The Redder The Better

I have had a bottle of hair dye kicking around for a little while now, and tonight I suddenly got an urge to put it to use at 11:30 at night. I am so glad I did. I feel more like myself now, with a vibrant red. I know it sounds a bit silly, to feel more like one’s self with artificially colored hair, but for me, being a redhead, especially one with hair this bright, is a statement of wanting to stand out a little bit. I think the red is creative, bold, and just a tad eccentric like me. Also, I have noticed in recent photographs of myself that I am getting quite a few patches of white hair and I am just not totally ready to go down that road yet. Someday I will probably be an older lady wearing real pearl earrings, and rocking the white hair, but right now I am only thirty and I want my hair to be young and fun.

So tell me, do you identify with your hair color? If you color your hair, why do you choose the color(s) that you do?

An Evening of Thrift Shopping

(Outfit Notes: Earrings-Old Navy/Sweater-Target/Tank-Old Navy/Skirt-TJ Maxx/Flip-Flops-Old Navy)

Today was another day of throwing on jeans and a t-shirt to go outside and play with Simon, and then showering and getting dressed in clean clothes in the afternoon. That seems to be typical for weekdays in my life as a (mostly) stay-at-home-Mom.

I also went out for a little “Me” time this evening (which I wrote about over in my main blog), and I chose to spend that time thrift shopping. Thrift shopping is a perfect way for me to just zone out for an hour or two and find some fun, new, things for my wardrobe without spending a lot of money.

Since I have started to develop a bit of a system, I thought I would share it with you here.

First-I go to the skirts. Skirts are something I love but don’t really need, so I find it fun to start there. I flip through, pulling out anything that looks interesting and giving it a look-over for quality. If it looks good I grab it to try on.

I go to the fitting room in-between each section or two, because there is a limit of 5 items in the fitting room. So, for example, tonight I tried on 4 skirts, then a few pairs of pants, then two rounds of tops.

Second-I do the pants. These I am most picky about, and less likely to buy second-hand unless they are totally free of wear-and-tear. The reason I am so picky is that I rarely find pants that fit me. However, I know a few tried-and-true brands that flatter me well, and I know the right size in those brands too, which helps me narrow it down.

Third-Shirts. There are so many shirt categories at the place I shop, so this is the most time-consuming section. However, it is also fun for me because of the variety. I find that you cannot go by size alone when thrifting. I have fit into everything from XS to XL and all sizes in-between. So I don’t limit myself to just browsing one size unless I am feeling more lazy, or have less time that day.

After I have tried all the clothes on that I feel like trying, I wander through the shoes, bags, and jewelry.

Tonight there was a long line, so I popped over to the children’s books and found one in new condition that I love for only 50 cents, so I grabbed that for Simon. I might have to make a separate trip just to look at all the books. There were some really awesome looking vintage children’s books there today that I would love to go hunting for again.

I have also been accumulating a bunch of tips about thrift shopping for you, but I will be sharing those another day. Until then, here is a peek at what I found tonight: a pair of jeans, a t-shirt, a sweater, and a pencil skirt. Add the book I bought, and my grand total was $16.

A Jeans And Flip-Flops Kinda Day

(Outfit Notes: Tank-TJ Maxx, LOFT brand/ Belt-TJ Maxx, came on this tunic/Jeans-Kohl’s/Flip-flops-Old Navy)

Speaking of haircuts…I got one today and I love it. I felt like taking some snapshots today, just because I always feel so good after a haircut.

Today was also a pretty standard day around here of playing with Simon, and taking care of his general needs. We played a lot of elaborate make-believe games, made popsicles together, and created a tunnel out of chairs and blankets in the kitchen. I was productive in the motherhood department, but didn’t even get dressed, beyond putting on a bra and combing my hair,  until after 2 pm.

So when the time to venture out into public came around I threw on jeans and flip-flops, with this cute tank that I always throw a belt over because it is so flowy. I didn’t even wear jewelry, which is very unlike me. I usually have a funky beaded necklace or some earrings on.

I suppose the point of this post, besides the haircut, is to show that some days are for just grabbing some clean clothes. Besides, making a wooden block fire house and rescuing Bert and Ernie off of a roof is important work you know.

Going From Long To Short: A Haircut Interview

Hair can play a big part in our identities. I know that for me personally, if my hair isn’t red (or, on occasion, purple) I do not feel right. As I have gotten older, my naturally red hair had faded a bit and become kind of ashy. Somehow though, I just do not feel like myself unless the red is obvious. I used to feel silly about this until I saw an old episode of What Not To Wear, in which they did a makeover for a dance teacher who used to dance competitively. Throughout her career she dyes her hair a flaming bright red, and on the show they talked about it as her “trademark”. She expressed her vivid and unique personality in other ways too, however the curly red hair gave people an instant impression of her boldness at a glance. I completely related to this.

Hair cut and style, as much as color, can be a way of expressing yourself, and showcasing your creativity. It can also be a matter of practicality, such as getting your hair off your shoulders in the hot months, or sporting a braid because you need your hair away from your face at work. Unfortunately, society also puts pressure on people, especially women, to have a certain “acceptable” range of hairstyles. For example, having green hair might get you negative glares or judgements. Having short hair might be stereotyped as unfeminine or not ladylike. None of this is true of course, but we all know that the media makes money off of our negative self-esteem. You should have whatever hair pleases you.

A friend of mine recently went through a major hair transformation. Having had long locks all her life, my best friend Trisha made the bold decision to chop it into a short cut in one fell swoop. Because this is a decision that can be fraught with anxiety about what others might think, I decided to interview her about this decision and the experience. I hope that it might be helpful to others out there, considering a short hair cut and feeling a tad nervous, to read of someone else’s experience.


Me: When did you first think you wanted a pixie cut? Was there a specific image or person who inspired you?

Trisha: I don’t know if I can think of a specific time I decided I wanted to get a pixie. I think it happened over time. I would admire cute pixie haircuts on pinterest, but not give getting one myself much thought. Brooke Biette of [the blog] apriltwoeighty recently shaved her head, and it looked great! It made me think maybe I could make a big change too.

Me: What were your three biggest fears about cutting your hair so short?

Trisha: Well, for most of my life, the vast majority of compliments I would get about my physical appearance were about my hair. Most of the time it was about my hair color, but also about its length and body. I was afraid that by cutting it off it would make me less pretty. I was afraid that it would make me less feminine. And I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to “pull it off”.

Me: What were three things about a pixie that excited you?

Trisha: Once I had decided to get the cut, it was mostly to prove to myself that my hair did not define me. I was excited to shed my “security blanket” and find my beauty and femininity from within. I was excited for a big change, and excited to have a cut that was a style on its own (since my hair usually ended up in a ponytail.)

Me: What did you do to help yourself overcome your anxiety about the haircut?

Trisha: I read blog posts from people who had gotten pixie cuts. I searched online for pictures of regular people who had pixies, and I looked for pictures of cuts I thought would suit me. I had (many) great chats with [you], who kept reminding me that my hair was not my identity. I talked to Brooke, and asked her how she felt after shaving her head. Then I just told myself to get over myself. After all, it is just hair.

Me: How were you feeling during the cut, before it was finished?

Trisha: Making the appointment was actually the biggest hurdle for me. Once that was done, I actually felt a lot more calm. I had gone over this decision for so long, there was really nothing to think about when the cut was happening.

Me: Now that it is done, what do you love about it?

Trisha: I love that my hair has a style now! I love that I cut it even though I wasn’t sure it would look good. Since my hair is so thick, I have to take time to style it, and I like how it has inspired me to spend a bit more time on my appearance in general. Sometimes I actually think it makes me feel a bit MORE feminine!

Me: Are there any aspects of having short hair that you find challenging, or that will take some getting used to?

Trisha: It is a bit more work to style, but really not much (and I get a much bigger payoff) Since I have never had really short hair, learning to style it is taking some getting used to. I think the biggest challenge will be staying confident in knowing my real beauty and femininity comes from within. It can be hard to not let other people’s perceptions of how you should look get to you.

Me: What would you say to someone else who is thinking of going from long to short all at once?

Trisha: That’s a hard one. I think it’s a very personal decision. For me, it was better to jump right in and chop it all off all at once (plus I wanted to donate my hair). For others, it may be a better idea to go shorter gradually. Take some time to think about if you really want to cut your hair, and why. Hair does grow back, but if you are making a drastic change, it will take a long time to get your hair back to the length it was before. Try one of the virtual hairstylers online before you get your hair cut and find a cut similar to the one you want. It’s not perfect, but it can be nice to have somewhat of an idea of what it will look like before. Most importantly, remember your hair does not make you “you”.

Thanks Trisha for letting me share this interview with everyone!

Why I Love Maxis

(Outfit Notes: Top-TJ Maxx/Necklace-JC Penney/Skirt-Thrifted/Sandals-Target)

I hate shaving. Absolutely hate it. Not only is it a pain, and time-consuming, but I also have very sensitive skin that reacts badly to moisture and makes me itch. Shaving aggravates that like you wouldn’t believe. (My doctor and I have discussed the possibility that I might have a strange condition called Aquagenic Pruritis, which is sort of like an allergy to water.)

Most of the year, I do not shave. Maybe once a month I will feel like it, but that is about it. When summer comes, I do shave more frequently, but it is not without an itchy consequence. A long time ago, I decided to stop caring what people thought of me. I do not owe smooth, hairless legs to anybody. When I do shave, I am doing it for myself when the rare mood strikes me. Already this year I have gone to the beach with stubbly legs, and worn above-the-knee skirts and shorts without shaving.

I did a little research recently, into the phenomenon of why women shave and men usually don’t. I came across some information that in World War II, pin-up girl Betty Grable’s legs got her a lot of attention, even being insured by Lloyds of London for a million dollars. Advertisers and marketers, who love to make us women feel bad about ourselves and sell us things, latched onto the idea and a shaving campaign was born. Now, there is a lot of money to be made by guilting us into purchasing fancy razors, shaving lotions, depilatory creams, waxing products, and spa services.

The article I found also notes: “Greek women today (and Mediterranean women generally) don’t shave their hair. The practice has been confined largely to English-speaking women of North America and Great Britain, although one hears it’s slowly spreading elsewhere.”

Now, despite the fact that I don’t shave very often, and that I don’t care very much what other people think, I do admit that sometimes, I like to cover my legs up a bit more. This is why I love a good maxi skirt. I own two of them, and grab them when I want to wear a skirt, but feel a little extra hairy.

The one I am wearing here I found while thrifting for only a couple of dollars. It is actually a tad too big, but if I tuck an undershirt into it or belt it, that helps keep it up. I found a tutorial online for fixing a too-small waistband, and I am going to try it out sometime. I am not usually wild about wearing pink, but this sweater from TJ Maxx caught my eye one day (and was super cheap too), and I love the way the pink and minty turquoise of the skirt play off each other. As an added bonus, this outfit was extremely comfortable.

So…What are your thoughts on shaving? I would love to hear all opinions!

My First Foray Into Pattern Mixing

(Outfit Notes: Earrings-a gift from my darling nephews//Top-GAP brand, Thrifted//Belt-Maurices//Skirt-Thrifted//Sandals-Target)

I have seen a lot of other women mix their patterns up a lot lately, and have wanted to try it out. Wearing solids all the time may be safe, but it means clothes with fun design and pattern get worn less, and it hinders wardrobe creativity. I know that when you mix patterns, there are certain guidelines you can follow to make sure it looks like you are dressing on purpose, rather than just throwing things together and appearing a bit clown-like.

I will be figuring this list of guidelines out as I go, but the one I used on this day was to keep my patterns in the same color palette. The blue and white stripes of the shirt match the blue and white colors that are present in the skirt, which pulls the whole thing together. I also wore matching blue earrings, and kept my shoes and belt neutral.

I have to say, I loved this outfit. It was comfortable and fun, and made me feel festive for the Fourth of July celebration we were having.

Do you mix patterns? If so, are there any “rules” you follow?