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see below

how to dress with the blues header

I definitely have experience with #depression.

It does get a little complicated when I’m feeling blue and still have to step out of my house.  My aim for myself when I’m in this state is to just put one foot in front of the other.  And you probably know this already, but WEAR WHATEVER YOU WANT, especially when you’ve fought the urge to just stay in bed.  See, I’m not concerned with exactly what you wear.  Instead, celebrate the fact you decided to face the world!

And maybe that’s why when clients ask me if there are some one-size-fits-all fashion rules on how to dress, I always leave room.  I believe that your relationship with clothing can be just as layered as an outfit on a cold winter day…

When I’m feeling like some clouds have lifted, and in a slightly better place, a favorite pair of earrings or shoes can be a helpful reminder of a favorite memory/person.  One of my most treasured accessories is a collection of coral bracelets from my parents’ visits to family in the Philippines.  It means even more now that it has been a couple of years since my father passed.

Maybe that’s why I love wearing my partner’s button down wrapped around my waist–in true nineties fashion– on a night out dancing with friends.  It’s like receiving a hug from her, no matter when she is.

So here’s a reminder to all the fashionistas out there who are/have grappled with depression: you’re not alone, and it’s okay to not feel put together when you’re going through it.  High five for self care!

 

 

 

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take care.

take care.

 

There’s been a lot of talk of self care lately, and I wanted to join in on the conversation…

My favorite, most indulgent, way to unwind is by taking a long bath.  I was told many years ago by an acupuncturist that by soaking at night, it would help balance my chi.  It certainly is my literal and figurative approach to washing away the day.

Now, another part of my ritual is to peruse my stack of *fashion* magazines.  I rather enjoy getting bits of the pages wet, and over time watching them take on a new shape.  And I opt for the periodicals that introduce me to up-and-coming designers, musicians, and ideas, like Nylon and Teen Vogue (subscribe now!).  I’ll sit, my legs folded underneath me parallel to the tub–no small feat–hunched over turning each page.

I like to think of it as an extension of being a child, my storybooks splayed out before me, allowing me to daydream and insert myself in the tales unfolding.

What’s your best loved way to self care?  Share it with me on instagram.

 

a fitting room of one’s own

a fitting room of one’s own

fitting-room-under-construction

November 2016 was particularly hard.  I was heartbroken over the new reality post election day.  I’d intended to lay low in the following weeks, with a particular focus of taking naps that I was convinced were crucial to healing and recovery.

Then Boss Babes ATX had an event I couldn’t pass up entitled “Womanhood has no size”.  Despite a desire to cocoon in the comfort of my bed, I wanted to be part of this discussion about inclusivity and body positivity in fashion.

The event was truly my saving grace.  I was able to be among other women who shared my disbelief in the election results.  The formidable panelists also grappled with all the messages about women during the campaign and how it was affecting them too.

And since the discussion was held at ModCloth’s first ever store, I decided to try on a cute denim dress.  While I was in the fitting room I was overwhelmed with feelings.  I was reminded of my own loaded history with what seems like a simple act of entering the dressing room.  There are moments I’d rather not remember, the frustration of not feeling my best trying a certain item on.  It’s always a challenge not to think I’m at fault, that I, or rather my body, did something wrong.  And I’ve found the best way to counter these thoughts is to think about what I say to my clients:

BE GENTLE WITH YOURSELF.  It’s the clothing that conforms to YOUR body, not the other way around.

When my clients stand in front of a mirror, I’ll ask, “What do you LOVE about your body? Let’s start there.”

And there are lovely moments I’d like to hold close.  When you do a little dance once you’ve got that new favorite piece on, knowing you look goooooood.

One of my all time favorites is my nameplate ring.  My twelve-year-old self convinced my parents that I’d *die* unless I got one in Chinatown.

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This is me.  Pilipina.  Forever a New Yawker. Partner to Sheree for 16 + years.  And under perpetual construction.

 

 

 

 

the heat is on

the heat is on

I like to think of summer in Austin as a challenge: how do I dress like myself in this oppressive heat?!  Maybe the stakes feel higher because I can describe my style very specifically:  New York in the fall.  It’s practically comical how adamant I can be about committing to an outfit (and I’m not the only gothamist who feels this way).  Take for example a holiday party three or four years ago– a friend commented on how I was still wearing my sweater indoors (mind you our winters feel more like early fall).  Without missing a beat, another party-goer who happened to also be a client responded for me, “oh she’s wearing the whole look.”

Maybe that’s why I’ve shown up to a client’s home in tights on an obviously sunny day. It should be noted that overcompensation for the heat happens often, and it’s not a surprise that a severe temperature drop indoors is a regular occurrence.

touching Calypso fabrics
That feeling  when you need natural fibers against your skin.

So what’s my suggestion for a literally (!) cool summer outfit?  I’m always in favor of silk.  Not only does it feel delightful against the skin, but it falls smoothly against the body allowing the material to move with you.

No matter what the fabric, opt for a print or a more saturated color.  This way, if the walk is much longer than anticipated from your car to the venue, you’ll be relieved that your sweat stains seamlessly blend into the pattern on your dress shirt (and not highlighting the diy job you just made).

And when all else fails wear a caftan, and enjoy a seventies glamour moment–ideally laid out on a chaise lounge if you can manage.

70's Butterick boho caftan dress pattern
1970’s Butterick pattern could be art