It's So You

I'm currently working my way through the book _It's So You_ by Mary Sheehan Warren.

Oooof. I shed many a tear today. The book is about helping yourself develop a nice wardrobe that reflects your style, personality, etc.

Anyone who knows me knows that I'm a really really REALLY bad dresser. Really. I'm not just saying that.

I was half way afraid that I would take some quiz and that the test result would read as follows:

You are a hopeless frump. In order to best express this fashion style, you must always wear lumpy old cardigans in unflattering colors, birkenstock sandals, tunic tops and vast floral skirts.

Oh wait, that's pretty much how I dress. Lately I've flattered myself to be improving, so I've been buying long sleeved t-shirts in skirt-coordinating colors to update my look a bit. Oh yeah, THAT was a brilliant move, let me tell ya! Turns out those tops were shaped all wrong for my "body type".

There are four different body types, I learned today. So that I won't steal the author's unique insights into human physique, and how best to dress the various types (and she did have good advice) I will modify them a bit, to help you, the blog reader understand the emotional impact it might have on one, to be labeled as one of the various body types.

Type 1 (the most common body type) would be the fruity fertility godess with baby-making hips. All positive. Sounds good to me. I consider this particular shape to the the most beautifully feminine in a classic sense. Alas, I do not possess it.

Type 2(The standard of the fashion industry) is the ancient-time-piece body type. Charaterized by balance and the much desired small waist. Again, not me.

Type 3 (sort of an up-side down pear) would be the...ahem..."valentine" shape. Awwwwwwwww, love! What can be so bad about that? Hmmmm? I was hoping.

But no. Alas, when I took my measurments, I learned that I am Type 4: Something square-ish, that the postman or the UPS guy would deliver. As in "get rid of"..."pass along to someone else". As in "collapse this discardable piece of packaging so that it can be put in the recycling bin". Yes, it was "the box." And losing weight won't change that. I'll just be a smaller box.

And that was before I even got the the bra section. She wrote that a bra couldn't possibly last longer than two years. Two years! I'm doing well to get six months of effectiveness out of a bra, and if, as the author says, bras should not drag or pull...HA HA HA!

So, a few more tears.

I kept reading.

Then it was time to actually start going through my closet.

Oh, I forgot to mention: At one point it said that nothing could be done unless the reader was in possession of a non-warped full length mirror. I didn't own one. Not even a warped one. So I went to the store. The kids needed more milk anyways. Discovered how much I hate activities involving mounting hardware (with missing screws) and tools.

So the new mirror is hung. Oh, was that ever an eye-opening experience! All those "cute little t-shirts" were not so cute after all. Turns out the flowy tunic tops were better, after all, except that too many of them are in the wrong colors!!!!

What ever shall I do????? (rhetorical question for you-the-blog-reader's amusement).

So, I'm exhausted now. And I have nothing to wear.

Helpful book. At least I know what my fashion type is. Sigh. It starts with the same letter as "ridiculous". And can best be summed up as: long flowy skirts, tunic tops and birkenstock sandals.



H and S said…
Hi, so you bought the book? I can't figure out whether you're finding it useful or not... but trust me, if you take the advice you'll be in a much better place. Shopping is easier and less painful, and I can now get dressed in the dark and look good without trying because all my clothes suit me and match. And I hardly had to buy anything new.

On a more important note, I made it to only one Lent service but LOVED it and cried... in which we venerated the icon on the coffin.
elizabeth said…
you know. you just made my day. i have not met you, as you know but every picture you have put on your blog of yourself i have liked!

i often struggle with my own self image too - i admit that i am more of a stick-figure type. but i wear long skirts too! and one of my favourite dresses is now... mmmm... what 11, 12 years old. yep. dark now faded a little forest/olive green ... made in India... and i wear green pants under it in the winter time. and i ALL i wear are birk sandles and shoes (i got some really cool white birk sandles last summer)...

i did get this super cool white skirt for pasca though! long linen, white and swooshy at the bottom! if you know what i mean ... (sorry i never emailed a pix of the one i wished to have fixed; i dont have a digital camera etc)

just remember that such a book will only be a passing comment on what is currently seen as style. i.e. we have a really funny book from the 70s - or maybe 60s - that is all about women dressing for sucess and it is now seen as funny and so not in style. so take such books with huge salt shakers.

i really do really really think you are lovely and intresting and i like your blog and and u know i always admire how you do your eyeshadow. this is something i notice in people and secretly think, oh, i wish i knew how to do that...

i have an interview tomorrow and it is so hard! why do looks seem to be so important! i am paranoid! is my outfit okay, what about my bangs that were just cut short, and my shoes (birk ones) are not perfectly polished...

thank you for making me remember that i am in good company and please know that i think many of us who read your blog find your company with us a great pleasure.
Alana said…
Oh, I'm very much appreciating the book. It is good and I will follow all the advice.

But it's like that feeling you get when your friend points out that you have a huge chunk of parsley stuck in your teeth...and it's been HOURS since dinner and you've interacted with HOW MANY people with gross spinach in your teeth??? It's that sort of feeling.

But the book is good.
Alana said…
eyeshadow????? That's just dark circles around my eyes.
elizabeth said…
really??? you know i wonder if another can ever see the beauty that others can see so easily...

okay. i have to go to bed now. interview tomorrow 11 am. blah. i am planning on wearing black pants/jacket and light pink shirt. my friends say it will be okay.

now if only i can be awake, peaceful and have a clear mind while in the interview... Lord Help me now! :)
H and S said…
LOL! You're right about the parsley!!!!

In my case, this book helped to explain why I spend so much time in shops trying on wrap or knit dresses and wondering why they look dreadful on me. And I really did have to stop being such a slob at home (where I spend most of my time with my children).

One really important thing is recognizing which clothes make me feel yuck, and giving me good solid reasons to avoid them (even though all women's fashion stores are infected with such items) like shoe-string straps, strapless anything, super-low hipsters, skin-tight things, etc.

What I decided, after reading the book, was to only buy bottoms in black and tops in red or pink (with no yellow tones in it). Sounds rather extreme, I know, but it has worked SO WELL for me. I have 4 small children and I just don't have the time or money to spend hours shopping or waste any cash. I didn't go out and get all new stuff (actually I already had some, and got second-hand things from my sister) but I just chucked out the rest of my stuff that never suited me anyway.

Good luck! btw I think you're off to a head start with 2 things... one is you have a lovely face and two is you can SEW, you lucky soul!!!!

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