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It’s Harvest Season

En Plein Air

Oct_2013_Fall at Northpointe1 (14)French is one of my favorite languages and though I am not a romantic, whenever I hear someone speaking in French images of Paris flit through my mind. In the open air is the English translation of En Plein Air the title of Pantone’s Spring 2015 Fashion Color Report.

The subject of color, as it relates to blind and vision impaired people can be a topic that strikes a nerve in some circles. However the outcome of an informal poll of my blind friends indicates that color is an important aspect of our world that cannot be easily dismissed. Since fashion, trends dictate garment styles and color palettes, these same friends reported that they enjoy being current.

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Admittedly it is difficult explaining the abstract concept of color to someone who has never seen it but I think the opportunity exists for us to step up to this challenge. Another area where technology can help create a more inclusive environment would be on color identifier apps available on Android and the iPhone. While the apps aren’t perfect, in time I believe their performance will improve to allow people the confidence in knowing they’ve chosen the right color.

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Minimalistic is the inspiration within The Spring 2015 Fashion Color Report. I like this intro to the report “This season, cooler and softer color choices with subtle warm tones follow a en plein air theme, taking a cue from nature.”

Over the next couple of weeks I’ll go into more detail on the 2015 colors but for now let’s talk about fall.

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It seems like only yesterday we here on the east coast were yearning for spring to come after enduring a horrid winter. Not unlike the colorful, aromatic, budding blossoms of spring, the turning leaves of fall ushers in a symphony of brilliant warm, rich, oranges, yellows and reds. When I think of autumn I can almost smell delicious hot cider, pumpkin spice and my favorite scent of the season is a crackling wood burning bon fire.

In the autumn of 2013 I was very fortunate to snap some lovely photos of the landscape where I lived. Included in today’s post are the three pictures:

  • Golden colored treetops against a puffy white cloud-covered, blue sky
  • Radiant fuchsia bush
  • Fuchsia bush next to a bright gold tree

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The temperature is considerably cooler than summer yet it is welcome. I like to take advantage of autumn’s cooler weather to layer my clothing with a light jacket, sweater or wrap. I’ve included photos of an outfit I recently wore to the doctors and this time I remembered to include my white cane and Checkered Eye pin because I never leave home without them. Who says one can’t be stylish with a white cane? Following are descriptions of my ensemble:

  • Kohl’s – Rock & Republic Racerback Henley Sleeveless Button-Front top in Cayenne. This top is a mixed-media design with a combined lightweight crepe front and jersey back. It features a raw-edge trim, 3-button placket, 2-pocket, trendy drop-tail hem and shirred racerback.
  • Kohl’s – Vera Wang Mineral-Washed Skimmer Zip Leggings (similar HERE). Vera Wang leggings are the bomb. These navy leggings were originally $40+ but I got them on sale for under $20. The elastic waistband makes for comfortable wear and the zipper detailing at the ankle gives them that little extra oomph.
  • Roxy Jean blue denim jacket. This jacket was given to me several years ago (thank you Margie) and it’s one of my favorite jackets.
  • 6pm.com – Nine West leopard print synthetic snake-skin pointy toe mid stacked heel pumps (similar HERE). I love my heels and as long as there is breath in my body I will continue to wear them. The neutral color of these pumps lets me pair them with a multitude of outfits from beige & white, to navy, red, black or green, the possibilities are endless.

“Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons.” ~Jim Bishop

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Style Word Association Part II

Boho, Glam & Casual Chic

Headshot of me and my "Edgy" hair.As promised in today’s post (a continuation from last week) I will talk about the 3 remaining styles (boho, glamorous and casual chic) referenced on Stitch Fix. To refresh your memory below are the 7 styles with one word that comes to my mind whenever I think of each style:

  1. Preppy – The Hamptons
  2. Romantic – Feminine
  3. Classic – Timeless
  4. Edgy – Risk-takers
  5. Bohemian Chic – Free Spirited
  6. Glamorous – Hollywood
  7. Casual Chic – Relaxed

I had so much fun with last week’s post that the very next day I was feeling “Edgy” and decided to dress the part. Now I’m not about spikes, studs or combat boots but when I turned 35 I did something so counter to my personality for me it was considered radical. Yup, I got a tattoo, leather biker jacket, and I was gonna sign up to learn how to ride a motorcycle but then I just settled for leasing my first new car (a five speed). No one could tell me I wasn’t cool – well no one except for my kids – and all because I had this thing for obeying the speed limit. Before I get into today’s three styles I wanted to take a quick moment to review my “Edgy” look:

  • St. John’s Bay White Keyhole V-Neck Tee (old) JC Penney’s
  • Style & Co. Dark Rinse Skinny Jeans Macy’s
  • Black Faux-Suede Jennifer Lopez Moto Jacket (similar) Kohl’s
  • Black Faux-Suede Rampage Kavi Wedge Mules DSW
  • Silver Accessories: Short pendant necklace on leather strap, medallion-like drop earrings, chain bracelets, 2 rings
  • Asymmetrical/tousled pixie cut wig (similar) wigs.com

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My hair was the edgiest part of my outfit and to test it out I posted a picture on Facebook and got all kinds of “I love your hair” comments. I like the way the hair falls across my left eye and has a tousled look on top (I feel radical whenever I wear it). Ok enough with edgy let’s move on to boho.

As a child in the 60s I remember the whole love, peace, flower children movement. While the bohemian style of today is not quite as hippie-like as in yesteryear whenever I hear boho it conjures up thoughts of a free-spirited, artsy, eclectic type individual. I have a few friends who fit into this category and they are the most creative, intelligent, easygoing, outgoing people with whom everyone wants to be around.

The boho style is carefree. Think layers and mix assorted textures like a tank or tee with a fringed cover-up or gauzy kimono. The look can be as simple as a breezy ethnic-inspired print dress, sandals and a hat. Prints range from paisley, florals, to fashionable and colorful patterns.

Boho outfit from Pinterest
Pinterest Boho

Pinterest has an endless supply of photos and information on anything under the sun. The boho look I selected from Pinterest features cutoff blue jean shorts, a peasant top complete with tassels, sandals, fringed handbag, colorful tribal print earrings, gold ring with turquoise stone and a brass cuff bracelet with turquoise, pink and brown beads.

Grace Kelly, Katherine Hepburn, Lena Horne, Lauren Bacall, Dorothy Dandridge, Lana Turner, Ava Gardner and Diahann Caroll are among the most glamorous women to grace the silver screen. Glamorous to me is Hollywood and I swear I can hear Madonna singing Vogue in the background.

Glamorous Pinterest
Pinterest Glamorous

Sticking with the summer theme, the glamorous look also has shorts and sandals but it’s the colors and color coordination that makes this outfit look classy. I could see myself adding a summer hat but that’s just me.

The cuffed shorts, tote handbag, sandals and oversized sunglasses are all in shades of tan. The red tank with tiny white polka dots appears to be lace across the upper back and the gold jewelry – bracelet and ring (with the exception of the hoop earrings) also picks up the red of the tank in the stone on the ring and portions of the bracelet. The look is casual elegance and not overdone.

Casual Chic is that effortless yet very well pulled together look. For example a color coordinated jogging suit with coordinating running or other cute shoes, nice handbag and perhaps a scarf and don’t forget the I don’t care attitude.

Casual Chic Pinterest
Pinterest Casual Chic

In the casual chic picture are white jeans paired with a tan dolman sleeved loose fitting top, pink printed scarf, pink watch, gold/tan sandals and gold/tan clutch.

The other day a friend of mine sent me an email stating how much she liked a bit I wrote on style in last week’s post and I thought I’d end this one with that thought. Here goes:

Style like art, is a form of self-expression and communication which encompasses the whole person. An extension of oneself, style begins on the inside with our personality, lifestyle, values, likes, dislikes, mannerisms and it permeates all areas of our life. ~Steph

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Glamming it up in 5 Easy Steps

Bare Face, Concealer, Foundation
Bare Face, Concealer, Foundation

I began wearing makeup in my late teens and it wasn’t until my early twenties that I went to my first professional makeup consultation. At this visit, I picked up some tips on makeup application and cosmetics appropriate for my skin.

Fast forward 30+ years later I’m now legally blind, use a white cane, and I still wear makeup and dress stylishly. When I began losing my eyesight doing makeup was challenging, however, I found ways to adapt and want to share 5 easy steps.

Step 1 – In the first photo collage my face has been cleansed and I’m prepared to apply my concealer. The concealer helps to minimize the appearance of dark circles under my eyes. Since the skin under the eyes is very thin and fragile I gently pat on the concealer with my fingertips until it is evenly blended.

Step 2 – I use mineral foundation because I find it very easy to use a foundation brush to apply, the coverage is excellent, and it isn’t heavy. To apply I simply dip my brush into the minerals, tap off any excess, then in a circular motion I apply to all the areas of my face. The third picture in the first photo collage shows my face after the concealer and foundation application.

Step 3 – Since I still have limited vision and I’ve been wearing makeup all my adult life, I am able to use eyebrow stencils to enhance my sparse brows. After I’ve filled them in I use a brow brush to soften the look. The first picture in the second photo collage shows my completed eyebrows.

Step 4 – I have small eyes and liner makes a huge difference in my appearance as it opens the eyes. I use a dark blue kohl eyeliner pencil to outline the eyes along the lash line. This is one of those adjustments I had to make because I was no longer able to use liquid eyeliner but with patience and a lot of practice I learned how to line my eyelid. After I apply my eyeliner I use black mascara only on my upper lashes as I haven’t been able to master putting it on the lower lashes without looking like a raccoon.

Step 5 – The final step is applying lip color. In the final photo, I am wearing a bright red lipstick although in the summer I tend towards lighter shades of nude, corals and pinks.

One final recommendation is the KISS (Keep It So Simple) principle. Makeup, like art, is a form of self-expression and makeup application can be learned by anyone desiring to explore this art form.

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How Do I Tie Thee? Let Me Count The Ways

6 Ways To Tie The Oblong Scarf

Hinge Patchwork Print Scarf. Bold patterns intensify the graphic appeal of a gauzy, fringe-trimmed scarf. 28 inches wide by 76 inches long. 100 percent wool. Colors are shades of teal and white.
Hinge Patchwork Print Scarf Nordstrom

I think I was in my mid to late 20’s when I wore my first oblong scarf. I bought it to go along with this navy lightweight knit sleeveless dress and matching sweater outfit. The scarf had several shades of blue including a navy identical to my outfit. I fell in love.

While I no longer have that first scarf I have since collected a number of scarves in different colors, shapes, textures and some even have embellishments.

Infinity scarves, like the name implies, have no end. These endless loop scarves, like their predecessors, come in differing lengths, colors, fabrics, and textures.

I really like warm cozy scarves however with the onset of ‘private summers’ I’d have to rip them off. I salute women who can wear them in the summer because I’d probably burst into flames.

How Do You Tie Or Wear An Oblong Scarf?

Scarves are an excellent accessory that can be worn with or in place of necklaces. And you can’t beat the versatility. I’m going to give you 6 ideas on how to wear/tie these beauties:

  1. Women's Fringed Infinity Scarf loose knit 100 percent acrylic with fringes. Coral colored. www.lifeisgood.com
    Women’s Fringed Infinity Scarf
    www.lifeisgood.com

    Drape the scarf around your neck and allow it to hang loose without tying.

  2. Drape scarf around your neck, take one end, cross over your body to flip the end over your shoulder, and allow it to hang loose without tying. You can also add a pretty brooch where the scarf overlaps.
  3. Drape the scarf around your neck and tie the ends in a loose single knot and allow it to hang loose.
  4. Hold the scarf lengthwise in front of you, bring it to your neck. Drape it over your shoulders so the ends drape down your back. This looks especially nice with a dress or a dressy pants suit.
  5. Hold the scarf lengthwise in front of you, bring it to your neck. Drape it over your shoulders then take each end and cross them in the back. Bring the ends to the front. You can leave the loop on your neck or pull it for slack to let it hang a little loose.
  6. Fold the scarf lengthwise, drape around your neck, take the loose ends and place them in the loop. You can leave the loop loose or pull the loose ends to bring it closer to your neck. If I have a long enough scarf I like to take one of the loose ends and fling it over one or both shoulders.

There are many ways to wear scarves and over the course of the next couple of weeks, I will share some interesting ways to use them that you might not have considered.