|"From the desk of Ruby"|
Hello everyone. I know it has been a long time since my last post, and in fact I simply must apologize for not posting on a regular basis. I think I got burned out. I have been doing this blog for about 5 years now, and in the beginning I wrote at least 5 days a week. I shared every part of my life, good and bad, was an open book. For those of you who have followed my blog from the beginning have seen the blog evolve and re-evolve many times , as life took me down many paths, I explored those with all of you. I continued on through ups and downs in finances, and health. Through it all I gained new followers, but saw little interaction here, and soon only spammers started leaving comments, and I just think as time went on, I just lost my motivation to share, I closed down. During this time personal attacks were also happening on my Facebook page and my confidence took some major hits. How I was feeling was not just showing up on the FB page and with the lack of posts here, but in how I felt about myself, how I was dressing, how I was taking care of myself. I decided that I needed to do something.
I started an online search and landed on several fashion blogs, one of which was a blog by stylist Imogen Lamport, by the name of Inside Out Style Blog . I watched several of the videos on fashion and building a wardrobe and all that goes into forming a personal style. I enjoyed the videos, and signed up for the newsletters to arrive in my in box. One day, while reading other newsletters I had signed up for, one of Imogen's newsletters arrived with an offer to sign up for a program by the name of Evolve Your Style. The program was on sale for only a few dollars, and included a couple of downloadable programs, one was the actual Evolve Your Style challenge that I signed up for and the other a downloadable e book about creating a wardrobe on a budget. The program also included an invite to the FB group page for Evolve Your Style where "Evolvers" were to post photos of the 31 days of challenges that Imogen would be sending via email each day. The rules and guidelines were simple " Everyday you must play dress-ups. Be creative and think outside of how you would normally put outfits together." , then take a selfie and post it to the page.
I had already been doing a program, that I was really enjoying that was about discovering your true energy and dressing for it. It had been a real eye opener and confirmed that my recent fashion choices, many of which I shared here, were not the right ones for me. So I had already begun to change how I was dressing, and feeling about myself, as I fully believe clothing and how you dress can influence how you feel. I should know, today I am in my pjs because once again I am battling ongoing health issues that make me feel less than good most days and pjs are just the easiest thing to wear, but when I do force myself to dress and at least pop on some lip gloss, maybe put on a pair of earrings , spritz on some fragrance, I do feel better, even if just in mood and confidence. So here I was already evolving in a way, but still feeling like I needed more guidelines and support, I can 100% without a doubt say I have gotten that and more when I became part of the Evolve Your
( OOPS! wrong word, though it really is that as well, or became that for me ) the Evolve Your Style group on FB!!
I had barely gotten started with the challenges when my husband and myself went on vacation, but I was determined to participate. So I packed with the challenges in mind, as well as bought a few things along the way to fill in the blanks. I had gotten a new phone that had a decent camera on it and connected me to my emails and FB, so that I could see each day what I was to do, clothing wise, and take a photo, and then share it on the members page. Thank goodness I have a very understanding husband that does not mind taking fashion shots of me, and doing them over and over if I do not like them so that I could share them. He has actually gotten pretty good at it. The challenges in the beginning were very simplistic... wear a statement necklace or broach, wear a scarf, mix textures.... I ended up with a really cute hat because to wear one was on the challenge and I was without one in my suitcase that fit what I was wearing. I posted the photos to the page and quite quickly the other members chimed in with supportive opinions. Sometimes they were creative critiques, and suggestions of what to change and other times they were very positive comments for a job well done.
As time went on, upon returning from vacation and being able to spend more time on the members page, I got to know a lot of the ladies there, we began to share our lives, not just our wardrobes. Friendships were formed. The page is ever evolving as are all the members, as many new "Evolvers" joined and started posting, many of us were finishing up and getting very sad to possibly leave our new addiction of feeling good and feeling stylish and of course the warm embrace of support we received from everyone participating and our leader and guide Imogen and venturing out on our own again. The great news is that we do not have to. The thing is we are always evolving, as is our wardrobes, so there is always going to be a place for us "Evolvers". The fun does not have to stop. As seasons change, what we wear changes as well, and so there will always be a new challenge, and we can revisit all the previous challenges as well and have a place to share our discoveries and get feedback.
Through the program, and with the help I have gotten from the other members, I have discovered my style theme , "Parisian Street Style" as well as "Gamine" probably mostly due to my current thinness and short cropped hair style as well as wearing a few tomboy styles .Then there is my style recipe to achieve that such as Modern, Confident, Exciting, Vibrant, Fun, Eclectic, Feminine, Comfortable, Fresh, Sporty, Stylish, Creative, Edgy, and the list goes on... all of which I use when shopping. I have discovered what I like and do not like, what works and what doesn't and I have cleaned out a lot of the latter and been working on filling in the blanks. Not every outfit is going to be a home run, but I can take what I have learned and will continue to learn from both Imogen and the Evolvers, to fine tune what is in my closet and what I choose to wear.
I know that even though the amount of emails can be overwhelming from all the responses, especially now with not feeling good as I am, each one is like a warm hug and bring a smile to the face as well as a confidence and esteem builder and that is all great medicine right now as I face a lot of unknowns and scary thoughts. I know however that even with whatever life brings, I can continue to have fun evolving... and lucky me when I am able, I can also go more in-depth if I choose and buy a more comprehensive program where I can get more personalized help and guidance from Imogen from her Seven Steps of Style . I think I will add that to my wish list of must haves once I can get past this latest health set back. Imogen has much more content to explore on her page as well as putting out really informative and interesting blogs, so if you feel you might need to evolve a little, fashion wise, do yourself a favor and head over to Inside Out Style Blog.