The Shopping Diet by Jaana

My name is Jaana, wife to Paul and mama to Stevie. My blog is This Mom’s Gonna Snap! – a play on words between my love for photography and the days that motherhood drives me nuts! I don’t consider myself a fashion blogger by any means. I’m a girl who always took an interest in fashion, and tried desperately to hang onto that once I became a mom. It’s hard! Your time and body are not your own anymore. So a uniform kind of came into play, and that meant baggy jeans, a v-neck and sneakers (or some version of that outfit) pretty much every day. And when I actually had a chance to go shopping, I bought more v-necks!

Tired of the same old routine, I wanted to utilize my once-cool wardrobe. I started reading tons of style blogs to keep myself in the know. Then all of a sudden, I found myself not wanting to just look better, but wanting to look good. And then great. That meant I needed more stuff! Before I knew it, shopping became part of my daily routine. It doesn’t help that the mall is like 3 blocks from my house. I would always tell myself, “I’m just going for a walk. Getting my cardio in. It’s good to take the baby out.” But I always found myself in the shops and there always seemed to be something that I needed.

After several months of this, I had to take a good look at what was happening. Why did I feel this need to shop so much? What was I really accomplishing? I realized that the temporary thrill of filling my closets with awesomeness was just that – temporary. And I was using that temporary excitement to fill the gaps in my self-esteem too. I realized the more I struggled with different areas of my life, the more I wanted to buy.

Starting in January, I knew what had to be done. I needed to go on a diet. A shopping diet. Sadly, I made a goal to give up clothes shopping for A WHOLE YEAR. It wasn’t an easy decision. Saying it out loud made me anxious. But I’m only a month into the challenge, and I’ve already found myself spending time in such different ways – from cooking to home improvements and even crocheting again (mostly so I could make scarves.) When I “shop my closet,” I enjoy trying to remix what I have to make new looks. It really seems like the possibilities are endless. Do I dress fabulously every day? No. Not even. But when I do have time, it’s a different kind of fun. And there are still days when my self-esteem flounders. Of course! I just can’t cover that up with a new pair of jeans anymore.


I’m not suggesting that this is for everyone. But maybe if we could stop for second and realize that we are beautiful without all the stuff, there wouldn’t be such a desperate need for it. We can simplify our lives. Work with what we have. Labels or no labels. And, at the risk of sounding like Bridget Jones’ Diary, have faith in ourselves that we are good enough… just as we are.

 

My Top 5 Favorite Not-So-Obvious Accessories by Kristen

Hey there! I’m Kristen from The Mrs. and The Momma….a blog about my musings of life as a wife, mom to four, and a clothes-loving gal. I started my blog after having my last baby to chronicle how my style would evolve during my “transition” phase, but my blog has turned into much more than that. It’s really my fifth child.

For me getting dressed everyday is something I look forward to…especially the accessorizing part. But we all know the basics of accessorizing, right? What I mean is that items such as belts, bags, scarves, and jewelry are commonplace in what we wear. They naturally pull together outfits and are basically the cornerstones of accessories, if you will.

What I love about fashion are the other accessories that give that needed “pop” to an outfit. Not that the above-mentioned items don’t make things interesting, but sometimes I look in the mirror and think, “This just needs something more.” when my other accessories aren’t quite stepping up to the plate. Enter:  My Top 5 Favorite Not-So-Obvious Accessories. (You like that title?)

5.  Nails
Yes, nails can be an accessory. Well manicured, bold-colored nails can bring that wow-factor. What better cheap and easy way to change your look from day to day? (Ahem, more like week to week, for me at least.)

 


4. Hair

Ginnifer Goodwin, Elle Magazine

I’ve had approximately 36.7 hair styles in the past decade of my life. I just love to try new styles and colors.  A statement hair style such as a pixie cut, a platinum bob, or simply curling normally straight hair can be an accessory to any wardrobe, because the hair standing out on it’s own diminishes the need for strong accessories elsewhere. Look for people with similar face shapes and  coloring as you for inspiration to see what new “statement” hair styles you could try out. I’m absolutely in love with this particular cut.

3. Lips

I know this is kind of a given, but when you need that pop of color, the best way to achieve it in mere seconds is slapping on some bright lipstick. Your choice of make-up, specifically lipstick color, can make or break a look. Coming from a generation who has generally shied away from lipstick and adhered rather to gloss, I find it somewhat hard to get on the bandwagon, but I’m trying. Just make sure you line before you apply. Nobody likes bleeding lipstick.

 

2. Broaches
Pins and broaches are wonderful in my book. It’s an extra bonus if they are vintage, such as this one that belonged to my grandmother.
Whether they’re placed on a lapel, hat, purse, or on a chain as a necklace, broaches are super versatile in adding an interesting flare. Next opportunity you have, go rummage through your grandmother’s old costume jewelry…I’d be willing to bet you’ll score a find!

1. Hats

Okay, people, if we all band together, I’m pretty positive we can be successful in bringing fascinators over to America. I would die for an occasion to wear one! But until then, I guess I’ll settle for regular hats. Boo. No, not really…I love wearing hats. What better multi-purpose accessory? Not only do they cover up bad hair days and keep your head warm, but there are endless possibilities when styling an outfit around a hat. My favorites include the Gap beret I’m wearing in the above picture and the one below from Target.

Coco Chanel said, “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and remove one accessory.” I’m not sure I agree with this statement, but whenever in doubt, I do make sure I’ve got at least something of interest going on. So I’d love to hear…what are some of your favorite not-so-obvious ways to accessorize?

How to Draw Fashion Illustrations by Heather

Hey guys! I’m Heather Anderson. I blog about fashion, hair, beauty, and art over at Latter Day Style. Elaine was nice enough to let me guest post and teach you guys more about fashion illustration.

Like you guys, I love Clothed Much. I’ve been following the blog for a while and love Elaine’s polished, yet relaxed style. When putting this post together, I knew I wanted to feature some of Elaine’s outfits. I was planning on just choosing three, but I couldn’t decide.. There were too many good ones and I ended up with ten looks! Read on to learn more about fashion illustration.

My desk

Tools

  • Pencil, sharpener, eraser
  • Color medium (colored pencils, markers, gouache, paint, etc.)
  • Black pen
  • Paper (computer paper, tracing, or vellum paper)

Extras

  • Oval stencil, circle stencil, French curved ruler, or standard ruler
  • White out pen and gel pens
  • Utility knife
  • Drafter’s brush
  • Clothing catalog, pictures to draw from, reference books
  • Prismacolor markers, colored pencils, Micron pens for outlines

Drawing the Fashion Figure

 

Add the basic landmarks, head, shoulders, waist, hips, knees, elbows…
Connect the dots.
Draw the basic figure.
Transfer the image.

Most fashion illustrations are based on the standard 9 heads proportion, even though most people are only 7 heads. What this means is the total height of the figure can be divided into 9 equal parts. Even if you don’t plan on drawing your fashion figures based on the standard fashion template, it is still important to first understand the human body, how it moves, and how it is shaped so you can create realistic and artistic sketches.

Gather pictures and catalogs. It’s also a great idea to take a figure drawing class, and practice, practice, practice. Only after you have mastered the basic fashion figure can you move on to making it your own.

Stylization

 

After mastering the fashion figure, each illustrator finds their own style. It is important to have your unique look:  maybe big eyes is your trademark or a tiny waist or spindly long legs. The point here is to try new things until you find what works for you. My illustrations have gone through a few changes over the years, and sometimes I even tweak my look to match my audience. I have come to like my figures, which are shorter than most illustrations, to have bigger heads, hips, and long legs.

There are lots of wonderful fashion illustrators. Be inspired by them, but stay true to your art and always keep it original. Above are some samples from a few of my favorite illustrators. Notice what changes each made on their fashion figures.

Sketching Your Design

After deciding how your fashion figures will look, it is important to make a master copy of this figure. I outline it in black permanent marker, and if I am doing quick sketches or a collection, I place the master copy underneath my new blank piece of paper. I then draw my clothes with the light outline of the body as a guide. Designers often use light boxes or vellum paper (a thick tracing paper) to do this, but I find plain computer paper works just fine.

There are a few techniques that will help your illustrations look more realistic.

  • You want to keep your lines smooth, fluid, and relaxed.
  • When drawing gathers, keep your lines loose (think cursive Ms and Ws).
  • Wrinkles can be illustrated by a couple of wide loops.
  • Pleats are more structured and exact.

 

Rendering Fabrics

In fashion illustration, it is important to know how to draw fabric. Illustrations are about getting an idea across, and fabric choice is a huge part of that. So, collect fabric samples and get familiar with different materials and prints.

Sequins

 

Start with a few rows of circles.
Layer your darker colors.

Drawing sequins can take a while, but if done right, it can add interest to any design. There are lots of techniques for drawing embellishments. I like to start with a light base color coloring in almost the whole piece while leaving some white areas for shine. Then, I go in layer by layer with a darker shade drawing simple circles. At the end, I dot in my darkest circles and add the shine using colored pencils, gel pens, or white-out pen adding random dots and half circles.

Add shine.

 

Prints

The easiest way to draw prints is to break the whole print down into sections; most prints are easily divided into rows, grids or clusters. Floral prints can easily be divided into vertical rows. Sketch lines following the movement of the garment. Afterwards, you can break up your print. Instead of drawing a flower with a stem, look for shapes. A flower can be sectioned off in the top as a circle and the bottom, a heart.

Jeans

 

Draw out your jeans.
Lay down your color.
Add a few white lines for the twill weave.
Draw stitching.

It’s crucial to know how to draw jeans, and because there is such a variety of colors, washes, and finishes, it’s important to know how to draw a variety of looks. Usually, for lighter jeans, I use grays mixed with light blues. For worn, muddy jeans, I mix brown and indigo blue. For this dark wash, I stick with a simple blue, added some white colored pencil diagonal lines to represent the twill weave, and finished up with white stitching.

Hair

 

Start by laying down the lightest color.
Add in your shading.
Add shine, and you’re done!

Hair can be tricky; the more practice, the better. Don’t feel like you need to draw every strand of hair; keep it simple. Start with the lightest color of hair first covering the whole area except where the hair shines. It’s helpful to draw from a picture or, as Bina Abling does, draw a little sun on one corner of the paper and shade your illustration according to that light source. So, if you draw a sun on the right, your shading should be on the left of your figure. Slowly add darker layers of color. Finish up with colored pencils by adding in extra color and a few strands of hair.

Skin

Skin tone is pretty straight-forward. I like to start at the top and work my way in sections. I do a first coat of color, then go back and add my shading. I shade on the opposite side of my light source and where any piece of clothing ends (necklines, sleeves, hems, etc.) After the skin is done, I like to add a little color to the lips and cheeks.

Flats

 

Source:  blog.scad.edu

The other side of fashion illustration is the technical side. Called technicals or “flats,” these illustrations show how each garment would look flattened when off a figure. Flats are supposed to be to scale, exact, and detailed. These serve as an instruction manual for pattern makers and seamstresses. If you want to design, but can’t seem to be able to draw, this is an option. There are computer programs that can help you create designs. But, I would recommend at least learning how to draw basic flats so you can always be able to sketch ideas and designs.

My Finished Sketches

I hope you guys enjoyed learning a little more about fashion illustrations. There is so much I couldn’t include and so much more to learn. If you want more, check out my sketches, get a copy of the grid, and see videos on how I drew these sketches of Elaine.
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