By Suzy Gibson
As I began my journey in the blogger world, I did not realize it would catapult me to the “fashion guru” in my office. Co-workers stopping by my office and asking for my opinion regarding a piece of clothing and how to style it; telling me what they liked about the last post; I have even met a co-worker on a Saturday and helped her shop (literally had to lock her in the dressing room and throw clothes at her). But the last thing that happened that made me accept my new title, is a co-worker asked my advice about a t-shirt dress. I know, I know, you are thinking “So what? How easy is it to wear a t-shirt dress?”
LaChez’ (pronounced LaShay) has lost almost 100 pounds. She has dedicated herself to a healthy lifestyle, but is struggling finding a comfortable place with all of it. As she sat in my office describing the t-shirt dress, we began talking about her journey. With tears in her eyes, LaChez’ told me “I have always hidden behind my clothes, and I don’t know how to adopt this new body and shape.” She asked for my help, and said “I know you’ll be honest.” As LaChez’ was talking, it was all I could do not to jump out of my chair and hug her, for two reasons: One – She trusts me enough to let me help her on something so personal, and two – PROJECT!!!!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE to help people, especially with fashion!
There goes that hamster again, spinning on her wheel in my brain. What could I do to help my LaChez’? So I decided to hit up my dealer, Good Will (Huh??? What did you think I was talking about? FOCUS PEOPLE). As I perused the store, I happened upon a simple green dress, YES!!! ACTIVATE THE “FASHION GURU” PROJECT!!!!!! I will show LaChez’ exactly what I do so she can do it, too!
Phase One: Hand wash that sucker in hot water with plenty of soap and Unstoppables. I love the scent of Unstoppables, but HATE the price. Thank you, Procter and FREAKIN Gamble, for making a product I can’t live without.
Phase Two: Get on Pinterest and start collecting ideas. Now, you may be thinking that I hit the store and bought accessories to style the dress, but you would be wrong! I like the challenge of finding what I already have and using it in different ways, enter PINTEREST. If you do not have a Pinterest, I highly encourage you to get one. And I insist you follow our board, foreverfiftyone (shameless plug).
Phase Three: Create as many looks as possible using the green dress and force LaChez’ to look at every photo as I describe in detail the genius ideas I came up with as I ignore her eye-rolling and heavy sighs.
The title of this post is called Rescue Me. You may be thinking “Suzy is pretty full of herself, isn’t she?” I didn’t title the post Rescue Me because I think I rescued LaChez’, she did that all by herself by making life-changing healthy choices. All I rescued was a cool green dress at Good Will. I like to think that on this journey called middle-age, we have people in our lives who rescue us. I am rescued everyday by my girlfriends: a text from Lynn telling me our nail tech has bought her own business, moved and she will not stop until she finds her; Glenda trusting me enough to share the last days of her mother’s life with me; meeting Mara and Jennifer after yoga for a spinach salad, wine and much needed girlfriend time; Cathi-Jo telling me about her book club, inviting me to join, and rekindling my love of reading; Kim telling me “No, you may not wear that low-cut shirt, take it off right now.” We all need these people in our lives; I need these people in my life! Friends, family, significant others, or even fur babies, rescue us just a little bit every day.
Here’s THE dress with all of the accessories. Laying out the pieces and taking pictures helps you remember what works and what doesn’t. This will go on my locked Pinterest Board, I can easily get to it when planning outfits and keeps me from using up all of my giga-mega-pixel-whatever space my phone keeps telling me I don’t have.
Look 1: Leopard Accessories/ Denim Jacket
ABOVE: Inspiration Photo
Avoid wearing too much animal print, because then you will be Peg Bundy. Use prints sparingly and never, EVER purchase leopard stretch pants, unless you want me to hunt you down.
Pre-children, Blake and I used to have the Annual Gibson Halloween Party. Oh LAWRDY, I went all out! That year’s theme was famous couples; can you guess who we are?
So, I mixed denim with a SKOSH of animal print. If you don’t understand this, refer to the Peg Bundy reference above.
Here is my true rescue, my fur-baby Scooter. When a tornado hit Piedmont, OK in May 2011, there were several animals that were lost. He showed up at a business in Piedmont and luckily found a foster. When I held him for the first time, he laid his head down on my shoulder and looked up at me with those big googly eyes, and I was hooked. His favorite things are Beggin Strips and all the mailboxes in my neighborhood.
I have been dying to incorporate my white Chanel purse. I picked this bad-boy up at a resale shop in Fort Worth.
Shopping Links for Look 1
Denim jackets, the mothership of accessories. I have about four of them. They are long, cropped, different cuts and zippers. Every time you shop, look for denim jackets, they go with everything!
Look 2: Hat/ Booties
ABOVE: Inspiration Photo
Some people are hat people, some are not. Mara and Marcie are hat people, me and Shelley, not so much. Not that we can’t rock a good hat, it’s just a choice that we do not gravitate to. However, I have a hat, and I have booties, let’s see how it will look with the green dress.
I liked the open-toe wedges with the hat better than the booties I had, though.
Shopping Links for Look 2
Hats at Target:
A cute bootie:
Black shoes, whether they are wedges, heels or flats should be a staple in your wardrobe. If you choose a heel, please walk in them before purchase! If the heel is so high that it changes your gait, they are not for you. You do not want to look like a drunk girl in Vegas trying not to tip over.
Look 3: Blazer/ Sneakers
A tailored blazer with a denim shirt underneath. Bring it up a notch with graphic heels or down a notch with kicks. Love, love, love!
Okay, I forgot the blazer part. My friend Lynn lives in a neighborhood I like to call Pleasantville. All the lawns are perfect: there are perfect cars in the driveways, and mommies with pony-tails, power walking in yoga pants with Racer Strollers. She lives in one of these houses with the perfect lawn and perfect garden which she works very hard on. This is what we call Porch Time. She provides the ambience and I drink her beer.
Shopping Link for Look 3
A classic blazer:
The Real-Real Behind the Scenes
This is LaChez’. She and I work together in the Child Abuse Prevention Arena. We travel together often, visiting communities that offer home visitation services for families and babies who are in need. Every year when I go to Alva, OK, I have to stop by this store, LaDeeDa. It has clothes for a woman of maturity but they are TRENDY! If you EVER get to western Oklahoma, you must plan to stop here, you will not regret it!
A Little Background Music
Fontella Bass is beautiful, and classy. Look at how amazing she looks in her black dress with the sequins detail, she gives me the chills!