Stylebook for the dark ages?

The new Random Outfit Generator is so much fun that it prompted me to enter similar items to my entire wardrobe in my wardrobe in Finds.  Now I have infinite (though weird) outfit ideas with just a click!

But it awakened in me the desire for more.  Now I want to track my wears of the items in my wardrobe.  They're right there with easy pictures!  I could click what I'm wearing today so easily!  I know there's apps that do this (stylebook and maybe also closet+), but I live in the dark ages, without a smart phone.

Is there anything that you know of that functions similarly and works on a pc?  I would love to have a picture and be able to track my wears (and perhaps other info, like cost or cost per wear) associated with each picture (rather than just a text description on a spreadsheet).

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"Burgundy" (auburn) Hair

Okay, I'm needing either some consolation or some hard truth here.  I finally got up the courage to dye my hair burgundy, and not only bought the proper herbs, but used them.

And I don't think I really thought through what to expect.  There's a girl in my church with purplish hair and it's lovely - she looks young and healthy in it (of course, she IS young and healthy - that probably helps).  Anyway, I think I thought I'd look like her.  I didn't consider that my little sister used to dye her hair about this color, and looked like death warmed over (she has sallow skin, is overweight and wears lots of black eye make-up).

Now, my husband likes the color - which makes me think that perhaps my shock is just shock (and maybe some baggage), and that it's not really that bad.  

But it looks clownish and un-natural to me, and I'm tempted to scrub my head with dish soap to make it fade as quickly as possible (it's a permanent dye - henna, but there's some ways to fade it).  

So tell me, do I mitigate the color as much as possible, dye it a bit darker (henna only goes darker, not lighter - so I could go dark brown), or live with it as is?

Pictures are in natural indirect light with no make up,so probably as close to "real" color as possible, I think.  I also washed and air-dried my hair, so this is about the texture it would have most of the time too.

What's your take on it? 

(p.s. these specs are chipped, so my next "style" project, after figuring out what to do with my hair, is to replace them.  So it's okay to discount that the specs and hair are different shades of "burgundy")

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Hair Advice - maybe color?

I'm looking to refresh my haircut.  It's been my intent for a while to grow it to shoulder length, and it's still not as long as I'd like, but I'm itching for a cut, and especially liking the first cut that Shannon posted in this thread.  

However, in the name of giving shoulder length hair an honest attempt, I'm planning to refrain from cutting length off for another several months.  Instead I'm contemplating coloring my hair.

I'm thinking dark red (auburn?).  I've colored my hair that color before and loved it.  But that was before I knew much about coloring or style or anything (not that I know much now - but it's way more than I knew back then).  And I've aged in that time too....

My question is whether you think this color might suit me?  My natural coloring is midline-cool (more cool than warm, but not super cool) on the spectrum.  My hair used to have a fair amount of natural red in it, but that has faded with age, leaving me with brown and traces of gray hair.  I usually see red hair on people with warm, not cool complexions, and wonder if perhaps it would be a bad choice for me?

Pic below is approximately the color I envision on someone who also seems to have a "cool" complexion - it's not super flaming red, but more red than brown.  (I would dye it with henna, which I've done before, and this is about the color I think I'd achieve).

What do you think?  Yay=Worth a try or Nay=danger zone?

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Links to the old "Best Of" Threads

Because I want to see my style evolution, and you might too:

The thread for this year

Our favorite outfits of 2013

Our favorite outfits of 2012

and the favorites of 2011 here

Thanks Angie for these threads!  

How has your style evolved?

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Minimal closet, maximal flaws

I'm started a musing-type post half a dozen times in the past week, and always rambled and rambled and eventually got distracted before finishing.  I'm not sure tonight will be different.  But I thought I'd tackle one small part of the musing I've been doing, rather than ramble endlessly.  

I've nearly completed my third week with a minimal closet, and reality is
starting to set in:  a minimal closet doesn't make my flaws disappear.  Nor
does it remove every irritation of life. 
Hard to believe, I know.  Here’s a
few things that I think I expected to magically change, and didn’t.

First, I lose things. 
My cropped boyfriend blue jeans are missing.  I have no idea where they are – the easy
thing to do would be to blame it on my laundry helpers.  But it doesn’t change the fact that I don’t
know where they are.  This wouldn’t be a
big deal if I had 200 other things in my closet.  But it was one of two pair of pants (the
other being my white boyfriend jeans) in my current closet.

Second, I’m not careful (make that: I'm pretty sloppy).   I have to wash my white jeans and white
shorts with every wearing because I get stuff
on them.  My white sweater yesterday morning
lasted less than two hours before I decided to sand down a cabinet wearing it,
and didn’t think to put on an apron.  At
least I noticed that I was filthy and changed before taking my kids to swimming
lessons.

Third, I’m lazy.  I’m
not going to specially launder something even if it says to.  Honestly, I’m not going to launder it at all
– my kids are, and I’m not going to keep on top of them well enough to remind
them not to put certain tee shirts in the dryer, etc.  My wool sweaters pretty much just never get
washed – this works in the winter, because I wear an undershirt with them.  It doesn’t work in the summer.  Consequently, my jersey knit items are just going to be quick to pill.  I am working toward developing the habit of handwashing my bras at night rather than putting them in the laundry.  They're too expensive to buy and too time-consuming to make to treat them lightly.

Now, there is a host of things that having a small closet has made easier - but that's another post :)

How does your closet reflecting your personal "idiosyncrasies" ?

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Haircut after and before

Back from the haircut - I asked her to style it too.  She informed me that I've been damaging my hair with my straight iron, so I bought some heat protector spray.  

I think I like it - what do you think?

(#1-4 current haircut, #5 is the before)

This was also the first time a stylist has ever taking a pic of my haircut for their portfolio (and blog) - so I'm thinking she was proud of her work.  :)

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You know you got a bad haircut when....

... you see 3 inch segments falling to the floor while they're working on a part that you said you just wanted trimmed a bit.  (I figure once you see it fall, it's too late to bother saying anything - what are they gonna do - leave a hole?).

... the stylist's asks her supervisor to come check her cut, and that supervisor redoes almost the entire cut.

... the stylist asks you if your hair grows quickly, so that it'll grow out this cut soon.  

... the stylist runs away crying as you're walking out the door.

... you figure, "well - at least it was only $8 - you get what you pay for, I guess".  (To be honest, I probably could have done just as well at home,  but that's beside the point...)

Yes, I tipped her anyway.  No, I won't be returning to her.  Though quite honestly, it makes me chuckle.  It's only hair, and I suspect that in about two months, maybe less, I'll like it.  As it is, my neck is cold, but it's not anything worse than I've done to myself once or twice, and I can live with it.

I asked for the back trimmed up a little, so that it'll grow into a bob with some gentle a-line type layering in the back.  I took in several pictures, one of which was an a-line (they were all bobs).   The stylist's supervisor really zoned in on "a-line" (she herself had a rather severe one) and whacked away, after the stylist had done what she thought she should do with the back (which I have no idea what it looked like - because neither of them ever showed me the back of my head?!)

Anyway - here, for your chuckle as well, are before and after pics.  I don't hate it,  - it's probably better than the "before".  Besides, there's nothing that I can do at this point anyway.  I think I'll get a hat that covers my ears and neck to make it through the winter :)

#1-4 are before
#5-8 are after

Ever had a bad haircut?  What did you do and how did you know?

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A few stylin thoughts from vacationing

Hi Everyone - 
I missed you!
After driving a 14 hour day and a 16 hour day, we're back from vacation.  (And my kids are amazing travelers - not a single complaint about being in the car!)
As I unpack and get things back to some sense of order, I thought I'd jot down a few thoughts from my trip.

1) I missed white.  I didn't take it, because I didn't want to worry about getting dirty.  But I felt less crisp and more frumpy without it.

2) On that note, I really am not yet in a happy place with my summer wardrobe.  Most of what I took and wore, I didn't end up liking much.  Good excuse to shop, eh?

3) While hiking, I especially noticed what others wore.  There were the casual hikers like me, that mostly just wore some sort of jean shorts and a tee, there were people in stylish gear, and people in serious gear (light colored long pant and long sleeved shirt - both in linen, I think, so very cool on a warm day).  I may have been the only person without a hat.  But the ones who caught my eye as looking especially fantastic were those who wore lipstick.  I think I want an spf lipstick.

4) I'm loving the big top silhouette, at least on others, and am more motivated than ever to figure out a way to wear it.  I especially liked the sheer swimsuit-cover-up dresses that I saw on the beaches.  Big and flowy - I want to figure it out.

5) I need a bright color to feel cheery.  My all-grey and grey-blue outfits just didn't pack much punch unless I added my orange jacket - but it was generally too warm to do so.

And that's it for now.  Back to unpacking and laundry!

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Summer Style and lifestyle Musings

I've been reading my way through the posts linked to in Angie's Needs and Outfit Creation posts, and making mental lists to work toward defining my summer style.  Some things I noticed were:

Lifestyle:  We go to the lake several times a week, and to the pool several times a month.  We rarely run the air conditioning in our house or car, therefore I need a set of clothes that are cool, durable, breathable, fast-drying and good for playing near the water or in the yard.  This makes me think my summer style should veer toward "sporty".  And skirts/dresses - they're cooler than shorts.  I'll also need a swim-suit cover up, since I tend to fry after about ten minutes in the sun, regardless of sunscreen, and will want to cover my skin while staying cool.

Lifestyle part 2: Then there's work - which is less warm (because it's in my basement), and less relaxed.  And church, which is nearly frigid.  For both of these I like a somewhat polished look, without looking at all fussy.

Lifestyle part 3: Finally, there's a few special events - weddings, showers, parties, that I'll be attending.   Church/work clothes might work, but I like the idea of stepping up the dressy-ness a bit.  We'll see.

I'm also working through the adjective lists in Describing my style and defining what my style is not.  I'll post those when I get there.

Thoughts?  Am I on the right track?  What are your summer style descriptors and goals?


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Not sure I'll ever 'get' proportions

Okay, trying to learn proportions, so be patient with me! :)

Here's the diamonds skirt, with the gray cashmere sweater I wore Sunday. Trying out various proportions with the skirt full length.

#1 fully tucked
#2 untucked with the skirt short (as I wore it)
#3 partially tucked
#4 untucked with the skirt long

Pardon the non-scrunched sleeves in #1, 2 and 4...

To me, none of these really work. What do you think?

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