Tuesday, 21 February 2017

le uniform

My wee "how I dress" epiphany

Following on from my confession of having lapsed into disorganisation, and therefore, untidiness, I have had a massive biff-out. Wee abode has lots of bags awaiting transport to one of my sisters, so they have created a sort of an inside traffic jam.

I live in Auckland, my sister lives in Tauranga, about 3 hours drive away (for my driving!!), so I am doing an expedition there. She is an artist who regularly does markets, including the odd get-rid-of-your-stuff type market, so she is quite happy to dispose of good stuff and have a nice day in the process. And I'll trot along too, and do some readings. These are fun days, and sister days are very special.

One of my other sisters, decided to send some "stuff", via yours truly, too. It turned out to be a clean-out of her garage-cum-storeroom, so two expeditions just might be in order.

As I ruthlessly went through my "stuff", throwing out things with great determination, whilst berating myself for having gotten slack, I realised that I had not been dressing as me, lately. But rather, dressing as I thought that I "should" be dressing: always a mistake.

Sophia Loren and le uniform

Image result for sophia loren guess

I used to have Sophia Loren's beauty book, which I found in an op-shop, and Sophia said how, away from the spotlight, she had a uniform that she wore. I took that to heart, because I liked the idea of defining oneself through clothes. Sophia's daily uniform was:

  • jeans or black pants
  • boots
  • and a shirt. 
Then if she had to go out, she would pop on:

  • her very glamorous black Burberry type raincoat
  • and also add a colourful, long scarf, and, viola! Her "other" uniform. 
Both current, both timeless and glamorous looks. Sophia is, of course, the epitome of glamour. Her book was written when she was about 50.

                             Image may contain: 2 people, people standing, night and child
                               (with my son, years ago)

I used to be a monk

I love unusual uniforms. I lived in a yoga ashram for a few years, where our "uniform" was:

  • bald head
  • orange shirt or tee
  • orange cloth tied around the waist
  • and jandals. 
I loved the freedom of not having to decide what to wear. And, ever since I left that ashram......I have kept my hair longish. When I was teaching yoga a lot, here and there, it was yoga pants and a tee, short or long sleeved.

This woman has it all sorted

I was reading fiftynotfrumpy blog, here, which has now a new site called susanover60, here, because the blog owner got older. And Susan writes a lot about her look. She definitely has a uniform, and has learnt how to mix her base items that make up her uniform: 

  • pants in a certain shape because these are the pants shape that looks best on her
  • a top, tee or shirt
  • and a third layer as a jacket
  • she likes to wear either a necklace or a scarf
  • and really trendy shoes
Susan looks great. She also sticks to neutrals: 

  • silver-grey
  • navy
  • black
  • white 
for the basic items in her wardrobe, and adds strong colour with a top, or scarf.

This look would not be suitable for my life. I would just look so overdressed. Auckland is a casual city, and our style of dressing here, reflects that. 

But what mostly fascinated me about Susan's blogs, was that it seemed as though she had found out what:

  • shapes
  • lengths
  • and colours

suited her. Whether through trial and error, or a colour and style consultation, I don't know. And she has stuck to what suits her.

I've had my colours and style "done"

I had a style session as a gift, once. No matter what my weight is, I can truthfully say that my style booklet from all of those years ago, is always spot on. 

I have done training as a colour consultant, and "had my colours done" four times. In one of those sessions, I was a soft autumn, from the other three I am a winter. Either way, I do know what colours make me feel happier (and it is from one of those colour palettes), and when I stick to those colours, I am happier.

                   Image result for twiggy dressed casual in black

                         Twiggy: "black is the new black"

For some inexplicable reason, when I wear brown, I get a bit depressed, so I use black for my neutrals. And when I wear a strong, clear blue, people always remark that I am looking good. Not my favourite colour, but I do wear it.

I would have to say, that when you know the:

  • shapes
  • lengths
  • fabrics
  • patterns
  • and colours 
that suit you best, you are halfway to your "look". 

Lifestyle matters too

The next step is deciding what suits your lifestyle, and the society that you live in. If you live at a beach, in the countryside, on a snowy mountain, for example, then formal type clothing would be so wrong. 

And being a mum, teetering around in trendy high heels whilst you run around after wee kiddies, is silly, too. 

Auckland has beautiful summers with amazing beaches, a proper spring and autumn, and a very rainy, cold winter. But even so, when I look at overseas fashion blogs, I can see that wearing some of the gorgeous clothes that they feature, is just so wrong for this city.

Le uniform which I love

I love:

  • black clothes
  • tees
  • small cardigans
  • ballerina shoes
  • plain clothes
I am short so there are a lot of looks whereby I would just look so ridiculous. I have been wearing floaty, patterned tops and black or navy tights, all of which I do not like. Why was I wearing them? I think that I had just got it into my head that, I "should" be wearing them. Because it is The Current Look. And I feel that I got a bit lost dressing that way.

When I look at how my many sisters dress, I would have to say that each has a distinct "look". Different from me, and unique to each person. 

I think that this is what uniform dressing encapsulates: our own distinct "look"

Thursday, 16 February 2017

on being disorganised

                           Image result for glamorous woman doing housework

Woe is me

Disorganisation had set in. I was aghast! 

  • too much work
  • too much socialising
  • too much just doing things 
  • and too little time, 

had lead to:

  • too little work done
  • and too much mess 

So I had to rethink my habits. Although I would just love to be this impulsive, extroverted person who rushes around doing charismatic and chic things, that is so not my life.

My disorder.... creates more disorder

Or, is this just me?

When I am stressed and either work late or waste time on social media or indulge in Netflix late at night, I then wake up late. As you do. So better sleep habits are in order. Then when I'm up late....everything gets all muddled up in the morning. I'm the sort of person who has a routine and I am always happier when I stick to it.

But, somehow, I had forgotten that I was this organised person.......

I do prefer to be organised

And, when I'm travelling, I have to adjust a bit, but even so, I still like to be systematic. You would think that being this way would make a person boring, however it greatly reduces stress and allows us more free time in the long run. I really don't like being late, nor messy in my appearance.

I also don't like grabbing food here and there. I don't like it because it just isn't good for our hormones, which rely on some degree of regularity to work well. For example, when I wake up late in the morning, I know that the sleep hormone, melatonin, is having a hard time within my body system. It needs dark for us to sleep, and it gets turned off when we are exposed to light.

So when we are still asleep with sunlight streaming in through the curtains, we are sending conflicting messages to our hormonal system. On the one hand, we should be secreting melatonin because we are asleep, and on the other hand, the sunlight is telling us that melatonin should be turned off and serotonin should be turned on. Serotonin is an awake hormone.

And of course there are times when we must have late nights and do need to sleep in ... but .... netflix? ... really? (yes ....really....)

Mornings are my best times

And I generally work from home. With:

  • getting up later
  • doing meditation
  • having a quick walk, 
  • then breakfast
my work has been suffering. For me, this is the most bothersome part of it all. I am having massive doses of work guilt. Or, non-work guilt really.

So, back to being more regular:

  •  with sleep habits
  • waking up
  • eating breakfast sooner rather than later, 
  • no nibbling after tea. Apparently, there is a part of the brain which controls circadian rhythms, the hypothalamus, and, it is responsible for late night hunger. So, obviously, the thing to do is to not be up late so that you don't then get hungry.......

But it caused me to ponder if this is one of the reasons why the french eat later in the evening than many other countries: because we are going to be hungry then.  I work late one night a week, so I need an early dinner then, but otherwise I am trialling a later evening meal. As part of reorganising my disorganised spree, I also am working really hard at not snacking, and, mostly, it's working.

                                   Image result for old film stars waking up in the morning
                      (waking up joyfully to start a new day)

So, new regime: 

  • up earlier
  • meditation
  • walk
  • shower
  • breakfast
  • quick tidy of wee abode
  • then work!

                                 Image result for vintage film stars doing housework

                    (ready to work on the computer)

  • turn off and put away computer each evening after tea, so that I can't be seduced by it late in the evening, nor first thing in the morning. 
  • no daytime nibbling
                                    Image result for vintage film stars in bed attire
                  (after my toilette, ready for bed)


  • la toilette
  • quick tidy of wee abode 
  • and lay out clothes
  • a few yoga poses 
  • meditation
  • slumber

Then, when something does come up unexpectedly, and le routine has to be interrupted, it will be exciting, out of the norm.

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