Evolve Your Style. Well, that is if you don't count the three I have skipped and need to come back to. They involve makeup - which I don't own - and a dress. The only dress I own at the moment is my Mother of the Groom dress which I am going to try to style for a cocktail party/fancy event assuming it still fits.

However, this is turning out to be the best money I ever spent on my appearance. As Mette says in her summary post at her interesting blog, Evolve Your Style - my reflections and a review, the closed Facebook group for this challenge is a friendly, kind and helpful one where you get great suggestions and develop a sense of community with women from around the world. In an odd coincidence, someone I actually know IRL here in Atlanta just joined too which was a nice surprise.

So I'm not ready to do a full summary but here are my favorite outfits from last week and some key learning so far.


Wear flowers day - dressed to head to a funeral unfortunately


Wear a jacket with jeans - my only jacket and ever present jeans on the way out to dinner




One of the surprising things I have learned that is very helpful is the idea of contrast level. I think that when people age and say they feel they are fading away it is because of this issue of changing contrast level. If I wear the same color combinations then my clothes will take center stage and make me fade away or look outdated. I have to laugh when I realize my Mom never felt that way about her appearance but she was a blonde who still had just a few white hairs when she was 93. So I didn't learn this at home, but you can learn more about contrast levels on Imogen Lampore's blog (Getting your value contrast levels right).
 
I used to have dark brown hair which meant I had a higher contrast level than I do now. So I could wear a bright red jacket with a black and white stripe dress, etc. and it looked fine. This group helped me realize that the overall affect of my mixed white and brown hair is more of a dark blonde look which means my contrast level is low medium and I need to wear outfits that have less contrast. Bright colors are still fine they just are mixed differently and are more in the secondary color range. For example the jacket above is a yellow green not a primary green.
 
Evidence of my current low medium contrast level
So I tried "wear flowers" another day when I wasn't constrained by the etiquette of funeral attire and mixed grays with black jeans for another low medium contrast look. That is a charcoal gray sweater - I'm having trouble with color accuracy in my selfies.
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Then there was style a skirt day and I took a chance on making a summer cotton skirt work for fall weather with this low medium contrast look. With tights it could work out but I'll probably keep it for warmer weather.
 
 
 
I haven't spent much money on this style challenge as my experimental purchases have mostly been from thrift shops. Yesterday I did buy a couple of sweaters that I am very happy with in terms of color and style. Shopping choices were easier with the knowledge I have gained as I passed by many items that appealed to me visually but wouldn't work with my contrast level.
 
Contrast level helps me understand in part why I didn't like the first outfit below although the color combination works and is something I have happily worn in the past. The second one is lower contrast in my opinion and I really felt good in it. I hope I have explained this correctly LOL.
 



 
 
 


11 comments:

  1. I like your "looks!" Great advice about the contrast. That is something I am struggling with.

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    1. Contrast can be a challenge! Hope the link helps you think it through.

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  2. I am on day 17 (or 18, I keep losing track) of the EYS challenge, and I agree it is a great value. I am finding it a lot of fun as well as being helpful. Regarding contrast value, even though I color my hair, I still find I need to change up some of my clothing tones as I get older, for a softer contrast. As to the EYS challenges, I'm thinking I may keep going on after the 31 days. I have a lot to learn. :)

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    1. I also have a lot to learn. How did I get to be 65 and not know how to dress myself for this phase of life!

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    2. Juhli, I'm with you on that one! I guess the problem for many of us is that we had to dress in a certain way for work, though I was able to wear smart trousers in most jobs. At weekends it was usually jeans and a t-shirt as a welcome change and, occasionally, smarter clothes for going out. Now that we're over 65 we can dress as we please and we're not used to that!

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    3. I so agree Sue. I was thinking about the last time I could wear whatever I wanted on week days and it was in college/grad school when I had zero money and time to spend on it. Some choices during middle school and high school but pretty strict dress codes. That was probably the last era in which I had fun with my clothes though.

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  3. Juhli, you are inspiring to your IRL EYS friend!

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    1. Thanks Sybil. It is fun seeing you in the Facebook group.

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  4. Great post, Juhli! We really learn a lot :)

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    1. I haven't been as brave as you have when trying the challenges! I think I'll have to do them again and push my comfort zone further.

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  5. You have done so well with this challenge! I love your candor and honesty with what you have tried and done. I am self taught in all these areas too--and continue to learn. Juhli, I think you would LOVE the book "Looking Good Every Day" by Nancy Nix Rice. Check it out on Amazon. I bought it for my Nook (because I have her older version) but just ordered it in hard copy because it is such a valuable tool to have--I needed to see the pictures better, write/make notes, etc.

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