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Guest Post: Inspiration

It’s the first Tuesday of the month and that means another guest post from the multi-talented Glenda Harrison. In the photos included with the post Glenda is wearing my all-time favorite color combination – black and white. She is wearing her white top off her shoulders with a black circle skirt. Her tan, black & white sandals and black & white bucket bag with brown and orange accents (which  she explains below) work really well with her outfit choice. As someone who is fascinated with bridges I can see the link to the designer’s inspiration of her creation. The full skirt of the dreamy mixed-media gown is sort of an off white color and the material looks to me like organza. The unique grayish bodice (reminiscent of bridge suspenders), rises from the skirt in what appears to be individual textured strands in varying lengths.

One of the most fascinating aspects of being a fashion writer is when I am given the opportunity to ask the designers where they draw their inspiration from, or, what inspired them for the collection? I enjoy watching their faces light-up as they explain, in detail, how the collection came about. Back in March, I attended the FIDM Debut 2015 runway show during Palm Springs Fashion Week. I am always thrilled to see new talent emerge into the spotlight. I was particularly intrigued by designer, Leetal Platt. Leetal’s collection was called Suspend/Support. Her inspiration came from seeing suspension bridges, peeking through a foggy night. Isn’t that wild!? The last photo in this post is an image from Leetal’s collection. Immediately you’ll see the connection – a damp foggy night, and through the moon’s illumination, you spot a lone bridge in the distance. Can you picture it? Very clever, indeed.

When discussing the subject of inspiration, some believe it’s set aside specifically for the creative types. I wonder if this is true. I do believe creative people are more open-minded, vulnerable, and in tune with themselves and their surroundings. Can’t we all possess this quality? I believe so. The key to living an inspired life is knowing thyself. When you know yourself, you trust your instincts, or what some say…trusting your gut (that feeling from deep within). You’ll no longer feel the need to mimic what others are doing because you’ll feel confident in yourself. Click to Tweet —> Knowing yourself allows you to paint a true picture of who you are in every part of your life. You’re open to new ideas, and the world around you. When you have an idea or thought, you won’t be afraid to act on it. You take pride in your new idea. You’ll take ownership of it because it is entirely yours; which makes it even more special and unique.

Glenda posing in a three quarter standing view
For today’s look, I am inspired by my latest acquisition – a tassel beaded bucket bag, along with the Navajo influences in Southern California. Typically I live by the rule of wearing one statement piece at a time. However, with this look, I trusted my gut and went with two – my sandals and handbag – both beaded and both give a nod to the Native American culture. You’ll see by pairing the two statement pieces with solid garments in complimenting tones, the outfit, though subtle in details, somehow manages to give a gentle punch of individuality.

Outfit Details: Beaded Tassel Handbag (Sold Out. See the Antik Batik at Net-a-Porter); Nine West Vintage America Sandals (Check out the Vanessa Beaded Ankle Cuff Sandal at Nordstrom, or huge variety of beaded sandals on Shopstyle. Check out the Yates Tribal Beaded by Sam Edelman); Skirt: H&M (old); Off the Should Tee: Ann Taylor Loft, Basic Sunglasses: Ann Taylor Loft

Black & white bucket bag with tan & orange tassels and hints of brown .

Glenda posing in a frontal standing view.

Glenda posing in a three-quarter sitting view.

Another sitting view rear shot of Glenda's shoulders.Shot of sandals and bag.Frontal view of the strapless top.Another frontal view.

The design in this photo is from designer, Leetal Platt from FIDM.
The design in this photo is from designer, Leetal Platt from FIDM.

Quite often I am inspired by accessories…the color, shape, era, the feeling I get when I see or touch it. Tell me friends, where do you get your fashion inspiration? Click to Tweet —>Where ever your inspiration comes from, trust your gut. Know you are representing you – which is the true meaning of style{wink}

“Be Yourself. Everyone Else Is Already Taken.” ~ofter attributed to Oscar Wilde

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Guest Post: The Rancher

 The Rancher by Glenda Harrison

The following article is being republished with permission from Glenda Harrison who has graciously agreed to collaborate with me so that I could share her phenomenal style with my readers. For those of you who cannot see I will add a detailed description in the Alt Text on the first picture. Enjoy!

Navy blue midi dress is sleveless with an empireist. Natural straw  flappy hat has a navy band that complements the dress. The silver sandals are thong styled with straps that wrap around the ankles.  A beautifully pulled together look.Accessories shouldn’t be viewed as simply filler pieces, rather, they are, in themselves, major players in the game of Fashion. One bad move and your accessories can cause you to lose the game. Make the correct play and you’re winning (as Charlie Sheen would say).

My love affair with accessorizing began at an early age. As a young girl, I enjoyed our annual visits to rural Arkansas to visit my grandparents. My mother’s father was a reverend, which meant my grandmother was the first lady of the church. Even in rural America, being the first lady required careful attention to one’s wardrobe. In her bedroom she kept an arsenal of jewelry, hats, scarves and handbags. Come summer, when we visited, my grandmother would go into her private collection and bring out a wide assortment of pieces for her grand-daughters to take. Though there were many offspring, myself and one other cousin named Gina were the two who found such a profound thrill in having our pick from our grandmother’s collection.

Decades later, accessories still remain a vital part of my wardrobe oeuvre. Often times I come across a piece so succinct to my lifestyle, I can close my eyes and visualize how it will meld into my life. Such is the case for the rancher I recently purchased from Anthropologie. Perched on a rack in my bedroom, though I’ve only had the hat for a little over two weeks, the topper has already made two appearances on the blog (the first time seen on Loud & Clear). Like the other accessories and items in my wardrobe, the rancher has an interesting point of view while still managing to remain polite without over-stepping its boundaries. When I dawn this headpiece I feel adventurous, clever, earthy, and bold in a quiet sort of way. But most importantly, I feel like Glenda. Enjoy!

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Today’s Look – Dressed in a navy blue, 100% linen dress, the Rancher manages to capture the true essence of this laid-back but adventurous ensemble. In this outfit I am reminded of the great Australian Outback or the Chagra of Ecuador (Ecuadorian cowboys). The voluminous dress and hat make a bold statement, so I decided to decorate only one arm with a variety of sterling silver bangles. The other arm I chose to leave bare with only a simple quartz ring on a finger. With the wide brimmed hat, I wanted the earrings and necklaces to have a quiet voice – simple silver hoops and delicate chain necklaces are all that is needed. On my feet, the earthy vibe continues with a pair of silver sandals to compliment the jewelry and a nice contrast against the deep navy blue.

Outfit Details – Abroad Rancher: Anthropologie; Dress was purchased via Etsy (Options HERE); Silver bangles purchased in Mexico; Quartz ring purchased in Solvang, California;  Mirrored Silver Sandals: Zara (Old but options on Shopstyle)

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Glenda’s Accessorizing Secrets:

(Remember, these secrets are how I choose to dress myself)

  1. It is not necessary to accessorize every part of the body or outfit. Meaning, too many pieces (belt, hat, scarf, gloves, jewelry, etc) worn at the same time make for an over-produced and often junky outfit.
  2. Since I’m petite, I only make one bold accessory statement at a time. In this case, it’s the hat. I would never wear the hat, a chunky necklace, bold earrings and large sunnies together.
  3. Use the 2 or 3 color rule when dressing. Meaning, when wearing a multi-colored dress, it isn’t necessary to wear accessories that match every color in the dress. If the dress is bold, then keep your accessories simple by selecting one color to coordinate with. Or, stick with the metals.
  4. Accessories come in a wide range of prices – from inexpensive to very expensive. I always try to seek out quality. Poorly made pieces will cheapen the overall look of an outfit.

Dressed for the great outdoors, I enjoyed a warm and sunny afternoon of shopping and lunch in one of our beautiful outdoor shopping plazas. My Rancher provided me with the sun coverage I needed, but most importantly, I felt like my entire look was quintessential Glenda and a concise representation to the California way of living{wink}

Glenda has such fabulous style and when you get to know her you can comprehend the true artistry of style and how it really is so much more than what or how you wear your wardrobe. When you have a chance you can get to know Glenda better by visiting her blog So What to Twenty.

Glenda, thank you for allowing me to showcase your personal style on my blog and I look forward to sharing more articles with my readership. ~Steph

“Don’t walk in front of me, I may not follow.  Don’t walk behind me, I may not lead. Walk beside me and be my friend.” ~Albert Camus