The Blackout on The Red Carpet

The Blackout on The Red Carpet

Want my very honest opinion on wearing black on the red carpet? You may not like it but you may read the italicized paragraphs below.  Want to skip the deep thoughts and just get to the good, the bad and the what were they thinking part? Scroll down to below the italicized font. 

In an effort to show solidarity among women, last nights female, and many male attendees chose to wear black. The color black is strong, no doubt, but it also feels serious, sometimes even sad, after all it is the color we associate with death and funerals. I am all about bringing awareness and opening up conversation to the sexual harassment scandal that has besieged Hollywood and beyond. What confuses me is that there were requests made by some women to take the focus off of fashion during the Golden Globes, an event that is typically known for what people wore as much as, sometimes even more than, whom actually won. That, in my opinion, is bullshit. 

I get that I will be of the minority and will certainly face some backlash for my opinion but nonetheless I am going there. Freedom of speech works on both sides of the fence and I’d like to say something about fashion and females. A celebrity is not created, achieved, or sustained in a vacuum, especially when it comes to women. There are agents, stylists, makeup artists, hairstylists, publicists and many others who are supporting the pyramid that builds up to a celebrity. While I appreciate that they want to use their spotlight to bring attention to a topic long kept in the dark, what I don’t appreciate is the disregard for acknowledging that they still want to look fabulous while doing so. What I am referring to, specifically, is an actress who wears a one of kind, hand beaded couture dress that is slit down to her navel and up to her thigh, skin-tight, in flawless makeup and with perfectly cascaded waves in her hair, dripping in borrowed diamonds and jewels, who then says don’t look at my body and don’t ask me about my clothes. No, you don’t get to be righteous and then shit on the fact that you are still using fashion to do so. 

Fashion is power, as is being female. Yes, we need equality in the workplace and yes we need to stand up to people who say and do inappropriate things that we allow to make us feel like less. But we also have the power, we always have. Women have the ability to seduce, to use their feminine wiles to their advantage. Have you ever flirted with a man just to get him to buy you a drink, maybe even brushed up against him or touched his arm? Nowadays he could come right back at you and call you out for inappropriate comments and touching, which, is kinda true if you had no real interest in having any further conversation or interaction with that man who just paid for your drink. Have you ever batted your eyes to get out of speeding ticket? Have you ever used your looks, or your sexuality in any way, implied or otherwise, to get your way? Your body has the power to be used for good and evil and it’s totally up to you on how you want to use it. I don’t care how it’s used as long as you are the one in control of that decision. When the control over your body is taken away by someone else? That’s where I have a problem. 

Sexual assault, crime and workplace misconduct that threatens your career, or your safety is a serious matter. But let’s sort that out from the back and forth innuendoes shared by men and women for years, both in the workplace and beyond. Banter and flirting, whether innocent or proprietary in nature, can be a one way or a two-way street. But one thing is for sure, an individual has a right on either end of the conversation to let the other end know that things have crossed a line or gone too far. Speak up and then move on. My fear is that some of the major violators of sexual harassment are being lost in the noise of a witch hunt on the entire male race. Also lost during last nights ceremony was the fact that men too have been victims of many of these horrible Hollywood monsters. Kevin Spacey hasn’t been accused of targeting women, he has been accused of targeted men, specifically some who are so young they would actually be classified as boys. Being a gay male in Hollywood is still kept a bit of a secret because it can sometimes limit an actor’s marketing ability to a female audience. How many men have remained silent in order to keep their careers, and, like I mentioned in the beginning of this post, the careers of all of the people they employ, in order to keep their celebrity status up and running?

I’ve said it so many times but it was never so true as it was last night on tv. Fashion speaks with a very loud voice. Even if you missed the awards show last night I am sure one of the first things you heard with regard to news coverage of the event wasn’t who won what category, but about how every woman wore black. Those black dresses, most of which are custom-made and designed for that particular actress, are not created out of thin air. From the garment workers in the textile factory to the administrative assistant who works for the fashion design house to the janitor that cleans the building, there is a complete industry working behind the scenes to create that statement making black dress. Many of those in that particular industry are, in fact, women themselves. I don’t think I heard Ryan Seacrest ask anyone who they were wearing last night out of fear of getting his head bitten off. Yes, let’s acknowledge the solidarity of woman. Let’s also acknowledge the men out there that are good, the ones who stand up for us, treat us like women and take care of us. Sure, we are equipped to do it ourselves but isn’t it nice to be shown some chivalry?  Let’s acknowledge the designer who worked countless hours sketching, pinning, draping and building their own personal work of art for you to wear, and don’t forget the seamstress with arthritic hands and who sewed each and every bead on your dress by hand and let the dress in and let it back out again as she adjusted for every little half a pound you gained or lost. Let’s acknowledge the stylist that brought more than 20 dresses back and forth to your home while you hemmed and hawed over which one you wanted to be given for free to wear. Let’s acknowledge that fashion is, and always has been, the strongest suit of armor we as women have to use in this epic story called life. Men can’t effect change with what they wear, not in the same way an entire room of women can. Oh and next time? How about something that celebrates women and their beautiful curves instead of sobering them? Let’s wear red and sparkles and sequins and gold. Let’s acknowledge the power of our appearance and how good it can make us feel, how a cashmere robe can envelope us in care and comfort or a couture gown can make us stand tall and feel regal and confident. But don’t, please don’t, say that what you are wearing doesn’t matter when it is literally the very fabric that wove together a diverse group of women last night. Be grateful for the power to instigate change by using your wardrobe.

FASHION + FEMALES = PHENOMENAL POWER

Okay, back to your regularly scheduled segment of The Red Carpet Review –

In a sea of black dresses celebrities had to up their game when it came to makeup and accessories. Some of them met this challenge and knocked it out of the park. Some, chose not to wear any makeup, essentially never even showing up to play ball. To each his (or her) own. In any case when you put everyone in black there are quite a few similarities and trends that stand out.

Also, just to keep it really real, here is what I was wearing while being oh so critical of these celebrities. This is why this critique is meant for fun, and not to harm or insult. My look was minnie mouse meets the Flyers meets the back end of my  dog, so clearly I am not really in a position to judge.  Comfort is key kids!

The Dress Over Pants Look.

This one is tricky, always. Tricky because you really have to have no hips to have an exaggeration of fabric come outward at your hips without looking, well, hippy. I also personally think this look looks best on someone a bit younger and more on the petite side overall. Which one of these ladies got it right? In the last picture I love the proportion and the fabric used in this outfit as worn by Alison Brie. The clean classic stiletto finishes off the look just right.

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The I Think I Want You To See My Underwear Look

While Beyonce has pulled off this look in the past, and mostly because she is Beyonce, I don’t know that I really like it. It sort of looks like a bathing suit meets coverup meets bedroom lingerie look that I’m just not following. I end up focusing on if they are wearing boy shorts or granny panties as opposed to looking at the overall dress. And while pretty much everyone can agree on the flawless, ageless perfection known as Halle Berry, I’m not sure I’m on board with this Victoria’s Secret castoff. A fitted black velvet sheath would have sealed the deal on Halle and looked much more elegant than this lace frock. And Kate, dear sweet Kate, please show us something else besides your sternum. I know it’s been hard rocking the short hair but the plunging neckline is not the right kind of distraction. I couldn’t find a pic of Ashley alone so Selma is in there looking confused by both of their outfits. As for Angelina I’m kinda wondering if I could wear that dress and use it like a sexy swiffer at the same time.

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The Imma Gonna Wear The Suit Tonight Look

Some women said it was their turn to sport the tux. Sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn’t. When it works it is usually because they kept something super sexy but subtle instead of going full on “I raided my sons/brothers/husbands closet.” Here’s to you Kyra Sedgwick for getting that cut on those pants so perfect and a jacket tailored in all the right spots.

Susan – this just looks sloppy and it makes me sad because you are such a knockout.

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This look is so close to being fabulous but the pants are literally making me nervous that she is going to trip and the severity of the hair and makeup is too close to the Robert Palmer backup dancer video look.

claire-foyPoor Hugh Grant’s date looks like he literally told her in the car that they were going to stop by the Golden Globes while she’s all like “Wait, I thought we were just going out to Nobu for sushi!”

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Is it me or is Kevin Bacon morphing into William H. Macy?

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The Go Big With Tulle Or Go Home Look

Well if you have to wear black you might as well wear a lot of it. I kinda like Heidi’s dress but I kinda don’t, probably because it wants to kinda be short and it kinda wants to be long but it’s kinda not sure. IMG_2104I actually don’t mind Mariah’s dress but I am confused by the strap up top – maybe it is there to hold the big girls up and prevent a peekaboo sesh? Doesn’t she have a personal handler for those kinds of things? And how does she sit in this? Waddle like a mermaid?

IMG_2096While I’m still trying to figure out why the Kardashians are celebrities I have to give it to the one K child who has a legitimate career in modeling. Kendall wore this dress without it wearing her, not easy to do in a dress that size. The dress was so big that appears to have latched onto the ivy display in the background of this photo. I pity the assistant that had to pry it out of there without any damage.

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The Let’s Mix In Some Silver Look

I love that these ladies threw in a bit of celebration. Rita Wilson has metallic fireworks sewed into her dress , while Margot rocks shoulder pads like nobody’s business, tying it all up with a fantastic bow and floral thread detail. Dove Cameron (Disney chick for those of you without tweens in your house) also went for a delicate metallic bow accent while Jessica Chastain slayed it with pops of silver beading and drop dead perfect hair, makeup and earrings.

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The Unfortunate Look

Whether this was a statement against looking pretty or just an accident, these lovely ladies missed the mark. Alicia looks like she is going to a funeral on the little house on the prairie followed by an Amish wake. The severe hair, the solemn look, it all just felt very sad.

IMG_2085Amanda Peet clearly has a stylist that hates her.  Either that or she lost a bet and someone said she had to wear a 1980s maternity bridesmaid dress with one side hiked up to show off some knee action.

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Diane Kruger always goes on the edge a bit but I kept stressing out last night that someone was going to step on that train, namely her date Norman Reedus who might just get his hair fixed if he did happen to fall.

IMG_2080 Sarah Paulson may have tried to be creative by pulling separates out of her closet but it just didn’t jive together. Did you know that her and Amanda Peet are besties? Maybe they shouldn’t get ready together. Or maybe they drank alot of wine and were just like “eff it, this’ll work!”

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Congratulations to Eva Longoria on her first baby, as the deep plunge and high center slit let us know that all signs were pointing to her first baby on board. I’m glad that she’s not further along because I’d be worried that they baby would show through that slit.

IMG_2086And then we have Sharon Stone – still as gorgeous as ever, with her cutie pie son as her date. While she is still rocking the hell out of this dress I just kept imagining her telling her son to warn her if he sees her areola pop out. I love how he proudly has his hand around her hips like “Look Ma – you don’t have any panty lines!” And do you think they did their hair together?

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The I Am So Cool And You Wanna Hate Me But You Can’t Because I Am Awesome Looks

These looks can only be pulled off with complete confidence with girls that know how to slay all day. Zoe Kravitz – you were boho beautiful in Big Little Lies but you brought out a fierce and feminine look firmly grounded by heels that are like skyscrapers. And those earrings with the red lips are simply gorgeous.

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Also on the “only they can pull it off “list is those booties worn by the always awesome Kerry Washington. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that kind of shoe on the formal red carpet. And she paired it with this dress that has total downtown cook chick vibes all over it. And that hair!!!! The cut is sexy and simple and the smoky makeup is on point. This does have this “I just pulled this out of my closet look” that only girls who are truly chic can mix up, mash-up and make it work.

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Millie Bobby Brown is all of 13 years old but her cool girl status is planted firmly. She was age appropriate in the dress, shoes, hair and jewelry. And the dress has pockets! Always love me some pockets.

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Naomi Campbell is all like “You ladies want all black? Let a supermodel show you how it’s done.” Flawless at 47 years old.

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My Favorites – From The Front, Back and Side

Oh Penelope how I’ve missed you! You are classic Hollywood glamour with a dose of chic and sexy. I love the soft waves and how they echo the soft wave of the satin bustle in the back. This is a movie star and this is a gown.

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Dakota Johnson. I’m gonna be honest in that I really haven’t seen her act. I saw the first 50 Shades of Gray and it made me uncomfortable how the two leading actors looked like they didn’t even like each other. But when it comes to the red carpet she has the sexy girl next door thing all ready to go. I love the casualness of the pony and the bangs, which, let me tell you after having bangs, they are a lot harder to do than they look. The velvet dress looks rich and sophisticated and the drop earrings add just enough without competing with the belt detail. I love that her makeup was kept simple and soft.

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The BFF Accessory

Oprah was honored with the Cecil B. Demille Award last night and if I am being totally honest I don’t even know what that is for. But it’s Oprah and she talks in sing-song voices and makes us feel like we can eat carbs, get a hug and have an aha moment. There is something a little smug about her at times but I’d be a total nightmare if people fawned over me the way they do over her. But what I love most is that she brought steady Stedman AND she brought her BFF Gayle. Because we all know if we were going to one of these things and getting a big award we’d all be like can I bring my bestie too??? An award is great and all but it’s not the same without my best friend there to enjoy it with me. Plus in my mind I imagine them discussing what they were going to wear “too much silver O?” (in my mind Gayle calls her O and can’t be bothered with the whole Oprah thing) “which bag do you like best O? black? or silver? And can I still wear my watch? I like wearing my watch ” And O is all like ” Gurl go ask Stedman – I am still stuck on figuring out which eyeglasses to wear with this dress! And I have to make a speech that changes the lives of little girls foreveerrrrrrr!” And did they plan on Oprah’s boobs being so high up and Gayle’s being so low? You know you wanna know too.

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*Insider Tip – Fashion is under YOUR control

What you wear is powerful. It can make so many statements without you ever having to say a single word. While fashion is important, it only gets us so far. Whether we use it to set the tone in someone else’s mind or within our own is up to us. Don’t ignore it but don’t take it too seriously. What we wear is one thing and what we say and do quite another. I love that there is a movement to get all this dark stuff out into the light. I don’t care if women wear their pajamas to an awards show if it means it makes more room for more shows like Big Little Lies that showcase complex, complicated and can’t look away type characters. In our fight for the females lets not forget to fight for everyone. My favorite quote of the night, ironically, was not from Oprah, or from a female, but from Sterling K. Brown, the actor who plays Randall Pearson on This Is Us. I’d like to see Hollywood continue to make more roles written for all the many different people who make up our beautiful world.

After thanking his family, his castmates et al, Brown turned his focus to Dan Fogelman, This Is Us creator and showrunner. “Throughout the majority of my career, I’ve benefited from colorblind casting which means, you know what, hey, let’s throw a brother in this role, right? Really cool,” Brown said. “Dan Fogleman, you wrote a role for a black man. That could only be played by a black man. And so what I appreciate so much about this thing is that I’ve been seen for who I am and being appreciated for who I am. And it makes it that much more difficult to dismiss me, or dismiss anybody who looks like me.

Thanks for reading,

Suzie

Your Closet Called…it asked for Fall!

Your Closet Called…it asked for Fall!

Tomorrow is one of my favorite days because it is the annual Girls Shopping Day in Kennett Square, PA.  You can get everything you need for fall, literally from head to toe at Ashely Austin, Chantilly Blue, Houpette and No.109.

Oh and want some help from a personal shopper and stylist? Come find me! I’ll be starting my day at Chantilly Blue and I will up and down the block until the early afternoon. I’m back to mom duty in the evening but if you can stop in for a cocktail they are open till 8pm!

Can’t make it in? Live far away? Call or text me, or any of the stores. We can send you pics and hold aside for you or even mail for you if you are not local. There are too many great things to miss this!

Chantilly Blue…

So I stopped in here yesterday and started screaming. I think this is Lisa’s best fall picks yet! Lots of color! And pieces to give you that polished casual that you can wear every single day.Rocco is Lisa’s rescued love bug and he is adorable. After falling in love with him Lisa wanted to give back to other rescue pups and shelters. Below is a list of some items they need. Oh and for every item you bring in? 20% off an item in the store! Premium denim, made in the USA, fitted on you by the denim whisperer herself and her amazing staff – on sale!!!

Gift card from Wawa, Walmart, Target, or PetSmart. Also, New or gently used dog harnesses (no collars, please ), dog leash, new dog toys, Dog bowls, dog crates, dog beds. Must be either new or in excellent shape. ATTT does the unbelievable by rescuing and rehabilitating dogs who have nothing good to associate with humans. Vet bills are staggering. They astonish. Beginning Thursday, any one item donated get you 20% off any full priced item. Bring one, bring ten, no limit to the donation and the savings.

 

This suede finish dress below? I’m in love.

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Ashley Austin….

Booties and Bags and Baubles!! So. Much. Good. Stuff. If you buy just one type of shoe for fall make sure you have an ankle boot to wear with cuffed denim or with a dress or skirt. It is the essential fall transition shoe! And if you buy suede don’t forget to spray and protect your shoes from the elements so you can keep them looking brand new. Need advice on fit and what flatters? These lovely girls at Ashley Austin know their stock. Let them help you find your perfect pair!

 

 

Houpette…

I am kind of obsessed with the Kevyn Aucoin lipsticks…they are amazing! Not sure of the color? No worries – they have experts on hand to make sure you get the color that works for you.

 

And No. 109….

Leather (faux) leggings? They are for every age and every body – they add an insta cool factor to a fun top or a cozy oversize winter sweater. Definitely my top pick! Craving some fun color or prints? Heather always  makes sure there are plenty of bright options, no matter what season it is!

 

 

*Insider Tip – Just Jenny From The Block

If J.Lo should ever find herself in Kennett Square she would be thrilled that she wouldn’t have to wear out her stilletos looking to check off everything on her list. From lockets to lattes, you can find everything you need up and down the same 2 blocks. So park your car and do some shopping. Then drop your bags back at your car and grab some caffeine. Then do some more shopping. Okay now that you have tried on all the clothes you can eat!

These places are small business owned, unique and amazing. Make sure to check them out. In case you can’t tell I really love our small town, and the best part is the amazing people in it. 🙂

Philter 

After you get over obsessing how perfect the wall color and the wall art is, make sure to enjoy what a truly amazing fresh brew really tastes like.Prepare to be spoiled.

 

Green Eyed Lady

You know how it would be so cool to raid the jewelry stash of you eccentric and well traveled Great Aunt Linda? Or craving something unique that no one else will have? All of my favorite cuff bracelets are from here. Their laid back vibe makes it the perfect place to peruse. Looking for something very specific? Ask Colleen and she will let you know if they have it or can find it for you.

Photo of Green Eyed Lady - West Chester, PA, United States

 

Talulah’s Table

You have probably heard of this place…and yes, it’s as good as everyone says. Try their grab and go takeout or sit with a scone and people watch outside. It’s so peaceful you may not want to leave.

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Shop Mamie

A new additon to Kennett Square just in the last couple of months, this sweet boutique with a Delaware flagship store is located just around the corner from Talulahs. This is the perfect place for both mothers and daughters to find something fun for fall. Also check out their collection of Scout accessories and some super adorable toddler size clothes to match mom…think matching faux fur vests…Christmas pic card…DONE.

 

Thank you so much for reading! Make sure to keep our money in our community…shop small and shop local!

Suzie

 

 

 

 

 

Press the help button for assistance.

 

Please Stand By!:

I started this blog as a way to make fashion and style more accessible. I wanted readers to be able to find someone to relate to when it came to struggling to get dressed. The more closets I’ve been in the more confessions I’ve heard. A person’s home is a huge part of them, and their clothes is what they use to express themselves to their world. The thing is we can control what we wear. We can manipulate how other people perceive us by how we look on the outside. Like anything powerful, this can be good and be bad. The most impeccably dressed and stylish women can have a closet filled with insecurities. And some of the smartest most interesting women can have a closet filled with sweatpants and oversize baggy clothes. We can do the work to change our outside appearance. I can refill and rework your closet and make you look fabulous, but how you feel on the inside is much more complicated.

SO VERY TRUE.. BE CLASSY AND BE KIND...FOR KINDNESS IS BEING BEAUTIFUL...BEAUTY IS FOUND INS LUXURY...SEE HOW IT WORKS? LaFemmina:

After my son was born my hormones didn’t seem to reset right. What I felt was PMS started to take up 3 weeks out of the month instead of a few days. I had felt like this before, both as a kid and in high school in college. Disinterested, annoyed and overwhelmed. At the time I pretty much only had to worry about me. I could “retreat” till it passed. I could take a long car ride and be alone. Those feelings would often go away as quickly as they came, so sitting it out for a day or too was manageable. Once I became a wife, and eventually a mother, checking out for a bit when I was in a  bad mood wasn’t really an option. However staying put, feeling irritated with my kids and lashing out at my family wasn’t a life I wanted to live either. They say that something is a “problem” if it affects your ability to function in your every day life and/or affects your personal relationships. This irritability and feeling of being overwhelmed was doing both. This was not the mother I wanted to be. This was not the wife I wanted to be. I didn’t want to scream at the top of my lungs when one of my kids knocked a cup of milk onto the floor by accident. I didn’t want to wake up and feel like the day in front of me felt like climbing a mountain. I didn’t want to launch into tears because of a small tiff with my husband and I blew it up into a major incident. I didn’t want to hate myself anymore. Most importantly I wanted to be in control. I couldn’t stand that these feelings weren’t consistent or constant. It felt like I would wake up in the morning and suddenly it was decided for me which proverbial side of the bed my brain was getting out of.

My life is by no means hard. In fact, that was one of the reasons I knew something wasn’t right. Everything around me was pretty much perfect, yet there were days I would wake up and feel like I was trudging through 10 feet of snow. I didn’t know what that meant. I thought depression was where you had suicidal thoughts or your stayed in bed all day. I thought anxiety meant someone who was paranoid and afraid to leave the house. But the same way that alcoholism doesn’t always look like a person who gets up and downs vodka, hiding airplane sized bottles in their purse and in their car, depression and anxiety can look very different as well. Alcoholism can be something that others can see, or it can be something that someone works very hard to hide. Depression and anxiety are the same way. We treat people with alcoholism through rehab, steps and support. We treat a sinus infections, acid reflux and headaches with home remedies, prescriptions and over the counter medications. We treat a broken limb with a cast. We treat food allergies with dietary restrictions. There are solutions, whether they are within our own control, or by using the assistance of modern medicine. I tried treating my “trudging through thick snow” feeling with yoga, cardio, essential oils, self-help books, meditation, caffeine, wine,  pretty much everything I could try without taking medication. None of it worked.

#yoga #yogainspiration:

It took me almost 2 years to fill my prescription that my doctor gave me. I was so afraid of becoming the classic cliché, the suburban mom with no “real” problems who washes her meds down with a nightly glass of Chardonnay. The first time I tried medication I felt awful, foggy and nauseous. I quickly gave up and decided that this was the new me and I just had to fight harder.  It took me another entire year to try again, this time a different medication and lower dosage. I can place this back to a conversation I had with woman whom I looked up to. She has one of those personalities that makes you feel better just by being around her. She had been through many challenges in her life and I looked as her as strong and positive. Then one day she told me a story. She told me about a time in her life when she couldn’t drive. She went to take her son to school one day and was completely overwhelmed and stricken with a feeling of panic. She could not get in the car. This is a woman who has a reputation for being able to move mountains and yet she couldn’t get in her own car. She knew she needed help and she went to her doctor. This was decades ago and she no longer takes the medication she so desperately needed back then. It was after hearing her story, that I felt it was okay to fill that prescription. It made me feel that I wasn’t going to be permanently broken. It made me feel I could work toward having control over some of my emotions.

Her story helped me so I made a promise to myself to be open and honest with mine. But it’s not always easy to do so.  I’m still reluctant with just who I talk to about taking medication.  Sure there a tons of jokes between women and moms about taking “crazy meds”,or “mommy pills”, but these are said with a wink. There are confessions on the sidelines of sporting events or over glasses of wine. There’s still a stigma and it can only go away if we put more out in the open. I can’t just say that I have to actually do it as well. But the truth is I’m scared that someone reading this will no longer want their kids to be friends with mine or come over for play dates. I get embarrassed picking up my prescription at the drugstore, wondering about what the pharmacist thinks is so wrong in my life. But I also still get embarrassed buying tampons, and I try to avoid going to the checkout lane with the 16-year-old boys with my box of super duper ultras, so maybe I just have to get over myself.

I am using my voice, or rather my words, to make sure that if someone out there reading this feels like there is something wrong with them, I want them to know they are not alone, weird, broken or crazy. There are many things I think are wrong with me. I can’t stand the c words cluster, clump and creamy and I think most dogs are better than humans. I can’t keep up with text messages and my favorite articles of clothing are my pajamas. I can’t cook if my life depended on it and I have no desire to learn. I like to read magazines from the back cover to the front and I think I’m allergic to musicals and amusement parks. There are no magic pills to fix any of these things. But I use the help of the medication to take away the power of that voice in my brain that says “You suck, you stink, you don’t belong and you can’t do this.” It still says those things but now I can tell it to simmer down, and I can know that it’s not true. I take medication to stop the feeling that the world will end if I find myself running late. I take medication so that when my kids spill milk I realize that it can be cleaned up and wiped away but yelling and mean words cannot.

The medication doesn’t work perfectly. There are still days when I feel like the walls are closing in and I just want to take a nap. Sometimes I feel so tired that I do shut down and sleep. Then of course I feel bad about myself for sleeping, annoyed that I feel like I am being lazy.  The simplest list of chores feels overwhelming and too daunting to even try. Negativity and sadness creeping in like a fog,  even if I shut the windows and the doors it can still seeps its way into my brain.  Something stupid and small, like a tangled vacuum cord will send me into a string of mother effers that would make Kanye West blush. This is life. We get annoyed, we get frustrated and we cry. We cannot feel the highs without the lows. I don’t want to walk around like a medicated zombie or a a robot. Remember when Britney Spears was fresh off her breakdown and recovery and they placed her out on the MTV stage? She literally swam in slow motion through her performance, too heavily medicated to resemble anything like her former self. Finding the right medication takes time and patience. Dosages have to be adjusted and monitored through clear communication with your doctor. When you find what works for you it allows you to put the brakes on the runaway train of negative or irrational thoughts. They are still there but I have a little more confidence to tell them to shut up. For me it feels like someone has wiped the grime off of a window that I didn’t even realize was that dirty. Things get clearer and I feel more rational. I feel better.

 

::

But lately I have felt a little extra out of whack. Spring feels like it’s the new Fall, and it’s filled with tons of parties, appointments, emails, texts, phone calls and obligations. We are busy. Some people are okay with this but I am a true introvert and my social battery dies out rather quickly. When I feel overwhelmed by too much going on I become snippy and impatient to my friends and family. Simple decisions such as what to eat for breakfast feel like I am trying to solve world peace. As this article so beautifully states, we are becoming human-doings instead of human-beings. This does not help the train of “I suck” feelings to slow down, in fact it speeds it up. If I could only get out of my own way, if I could just stop beating myself up. This is a cyclical thought process because then, of course, I get mad at myself for not being able to stop being mad at myself, and yes, I realize how confusing that sounds. When I’m feeling this way I feel like a fraud if I talk about style and clothes, especially when all I want to do is stay at home and  wear pajamas. I never want to be fake, mostly because I’m not good at it. So as much as this blog post is a little off topic, I have talked to too many women lately who are struggling. I want them to know that it can feel better and it is okay to need help. My life is better than it was several years ago because I’ve been able to let go of some of the stupid shit. Some of that is the medication and some of it is just growing up. With help I am a better mother, wife, sister, friend and daughter. I have been able to impact others around me more positively than negatively. I’m still working about how I talk to myself on the inside but it’s getting better. I don’t know how long I will take medication but I am no longer stressing about it. I have more good days than bad days and that is a great thing.

Wouldn’t it be easier if there was a help button?

I understand being scared to talk to your doctor. I understand not wanting your spouse to think there is something wrong with you. I get that feeling like you have failed if you have to resort to medication. I understand these thoughts because I sometimes still have them. Depression, anxiety, panic attacks and anger make us feel ugly on the inside. They invite shame and avoidance to come hang out at their party. It’s not fair. I believe we can have a bigger party where everyone is invited. We can keep talking about what it feels like to “not feel right.” We can share what worked for us and what didn’t. We can work to take away judgement. We can encourage others to find help, in whatever ways work for them. We can listen, support and show up. We can tell others our stories so they know they are not alone.

 

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Thanks for reading this suuuuuppppperr long post, if in fact you are still reading!

Suzie

 

The Oscars Red Carpet Review

The Oscars Red Carpet Review

 

A quick disclaimer….

I said it last year and I’ll say it again, asking the media not to talk about their outfit is just stupid. I get it, you want people to focus on you and not your outfit. But here’s my issue – we know you are important, you wouldn’t be invited if you weren’t. And because The Academy thinks you are important you get to walk the red carpet. And guess what happens when it is time to get dressed? Thousands of people work thousands of hours to provide you with dozens of options of dresses for you to wear – FOR FREE! All they are asking for in return is a quick acknowledgement of their design. Is that really such a big deal? And if it is than why don’t you fire your stylist and go shopping and find your own dress…off the rack…at the mall…like the rest of us who don’t get asked “Who are you wearing?” You can be just like the rest of us at weddings and other formal functions. Let’s see how that goes for you.

 

Okay..now that I got that away…who looked outstanding and who just stood out?

Boobs. That’s what stood out.

Front boob and side boob. I’m looking at you and your boobs Olivia Wilde. Olivia is drop dead gorgeous, with a face that looks like it was sculpted out of marble. Let’s keep the focus there. Not on your boobs. Call me prude or old-fashioned but I think the Oscars are meant to hold a little bit of formality and class. I just don’t think there is anything classy about strapping two tiny strips of fabric over the center of your boobs. If it’s the MTV Movie Awards I expect this. But this is the Oscars!! Stay classy San Diego!

olivia wilde oscars 2016 - Google Search:

 

Liquid Gold

I’m not saying you can’t show any skin. I’m just saying to keep a balance. Margot Robbie did this perfectly. She is almost completely covered except for the front v. And she looks like a perfect Oscar Statue.

This is it: the red carpet to end all red carpets (until the Tonys that is).:

And let’s take a second to drool over that clutch with the really, really, really long tassel. I want one. Now.

This Is the Best Margot Robbie Has Ever Looked on the Red Carpet - Cosmopolitan.com:

K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid)

Sometimes simple works really, really well. Olivia Munn absolutely slayed it in this one shoulder pop of color. I think it’s perfect because it is slightly understated. She’s not nominated for an award, she’s a presenter. This dress gets attention without stealing the show.  The funky wrap cuff bracelet keeps it chic and modern.

Olivia Munn in Stella McCartney on the Oscars red carpet (Photo: Noel West for The New York Times):

Weird but worked? Lady Gaga.

She’s Lady Gaga. We expect some type of shenanigans. But she saved the silly costumes and showed off her elegant side.  She threw in the funk with the unexpected pants/train combo and it worked.  She nailed the pop star at The Oscars look. Loved it.

This is it: the red carpet to end all red carpets (until the Tonys that is).:

 

She’s back in black.

Do you know anyone that doesn’t love Jennifer Garner? I think we all root for her because she keeps it real. She’s been lying low since things fell apart with Batman and I think we were all rooting for her to come back strong. Read her recent interview in Vanity Fair to see how she is doing, you’ll love her even more. Is this black dress her best look ever? No but it is strong and elegant. It doesn’t try too hard or scream “Look at me!” but at the same time it’s a dress only a true movie star could pull off.

Jennifer Garner Oscars Gorgeous:

Bridal Shower Gone Wrong

If you have ever had the unfortunate experience of decorating for a bridal shower or a wedding you know it involves a trip to Walmart and a whole lot tulle. So much tulle that you could pull it together into a dress. But even though you could doesn’t mean you should.

Heidi Klum:

High Wattage.

Naomi Watts brought the glam and it looked gorgeous. This dress is totally different and I love the ombre of purple hues. Sometimes a bold jewel tone can look jarring on fair skin but her jewelry and lip color pull together the whole look.

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Speaking of her jewelry. Let’s just take a minute to focus on the fabulous that is this Bulgari stunner. I’ll take 2 please.

The winner was Charlize Theron who appeared near the end of the event wearing $3.7 million worth of Harry Winston Diamonds. The show stopper was the 48-carat Secret Cluster Diamond Necklace:

 

Kate…Wait!

This is what Kate Winslet’s husband/stylist/best friend should have shouted to her before she left the house. This dress looks like it was from the oil spill left over after the Titanic sank. Why? She is lovely. This is a trash bag. A very expensive trash bag made by Ralph Lauren. Apparently Ralph must have fallen off his polo pony and got injured because he just checked out on this one.  The whole thing makes me sad.

No, Kate, no!:

 

The Great Cate Debate.

My pick for best dressed? Cate Blanchett. I know there will some people who will hate it but I absolutely love it. It’s high fashion and high glam and only could be worn by her. I don’t even know that I would have liked it on anyone else but that’s what makes for a best dressed award. It’s just about the dress. It’s the combination of the dress and who is wearing it. This is a unique color but it works so well on her. The fit of the dress is tailored to show every single curve in a sophisticated manner.  Her hair and the jewels? Just P-E-R-F-E-C-T. And only a movie star knows how to nail that pose, that stance, in that dress. Love.

This is it: the red carpet to end all red carpets (until the Tonys that is).:

Dumbest thing I saw online all night…

 :

Really US Magazine? They “bring” their bump with them??? As if they had an option of leaving them at home. My guess is that a guy wrote that statement.

Insider Tip – Hue Knew?

Please excuse my poor excuse for paintshop skills.

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When it comes to getting the right look for a big event color is key. The right dress with the right cut can go wrong very quickly when the color is off. In looking at the actress above, the dress fits her beautifully, but the color fades into her skin and right on into the background. Now imagine if it was a beautiful shade of jade green. With her striking red hair this look would have stood out instead of faded away. Taking the time to find the best shade for your skin can make all the difference. Also take into consideration if you are going to go the spray tan route. I always look so pale that people ask if I’m okay. For a big event I love a spray tan. Plus it enables me to where several colors that normally would not work on my skin. If you are really not sure what is your best shade then take a sec to flip through some old pics of yourself. You will be able to quickly tell which shades looked fab and which fell flat. 

Who were your favorites? Hits? Misses? Let me know!

Thanks for reading!

Suzie

 

 

The other F word.

The other F word.

I’ve often had to explain to my kids the difference between a bad word, a curse word, and a not-nice-in-our-house word.  I try really hard to explain to my kids that these “curse” words are just words, they are not a big deal. I’ve let them know that should they choose to use them casually, in everyday public conversation, they are making themselves look uneducated and obnoxious, as well as making others uncomfortable.   “Bad words” aren’t formal curse words, but words that are considered offensive or not politically correct. If you have ever seen a teenager scream the words “This sucks!” in the presence of grandparent then you will know why this is just a bad word to use in public.  The last category, “not-a-nice-word-in-our-house” is  personal.  It’s these words that upset me the most.  On the banned list in our family are the words hate, stupid and fat. The first two should be obvious as why I prefer we avoid these words, especially in reference to other human beings. Then there’s the F word.  Sadly this word is used more by adults than children, and I think it is horrible.

1962_5

People come in all shapes and sizes. We learn this as children and we are supposed to teach this to our children.  Even Dr. Suess thinks so. We accept our differences when we are young but grow to ridicule and shame others as adults. So many of my clients have pointed to a group of clothing and referred to it as their “FAT” clothing. I always immediately stop our consult and let them know that word is unacceptable when referring to our bodies and our clothes. There is so much negative energy on the thoughts surrounding that word that I refuse to let it in. Nobody says it in a good way, everyone says that word as if they are expelling something distasteful out of their mouths. Sadly, usually the clothes they point at are the clothes they dislike the most. Why? Because they are not an accurate representation of what they want to be wearing, neither in size or in style.  These are the clothes they feel they acquiesced into buying . They resent these clothes and everything they represent.

orangutan,  how I feel when I try on bathing suits    This is so accurate it hurts

So why do we buy “FAT” clothes, and more importantly how can we stop using that word? I am going to stop using that word immediately and change it to “clothes in a different size.” Why do we buy clothes in a different size? Obviously because our current ones don’t fit. And why don’t they fit? The answer is not always so obvious, not even to ourselves. Our weight can change because of our health, our age, our emotions, our relationships, our eating habits, our physical limits and our hormones. I could go on and on. Sometimes this change is gradual and sometimes it can happen rather quickly. (Hello baby weight!) Sometimes we have control over it (hello nighttime glass of wine…and cheese…and crackers!), other times we don’t (hello medicine that is helping someone fight cancer.) Maybe it is temporary and maybe it is permanent. Either way it certainly isn’t a crime so why do we keep punishing ourselves?

-___- couldn't have been any other name?!

One of the ways we punish ourselves is to buy cheap or unattractive clothing. The thinking is “Well I feel like a sloth so I might as well dress like one – sweatpants here I come!” Or “I’m going to lose this weight so why would I spend money on clothes in this size?” “I’ll just buy something inexpensive to hold me over until I lose the weight.” But what happens every time we reach for these items of clothing? We get sad. We get mad. We get frustrated. We shame ourselves in clothes we don’t even like because we deem our different size selves not worthy of a nice outfit. We use the 3 letter F word to describe that article of clothing. It’s not “Where are my dark rinse bootcut jeans?” It becomes “Where are my F word jeans?”

Because you should never be defined by the number on the scale.

Look around when you say that? Who is listening? Is it your daughter? Whether she is 5 or 15 she is listening, absorbing everything we say and do, good and bad.  And don’t forget who else is always there…YOU. Your brain is actively taking in the things you say and do, and it believes them, good and bad. Think of Stuart Smalley, the “Gosh darn it I’m special and people like me” character from Saturday Night Live. It’s funny but it’s also true. Self  defamation is just as real as self-affirmation. The control is in our own words and we have the power to change them for the better.

Famous Quotes Collection of the Week - Funny Scale

How we dress ourselves is how we present ourselves to the world, it’s a costume of sorts for the role we want to play. Doctors wear scrubs for sanitary purposes, but they are usually dressed business casual underneath. It helps convey the image they are intelligent and competent. The most amazing surgeon in the world could show up for your operation, but if he had sweatpants and a ripped t-shirt on underneath we wouldn’t be so trusting, even if he explained they were his F-word clothes because he has been too busy working at the hospital to exercise.

Dove 'Real Beauty' Campaign Turns 10: How A Brand Tried To Change The Conversation About Female Beauty

Size is relative. Your larger size may be someone else’s dream goal weight. And that size 0 woman you see running her ass off on the treadmill everyday? Stop judging her too. You have no idea what kind of demons she may be running from. No matter how good you think she looks I promise you there is some part of her self-esteem that is in the toilet. She is going to stand in front of the mirror and pick on the things that bother her the most. I have worked with over a hundred clients and not one has yet said they are perfectly happy in their own body. Trust me I’m not either, and I’m working everyday on accepting that I am not the size I used to be, and that chocolate isn’t a vegetable. I need to go to the gym but I am terribly self-conscious about doing anything remotely athletic for fear of looking like an idiot. Oh and there is the whole lazy part. Did I mention that? But I want to be strong, and that is my motivation.

Screw the whole

It’s okay to be unhappy with our size. It’s another thing to punish ourselves by dressing down in things we don’t even like. That’s not fair. I am not saying to reward yourself with a shopping spree every time your waistline shifts. Most times when we are not the size we want to be, we are in the midst of feeling like things are out of our control in some way.  Buying a new wardrobe won’t solve any of those issues. However buying a few things to get us by and make us feel good, as we transition through whatever it is we may be going through, IS a good thing! Sometimes we have to change our outsides to kickstart a change on the inside. It’s the whole Fake it till you make it concept, and it’s pretty effective.  If you want others to respect you then YOU need to respect YOURSELF first.

Be Your Own Kind Of Beautiful Picture by Shi Shi - Inspiring Photo. Please follow me! I pin things like this all the time!

Often times I’ve seen women torture themselves, keeping photos of their previous sizes around as a form of  inspiration.  Or they keep their “skinny” clothes in their closet as motivation. That’s mean, to ourselves and our current bodies. It’s like sitting near the “cool” kids at school while they glare at you and say “You can’t sit with us.”

My advice? Switch places with your best friend, your sister or even your daughter. Would you let her say those things to herself? Would you let anyone else talk to her that way? Probably not, so stop beating yourself up and start giving yourself a break. Life is passing you by why you sit home shaming yourself with your “not my usual size” clothes. Your friends and loved ones will always love you. They want you to show up and have a good time.  No one else is really judging you on your size besides yourself. So start thinking positive thoughts, start speaking positive words, be kind to yourself.

Marilyn

Treat yourself to a couple of nice things that fit your current body and your current size. Even if your weight is going to change it’s not going to happen overnight. You have places to go and people to see and you deserve to look your best. If you respect yourself by presenting the best version of YOU, others will do the same. If you present yourself as somebody who is unhappy wearing clothes that make you feel even worse, you will convey that to everyone you meet, from the bank teller to your boss. Take the clothes that don’t fit you and bag or box them up for future use. Take them out of your everyday vision until your everyday wardrobe starts to feel loose. Eventually you can revisit them and it will feel like a shopping spree. Do your hair and makeup with a little extra effort, put on the nicer shoes and make sure to finish with jewelry.  Walk out the door with your head held high, knowing you are presenting the best you. Sometimes when we are feeling down about ourselves on the inside we need to push for that extra effort on the outside.  Trust me, somewhere a little girl is watching and listening, especially the one inside your own heart, so make sure you set a good example.

pink

*Insider Tip – Buy for fit, not for the number. 

Manifesta | Let's Start A Movement

There is nothing worse than when you are trying to get healthier and exercise more and you can’t even comfortably get dressed to do so. Workout gear has now gone high fashion with seams and cuts more suitably for a nightclub then the gym. Rachel Blumenfeld decided to change that when she created Manifesta.  I discovered her line after reading a this  Main Line Today article. I don’t know Rachel personally but after reading the article I want to. She is resourceful, intelligent, determined and inspiring. When Rachel found that many fitness lines just weren’t made for her athletic and curvier shape, so she set out to research fabric, movement and fit. Manifesta was created for women of all shapes and sizes, ranging from sizes 0-28, because she thinks everyone deserves to feel  “comfortable and confident.”   She even replaced conventional number sizing with names, so each size range has a different name, eliminating any stigma we have in our heads about the number on the tag.  Very cool! Check out the line on their website here at www.mymanifesta.com and on Facebook here.

Yes!