A Diary of Lovely…

A Diary of Lovely...


What’s Your Workout Style?

What's Your Workout Style?

According to the 2012 study from Northwestern the clothing we wear does affect the way we act. They have coined the term “enclothed cognition” to describe the mental changes we undergo when we wear certain types of clothing. “It’s all about the symbolic meaning that you associate with a particular item of clothing,” according to one of the researchers. So, when you wear fitness clothing you are, therefore, more likely to jump, run or do some squats.

So, should you go and buy a whole new workout wardrobe to jump start your fitness routine? Not exactly. Too much too soon can be a impediment to many changes in life. The transtheoretical model of behavioral change, developed in the mid-’70s by University of Rhode Island researcher James O. Prochaska, outlines five stages to making successful changes in your life: Precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance. Buying new workout clothes puts you squarely in the “preparation” phase, just beyond thinking about the change and planning for it. Which is only one step from the “action” phase, that’s where the real change occurs.

I have always been a big believer of not waiting to lose weight before you buy new clothes. When you look good, you feel good. Looking great for your workout is likely to provide you some confidence and encourage you to get out there and kick some butt. So start slow, maybe some new tennis shoes or compression leggings and a tank top. The more confident you feel the more apt you are to get to the gym to achieve the results you’re looking for!

You can read the full article on enclothed cognition, titled “The Psychology of Lululemon” here.

That Awkward Moment

Ellie’s date night look from #awkwardmomentmovie
I recently had the pleasure of working on a promotional product tie in video for the new Zac Efron movie, That Awkward Moment. We were doing a beauty tutorial on how to recreate the look of “Ellie” played by Imogene Poots. This was a really fun look to recreate, and our model Leah did a great job of channeling the character “Ellie.” I chose this slip dress, a furry cape, leather gloves, ribbed tights and ankle booties to mimic the outfit worn by Imogene Poots in the date night scene. The video will be out by the end of the month as will the movie! If you’d like to recreate the makeup shown in the movie, you’ll be able to purchase the complete makeup look from Beauty Box 5! You can visit their site at www.beautybox5.com

Production: Liberte Doux
Makeup: Thomas Brown
Wardrobe: The Fashion Refinery
Model: Leah Nobel

That Awkward Moment



The Importance of a Well Fitting Bra

I recently found the most amazing bra! What’s so special about it? It fits me perfectly; It’s so dang comfy I forget I’m wearing it. A bra is something we often take for granted – this tiny (or sometimes not so tiny) piece of fabric is something that is with us everyday from our teenage years on. They come in all sizes and styles with a variety of cup shapes, band and strap widths, and purposes. With all this variety it can seem like an impossible task to find the right one, but while it may take some time I promise: you are worth it. A well fitting bra should almost feel like it’s not there, so if yours is pinching, pulling or poking its time to look for a new one. 

In addition to being uncomfortable, an improperly fitting bra can have an effect on your appearance. Nothing you put on top of a poorly fit bra will look as good as it would with a proper fit and style for your breasts. Think of bras (along with panties and Shapewear) as the foundation for your outfit. Would you buy a house with a failing foundation? No! It would be uneven or sloped, cause cracks in the walls and make it difficult to open doors and windows. The same can happen with out the proper foundation for your outfit. Are your buttons popping open on shirts? Do darts on blouses not line up correctly with your breasts? These are signs your foundation isn’t in great shape. Luckily, it’s a pretty easy fix. Read on to see how you can get the best fit for your bra.

How to measure your bra size

When it comes to bra sizing many factors can impact your size. Pregnancy, hormones, weight, exercise, stress, and illness can all impact the way your bras fit. Get measured and get measured regularly, or at least once per year. Many department and specialty stores offer bra fittings so take advantage of an expert’s opinion – it’s almost always free! But remember when getting fitted, the size you are given is simply a starting point for finding the right bra size. What may feel good in one style may be completely wrong in another so don’t get frustrated; just keep trying until you find the right one. You’ll know it when you find it, because it will be so comfortable it’ll almost feel as if you’re not wearing one. Plus, your boobs will look amazing! Check out the Infographic to the right from HerRoom.com on how to measure your own bra size.

Bra fit myths

Myth #1: I’ve been a 34B my entire life!

Sorry to burst your bubble, ladies, but it’s not likely. You may have been wearing a 34B your whole life, but that doesn’t mean you should have been. Even if your body hasn’t changed much over the years (good for you!) your breasts likely have. Get fitted – you may be surprised!

Myth #2: Holiday eating or stress won’t impact my bra size.

Many people indulge in high calorie treats during the holiday season but remember all those calories add up. Tack on some extra stress from finding perfect gifts, traveling, and dealing with in-laws and your weight can easily jump. A fitting is recommended any time your weight fluctuates 10-15 pounds. 5-10 pounds if you are a petite person. 

Myth #3: It’s better to wait until I’ve lost these last 10 lbs. to buy a new bra.

Let’s get real for a moment. As adult women, it seems we are always trying to lose those “last 10 pounds.” Are your bras uncomfortable right now? Then get a new one right now. Unless you are on a serious weight loss plan, if your bra is uncomfortable get fitted for a new one. Plus, it could change your whole appearance!

Myth #4: Bras last forever.

Bras should be replaced often. Wearing them, washing them, sweating all affect how your bras stretch, but one thing is for sure they will stretch. Generally, a quality 3 bra wardrobe should be replaced once per year, provided you wear all three equally. Cycle wearing your bras and always give your bra a day of rest between wearings. Hand wash or wash them in a lingerie bag and allow to air dry to extend your bra’s life. Never put your bra in the dryer. 

Myth #5: Once you’ve been fit, you know what size to buy.

Would you buy a new pair of jeans without trying them on? Of course not! Style, brand and design all affect how a bra fits, therefore, you may need to try different styles and sizes to get the perfect fit. Don’t settle! Seek out the best bra for you. At the end of the day, you are the best bra fit expert because you are the one who will be wearing it everyday. Start with your best fitting bra, stand in front of a mirror and make a list of things you don’t like. The cross reference them with this bra fitting solutions guide from HerRoom.com.

The anatomy of a bra

Before we can get into correct fit, let’s take a look at the parts of a bra so you’re better able to articulate what is and isn’t working. 
1. Bra Cup: A cup size letter, such as a C cup is not equal in volume across all band sizes, the cup size is a measurement of how far your breasts project from your chest wall.
2. Multi Part Cup: Also called cut & sew cups or seamed cups. The seam direction can affect how the bra fits and shapes your breasts.
3. UnderwireA bra with underwires gives the best shape and definition to a bustline. So, it’s worth the effort to try and find an underwire bra that fits you properly.

4. Band: A bra’s band is designed and engineered to carry the weight and thrust of your breasts. This is why its so important that you find your correct band size – too tight and your underwires can dig into your ribcage; too loose and your breasts won’t have proper support.

5. Center PanelA well-supporting bra will have a center panel at or above the apex, or horizontal nipple line. The wider the center panel, the better the bra will fit a woman with wide-set and splayed breasts. The center panel on many bra styles actually decreases in width as the cup sizes increase. This makes sense when you remember that as breasts get larger, they also get closer together.

6. Bra WingsThe sides and back of your bra can play a major role in giving you support and can be instrumental in creating or preventing flesh bulges. Do you want to know if your bra is made with quality fabric that will last a long time? Do the stretch test. Simply stretch the wings of your bra. An inferior fabric that is overly stretchy fatigues quickly. Look for a fabric that recovers better, it will be more supportive and last longer.

7. Bra HooksFor optimal wear, your bra’s back closure hooks should fit snug on the first (closest to the end) set of loops. As your bra gets worn and natural stretch takes place over time, you will then be able to tighten your bra by hooking on the other sets of loops. 

8. StrapsBra straps come in a number of variations. They can be made up of all elastic, or have a rigid front half with an elastic back half. Bra straps can also be wide, narrow, padded, removable, conjoined, and usually length adjustable. Whatever the style, bra straps are meant to act as stabilizers for the bra. At most, they should carry no more than 10% of the breast’s weight. Whatever the style, bra straps should lie flat against your chest (unless you have implants) and not fall off your shoulders.

Trying on bras; a fit checklist

Sometimes an ill fit is obvious. Other times there are less blatant signs that it’s not the perfect fit for you. First start with the Stoop, Swoop & Scoop to ensure you are really “in” your bra:
  1. Stoop, or bend forward at the waist
  2. Swoop, use your hand to gently bring all your breast tissue forward into the cup
  3. Scoop your breast tissue up and into the underwire
A perfect bra should have ALL of the following:
  • Smooth fitting cups, no bulging or gaps
  • Center panel should lay flat against the chest
  • Bra band should be parallel to the floor, or slightly lower in the back
  • Straps stay put and don’t dig in to shoulders
  • Cup fabric is stable, giving support and shape
  • Under wires encircle your whole breast, no poking or protruding
  • Good breast lift, the apex (or nipple line) should fall evenly between your shoulders and elbows
  • Breasts point forward, not to the side or down
  • A finger can be run under the band
  • It’s comfortable to sit down in
If your bra doesn’t meet these requirements try these tips and tests for getting the right bra fit. If it still doesn’t pass these tests read this for solutions. Don’t forget about sister sizes! Depending on the issue you are having, changing your cup or band size can help. We all have “sister sizes” and “size neighborhoods” that surround our bra size an can help when you find a bra that is not true to size. Read more on sister sizes here.

Wearing a proper fitting bra can uplift your breasts to create a more youthful and slimming appearance, as well as affect how your breasts look without a bra! If you still find yourself in an ill fitting bra, seek out the help of a professional. HerRoom.com’s Bra Fitting Guide provides an extensive library of information on determining your breast shape and bra size as well as fit information for people with unique breast challenges. Most of the information I provided here is an adaptation and summarization of their fit guide. There is still so much more information on their site!

If you’re in the Austin area and would like some help getting the right bra for you, I have an incredible bra specialist who is teaching me more and more everyday about fit, form and quality of bras. You can visit her website here or just go to HaveAPerkyDay.com! Your boobs will thank you for wearing a proper fitting bra!


Caring for Your Clothing

So, you’ve spent hundreds, quite possibly thousands, on your wardrobe. How do you go about protecting the investment you’ve made in your image? Lots of people have “tried and true” methods for cleaning your clothing items, some are great and others are, well, not so great. We’ve scoured the internet for the most reliable of sources and compiled them all here for you in our guide to caring for your clothing. Continue reading

Winterize Your Summer Styles

Sorry it has been so long since my last post dears! I was experiencing some technical difficulties, but fortunately they have been resolved now! Happy dance! I have been waiting for weeks to post this, so I hope you enjoy!
So fall is “officially” here but, it’s still feels a lot like summer in Austin! If you’re still rocking your summer styles but looking for a way to extend your wardrobe once fall arrives, read on.
We all have them. Favorite summer pieces that you’re sad to tuck away for the winter. But what if you could extend the life of your summer pieces? Good news! You can! In most cases. Here are some examples of summer 2013 trends that have been “winterized”:
High waisted shorts: Add a striped tee and a moto jacket with some buckle boots for a cool weather style!



Maxi Dresses: Top it off with a jacket and some booties in rich fall hues!






Floral dresses: Wear it with a moto jacket and some high heeled, low cut ankle boots!





 Jumpsuits: Add a blazer and some stylish heels for an evening out!







 Harem Pants: Pop on a scarf with a sweater and some ankle booties!





So, what do you think? Will you be able to winterize some of your favorite summer styles? 

Thanks for reading! Until next time ~ Sara






Wear White After Labor Day

Should you wear white after Labor Day? Where did this rule come from? Why did our mothers tell us this was a fashion don’t? And how can you make this look work for you? Read on…
There are a few perspectives on how this became status quo. Some speculate that this fashion rule dates back to the early 20th century when people wore much more modest clothing than today. Wearing white in the summer months was used as a function to stay cool, as there was no air conditioning and people were not wearing sundresses and tank tops, according to Miss Manners, Judith Martin.
Another class of thought is that the rule was born out exclusivity. Those who were well off enough to ditch the urban life to spend the summer months on the coast donned white linen and Panama hats as a contrast to their everyday lives. White was the summer uniform of choice at resorts, a look of leisure. At the end of summer, marked by Labor Day, these folks returned to their city lives and stowed their lighter colors for another year and returned to the darker colors of fall.
Whatever the origin, this “rule” has faced opposition since as early as the 1920s. Most notably, Coco Chanel owned a slew of white suits which she wore year round. As time goes on whether born out of functionality or snobbery, this rule like so many others has become less relevant. We no longer fear sullying our whites in the daily city life and many have found white to be a lovely look throughout the year.
So how can we incorporate white into our post Labor Day lives? Try a pair of white jeans tucked inside some boots. Wear a white suit at Christmastime. Don a white skirt with some suede ankle boots. Opt for a white wool coat this winter. Be a bit daring a try something new. 
Here are a few tips for pulling off this look:
-Ensure your white is clean, no matter when you decide to wear it.
-Linen, regardless of color, should be relegated to summer. Choose a heavier fabric for cooler months, like denim or wool.
-Pair with black, brown or camel for fall or winter. Navy and white should be reserved for spring.
-When buying fall/winter pieces look for cream or ivory as they are less jarring than white.
-Avoid wearing all white.
-Most importantly, love what you’re wearing. Confidence is the most elegant thing any woman can sport.
Until next time! ~ Sara


The Plaid Factor

Plaid is back and what a perfect fall style to wear! One of the big trends for Fall 2013 the tartan is trendy again as seen on runways from big designers like Celine and Moschino. 
There are many ways to wear the classic check, depending on the piece you choose. I like plaid skirts, but I want to avoid looking like a school girl. Too many skirts are short and very youthful but this lovely tiered, silk number from Lauren by Ralph Lauren is a more mature version of the school girl style. I like the way the silk drapes and moves as you walk and the length is perfect for pairing with knee high boots. 
I chose to add this silk top by Elizabeth and James as a shell under a structured blazer. Any neutral colored shell will do if you are choosing to add a blazer. This particular blazer I chose is from a German clothing site but there is a similar version available from JCrew. I just love the classic camel color paired with this trendy tartan skirt.
For the boots I chose a knee high style in a versatile camel color (similar here and here) which I consider to be a wardrobe staple. I paired this with this gorgeous Bella Vista Satchel from a U.K. handbag designer Beara Beara. This, too, is on my lust list for this season. Finish your style with some simple accessories like a scarf and some drop earrings and you will be looking ladylike, for sure. This is a perfect Autumn outfit for work or for play.
Until next time ~ Sara
The Plaid Factor