Halloween 2016

It probably comes as no shock that I love Halloween. Some years I do get more into it than others. This year I decided I would create a costume just for the blog. I normally don’t decide what I want to be until the last week before Halloween. It’s mainly procrastination and a small part is the thrill of whether or not I’ll be able to get it together by Halloween. This year I decided to be Queen Bee! Insert all of the great quotes you’ve picked up from the Lemonade album below.

Statement Necklaces: Forever 21, Etched Plate Statement NecklaceCurb Chain Statement Necklace Bracelets: Forever 21, Ornate Bangle Set (couldn’t find the exact set online but these are similar), Medallion Stretch Bracelet Set Earrings: H&M, Rhinestone Earrings Ring: H&M (sold in stores, couldn’t find it online) Hat: Who What Wear for Target (covered in black fabric) Dress: Made by me

Tailoring Tips: Pencil Skirt

We all know that one of the most difficult aspects of shopping is finding something that fits well. You may walk into a fitting room with a billion items and MAYBE you walk out with one. I believe one of the main reasons why I never developed any major body issues is that my Mom is a master tailor. So when something didn’t fit well in stores, I’d just buy a larger size and have it altered to my liking by my Mom. If you can, find a good tailor in your area. It truly makes all the difference.

The other day I was running some errands at Target and decided to take a stroll through their Who What Wear section. I actually really like this Target collab. A lot of the pieces are well made for the price point. This pencil skirt is only $27.99 (but I just looked and it’s $19.59 right now)! When you compare it to what a custom skirt would run you (which is what I would normally make), it’s a super duper bargain – your fabric alone would cost you this much. I believe they add new prints in the same style every couple of months. This is my 2nd one.

From my experience, this skirt does run small (even at my regular size between a 10 or 12), it was tight. I own one in a size 12 that is super fitted, but I prefer my pencil skirts to be super tight on me anyway. It has no stretch which is also probably one of the reasons for the skirt fitting the way it does. I did size up to a 14 in this one – no need to panic…it’s quite alright…it’s just a number.

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HatWho What Wear for Target, Tank (that I cut across with scissors)Mossimo, SkirtWho What Wear for Target, ShoesVans, BraceletsGorjana

There are three places where I usually alter my pencil skirts at: waist, right under the hips, and right under the booty

1. I didn’t really have to take this one in at the waist, I usually do on almost everything, but since I was short on time I didn’t bother.

2. If you’re shaped like me and have hips that are wider than most – and you prefer a fitted look – then have your skirts taken in where your hips start to taper in. Otherwise the skirt falls straight down at your widest point of your hips, and you appear wider than you really are. (Next time I’ll make sure to include a “before” picture so you can see what I mean).

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3. Taking it in under the booty is just my personal preference. When you actually have a big butt, the last thing you want is more attention to it. Any woman with a real big booty (or real big boobies) can probably attest to this. However, when tailored right, the focus gets distributed evenly. Had I left this skirt as it was, I believe it would have made me look bigger on my bottom half. If you want a skirt that you can wear to the office without bringing any attention to the derriere, don’t start right underneath the booty. Instead start alterations somewhere in the middle of the booty and take it straight down, without tapering in.

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And that’s it! One day I’ll show alteration tips on different body types, but for now you’re stuck with mine. 🙂

 

Strut Your Stuff

Every Spring I treat myself to a new pair of heels, mainly nude heels. I think you can never have enough nude heels. When in doubt, buy nude. This Spring, however, I went a little overboard and purchased some colored heels as well *insert see-no-evil monkey emoji*. Like most women, I love accessories. I feel that I tend to love shoes and purses for the same reasons that other women do, but more so due to the fact that it’s the one thing I can’t make (don’t think the idea hasn’t crossed my mind though…in due time). When you can make your own clothes, you tend to splurge on accessories.

One topic that always seems to be a constant in women’s conversations is size and weight. No matter the age, amount of education, career success, or ethnic background of a woman, somehow we will find a way to broach the subject. I’ll have days too when I feel gross from eating way too many treats, so I get it. I’m not above the subject. It seems like no matter what size we are, though, we’re never happy. I am not here to judge, criticize, or point any fingers. What I do want is for all of us to start getting more comfortable in our own skin.

So how does my mini shoe shopping spree fit into all of this? Let me explain. Full disclosure – I have always disliked my feet. They’re wide. They’re huge. They’re not cute or dainty AT ALL. The thing about these three pairs that I purchased recently is that they are all different sizes. When one size didn’t fit, I sized down. When another pair was too tight, I sized up. I didn’t sit there and start hating myself, or my life, or my body, for not fitting into a specific shoe size. I just wanted cute shoes that fit right. I accepted my ugly-foot lot a long time ago. I know I have two options in life: either I never show my feet ever or I can accept them, buy cute shoes, get frequent pedicures, and strut my stuff. I always choose the latter.

We should try and apply this way of thinking when buying our clothing too. I’m not saying keep sizing up and up and up until you’ve spiraled into an unhealthy weight and lifestyle. I strongly believe in health first. Going up one size or down one size, however, isn’t the end of the world. Clothing size is just a unit of measure that makes shopping a little easier than if there were no sizes on a garment at all. It is not the end all be all. As I’ve mentioned before, manufacturers make clothing for hundreds of thousands of people in one sitting, and you are unique individuals. Going up one size, or even down, does not determine your worth as a human being. Your true inner confidence is your best accessory.

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Shoes: Sam Edelman, Azela (pink heels) – Vince Camuto, Sandria (nude heels) – Dolce Vita, Hazeley (red heels)

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Home Accents: Gold Tray, Candles, and Sofa are all from http://www.homegoods.com #homegoodshappy

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Little in the Middle

My intentions are totally not to wait this long between posts, but I must admit, there is a bit of a learning curve when doing anything new. In my case it’s getting the pictures right, learning about lighting, teaching myself simple editing, and even figuring out different poses that work best in my pictures. In my every day life I stick to my signature pose – also my only pose – hand on left hip, slightly turned in at an angle, and only taking pictures from my left side. Plus, how do people take pictures without smiling? Can somebody teach me? Let’s be real, that’s not me, I like smiling. *insert cheeseball smile here* Thus, it’s been some work learning (and getting used to) different angles of myself for pictures.

One thing that I have learned over the years, however, is proportions. What I mean by proportions is that we all tend to carry our weight differently. Most of the time we think of ourselves either in terms of a size, or just weight, but I think learning about how we are proportioned is a better way to get to know our bodies. This gives us a better understanding of how clothing will fit based on our own shape. There are certain styles that work better for people that carry their weight up top, down on the hips, or somewhere in the middle.

The further I go with the blog, the more I’ll discuss different body shapes and what can work for each, but for today I’ll show you what I think works for me. I am definitely bottom-heavy (triangle-shaped, spoon shaped…whatever you want to label yourself). This means that I carry most of my weight on my hips, booty, and thighs. In terms of proportions, my middle is where I carry the least amount of my weight. This doesn’t mean I have a small waist by any means, or even a thin waist, it just means that relative to my bust and hips, it’s the smallest point. Knowing this, I try to direct the focus to my waist.

I love any skirt that lands exactly at my smallest waist point. Another thing I love is a full skirt…and a full skirt to wear in Fairytale Lane? Well, that’s just cake! One plus of making my own custom items for the blog before I place them in my Etsy shop is working out any design details. I realized that the waist does stretch out with wear, so adding an elastic waistband to the final sample will create a better fit for all. I will work out this detail before I post the listing. In the meantime, you can take a look at the pictures of my short day trip to the adorable little town of Solvang from a couple of weeks ago.

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Skirt: in my lozasun Etsy shop soon, Shoes: Vince Camuto, Tote: Rebecca Minkoff (from 3 years ago)

First things first…my first blog post

As if writing a first blog post wasn’t challenging enough, I decided it would also be fun to take a one day road trip somewhere I’ve never been before to have nice photos for my first post. Oh…and I wanted to make a new custom dress for the occasion (more on the dress in a bit). With dress in tow…well actually, with new dress on, I dragged my photographer along on a one day road trip up the scenic Central Coast to Hearst Castle. My photographer for this trip also happened to be my Mum…who also happens to have zero experience shooting on a Canon. As you can see, this is a top notch production right here.

Now about the dress and why I wanted to start this blog. I knew the weather in San Simeon was going to be perfect that week (I mean, 80 degrees in February…c’mon!). So the day before my trip I decided to make a spaghetti strap, wrap style, midi dress out of a white cotton eyelet. Although I think this midi length on me would work best with heels, I kept the look casual by dressing it down with sandals since I was unsure of how much walking I would be doing. One of the many reasons why I LOVE custom clothing is that feeling — that feeling that you get when clothing fits exactly the way it’s supposed to. You stand a little taller, you smile a little wider, and in that moment everything feels just right. In essence, I believe that clothing that is made well AND fits well has an overall positive effect on your confidence.

lavidaloza_hearstcastleOutfit details: lozasun custom dress, Rebecca Minkoff ‘Julian’ backpack, Steve Madden ‘Agathist’ sandals
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Recently I was reading a book by Richard Branson – The Virgin Way: If It’s Not Fun, It’s Not Worth Doing – and he mentions something in the book which I liked, “any business leader worthy of their paycheque should, at every possible opportunity, be playing the role of a consumer of their own company’s goods and services.” By creating this blog, I plan to show you how I play the role of consumer of my own goods and services. With a 15” difference between my waist and hip measurements, I have some experience with not finding ready-to-wear items that fit perfectly so I want to show you custom items I make for myself, style ready-to-wear items with custom items I make, find well made ready-to-wear items with the best fit, and finally I would also like to do positive comparisons of how one item looks on various body shapes. Eventually, I would like to interview the everyday women that inspire me in my life (and make them their own custom dress), but I’m getting ahead of myself. Clothing should be working for us to create our own personal style, we shouldn’t be going to extremes to change ourselves to fit it.

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Back view of my dress

A little background: when my Mum isn’t taking fuzzy pictures of me in my dresses, she is a super-super-duper talented draper that has made some very notable costumes for film and tv. She also helps me in my own business making custom bridal and special occasion dresses. Along with making custom bridal, I own and design swimsuit cover-ups for my own etsy shop named lozasun. So although I may just be winging my first blog post, one thing I do know is custom apparel. I hope to share more with you soon. Please let me know what pieces you have difficulty finding and I would love to try and see if I can create solutions for you!

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Hearst Castle – Casa Grande
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Outside garden view…it’s like paradise
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Palm tree views from inside Hearst Castle