CAbi, a (used t’be) girl’s best friend.

Have you ever tried Carol Anderson’s clothes?  You can’t find them in the stores, a personal shopper comes to your house and dresses you.  Heaven.

Now, don’t be a “hay-tah” and say you don’t like at home parties.  I find them loads of fun.  Especially if you are the hostess and get deep discounts on your clothes.

What I love about it is that you have your girlfriends there and they help you decide.  Most of the time they’re honest, especially the more wine you feed ’em.  They’ll look at you in that sumptuous long lounge dress and “oooh and aaaah” or, “Oh, GOD NO” when they see you in the mini or skinny jeans.

I think my favorite thing about the whole, shopping with the girls at home bit, is that the personal shopper can show you step by step how to put several outfits together with say, 3 or 4 pieces.  You don’t even have to remember what she showed you.  You can save it in your phone!  Perfect if you’re fashionably challenged (or just think you are).  I personally believe that every girl is born with the fashion gene, some are just way more critical of their inner diva.

In short, I highly recommend you treat yourself to this experience.  It’s one of my favorite forms of self love.

http://cabicanary.com/category/213th-edition/

 

And now, a word about Shoes.

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A few posts ago I mentioned how I liked high heels.  I do.  They, however don’t really like me all that much.  Without question, they are beautiful works of art and do something to the female leg that is magical.  However, I learned at the tender age of 16 that we were destined to be only occasional friends.

I remember a shopping trip with my Mema where we bought 2 of the most beautiful pairs of stiletto heels.  They were both about 3 and a half inch heels with no platform.  Granted with my (at the time) size 10 feet, the angle was high, but not intolerable.  I could still walk, with practice.   Fast forward to my Senior year in High School.  I had a job at a local department store in the misses fashion department which required me to dress in a stylish way.  I had the PERFECT shoes.  My shifts were about 5 and a half hours.

Hour 1-2; doing GREAT.  Don’t I look fab? Don’t you wish you were me?

Hour 3;  still hangin’ in.  Leaning on counter just a little.

Hour 4; VERY uncomfortable, smile turned to slight grimace.

Hour 4.5;  feet numb, standing behind register counter with one butt cheek resting on it which was grounds for termination.

Hour 5;  can no longer feel feet which means no movement whatsoever.  Almost in tears.

Shift over;  hiding in back room sitting on floor because I can’t walk to the employee lounge to collect my things and get to my car in the parking lot to go home.  Had to crawl to the store phone and call my Mom to come get me.  She was unsympathetically holding back a cackle.  I could tell.

After that experience, I deftly discovered the WEDGE.

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The beautiful, the glorious, wedge.  These allow me to still have some height, without the pain.  For the most part.  I do own some nose bleedingly high ones though which I wear with caution.

Which leads me to the kitten heel.

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Undoubtedly, the world’s cutest, most kind of the fashionable shoe.  These are my favs:

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And then, there are the flats.  Surprisingly not always the most comfortable shoe, depending on your foot issues.  For me, they are not, but I just love ’em!

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Flats are great because they can be dressed up or down.  You can even buy them at Whole Foods, however you’ll notice none are featured here.  French Sole is one of my Favorite brands.

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I’m trying to teach my 10 year old about shoes.  Right now she’s into the kind you can run in and play sports or the kind you wear to the beach or buy from a discount food store.  When the time is right, we’ll have deep instructional discussions about this.

To be sure, there will be more words about shoes.

God, I LOVE Handbags.

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“I am a deeply superficial person.”  Andy Warhol.

I LOVE handbags.  Expensive ones.  Does that make me like Andy?

This week I’m presenting Andy Warhol’s work to the 4th grade class at my daughter’s school.  I’m really enjoying revisiting his art, but also his persona.  Andy was a real consumer of culture.  All things of our culture.  I don’t think that’s more evident than in his “Soup” or  “Marilyn” works.  There’s an element of fashion about all of his pieces.  They’re graphic and colorful.  Sometimes unexpected.  Warhol was a fashion icon really.  If you look at pics of him during the 60’s he’s got the heavy framed Ray-Bans and clean cut hair, Bermuda shorts.   But as soon as ’65 turned into ’66 the revolution took place the hair got crazy!  So did his clothes and the company he kept.

I love that Andy was leading the call of Punk.  I love the Velvet Underground and Lou Reed; the images the music brings up for me.  I was just a kid when that stuff was on the radio, and I LOVED it!  Still do.

So, what does all of this have to do with handbags?  Handbags are inherently feminine.  Andy wore them; although very messenger bag like.  He too saw them as a fashion opportunity.  Colorful, large, small, in-between.  He saw them as art.  I was looking at a picture of his “Soup” bag and thinking, “would I have worn that?”.  Maybe.  Maybe not.  But one thing’s for sure, it was unique and it was expensive!

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When you walk into a room and see a handbag on a chair, you know there’s a lady present.  You can usually tell a bit about that lady by just looking at it.

Medium/small sized, conservative color:  somebody’s grandma
Very small, long, cross-body strap, made of sport fabric:  somebody’s trainer
Small, pink, has “Hello Kitty” on the front:  somebody’s little girl
Very large, interesting, never seen anything like it:  MINE! (not I already own it, meaning I must have it!)

When I wear a statement bag, I don’t really need to dress up, my bag is dressed up.  People remember a statement bag.  It’s one I carry all season.  Mine are always over-sized because I’m tall and I can.  They’re rarely black or brown (although I have made exceptions).  They almost always cost more than I’m comfortable sharing with my husband.  It’s funny, I can look at a photo of me and remember the year and where I was by the handbag I am wearing and I get to relive those sweet memories.

GOD, I love handbags.

pile of handbags

The stylish mom

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So this is why people get all freaked out about blogs. I’m posting for the first time using wordpress and I’m freaked out. I have no idea what I’m doing or how this will look! My goal is to post musings about my life and what it means for me to be stylish. It’s important to me because that’s partly how I communicate without having to say a word. It’s my brand.

Brand.

My Brand. What is that? Hmmmm. I’m 5’11” tall and I love to wear high heals. Stylish high heals. I’ve noticed some people, especially men comment on my “not being tall enough” Ha Ha. This comment is usually made my a man less than 6 feet tall. For me, high heels are not about height. They are about style. High healed shoes speak volumes about style. Flats can too, but they have to be the RIGHT flats. Stylish flats.

Scarves. I LOVE scarves. I wear them every chance I get. Even in the summer with a tank top. I LOVE the color they bring, the element of “I bothered” with my appearance. To me they are effortless style. I can wear a scarf and no makeup and look put together. In an instant.

Big wooden bracelets. I LOVE big wooden bracelets. Again, no effort. Throw it on and you look like you’re going somewhere fabulous.

Why do I do all of this instead of throwing on sweats to go to the store? First, I don’t own sweats. Second, I think of style as a form of self love. Draping myself in the prettiest things I can find is celebrating who I am for that moment. I don’t have to be the most self actualized, confident, phenomenal woman in the world, but I can feel like I am. Just for today.

That’s it. That’s my brand.