Personal style types

Logo by SamAfter thinking about personal style last week, I thought I’d explore the topic in a little more depth today by looking at some of the most common style types. Each one of us is unique and it’s unlikely that you will fit cleanly into any one of these styles. Instead, you might take inspiration from more than one of them and by combining traits that resonate with you, identify your own personal style.

Sporty  This is the woman who feels at home in athleisure wear. She wants clothing that is casual, comfortable, and allows ease of movement. She might be seen wearing yoga pants, joggers, or leggings with a t-shirt or a hoodie. Her shoes will be sneakers or flats and her accessories minimal. 

Casual.  Similar to her sporty sister, the casual woman likes simple lines and designs. She is focused on comfort and her look is easy-going and relaxed. She wears jeans, t-shirts, sweaters, and sneakers or flat boots with minimal accessories.

Classic  The Classic woman chooses tailored garments in quality fabrics and timeless styles. Her menswear inspired look is polished and put-together. Her wardrobe will include blazers and pencil skirts in neutral colours. Her accessories are simple and complement her outfits.

Dramatic  This is the elegant woman who invests in quality pieces for her wardrobe. Her look is striking and sophisticated. She wears bold makeup, eye catching shoes, and statement jewelry.

Preppy  Originally inspired by North American prep school uniforms, this look includes khakis and chinos, polo and button-down shirts, pleated skirts, blazers, vests, stripes, plaids, and all things nautical. Loafers are a popular shoe choice. Accessories are simple and often involve pearls.

Bohemian  The flamboyant Boho style has a 1960s and early 70s hippie aesthetic. It has a loose, laid back vibe that includes flowing maxi dresses and long skirts in natural fabrics, earth tones, and ethnic prints. Garments are often embellished with fringes, beads, or feathers. Accessories include large brimmed hats, slouchy handbags, oversized scarves, wide belts, long necklaces, big rings, and chunky bracelets. This is a style that often appeals to the artistic non-conformist.

Artistic  The Artistic or Creative woman is another innovative individual who doesn’t mind being a bit unconventional. She wears unique outfits in a variety of bright, bold colours and prints. She also likes to play with unusual shapes, silhouettes, and textures. She wears bold jewelry and statement footwear.

Romantic  This is the woman who chooses soft, flowy garments with pretty, feminine details including ruffles, bows, and lace. She wears muted or pastel colours and floral prints. She likes delicate, traditional accessories and ballet flats.

Minimalist  The title refers to a particular style, not the number of clothes in this woman’s closet. The Minimalist likes a paired down look with clean simple lines. She most often wears classic neutral colours and chooses simple, sparse accessories.

This is by no means an exhaustive list. I wrote about Gentlewoman style in this post and the very trendy Coastal Grandmother style here. There are Grunge and Goth styles, but since they wouldn’t likely appeal to the demographic that usually reads this blog, I didn’t include them. Then there is the Eclectic woman. She loves to try new styles and combinations and mixes elements from many different styles to create one that is uniquely her own.

The photos that I’ve included are a very limited sampling of each style, but hopefully they are enough to give you an idea what each one looks like.

Do you see yourself somewhere in the list? As I mentioned in the introduction, you will likely fit into more than one category. For example, I see myself as a Casual/Classic dresser, but I occasionally incorporate elements from several other styles.

Thinking about personal style

Logo by SamHubby and I spent three days this week attending a conference as representatives of our local church. It was a full schedule of making connections, worshipping together, and attending sessions. There was no down time, no time for writing a blog post! We came home yesterday feeling both uplifted and exhausted! I sat down last night to write this morning’s Fashion Friday post and absolutely nothing came to mind! Nothing except the desire to soak in a hot bath and crawl into bed. All this to explain why today’s post is later than usual and why it might be a little thin in content!

We often tend to use the words fashion and style interchangeably, but there’s a difference between the two. Fashion is the clothes, accessories and shoes that are produced. They are what you see when you enter a store or shop online, but style is what you do with them, the way in which you wear those items.

433d67c8a179d2f32e67c87f8df403b4

Style is how we personalize what the fashion industry produces.

279263470_3265720087087580_3069265874297079993_n

One way to identify your personal style is to choose 3 to 5 adjectives to guide your fashion choices. Check here for an exercise that will help you do that. Pinterest is another excellent tool to help you identify or clarify your own style. This post will show you how that works.

68c1c89e8f2ddbbff03d37530bd1757b

Personal style shouldn’t be static. We all change as we go through different stages of life and our style needs to change with us. It’s important to evaluate and update our style from time to time so that our outfits express who we are today, not who we were sometime in the past.

What words would you use to describe your personal style? How has your style changed over the years?

Furries, feathers, and fireflies

If you’ve been following this blog for very long, you are no doubt aware that hubby and I love to camp, hike, and kayak. Here in Canada, the season for enjoying those activities is short and if we’re not careful our calendar fills up with other activities such as the meetings that we’ll be attending next week as delegates for our church. Sometimes we have to be creative in order to carve out time for the things we most love doing, so that’s what we did this past week.

Hubby had a medical appointment in Vermilion, a town a little less than an hour and a half northeast of here. (You know you’re in Canada if you measure distance by how long it takes to drive somewhere!) Vermilion happens to border a provincial park with a campground, an extensive network of trails, and a reservoir suitable for kayaking. What could have been a day trip for a doctor’s appointment became a three day camping trip instead!

IMG_4167

We quickly discovered that Vermilion Provincial Park is built on a giant gopher colony. These furry little creatures, a bane to farmers when they take up residence in their fields, were absolutely everywhere! At any given moment, we could see half a dozen or more of them grazing, standing like sentinels, or wrestling and playing on the grassy slope in front of our trailer. The young ones were particularly entertaining to watch. They were very curious about us too!

Vermilion is hometown to Beckie Scott, Canada’s most decorated cross-country skier. A three time Olympian, Beckie won gold in Salt Lake City in 2002, becoming the first Canadian (and the first North American woman) to win an Olympic medal in cross-country skiing. The road leading into Vermilion Provincial Park is called Beckie Scott Trail and the Vermilion Nordic Ski Club, based out of a renovated 1905 train station in the park, maintains groomed ski trails during the winter which are used for hiking in the summer.

We did a 7.5 km hike on Thursday afternoon. While much of the hike was fairly level, as we made our way up and down some of the hills along the way, I was glad I was on foot and not skis! As a former cross-country skier, I knew that some of those uphill slopes would have been gut-busters!

As we set off on the trail, we noticed a “Bear in Area” sign. According to other campers, it was a mama with cubs. Not wanting to come face to face with her, we kept our bear bell jingling as we walked and we also had bear spray close at hand in case it was needed. Thankfully, it wasn’t. The only wildlife we spotted was these two bunnies who didn’t seem too concerned about our presence.

IMG_4158

Much of the time, the trail followed the edge of the Vermilion River reservoir. The water was almost dead calm, unlike the previous afternoon when we contended with a fairly stiff breeze while out in the kayak.

IMG_4150

Red-winged blackbirds are a common sight when kayaking on Alberta lakes and rivers, but I managed to get better photos of these ones with my feet solidly on the ground than I’ve ever been able to get from the boat.

IMG_4154

After a day in the fresh air and an invigorating hike, we were ready to let the campfire die out and head for bed by 11 PM, but I had to stay up later. Earlier in the day, a couple camped near us had told us that they’d seen fireflies the night before, something we’d never seen in Alberta before. At this time of year, however, with the longest day of the year less than two weeks away, the sun doesn’t set until nearly 10 PM and it isn’t fully dark until close to midnight. I had to stay up long enough to see those fireflies! Sure enough, when I stepped back out of the trailer just before crawling into bed, little dots of light flashed all around! It was magical!

Mindful shopper or impulse buyer?

Logo by SamMindfulness, the practice of being fully aware and in the present moment, has become a popular buzzword these days. There’s mindful meditation and mindful eating, but today we’re going to look at mindful shopping. 

Mindless or reckless, impulsive (and sometimes even compulsive) shopping is a trap that’s easy to fall into especially in this day of online, credit card shopping. Unfortunately, it can lead to buyer’s remorse, unnecessary debt, anxiety, and even relationship problems. It can also mean having a closet full of clothes, but still experiencing that all too familiar feeling of having nothing to wear. 

Shopping

So how can you move from impulse buyer to mindful shopper?

When I shop for groceries, I do so mindfully. I shop with a list. Before I leave home, I check the fridge and the cupboards to make sure that the list includes everything we need. Though I might occasionally buy something that isn’t on the list, I read labels and think about what goes into the grocery cart. My husband has cholesterol issues and I’m diabetic, so I take those factors into consideration when I decide what to buy. I don’t buy pineapple or kiwi because I’m allergic to them and I’ve never liked parsnips, so I don’t buy them even if they’re on sale and look really fresh.  Perhaps we can apply some of these same or similar practices to shopping for clothes.  

Here are 10 tips to help you make the transition: 

  1.  Change your mindset. Consider shopping a necessity, not a hobby or a leisure time activity. That doesn’t mean that it can’t be enjoyable, but if you’re simply shopping for fun, find another pastime.
  2. Don’t indulge in retail therapy. If you shop because you’re feeling down and need a pick-me-up, find another way to treat yourself. 
  3. Avoid temptation. Don’t go to the mall unless you actually have a reason to be there. Don’t spend your time watching “shopping hauls” on YouTube. Don’t window shop, especially online. We all know that as soon as you look at an item on the internet, you’ll be bombarded with ads for similar items all meant to convince you to buy. 
  4. Make a mindful shopping list. This involves taking stock of what you already have and thinking about what you actually need. Go through your wardrobe and take note of things that need replacing or gaps that need filling.  
  5. Resist the urge to buy something simply because it’s on-trend. Don’t buy something simply because everyone else has it.  
  6. Don’t be seduced by sales. I’m a frugal fashionista and I like a sale as much as anyone else, but a bargain is only a bargain if it’s something you need or something you’ll actually wear. Buying something on sale is still spending, not saving. 
  7. Be cautious of marketing campaigns. “Buy one, get one half price” is only a bargain if you need more than one of a particular item. 
  8. Take a breather before you buy. The next time you’re tempted to buy something that isn’t on your list, something that you don’t actually need, especially something that’s tempting you because it’s on sale, hit pause and take time to think about it. Leave the store and come back later if you’re still convinced that you ought to buy it. 
  9. Think quality, not quantity. Shopping mindfully is about buying less, but buying better, and having a well curated wardrobe that puts an end to that feeling of having nothing to wear. 
  10. Consider cost per wear. Ask yourself if you’ll wear the item often enough to make it a worthwhile purchase.  

retail-shopping-package_4460x4460-scaled 2

As a mindful shopper, you’ll learn to make intentional choices that help you save money while feeling good about what you’re wearing. Does that mean that you should never make an impulse purchase?  No, of course not, but don’t fill your closet with them. An occasional splurge, as long as you can afford it, might turn out to be something that you love and wear over and over again.

For the most part, I try to limit my impulse buys to second-hand shopping. Once in awhile, like last week, I’m lucky enough to find something that’s on my mindful shopping list in a thrift store, but that’s not likely to happen very often. The prices in our local volunteer-run, not-for-profit thrift stores are very low. When I can buy a top, a dress, a pair of jeans, or a pair of boots for less than the price of a latte, I know that cost per wear will be extremely minimal and even if I don’t end up wearing the item very often, I won’t have lost much. In that case, I can afford to let mindfulness go out the window!   

Musing about sandals

Logo by SamWhen I took my sandals out of storage this spring, I realized how worn they were getting. That’s not surprising considering the fact that the newest pair is at least five years old! I only know that because I’ve been keeping track of all my clothing, footwear, and accessories purchases since the beginning of 2018 and there aren’t any sandals on the list!

I have a couple of pairs that are still quite serviceable, but really, it might be time for this girl to be thinking about buying some new ones!

NF190_BR6597_ld

Fishermans sandals are very much on trend for 2022, but something about a closed toe sandal just doesn’t sit well with me. They’re great for women who are self-conscious about exposing their toes for any reason, but when I wear sandals, I want my golden summertime toes to show.

Then there’s the recent popularity of fishermans sandals with socks. That one is a definite no for me! I haven’t spend all these years teasing hubby about wearing socks with his sandals to succumb to that fad!

NF190_BR6597_d4

What about you? Are you a fan of this look? I always say that, first and foremost, we ought to wear what makes us happy.

I’m not a girly girl, but if I do go shopping for sandals, I’ll be looking for something a little more feminine looking than the closed toe fishermans sandal; something more like this pair from Naturalizer. I like a sandal that’s casual, but a little bit dressy looking, and something that I can comfortably walk a long way in.

Screen Shot 2022-05-30 at 3.32.41 PM

Sadly, the Naturalizer stores in Edmonton closed last year and I’d have to order these online. Not only do I much prefer shopping in person, but I have very narrow, difficult to fit feet. Ordering shoes online just doesn’t work for me. So, for now, until I have an opportunity to shop and try on, I’ll just continue wearing my old sandals and musing about new ones.

And then…

As usual, this post was written earlier in the week so that it would be ready to post first thing this morning. Yesterday, after getting my monthly injection, I stopped at one of our local thrift stores to drop off a bag of books that I’d finished reading. Of course, I had to take a look around and guess what I found? Sandals! Almost brand new Clarks in my size for $2.00! Similar sandals online sell for $110 and up. I’ll still be keeping my eye out for a dressier pair similar to the ones above, but in the meantime, I’m delighted with my find. They’re comfortable and supportive and the soft sage colour goes well with my summer wardrobe.

IMG_4137

On a totally different topic, I recently had the privilege of writing a guest post for the parenting blog, Leaf and Steel. I hope you’ll pop over and check it out here

Hoodoos and buffalo beans

The last time we hiked the Meeting Creek Coulee near the village of Donalda was late in the fall. The trees were bare and the landscape was shades of gold and brown. Today’s hike through the same area was entirely different! 

IMG_1808

IMG_4124

Everything was so green and there were wildflowers everywhere, especially the bright yellow buffalo beans that bloom across the southern half of Alberta and Saskatchewan at this time of year. 

IMG_4119

I’ve always wondered why they were called buffalo beans, so when we got home today I consulted Google and learned that the flowers appear around the same time as the Indigenous people of the prairie used to conduct their spring buffalo hunt. Apparently the plant produces bean-like seed pods later in the season, but they shouldn’t be eaten as the entire plant contains poisonous alkaloids.

We started today’s hike on the woodland trail that follows the rim of the massive coulee, the northernmost part of the Canadian Badlands, but we soon dropped down into the valley. As we wandered up, down, and around the bluffs that form its walls I spotted an impressive looking hoodoo emerging from the bushes on the hillside above us. Of course, we had to climb up and take a closer look.

IMG_4131

IMG_4125
 We decided to sit and eat our lunch on the hillside where Richard is standing in this photo.

IMG_4126

As I looked at our backpack perched on the hoodoo’s capstone, I thought of all the places it’s been with us over the years. It’s even been to the top of Mt Fuji, the highest and most famous mountain in Japan! 

IMG_4127

The view from our lunch spot included a perfect mound protruding from the flat valley floor. I decided that when we finished eating, we should hike down and walk around it which we did. We considered climbing it, but it would have been a challenge and since we still had to climb back up out of the valley, we quickly rejected that idea. 

IMG_4132

Eventually, after wandering for awhile longer, we made our way back up the hillside and rejoined the woodland trail that took us back to our vehicle. After a long cold winter, it’s so good to be able to get out on the trails again! I wonder where else our feet will take us this summer. 

Capri pants… flattering or frumpy?

Logo by SamOne of the bloggers that I follow recently wrote a post listing several items that she thinks women over 50 should eliminate from their wardrobes. She used words like frumpy, dowdy, and matronly to describe how she thinks these items make us look. First on her list was capri pants! Several readers agreed with her, but I most definitely do not! Capris are easily my favourite summer pants.

To be fair, I should mention that the blogger in question did specify that “capri pants that end at the widest part of your calf, are unflattering and can look dowdy.” Capris come in a variety of lengths and widths and a few inches can make a big difference to how flattering they look. A tapered pair that ends either just above or just below the widest part of your calf will look much more flattering than a wider, baggy pair or one that ends at the widest point.

IMG_4101

Capris are still very much in style for 2022 and those of us who wear them find them to be very versatile. They can be worn with heels or flats and dressed up or down depending on what you wear them with. The downside to capri pants is that they can make your legs appear shorter which is particularly challenging for women whose legs are already proportionately short. One easy way to overcome this is to tuck your top into your pants. Personally though, since I’ve been blessed with long legs, I prefer to wear a longer top that skims over and hides my muffin top!

IMG_4109

Everything that I’m wearing in both these photos is old and has appeared on the blog before. The nice thing about living where we have distinct seasonal changes is that we have something “new” to wear twice a year! I always look forward to bringing my capris out of storage in the spring.

Do you wear capri pants? Do you consider them flattering or a fashion faux pas?

The Great Sand Hills

Today’s photos might lead one to believe that we traveled to Morocco or Mongolia, but we were actually exploring a very unique bit of Canada, the Great Sand Hills of southwestern Saskatchewan! 

IMG_4044

The Great Sand Hills is approximately 1,900 square kilometres (730 square miles) of desert-like sand dunes, native grasses, and small trees and shrubs. Sediment deposited by glacial meltwater during the retreat of the Laurentide Ice Sheet approximately 13,000 years ago, then shaped and reshaped by strong winds, created this unique landscape. The first of the giant sand hills is just a short walk from the parking lot. Climbing up the dune, you truly feel like you’ve entered a different world, a world of sand and sky!

IMG_4046

IMG_4047

We soon spotted a series of faint trails leading off toward more dunes in the distance, so of course we had to investigate. 

IMG_4059

IMG_4082

IMG_4071

Climbing up the steep side of the dune, we were greeted by another vast expanse of soft, powdery sand. After walking around a bit, I had to take my shoes off and feel its warmth between my toes! 

IMG_4077

IMG_4083

Can you spot Richard on the horizon below? 

IMG_4093

Canada has it all… mountains, prairies, forests, rugged coastlines, rivers, lakes, and even a wee bit of desert! 

First hike of the year

Here in Canada, tomorrow is a federal holiday known as Victoria Day. Initially, the holiday always fell on Queen Victoria’s birthday (May 24), but since 1952 it’s been celebrated on the Monday preceding May 25. The connection to royalty has been gradually lost over the years and now most people simply refer to it as the May long weekend. It’s the unofficial start of the summer season and the first weekend of the camping season for many. Rather than camping, since the nights are still very cold, we’re visiting my younger brother and his wife in the small village of Irvine in the southeast corner of Alberta. This afternoon, while our sister-in-law was working, the other three of us set out for our first hike of the season.

The 464-acre Chinook conservation site, a native grassland area, lies just 8 kilometres south of Irvine. Very different from the hiking that we do closer to home, there are no trails, just wide open expanses begging to be explored.

IMG_4039

Leaving the vehicle, we set off across the grassy plain toward the hills some distance away.  Of course, once we reached the top of the first bluff, we had to carry on up the next one, and then the third.

IMG_4023

Here’s the view from the top of the third hill with the second one in the foreground and the first, much lower one below it. Can you spot our vehicle in the distance? How about the little bit of cactus at the bottom of the photo?

IMG_4025

Here’s a closer look at some of the ground cover. This is snake country, but fortunately, we didn’t see any of those!

IMG_4024

After returning to the vehicle, we crossed the road and made our way across more rough grassland and through the bush to Ross Creek where we saw lots of evidence of beaver activity.

IMG_4031

In the final photo, you can see one of the peaks that we climbed way in the background.

IMG_4037

Along the way, we also saw clear signs of the deer and pronghorn antelope that inhabit the area and were reminded of the old western song, Home on the Range. “Oh, give me a home, where the buffalo roam, where the deer and the antelope play!”

If the weather cooperates, tomorrow will be another adventure.

Going green

Logo by SamNo, this isn’t a post about being environmentally friendly, though that’s a very important topic. Far more important than fashion actually!

The colour green is one of the biggest fashion trends this year. Universally associated with nature, green represents growth and renewal making it a perfect colour for springtime. It’s said to evoke feelings of peace, calm, refreshment, and optimism.

As I perused my spring/summer wardrobe I realized that, with the exception of dark olive which is actually a neutral, there was no green. None whatsoever! Digging into storage, however, I pulled out this topper from several years ago and wore it to church on Sunday.

IMG_3993

It’s one of those pieces that I couldn’t bear to part with when I quit wearing it. I don’t remember when I purchased it, but it’s from Jockey Person to Person which hasn’t been sold in Canada since March 2015! I thought that perhaps waterfall cardigans had had their day, but while perhaps not as trendy as they were a few years ago, they are showing up in lots of stores again this season. Maybe this is the year to get a little more wear out of this one before I decide whether or not to keep it any longer.

IMG_3986

I wore the cardigan over the same chinos that appeared in last week’s post and a new Supima® cotton t-shirt from Uniqlo. Supima® cotton is a high quality cotton that has a much softer texture and feel than regular cotton. I have both Supima® and regular cotton t-shirts from Uniqlo and there’s no comparison. This particular one comes in 8 different colours and I bought two of them.

I accessorized the look with a thrifted necklace and a pair of simple silver earrings, both items that I’ve worn over and over again. I didn’t wear the hat to church, but since it generated several positive comments on Facebook when I wore it for last week’s post and several of you also checked out the link, I decided to put it on again for these photos. It’s also available in several other colours.

I must admit that I was also inspired to wear my green topper again by this post that appeared on Pamela Lutrell’s blog, Over 50 Feeling 40, awhile back. Thanks, Pam!

Chicos-Spring-Perfect-for-Travel-2-768x1024

Are you wearing green this spring?

Disclaimer:  This isn’t a sponsored post and I won’t be compensated in any way if you order the items that are linked here, but if you do, I hope you enjoy them!