The 5 -tions Of Getting Ready! -tion #1- Inspiration

Nothing says dread like Monday mornings, don’t you think? Well, I take that back- any morning where you know you have to get up and go to work or school or burn through a to-do list or maybe even both is like the last supper of times of day. And what’s even worse is that these types of mornings are quite inevitable, and if you are a fellow twenty-something as The Twenties Project team continues to be, retirement and therefore a full 8-10 hours of sleep is years away. Le sigh. And it’s not just the idea of starting another coffee-filled quasi-productive day, it’s the morning routine that’s the real clincher in all this doom and gloom. So much to do, so little time. So much sleepiness, so little Red Bull. There’s probably a creepy statistic out there stating that “What the heck should I wear?!?” is the most common exclamation made between the hours of 6 and 10 a.m. everyday around the world. But wait. What if it didn’t have to be that hard? What if you could figure out a way to squeeze in a little more sleep while getting everything done that you need to (and more) while staying completely calm without rushing and getting to where you need to be on time (if your friendly local bus driver decides to do his job that day, of course)? Some may think I’m crazy, and for the record, I’m quite close. But you can do this! All that it takes is a little reading- down below that is, and actively trying out this fantastic action plan that I guarantee will help you meet your getting ready goals. Mine is finishing a Ryan Gosling dream. Welcome to “The 5 ‘-tions’ of Getting Ready”, a series for the next few weeks on how to start everyday with a big beautiful fashion sha-bang!

-tion No. 1: Inspiration

Anybody who knows sports will agree that the best defense is a good offense. Anyone who doesn’t, now knows. Trying to put yourself in a constant state of inspiration sounds like a tiresome task, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll start to reap the benefits in such a hardcore way that you won’t mind making it a habit. And trust me, for anyone who’s got a creative bone in their body, this will be fun! First, determine the following: which is your most effective method of getting outfit inspiration? It could be anything from blogs (like Mission:Fashionable!) to magazines, to celebrities to movies and television. Maybe it’s even a combination of two or more fashion outfits! Whatever it is, find a place preferably near your closet, dresser or wherever you keep your clothes and accessories and create an inspiration board using pictures, fabric samples, colour swatches, whatever you like of stuff that inspires you and emulates what you want to look like when you walk out that door everyday. Or if you don’t have the space, make a photo album of snapshots in your phone or laptop or tablet that you can quickly scroll through for some great outfit ideas! Or (yeah, I’m going off, I know) why not a digital picture frame? Hang it up or set it in an easy-to-see spot somewhere near the battlefield and get ready to watch a constant flow of free-wheeling fashion goodness! For example, here’s what my current inspiration board looks like:

And make sure that it stays current to what you like and what you feel good in- it’s natural to have changes in opinions (and your body) so that being said, it’s vital to have something to look at that is up to date. It’s also important to try and choose images that reflect the pieces that you currently own in your wardrobe. Right now. As in you could reach in that closet and pull out a real tangible piece of clothing. Not stuff that you wish you had (that’s another blog post!) but stuff you’ve got right this instant. Now that being said, it doesn’t mean that you have to choose images that are strictly street style or ready to wear- anything goes! Say you are really into this beautiful photoshoot from Vogue that’s wild west inspired- think suede fringe, dusty floral prints and big belt detailing. Obvies that leather chaps are a strict 9-5 no-no, but that doesn’t mean that you can throw on some jewellery with silver tribal detailing or put on your favourite cowboy boots with an A-line skirt and blouse!

All this inspiration sounds just like fun and games but it really will help you when you’re trying to get out the door quickly. When you train yourself to constant have the creative juices flowing, you’ll start being able to see all of your various pieces in a new light and therefore be able to dig yourself out of any ruts or snore-fests you’ve been neck deep in and start to try new combinations and styles.

I do have a bit of a disclaimer though. You should never ever ever be trying radically new things in the morning when you’ve got things to do and places to go. You know you’re on a tight schedule, which is stressful. You’ve got other things to remember and prioritize- you might not have even had breakfast yet (for shame!), so don’t make it harder than it already has to be!

And I’ll admit, I’m not perfect. Surprise, I know. And further shock, neither is anyone else. So although enthusiasm and positivity are the most powerful sidekicks you can have in your fashion extravaganza, things might not always work out the way that you want them to, and so you should always be ready with at least 3 other outfits that can be modified based on the weather that you can depend on when all else fails, or it’s just one of those mornings where your brain decides to go on strike.

But I shall stop myself here, don’t want to give next week’s post away! Stay tuned for the next –tion step of 5 to getting ready more easily!

Keep me updated on this first step of your personal fashion mission at l.twentiesproject.com! Want more fashion inspiration? Check out http://www.missionfashionable.com!

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what’s your bag?

This week, for no particular reason at all, we’re asking our readers (and our team): what’s in your bag? We really wanna know. It’s like snooping in people’s medicine cabinets, only weirder. Not that we do that. We don’t know what happened to that lipstick.

On our YouTube channel all this week we’re talking about what’s in your bag and to kick us off, we’ve created some fun Polyvore bag-themed sets for you. So whether you’re in the market for a new one, or are just looking for a way to incorporate an old favourite bag in with a new style, check these out.

We’d love to hear more about the bags you carry. What brands do you like? What sort of weird things do you keep in there? Where did that lipstick go anyway? Happy Bag Week everybody!

Tropical Totes.

The title says it all.

Black and white and classy all over.

 

Psst! For more of our Polyvore sets, check out our lookbook on Polyvore. We’ll be adding some additional sets throughout the week not featured on our website so go take a look! We’d love to see yours too.

The Style Rut

“Rut” is probably one of the scariest three-letter words that I personally can think of. Besides “AAH!” But we all have ruts, and they seem to creep up in every single part of our lives. Don’t feel the same way about your partner anymore? Relationship rut. Can actually name the different kinds of greens in your lunchtime salad? Diet rut. Sit in the same cubicle stamping envelopes all day (even though you’ve got a ph.D in Microbiology hanging up at home)? Work rut. Buying the same garments, the same colours, the same shapes, all at the same store, over and over and over again? Yep, you guessed it- you’ve got yourself a doozy of a style rut.

Image

Y U NO HAVE GOOD CLOTHES?!?!?!

Now some people might say “Well that don’t matter, that’s just my style!” Wrong. Unless your style is predictability or robot-chique, wearing the same stuff all the time isn’t your style. Other people might say “Well that don’t matter because what difference does it make if I wear the same things all the time?” Actually, fictional grammatically-challenged person, it makes a lot of difference. Psychology is a fascinating subject, and it tells us that without visually stimulating your mind in the way of your personal style, you’re subconsciously telling yourself that you are boring, your life is monotonous and stagnant- heck, after a while, wearing the same pieces can even make you feel unclean because it doesn’t even look like you do laundry! Or you can risk actually wearing the same thing more than once in a row and enjoy the inner anguish that comes with it. Or in my case, you wear the same outfit the next time you see your date and he wonders aloud whether you wore that last time and you make up elaborate differences between the two to cover your tracks. And he doesn’t buy it. He’s now my boyfriend of four years, but others have not been so lucky… or so cunning.

In conclusion, style ruts are bad and inexcusable. Final word. But they can be avoided. But how do you know that you’re in one? Here are five ways that you can tell:

  1. 50% of your wardrobe (or more) is the same colour (that includes shades of the same colour)
  2. You own exact multiples of items that aren’t basics
  3. You only own basics
  4. You’ve had all of the items in your wardrobe for over a year
  5. There are pictures that exist of you at three separate events and it looks like you’re wearing the same thing (or you’re actually wearing the same thing)

Are you guilty of any or all of these? For shame! But like God, I am very forgiving- so much so in fact that I can and will give you the tools to dig your way out of all of these blah-blah blunders.

So 50% or more of your wardrobe is the same colour? No big deal! Dust off anything metallic to add contrast without choosing a bland neutral, and go pick up accessories and layering pieces in complimentary colours to make you love your signature hue even more and in a brand new way!

You own exact multiples of items that aren’t basics? Well that’s alright. If for example, you took my excellent advice and bought multiples of a dress that looks fabulous on you, then that’s not an issue, because you’ll just wear one until it wears out and then wear the next one, providing it fits, right? But if you have 10 brown blouses and 5 straight leg khakis and you wear 1 blouse and 1 pair while the others are in the wash, then you have rut written all over you. Be honest and get rid of what you really don’t need and then be creative and wear those favourites with some other things you own.

You only own basics? Come on now, I should have to explain this one. Read some magazines and watch some movies to get inspired, then get your tush to the mall and get your fash on!

Had all of the items in your wardrobe for over a year? Oh dear. This is a trickier rut where it looks like you’re one of those people (such as myself) who has a hard time letting go of things. And that’s perfectly fine- you are allowed to like things. But don’t you think that you can choose new things that are still good for you and your body and you like them that aren’t a blast from the past? Say it with me: you can.

And how about all of those pictures of you in the same outfit? Accept your fashion blunders, forgive yourself and move on. So you like that outfit, but you’re wearing it all the time, to every single event. Why don’t you take elements of what you like about that outfit and translate that into something new? Like instead of a brown chiffon blouse, choose a minimalistic brown leather sleeveless top . Instead of preppy khakis, tie a cardigan around your shoulders. You have options, so there’s no more excuses!

And there you have it- L.’s Effective Guide to Escaping the Rut-erverse. No more three letter words for us! Except “AAH!” for super scary things. Like mesh tank tops.

Have you recently got out of a style rut and want to share your story? Still in a style rut and need even more of a hand getting out? Do you have a ph.D in Mircobiology? Let me know all this and more at l.twentiesproject@gmail.com!

you too can be a green machine!

Note: We know that looking at a blank page is sometimes a great way to provide inspiration- but not when it comes to fashion! Next time we’ll learn how to save our posts before letting them go live. Here’s the long-awaited way to be a green machine…

With St. Patrick’s Day approaching next week the number of people looking to incorporate green into their outfits seems to have doubled in size. Of course, it helps that a ton of green seems to popping up in spring fashions and this year’s greens are bright and springy, which may leave some fashionistas clueless as to how to incorporate all these brights into their wardrobes. St. Patrick’s Day just seems like the perfect excuse to figure out how, and it doesn’t have to involve shamrocks.

Green can be a tricky colour to wear simply because there are so many shades. Luckily for those ladies out there looking to get more green in their lives, there are quite a few around to choose from. There is a shade of green for everyone to wear. It’s just a matter of figuring out which one works best with your skin tone. The trick is to keep in mind whether or not warm (lots of yellow) or cool (lots of blue) greens suit you best. Still not looking the best? Try different saturations of green (lighter or darker) and pay attention to which ones wash you out and which ones overwhelm you.

The good news is that green goes with lots of colours and lots of different accessories. You choose which styles suit you best! In our Polyvore debut, we’ve got three different shades of green worn three different ways to show just how easy it is to be green- with no leprechauns or frogs in sight!

A Citrus Twist

A Citrus Twist on a Casual Outfit

Where to Wear It: Brunch with family, weekend errands, shopping with friends.

Pretty as a Petal

A pretty as a petal look for a special spring date.

Where to Wear It: lunch with friends (or a special friend!), art gallery or museum, casual work event, afternoon house-warming.

Gorgeous in Green

Where to Wear It: St. Patrick’s Day party, bar with friends, dinner and a movie with the boy-toy.

We’re so excited to be a part of Polyvore and can’t wait to share more of our outfit inspirations with you! Friend us and share your outfit ideas with us and don’t forget to check out our Pinterest page where we’ll be featuring all of our new Polyvore sets along with our inspirations for fashion, décor and more.

from the desk of L.: a wedding dress to match?

"Oh hey, I'm Kate Middleton! I look sexy and yet so elegant the frickin' Queen lent me her tiara!!"

Whenever anybody starts talking to me about weddings, I’m always game to hear about the visual aspects of the event so I can fantasize. The venue, the colour story and the dress (of course!) are all very fine and dandy but the juiciest tidbit of information for me to devour is the theme. And I have no idea why. Maybe I like the way I can shamelessly praise (or critique) their creativity (or lack thereof) without repercussions, maybe I enjoy the challenge of creating my own better version of their wedding in my head, or maybe I just need a good laugh in the way that only ‘27 Dresses’ can give me. Regardless of whatever bitter and spiteful motives I subconsciously have, it really got me thinking like a bride. A very fashionable bride. Not for long, I promise. But enough time for me to have a seriously scrumptious question pop into my head:  Does the style of your wedding dress have to match the style of your wedding?

Continue reading

l’s christmas list: having myself a merry little christmas

So as many in the Twenties Project might not be aware of- yes, not only am I L, but I also moonlight as B’s little sister. Our parents are lucky, huh? Yeah, we don’t think so either. But regardless of the grief we have caused them with our brilliant and sometimes chaotic existence, I decided to stay true to the code of little sisters everywhere by copying B and making my own Christmas wishlist post. I hope wonder if we’re also wearing the same sweater as I write this…

Furthermore, I thought it would be appropriate to step up to the podium for all the guys and gals out there who have a really really really… and oh yes, REALLY hard time slowing down and taking a break from the rollercoaster that life usually turns out to be. As one of those people, I understand how hard it can be to shop for us around Christmas time because we would rather wear ill-fitting sheer white pants then tell you what we really want gift-wise. Why? The secret is that we’ve convinced ourselves that we don’t actually need anything; well, besides the satisfaction of fully completed to-do lists, and maybe in my case, $1800 for my dental surgery (**All I want for Christmas is my wisdom teeth out, my wisdom teeth out, my wisdom teeth out….**).

That being said, here’s the trick for shopping for us this Christmas season- encourage us over-achievers to stop and take a breath.

1. Philosophy ‘Cinnamon Buns’ and ‘Classic Fudge Cake’ Bath and Shower Gel ($16.00 CAD each). Not only will these encourage me to take yummy and luxurious bubble baths, but there’s also a recipe for cinnamon buns and classic fudge cake right on the bottle if a delicious smelling bath isn’t enough to satisfy my sweet tooth. And knowing me, I’d probably take advantage of the best of both worlds, natch. (www.sephora.com)

2. RENS White Sheepskin Rug ($39.99 CAD). How can anyone not feel like royalty curling your toes into this rug when you roll out of bed on a cold winter’s morning? I also feel like my feet would hate me less after a while. (www.ikea.ca)

3. iPad (starting at $519.00 CAD). Alright, so I’m kind of cheating because this will totally encourage me to not relax. But then again, the more I have every second of my life planned out, and all on one ingenious device, maybe there will be more moments where I have nothing to do… wow. (www.apple.com)

4. Chapters/Indigo Gift Card (price varies). Mmm, books. One of the few things that I’m good at still indulging in is snuggling down for a good read- well, as good as one can snuggle on the subway. (http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/giftcards/)

5. Tiffany & Co. Key Pendant and Chain (this combination, $330 CAD). Not only does every girl deserve to have something from Tiffany’s, what girl wouldn’t also love to keep the key to her heart safely around her neck? (www.tiffany.ca)

6. A Walk-In Closet. Well, you wondered, I answered.

How are you going to relax and indulge during your time off this holiday season? I’m taking tips at l.twentiesproject@gmail.com

back to basics

Like Christina Aguilera realizing that all she needed to do was sing instead of wearing bumless leather chaps to win the hearts of fans everywhere, we all should realize the need to set down our feather earrings, fur vests and studded patent pumps in favour of the simpler, more important things- and in fashion, this means basics.

In my last post, I introduced one of my favourite fashion sayings (and yes, I have many). Your money is for the three B’s- banks, bills and basics! Are you confused? Here’s the scoop: Twenty-somethings don’t have much money, and if you are one of the elite few who do, we hate you. Sharing is caring. But regardless of whether you have limitless disposable income or not, it makes more sense for anyone to spend the big bucks on items that are extremely versatile that you can wear with multiple outfits in your wardrobe. If you do the math (and yes, I have), you are actually spending more money in the long run buying a cheapy version of something over and over again as you wear it out as opposed to making a initial investment in something that’s really good quality that will stand up to wear-and-tear (ha ha ha good one!) and last longer. Still confused? Well how about we define what a basic is, kapish? Continue reading

trends: right for you or just plain.. ew?

Trends. Seems as if that’s all anyone can talk about these days, from technology to weight loss, from travel to music, and most importantly, yes- fashion. Media is such an integral part of the fashion industry now, and unfortunately for everyone else who has a life outside of garments and colours, we’re constantly being bombarded with “what’s cool and what isn’t” reports, and let’s be honest, in no way is that helpful. Continue reading