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Ho(e)! Ho(e)! Ho(e), Yo!!!

It’s a jolly, holly time.

With Christmas around the corner.

 

I’ll make this short but to the point.

I. Love. Christmas.

I really really REALLY do.

Especially growing up in Asia, my idea of Christmas was snow (but, of course), fireplace with flames a-crackling, being bundled up in scarves and beanies (with pom poms, no less), hot cocoa and eggnog, sleighs, reindeer, and jolly ole Saint Nick.  The reality was a smidge different.  No snow.  No logs burning or thick Winter clothing, and most definitely no posse of Santa’s helpers.  Still, the absence of those things did nothing to detract from Christmas being one of the most beautiful recollections of my childhood.  We didn’t have much, that’s for sure, but my parents worked so hard to give us incredible memories, and that’s what has stayed in me throughout all these years.

That Christmas is truly so much more than presents.

Or lush landscapes of picture perfect snow.

Whilst my heart may go pitter patter pitter patter whenever I hear the sound of bells jingling (is that you, Santa?).  Or skip a few beats should unwrapping a box reveal something along the lines of, oh I don’t know, a new messenger bag from perhaps (cough) Prada.  And yes, I’ll readily admit, I wouldn’t turn down a massage.  Or three.

None of these things create memories.

Or truly defines what I seek during Christmas time.

And all year long.

You probably crave the same thing.

A treasure that can neither be measured nor held.  Something far more precious than silver, far more splendid than gold.

Have you guessed it yet?

Hope.

The most prized treasure of all.

The greatest of all gifts.

Hope for many things.

For courage to look fear in the eye, and live the fullest life I possibly can.  For only the bestest, most wonderful of supernova adventures to head Eve’s way.  For joy and positivity to surround the people I love, enveloping them in the tightest and warmest of hugs.  For patience and empathy to continue thriving in those beautiful souls I call friends, especially when dealing with me (we know how difficult I can be).  Okay, so that last one is a hope for everyone who knows me, and has to cross paths with me in one way or another.

Hope is the thread which binds all of us together.

Keeps us sane.  Fills our hearts with the desire to keep going.  Calms the mind when it wants to throw in the towel and allow the darkness to take over.  Folly or fact, it springs eternal.  And it is the very greatest of the gifts we’ll ever be blessed to receive.  And give.

For today’s post, I am so thankful that I never gave up hope on being happy.  On being loved.  It has allowed me to feel so free and liberated in loving back.  Be it the unconditional, implicit love I have for my (miracle) child, Eve (she is the best thing that’s ever happened to me, conceived against all odds, and I love her with every fibre of my being).  Or the man who has brought copious amounts of joy and laughter and happiness into my life in such a short amount of time, Michael (who continues to show me with every passing day that age isn’t a barrier for anything, not just style).  Or the friends who light up my screen (it’s the digital age, after all), embracing me with their warmth and authenticity (I’m talking about Jodie and Rob, and Shelbee, and Catherine, and all my Fab 40 ladies), making me feel that I am never ever alone.

On that note, could it be any more appropriate that we (Eve, Michael, Jodie and I) are doing a Santa-inspired outfit collaboration today?  I can’t imagine being in better company for this theme, for this time of the year.  Please have a look.

Eve 

Look at mah boo go.  Strutting her elf stuff.

Michael

He makes Santa look dope.

Jodie

Love the plethora of print and texure in this outfit.

Nancy

Sooooo cute.

Charlotte

That’s Queen Santarina to you.

And there’s me.  And us.

Fancy Santa.  And Santa’s elves.

How would you do red, white and black?

 

Love, Sheela

I link up here.

Am I Really A Blogger If I Wear Sweatpants All The Time?

Yes, am I?

Begs the question, eh?

 

There used to be a time when I would get dressed up every day.  Perhaps less of dressed to the nines, and more of dressed for work at the PR agency where I led a 7-member team.  So yes, I’d wake up by 6am.  Feed Eve (told you it was a while ago), make sure she had everything ready and the maid was duly briefed on what to cook for the day.  Shower, curl my hair, apply some make-up (which, at the time, was blusher, blue eyeliner as well as blue mascara, and pink lipstick, cringe).  Try on one outfit.  Take it off.  Try on yet another.  Still not right, pull on something else.

Arrrgh!

Nothing worked, and by now, there are piles of clothes strewn all over the floor. A frantic glance at my cellphone tells me it’s past 8:30, I’m still traipsing around in my undies, and if I don’t get dressed right that moment, I’m going to be royally late for work.  To provide perspective, back then, I was working in Singapore and commuting was hell.  Public transport hell, that is.  Some people used the MRT, some (fortunate few) drove (cars cost about the same as a house there) yet some others, like me, cabbed it.  What that means is a 20-minute drive would evolve into approximately an hour’s journey, from calling for a taxi to waiting for said taxi, to ploughing through vehicle after vehicle on the highways, to finally reaching my destination.  All the while desperately praying I made it there before my (arse of a) boss, but that’s a tale for another time.

These days, I am up anywhere between 6am to 7.30am, depending on what the day looks like in terms of meetings/conference calls and deadlines.  Typically, I’ll come downstairs for a coffee (it’s true, you know, what they say when they proclaim, “but first coffee”), check my emails and respond to the urgent ones.  Then I take a shower, brush my teeth, and apply my skincare (perhaps it ought to be, “but first the face”?).  I continue working, still in my sweatpants (the ones I slept in), until around 1pm when (if I remember), I stop for lunch and another shower (I’m one of those people who shower around three times a day, to be honest).  Afterwards, I might put on a cleaner pair of sweatpants (and they’ll be the ones I’ll go to sleep in that night), and essentially that’s my sartorial schedule when I’m working from home.

Blessedly, the style blogger whose daily uniform is comprised of comfy tee with comfier sweatpants, when they’re not posting outfit shots, is nothing new. It’s a line I’ve heard pour forth from many a fashion blogger, admitting that when it’s a no-need-to-meet-anyone-sort-of-day, it’s more than likely that sweats would be de rigueur as they work long hours, in a semi-disheveled state.

Yet, you wouldn’t know it, would you, since everything looks immaculate, all the time, on their blogs and social media.  Don’t get me wrong.  It’s quite fabulous, playing dress up and adopting all sorts of different characters as well as personas each time I put on an outfit (that isn’t sweatpants, of course). It really is great, and offers me a means of escapism from my messy, unmade bed and even messier bedroom floor (yes, still strewn with clothes but this time, it’s because I recently moved so shush).  But it does make me wonder how much of my life can I really share as a style blogger since I’m in sweatpants whenever the camera’s no longer snapping away.  It’s rather like the “turning into a pumpkin” effect, I feel.

That after a certain time, I revert back to normal boring.  And am no longer interesting.  Could it be I’m overthinking things?  That people do want real life me?  Or perhaps we’re all so jaded and disenchanted with things happening around us that we crave escapisms, even if for only a little bit?

Or maybe, just maybe, everyone, everywhere is simply tired of agonising over what to wear all the time.  After all, the pendulum swings both ways.  We’ve all seen how, after years of the fashion industry trying to top itself in ridiculousness, or as Suzy Menkes noted, the Circus of Fashion where she complained that people wore crazy clothes to fashion shows in hopes of getting internet famous. Because you know, once you’re internet famous, your life is complete.

Or perhaps, fancy sweatpants are now a staple for fashionistas everywhere?  I don’t know, I don’t know.  Even writing that sentence makes me feel blasphemous.  Akin to committing a sartorial act of high treason.  I am very serious.

I feel as strongly about wearing sweatpants out as I do seeing people walking around with the word J U I C Y on their bums.  Like why (wait, is this something you guys would like to talk debate in a different post, as in why on earth would anyone want to wear something with the word JUICY spread across their asses??).

Anyway, the point I’m trying to make about sweatpants is that when fashion trends take a turn for the understated, what then happens to the conversation?  Does the conversation quiet down too? Do people move on to talk about other things because talking about how this pair of sweatpants is cool, but those pair of sweatpants are terrible, really does sound ridiculous?  Or, on the flipside of things, do we all suddenly remember how much more to life there is than looking good, even while wearing sweatpants?

Discuss.

And onward to something decidedly much more fun than my prose.  Today, I am immensely pleased to be a part of the Ageless Style Link-Up, an activity bringing together the loveliest of ladies every first Tuesday of the month.  There’s Daenel, Debbie, Jennie, Jodie, Janet, Kellyann, Lisa, Paula and Shelly.  Truth be told, I’ve legit been dying to be invited as a guest host ever since this party began and when Debbie (finally) emailed inviting me for December, I squeaked and I squealed and I jumped up and down!!!  So here I am, all clad in the month’s theme of Festive Outerwear, and absolutely over the moon to be a part of Ageless Style.

 

Don’t forget to join in the link-up, ok?  The party only begins when you’re here.  By the by, you may be asking why I’ve gone on about sweatpants, and yet chosen to not wear sweatpants in these photos.  It’s to keep you guessing, obviously GRIN plus I’m not quite cool enough to pull off sweatpants as festive wear so I chose to give that one a wide berth.

Come back Monday, friends, but until then, I’m out.

 

Love, Sheela

p/s I link up here.

The Fab 40s Say Yeehaw, Y’All

Influencing the Influencer.

What does that even mean?

 

Today, I want to talk about who influences the influencers.

And if those influences we’re letting in are positive.

Or not.

Such a fabulously fascinating topic.  Here we are, going on about how much we care for our readers (some of whom we call friends) and, consequently, the due diligence we conduct upon every product and service showcased on our social media platforms.  And yet we ourselves often neglect to housekeep what (or who) influences us in turn.

A U D I T    W H O    A N D    W H A T    S P E A K S    T O    U S

What we allow into our ears.  Into our minds and hearts and spirits.  Choosing who (or what) has the authority to capture our attention and affect it.  Being selective about the people or the things which have the power to make us feel relevant.

Of course, the fact that many most of us are surrounded by social media and the powerful imagery it serves up continuously incessantly only serves to increase the number of potential influences we are exposed to at any given time.  Visuals depicting seemingly perfect lives and seemingly perfect situations.  Add to that our typical state of mind when viewing said images, and it isn’t difficult to connect the dots.  Sometimes we feel inspired to forge forwards when we see them.  Most times, however, it’s quite the opposite, yes?

We exercise so much caution when it comes to our followers because we genuinely feel responsible to only share what we personally believe to work, to be efficient, to be apropos.  How is it then that when it comes to looking inwardly, we are very often unable to apply that same methodology?

Think about it for a second.

That very same filter we apply to brands who approach us should must be applied also onto whatever and whomever has the privilege to speak to our intellect and our emotions and our consciousness.  The way we treat our followers, our friends, must be the same way we treat ourselves when it comes to deciding who or what gets to influence how we think, act, and articulate.

F I L T E R    T H E    I N P U T    T O O

Then there’s people and events that touch us in real life.

Personally, my first hurdle is that I often find it hard to even recognise a negative influence.  Call me naive, call me gullible but it’s always been a challenge for me to realise when someone (or something) is proving to be toxic.  Or perhaps it’s my subconscious mind justifying their actions by giving different names/phrases such as “he didn’t mean  it“, “emergency“, “needs me“.

These days, thanks in part to therapy and in part to healthy doses of daily podcasts as well as inspirational literature, with generous helpings of mindset changing thrown into the mix, I’ve become a little smarter in dealing.

These days I feel more capable of identifying when someone (or something) is not good for me.

Whether it’s because I feel as though I’ve outgrown them (which is not a bad thing, despite my initial thoughts on the matter) and am no longer on the same mental wavelength.  And as such, the happy conversations have been replaced with uncomfortable silences or bouts of verbal sparring.

Or whether I feel a sense of guilt when I’m with them.  That I come away so drained afterwards I need therapy just to be a semblance of myself again.  That I’d much rather be elsewhere.  Talking to someone else, or doing something else.

I’ve learned to listen to myself a whole lot more.

If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.

Those aren’t, by any means, all of the signs to be aware of.  Consider those also who set you back on your goals, or derail your goals in how you revert back to old patterns when you’re around them, be it something as rudimentary as dietary changes or far more self-destructive habits.

Or instead of being uplifting and motivating, your time in that particular environment or with a specific person (or persons) ends up being a dream (and soul) crushing session.  Leaving you with more doubt and insecurities than ever before.  And since we’re humans, it’s not quite as simple as hitting the delete button to erase all those negative feelings that are quite likely drowning us.

These days, my general rule of thumb is that if a person, or a thing or circumstance, leaves me feeling uncertain or troubled, then it’s not the right for me.  And I choose to not invest my mind and my energy there.

Only positive influence(r)s need apply, I say.

Working hand in hand with my psychiatrist (yes, I have weekly therapy sessions and it’s been such a weight lifted off of me, to be able to verbalise my thoughts to someone who isn’t in my inner circle, to listen and offer an opinion and poke holes into my theories) and my business coach (he’s more of a life coach whose opened my eyes to understanding how work is merely a tool to bring about happiness, and it isn’t to be mistaken for or equated with happiness itself), I’ve managed to create an action plan of sorts to cleanse my life.

Naturally this isn’t a finite plan by any means.  It will evolve with me, and my life, but for now, it’s working really well and I am happier than I’ve ever been.

One of the steps is to surround myself with places and people that love and uplift me.  Sounds so basic, doesn’t it?  Yet it isn’t always that simple to accomplish.  Why?  Well because what might work initially may no longer work with time.  People change.  We change.  And not everyone changes at the same pace, and we need to ascertain how much of that is acceptable for us, how much isn’t, and if we’re willing to compromise.  The point is to view change as the one constant in our lives, and to embrace it because we really can’t do anything to stop it.

I’m so blessed that one of my constants in the past few years has been The Fab 40s ladies.  Since we began in March 2015, some have come and gone (and are very much missed, I’m talking about you, Dawn Lucy, and Annie, and Jane, and Sam) but it’s all part of change being the one thing we can rely on to happen with predictability, isn’t it?

I adore each and single one of you, and I am grateful for your constant presence in my life.  I am truly grateful.  You may not realise it but all of you have influenced me in some way or another, be it from three years ago, or from three weeks ago.  I have picked up something positive from each of you, and it has helped me grow, and move away from the shadow, and become brave.  Thank you for being you.

Enough of sappy Sheela, you say, and I hear you.  Without further ado, please see how we each responded to Jennie’s (insane, shhh!!) theme of Western Wear for this month of November.  It was SUCH a trial for me.

Jennie, A Pocketful Of Polka Dots

Jennie | A Pocketful of Polka Dots

I have only one word – LOVE.  Everything from those Laura Ingalls petticoats (why didn’t I think of that??) to her fabulously burnished leather boots and that sassy pose.  Killed it.  Nailed it.  Hit it out of the park.  All that and more, Jennie.

Shelbee, Shelbee On The Edge

Does Shelbee not remind you of Pocahontas this month?  I know, I know, but hey there are extensive Native American influences on western apparel, and vice versa, and I say she’s quite on the mark here.  The colours.  Those prints.  Her boots, and turquoise necklace (OMG).

Daenel, Living Outside The Stacks

Daenel | Living Outside The Stacks

How does this woman look goth even when donning a pair of blue jeans and boots?  With bandana in her hair?  Next to Jennie’s, this is my fave for the month.  It embodies everything Western, in my eyes, without being too much.

Suzy, Suzy Turner

Suzy | Suzy Turner

Is there such a thing as uptown country girl?  If so, Suzy fits the bill here, beautifully and most eloquently.  Everything here is so universally flattering, and versatile.  I am particularly attracted to those subtle Western details seen in the belt buckle (drool) as well as big ass ring.

This month, we have an international guest woot woot!!  Please say hello to Dee of Dee Sayz from India.  Thank you so very much for being a part of our little style rendezvous this month, Dee, I’m a big fan of how you adapt and adopt seasonal trends into your wardrobe.  These colours and textures you’ve put together here in this Western-inspired outfit of yours are nothing short of absolutely beautiful, like a desert sunset.

Dee | Dee Sayz

And then there’s me.

Doing my best rendition of Annie Oakley, complete with a wild west backdrop aka Schulenburg.  Whilst there were no exciting gunfights between daring outlaws and the courageous lawmen during the course of my photo shoot, the town proved to be a perfect foil for this theme.

Fringe Denim Jacket, Camouflage Boots & Suede Choker (Poshmark) | Chambray Playsuit (Goodwill) | Turquoise Necklace (c/o Ettika) | Utility Belt (Salvation Army) | Bracelets (Isabel Marant) | Suede & Leather Hat (purchased in Australia)

At the end of the day, we all recognise that toxins aren’t just found in air pollution or poor nutritional choices.  We acknowledge that in order for us to truly acquire that wondrous, oh so desired sense of relief, and clarity, and to glow, we must examine every single aspect of our lives.  We must dissect what is toxic specifically to us, and cleanse what doesn’t work.

And that’s all these is, there isn’t anymore.

Until Wednesday, friends, be well.

 

Love, Sheela

p/s I link up here.

The Fab 40s Go Goth

Aka the “It’s Not You, It’s Me” post. 

Once upon a time in Houston, Sheela got pissed with WordPress.  And the damn phone because it kept dinging with alerts.  Merrily.  Repeatedly.  All the damn time.  Driving her up the (proverbial) wall.

And that isn’t even the crux of today’s post. 

Just a wee digression of aggression. 

I love a good pun, I love a bad one even more GRIN hello my friends, thank you for stopping by today.  I’m going off on a new look and feel (or rather, approach) to blogging.  It’s subtle though so I am wondering if you see it.



This time last week, I was at FierceCon2018. Catherine’s baby.  A haven wherein women (and a few men) congregated to share and motivate.  To connect.  Inspire and be inspired.  To find a sister.  Or tribe.  Both.

Give me a little time to gather my thoughts, and I will tell you ALL about it.  What I was privileged to hear.  The stories told by truly brave souls.  Things I’ve become aware of ever since.  Things I’ve learned about myself and the people around me.  Understanding how they’ve touched me, and being better able to discern if their presence in my life is positive. Or not.

Mostly discovering, or should I say, being reminded (albeit with a gentle kick in the ass) that everyone has been through their own private hell. Everyone has had some sort of battle to fight.  We all have someone we have to forgive.  Someone we’d never ever want to see ever again (perhaps even have fashioned a voodoo doll in their likeness, like, cough, I used to do).  And that absolutely nothing is what it seems to be.  Absolutely nothing is as picture perfect as it appears.



I know this isn’t new news at all.  But, you see, most (if not all) of us frequently lose sight of these sort of observations as we plod along.  Managing.  Settling.  Existing.  Therefore, when those brilliant flashes of the obvious hit us like so, it’s quite the necessary thump between the eyes.

A “Hello!!  Wake up already!!” thump.

You’re not alone.

You’re not unique in your pain.

You’re not alone.

You can find solace.

YOU. ARE. NOT. ALONE.



And why is today’s post entitled thus?  Because while everyone was raving on about how they were loving the energy and vibe, I was standing in my corner (with my babe who was, thankfully, there to keep this very socially awkward woman company) wondering what they were talking about.  Like WTF is this “energy” you’re talking about?  I don’t feel any energy.  I just see loads of people, and hear a lot of noise, and my feet hurt from these 5″ heels.

It made me acutely aware that, in truth, it doesn’t matter where you are.  What event you’re at.  Or motivational workshop you’re attending.  If you’re not consciously opening yourself up to receiving, you’re just wasting your time.  And everyone else’s, for that matter.  That’s when I realised that it wasn’t them, it was me.  It’d been me all along.  I was my own barrier.

You must be open to lowering your walls.  Bringing those shields down.  And be ready to absorb.  Take in as much as you can.  Whether you call it energy or positivity, you need to consciously decide to open the door, and let it in.  I choose to call mine LIGHT and this time, at FierceCon2018, I chose to let LIGHT in. 



And I am continuing to choose to let LIGHT in.

Now to The Fab 40s.

From the oh so fabulous throwback to the 90s to a slightly more goth-gone-to-work approach, take a look at our individual renditions of this month’s theme.  Goth.

Go on.  Scroll down.

Tell me what you think.

Suzy, Pixie Chick In Portugal

Dungarees for Goth.  That’s not something you hear very often.  And certainly not what I was expecting to see when Suzy sent over her photo (she picked the theme for this month, by the by) but bowled over I certainly was.  She looks beyond amazing.  A little Goth.  A little punk. A whole lotta rock n roll awesomeness all rolled into one incredibly cool lady.

Jennie, A Pocketful Of Polka Dots

I thought I was doing grown-up goth but Jennie has got me beat.  In spades.  Hands down.  Look at her.  Everything she’s wearing screams (elegantly) of poise and sensuality while hinting at her dark, mysterious if somewhat dangerous side that comes out to play every now and again.  During the month of October.  Or whenever someone picks Goth as the theme.

Shelbee, Shelbee On The Edge

Shelbee is true blue classic Goth today.  And while I do not share her fervour for Robert Smith (I was more into the punk goth/rock genre a la Morten Harket whom, incidentally, I was supposed to marry when I grew up but he missed that memo), I can certainly vocalise how much I adore her outfit especially how gentrified it is with the coat.  And that belt, oh my heart!!!

Daenel, Living Outside The Stacks

Even before reading Daenel’s cover email, my mind immediately thought of Wednesday Adams when I saw her outfit.  HOW FREAKING COOL IS SHE????  What a positively explosive way to kickstart your stint with The Fab 40s.  Essentially, you captured the essence of this month’s theme without even trying to, and that is golden.  Welcome to the fray, woman.

Mary, Curly Byrdie Chirps

One of the things I admire most about Mary is that regardless of what the month’s theme is, she always ALWAYS delivered an outfit that was infinitely Mary.  Feminine.  A touch of prep.  And very much body-flattering.  She knows how to work her curves and does it so even in a look that isn’t stereotypically Goth.  You go, girl!!  Slay, slay and slay some more.

Now comes one of the bestest bits of this collaboration between friends in their 40s, introducing a new guest blogger for the month.  Today, I am so delighted to present Lizzie of What Lizzie Loves

I’ve known of this lady for a long time now, and I was very excited to see how she would style Goth because if you take a look at her feed, Lizzie’s style couldn’t be the furthest being conspicuously dark, punk and sometimes morbid.  Consequently, when I saw her outfit, it instantly became #1 for me.  My fave.  The prettiness of Lizzie’s dress stays so close to her own aesthetics whilst the colour and the print (albeit done in a feminine fashion) only serve to affirm how spot on the overall outfit is.  Both in terms of being true to Lizzie as well as being in line with the theme for October. Brilliant, Lizzie, just brilliant.  So happy to have you with us.

Look at that.  Lizzie does Goth.  And fantabulously too.

And then there’s me.

In a genius of a pose, dreamt up by Michael.

Boo.  I see you.
Do you see me too?

Plaid Dress (thrifted ) | Swiss Dot Lace Top (Forever21) | Choker (ManicPanic NYC) | Boots (Make Me Chic) | Sunnies (Chanel) | Cuff (Loewe) | Maleficient & Crow Rings (my heart)

That’s it, friends.  I wonder what’s in store for next month.  Wait, whose turn is it for November again?


Love, Sheela

p/s I link up here.

The Fab 40s Put On Plaid

It’s not just black and white.

It’s practically everything in between.

 

I don’t recall what led to it precisely but the other day, someone asked whether I viewed the world in black and white.  What an immensely interesting question.  Particularly given the timing, and current state of things.  Without rehashing what’s been playing out in my life of late (you can read about it here and here), it’s safe to say that change has been dominating the scene.  Rather like a zephyr sweeping across the horizon, creating patterns in the landscape, swiftly moving from side to side, and everything in between.

And that is why my response was that I’ve gone from viewing the world in greyscale (with certain moments in subtle shades, like a two-colour process) to now experiencing everything in full technicolour wonder.

I T' S    E X H I L A R A T I N G

And it’s been in the simplest of things too.

Consuming garlic, for one.  Or working out at the oddest of hours whether it’s because that’s the only time I can, or simply because I feel like it.  Dressing as I please, be it a midriff (or lace bra) baring ensemble, or something which makes my legs look as though they go on for miles (best sort of camouflage ever).

Indeed, the world now presents itself in a wondrous kaleidoscope of colours that spans the gamut from pastel and dreamy to rich and creamy, and everything in between including, yes, black and white and all permutations of grey.

What a wonderful world it is.

Notice also how that visual transition has manifested itself in the outfits I’ve presented here on the blog.

Notice how it’s veered from black with pops of sunny side up yellow to feminine pink and, as seen here today, in-your-face red.  Peppered with browns and rusts and oranges and (although you can’t quite see it) yellows too.  There’s also black, but of course, to stay authentic and grounded.

C O L O U R    H A S    C H A N G E D    M Y    N A R R A T I V E S

Without a doubt, seeing things through rainbow-infused lenses has completely affected the way in which I am telling my stories.

It has changed my visual narratives.

And, if I am to be completely truthful, it’s rather intoxicating.

I believe you can see just how heady a rush to the senses that onslaught of colours is, my friends, in my interpretation of plaid this month for our monthly installment of The Fab 40s.

We’ve done this trend before, yes, but I’m a firm believer of there never being too much of a good thing.  And clearly plaid is a good thing.  A really good thing as clearly evidenced here, here and here.  Weathering many things including hair colour as well as weight fluctuations GRIN

Scroll down.  Take a look at our individual renditions of plaid.

Tell me what you think.

Mary, Curly Byrdie Chirps

Mary | Curly Byrdie Chirps

Mary is most certainly a woman after my own heart, mixing plaid with fierce red.  Her dress with those (covetable) ankle boots and beret are absolute bang for the buck.  The thing I adore most about her outfit?  That crazy riot of curls which makes up her hair SIGH

Suzy, Suzy Turner

Suzy | Suzy Turner

Although it visually makes no sense, time and again Suzy reminds me of Pocahontas.  That determined spirit and quiet elegance.  Her look is no exception.  I suspect the suede and fringe have a thing or two to do with said vibe but Suzy looks so fierce here. J’adore.

Jennie, A Pocketful Of Polka Dots

Jennie | A Pocketful of Polka Dots

Given Jennie’s love (read: obsession with) for polka dots, I was half expecting to see her pair them with plaid.  But, as we all know, the hallmark of a truly stylish person is the ability to present the unexpected, and the lady does it most eloquently this month.

Shelbee, Shelbee On The Edge

Shelbee | Shelbee On The Edge

My adoration for Shelbee is no secret.  Her insightful words. Her authenticity.  Just her.  Lately, however, the admiration I’ve always had for her has been growing exponentially from a sartorial perspective. Just look at this wild and wacky wonder of an outfit!!!!  LOVE.

Now, do join me in welcoming Canesha of Crowned Canesha, our guest blogger for September.  Whilst her blog and style viewpoint are fairly new to me, I’ve no doubt I will be a new fan.  Especially because of the various topics she writes about.  Click here.  Also here.  And definitely here too, and you’ll understand what I mean.  Thank you so very much for being a part of our little style rendezvous this month, Canesha, you can certainly count on me being a frequent visitor to your space from hereon.  By the by, those pants are gorgeous.

Canesha | Crowned Canesha

And then there’s me.

In my riot of plaid.  And stripes.  And colour.

Plaid Coat Dress worn open (purchased in Kuching ) | Striped Blouse, Plaid Pants & Yellow Ombré Sunnies (New York & Co) | Heels (Cicihot)

That’s it, friends.

Pretty in plaid.

Posing in plaid.

Posting in plaid.

Which is your fave plaid look?

 

Love, Sheela

p/s I link up here.

23,040 Minutes

23,040 minutes.

Or, if you prefer, 384 hours.

 

That’s precisely how long I’ve been staying at Camden Holly Springs.  The place I’ve called home since 22nd August.  Seems so odd to say that.  As is doing things by myself.  Normal, everyday things such as taking out the trash.  Pumping gas into the car, going to the car wash too.  Cooking for one (I still keep cooking far too much but I’ll get the portions right eventually, I know it).  Getting acquainted with a washer and dryer that aren’t Samsung red boom boxes. Realising that I can decorate things however I please (hence the red couch, moo moo cube, tray tables, bedroom furniture, and night lamps).  Yes, in case it wasn’t already apparent, I’m going with black, red and white with touches of grey/chrome 🙂 I shan’t lie, it’s going to take a while to get accustomed to these (shall we call them) adjustments but I know they’re part of the process in this journey towards my new norm.  And I look forward to embracing them.  Wholeheartedly.

Now, the blog.  Initially I told myself that, from September onwards, I would jump headlong into the fray and commit to publishing posts thrice weekly, like before.  Then the reality of unpacking and tidying and putting away things kicked in, and before I knew it, more than two weeks had passed since I moved.

How quickly time speeds by when changes are a-foot.

Conversely (and most ironically), time also appears to slow to a screeching, horror-movie slow-mo halt when changes are in the air, don’t you think?

B Y    T H I S,    I' M    R E F E R E N C I N G    R O U T I N E S

Things that one does subconsciously.

Acts borne out of habit.

I’m quite certain we’re all guilty of this.  And I’m no different.  I (still) find myself behaving or thinking in a certain way that harks back to the past, then catching myself in the middle of it.  Pausing.  Re-evaluating the deed, why it happened, and then consciously cleaving it off.

As my psychologist affirms, there is a lot of untangling to be done, and which must be done cleanly, firmly, kindly and respectfully.

She tells me that it is far better to rip off a band-aid then to slowly peel it thus prolonging the pain and agony.  I agree but the right way isn’t always the easiest way.  Come to think of it, it’s usually the hardest.  She also tells me it’s perfectly alright and understandable if I am a smidge slow in breaking those patterns of which I speak.  And that even after much time has passed, there will still be moments when I find myself doing something out of habit.  That it’s normal human behaviour, and that I really should stop beating myself up over it.

Which I’ve been doing a lot, apparently.

Blaming myself.

Feeling guilty.

I knew I’d been doing those things but I didn’t realise it was so apparent to those within close vicinity.  Or that these traits could be used against me.  Learned Reminded of this along with several other key life lessons during my last session with the good doctor of psychology.  Additionally, it was (nicely but ever so firmly) pointed out that I needed to make some serious changes in the way I was communicating with people.

To put it bluntly, I have to stop being a doormat.

Being soft-hearted (call it flexible or understanding) is one thing, but being a pushover is a completely different situation 🙂 and I am learning to tell the difference.  Distinguishing between being accommodating and pandering.

No one ever tells you about these things when you end a long-term relationship.  How to behave with your ex.  How not to behave with your ex.  I’m not joking, I promise.

Or that despite being the one to initiate the split, it would still hurt.  That I would also grieve.  Grieve and mourn the loss of what I firmly believed was my fairy tale ending.  No one goes into a marriage (or any relationship for that matter) imagining it would end.  Quite the contrary, we all begin with starry eyes, fervent hopes, and rose tinted dreams of white picket fences (insert wistful smile).  Sometimes, we get to ride into the sunset and live happily ever after.  And sometimes we don’t.  My story was a combination of both in that I did enjoy the rainbows and butterflies for quite a long time, and then I no longer did.  It happens.

I T    I S    V E R Y    N O R M A L

I still have moments when I wonder if I am doing the right thing.  And while those moments are becoming fleeting, fewer and further between as time passes, they still happen.  In the beginning, I used to think of them as the universe telling me I’d made the wrong decision to leave.  That I was utterly mad.  But now, I consider them as reality checks that are very much welcomed.

Moments of (increased) lucidity which allow me to continuously examine and assess where my choices have led me.  To further dissect the consequences of having chosen to focus on me as versus deciding to stay.  The numerous challenges which have come my way since 22nd August 2018, and how I’ve managed to overcome (most of) them.

Yes, I am tired.

I am mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted.  But I wouldn’t trade a single moment of all I’ve gone through in the past several weeks (nor the past 16 years, for that matter) for anything in the world.  The sense of independence and empowerment I’ve experienced since moving out and being on my own has been liberating, to say the least.  I feel strong and alive again.  I feel like me again for the most part, and I know this is but the beginning.

I would love for you to stay with me as I begin my new adventures.

I could really use a friend, or 3,228 🙂

 

Love, Sheela

I link up here.

The Fab 40s Are All Laced-Up

Racy, lacy, dicey.

Hey, that even rhymed.

 

As a few of you already know, a new chapter in my life has begun.

Some time ago, I ended my 16 year relationship with Pierluigi.  There was no infidelity.  No, nothing of the sort.  I walked away after almost two decades together because I had lost myself.  I had spent so much time being mother, wife, colleague that Sheela had completely disappeared.  I had no purpose.  I felt absorbed.  Missing.  Lacking.  Gone.

I    H A D    B E C O M E    I N V I S I B L E

Lest anyone casts that first stone, let me preface it by saying that I have absolutely no regrets in taking on those three roles.  I love Eve more than life itself, and I wanted to be the sort of parent who was always there.  Always present in as many ways as possible.  Her needs came before mine, and they always will.

Being a wife to Pierluigi was an all-consuming affair, and I was alright with that.  Until I wasn’t. We (still) share many wonderful memories created during our years together, and I refuse to tarnish that by speaking ill of him, or of our relationship.  Everything that has happened, happened for a reason, and helped shape the woman I am today.

When I first began working at Network Box, it was supposed to be part-time, and no more than 20 hours a month.  Over time, that increased to approximately every hour of every day (weekends included), and my blog became slowly (but surely) neglected.  I’m sure you, dear reader, have noticed the erratic posts.  Long periods of absenteeism and silence in between new content.  The thing I loved (and which fed my soul) fell through the cracks.  The one outlet to express my thoughts and emotions (and maintain my sanity), was no longer there.

I felt even more lost, floating in limbo.

T H I N G S    H A D    T O    C H A N G E

So, despite being completely petrified (which I still am, incidentally), I officially separated from Pierluigi, moved into my own place a week ago (me and mah boo), and am now working towards finding myself again.  Do not think I made this decision lightly.  I go through panic attacks on a daily basis, and find myself throwing up frequently out of anxiety.

Thoughts cloud my mind and my heart.  Could’ve.  Would’ve.  Should’ve.

But I have to do this.  To save me.

I know this may seem drastic to some.  And utter madness to others.  Whilst yet some others will completely understand what I’m talking about.  Who may even have taken those same steps themselves, and who are now (for want of another expression) better for it.

Found.

Whole.

That’s what I’m hoping to do.

That’s why I’m on this journey now.

I seek a better understanding of myself, what I (really really) want out of life.  What makes me happy.  I need to find Sheela again.

Invest time in myself.

Make myself a priority and not feel guilty about that.

Does that make sense?

Anyway, onto the matter at hand.  The Fab 40s.  And the theme I chose for this month.  Laced-Up.  A theme sufficiently vague that it lends itself to a plethora of interpretations.  Something that has not been lost on my fellow fierce friends, as you will soon see for yourself.

There’s lacing.

And lace.

And different types of lacing-up.

Take a look.

Ann, Kremb de la Kremb

Anne | Kremb de la Kremb

Picture perfect, that’s all that needs to be said.

Mary, Curly Byrdie Chirps

Mary | Curly Byrdie Chirps

Lace + Leather = like woah.

Suzy, Suzy Turner

Suzy | Suzy Turner

Oooh.  Pretty in pink GRIN and too adorable for words.

Jennie, A Pocketful Of Polka Dots

Jennie | A Pocketful of Polka Dots

Hubba hubba hubba.

For this month, we have the AWESOME Shelbee as our guest.

Shelbee | Shelbee On The Edge

It’s no secret that I absolutely adore Shelbee.  I mean, this is the second time I’ve invited her as guest blogger for The Fab 40s so that tells you something (check her debut here).  She is the coolest person I know on the world wide web.  I’ve been blessed to meet her in person last February during NYFW, and I can safely attest that she is equally (if not more) cool IRL.  And as I told her, the moment the theme began forming in my mind, I immediately thought of inviting her again.  I mean, racy and lacy are all words I associate with Shelbee so it made sense.

And here’s me.

Top (Kenzo ) | Laced-Up Jeans (Mango) | Boots (I can’t remember) | Leather Jacket (Blank NYC) | Yellow Cuff c/o Unearthed.etsy.com | Sunnies (Chanel)

Happy Monday, everyone!!  As I write this, I’m sitting on my newly unpacked (and assembled red suede couch), with a just assembled glass coffee table in front of me, and mountains of boxes all around me.  WiFi is spotty (at best) and I have so much to unpack that I am (almost) tempted to check into the nearest hotel.

But you know what, I wouldn’t trade this new life for anything in the world.

 

KISSES!!!

 

Love, Sheela

p/s I link up here.

The Fab 40s In Their Cutoffs

Oh yes, we absolutely can.

Wear shorts, that is.

 

I begin my post with a sense of utter outrage.

In the process of conducting due diligence and research to write this, I came across multitudes of so-called style experts dishing out the most ridiculous of counsel to women on whether cutoffs (or the entire spectrum of shorts, for that matter) were age-appropriate.

If it weren’t for the fact that I’d just taken my Bystolic (and that I’m physically drained from a very exhausting weekend of work + play, with the last vestiges of jet lag thrown in for good measure), I suspect I’d have suffered a fit right then and there.  Or, at the very least, hurled verbal abuses at said culprits vis-à-vis the sanctity of my home office which would, in truth, serve no higher purpose save to leave me with the cringey task of wiping smatterings of spit from my laptop screen.

O U T R A G E D ,    I    T E L L    Y O U

First of all, anyone who specialises in what’s called “mum style” instantly raises the red flag where I’m concerned.  As it is with (that ridiculous notion of) dressing for one’s age, what on earth does “mum style” even mean?

Special mention must be made of this particular website wherein cutoffs are to be frowned upon because (1) we look like we’re trying too hard; (2) shorts are meant only for PYTs with great bodies; and (3) we can’t possibly have nice legs at “our age” so no, we should never wear those things called shorts.  Yes, those evil concoctions which when chosen carefully, reveal and showcase those pins in the most flattering of circumstances.  Oh no, heaven forbid that should happen because, you know, once a woman turns 40, she’s expected to crawl quietly into the dark abyss of no-style-land to shrivel into obscurity, and fade away.  And not look amazing in anything remotely stylish or form-revealing.

Rant over.

Ish.

G  A  H  !  !  !

I am irked.

Can you tell how irked I am?

For as long as women continue to dish out this nonsensical words, other women will keep thinking of their counsel as gospel, and thus does the vicious cycle continue.

We must put an end to this mentality, and do away with the thought process which likens ageing to decrepitating (puhlease).  Age is truly nothing more than a duo of numbers.  And numbers are merely mathematical objects, used to count and measure.  Unfortunately, society has expanded their use to also label.  Classify.  Designate.  Stamp.

In other words, a label has been placed on how old a woman is, equating it with her self-worth, appeal quotient, her value.

When in truth, every single scar, every single stretch mark, every single imperfection bears witness to everything she has been through to become the woman she is today.  A strong, proud, beautiful woman.  One that should be fiercely celebrated and loved.

As July emerged on the horizon, and it came to Annie to select our monthly theme, I knew with dead certainty that she’d pick cutoffs (I swear, I did Annie!!).  After all, she practically lives in them all year round in Hong Kong, owns the largest wardrobe of shorts (and sneakers) I’ve ever known for one person to have, and looks killer in every single pair.

With that knowledge in mind, I’d begun mentally assembling my look even before I went away to Borneo.  I was fully aware I wanted a blend of couture with high street.

Something immensely melodramatic on top, with something ripped and distressed below, to create a perfectly contrasting, off-kilter look.

I hope to have accomplished that here today.

I’d like to imagine this particular ensemble walking loud and proud in front of press and spectators alike at the VMAs, appreciated by all age groups and sartorial genres for its singular visual impact.  Those bold stripes placed so carefully and artfully make for a graphic statement (with enough room to chow down upon the sumptuous meal that is certainly in store for all VMA attendees).  And that Daisy Duke-esque pair of cutoffs looks simultaneously youthful and romantic, calling attention to legs which have traversed many a mile, and walked through countless adventures.  And lived to tell the tale.

It photographs beautifully, this outfit does.

Come see what my fellow fierce friends have put together, in the name of cutoffs this month.  It’s very insightful, looking at their individual interpretations and the lengths (and styles) they’re at ease with.  And the various settings in which they perceive denim cutoffs to be most apt.

Take a look.

Ann, Kremb de la Kremb

Ann | Kremb de la Kremb

Simple and fun is what Ann does best, and here she proves that again in that gorgeous Wrangler tee with one of her countless denim cutoffs.  Perfectly paired with killer smile, sun-kissed legs, and a cool drink.

Mary, Curly Byrdie Chirps

Mary | Curlybyrdie Chirps

I didn’t even realise cutoff shorts existed in longer lengths.  Had I known, I would’ve started wearing them ages ago!!  Beautiful blend of blue on blue, Mary, with the prettiest of crochet appliqué trims.  So pretty.

Suzy, Suzy Turner

Suzy | Suzy Turner

Props, Suzy, for wearing two cutoff pieces 🙂 and dowdy is certainly not a word I’ve EVER use to describe you!!!  There is a definite grunge vibe here, and I’m loving it. Casting a heart eye emoji on that Desigual backpack too.

Jennie, A Pocketful Of Polka Dots

Jennie | A Pocketful of Polka Dots

Now this is the perfect case study for a bohemian vibe, wouldn’t you agree?  Lace and crochet going head on with denim and dark leather.  Delicious.  I don’t know how she does it but Jennie always manages to make everything look easy and effortless.

For this month, we have the lovely Monika as our guest.

Monika | Style Is My Pudding

If I am to be completely honest, I was a little upset with Ann for inviting Monika as our guest this month because I’d been wanting to do the same for August, when it’s my turn GRIN which lets you know how awesome a style a woman has when more than one blogger has her in mind for a collaboration.  I mean, head over to her blog, and you’ll instantly understand why Monika is such a cool cat.  Plus I have serious hair envy whenever I look at her pink tresses.  My level of #girlcrushing went through the roof when I saw Monika’s cutoff outfit because, you know, it’s a damn skirt!!  My mind had gone straight to shorts and never once strayed to consider that there may be other cutoff options out there (smacks forehead).  How glorious does she look!!  Thank you so much for being a part of The Fab 40s, Monika!!!

And here’s me.

Top (Poshmark ) | Cutoffs (Blank NYC sold out, preloved here) | Sunnies (Chanel)

Happy Monday, everyone!!  As I write this, I’ve been back precisely a week from a month long vacation in Borneo, and am still suffering from jet lag which is really annoying but worth it to be able to see my family 🙂 I hope everyone has a decent start to a new Monday.

 

KISSES!!!

 

Love, Sheela

p/s I link up here.

The Girls

Breasts. Tits. Boobs.

Whatever you may call them.

 

Yes, however you may refer to them, my breasts are my most significant area of body insecurity.  Ever so quintessentially clichéd, I’m fully aware.  Allow me to clarify.  Yes, the insecurity pertains to size but perhaps not quite in the way you think.  I’ve never once desired to be a cup I am not.  To provide some provenance, pre-Eve, I was a 34B.  Right after having Eve, I stayed 34D for a long time.  Then I went to being a 36B, and now, I’m at 34AA.  Clearly, lingerie stores have had me to singularly support their existence these past few years, what with all that yo-yo movements of my cleavage (you’re welcomed).

So, my bone of contention is that I do not crave more but I yearn to regain what I’ve lost through the years of weight fluctuations and intensive workouts.  I want to be a 34B again.

No more, no less.

I’ll be the very first one to admit that it IS a lot easier and more efficient to be petite where breasts are concerned.  I truly doubt I’d be able to undertake all the stuff I do at the gym otherwise.  I see women with ample bosoms box, run, bench press, and I cringe because it is (more often than not) painful to watch.  Metaphorically for me, and literally for them.

I am able to jump high up into air and know that when I descend, and my feet touch the ground, my breasts do the same.  Without any lapse in sequence or timing.  We land together.  That may seem amusing to some but honestly?  When that doesn’t happen, the pain and/or discomfort levels are insanely high.  For that, I am ferociously grateful.

And even as I bemoan the loss of curvature (and athletic pursuits aside), I also appreciate how from a sartorial perspective, I am able to wear certain garments which someone more generously endowed would not, or rather, should not (tongue fully in cheek).  What sort of style challenges do I mean, you ask?

Ruffles across the chest.

Low back garments that reveal side boob.  Or the overflowing thereof.

Buttoned-down tops that fit everywhere else but there.

Strapless swim things.  Strapless most things actually.

Just bra with blazer.

Like what I’ve got on today.

I mean, it isn’t as if women with full breasts can’t wear all those things, they most certainly can if they so choose.  Being the proponent of self-love that I am, perpetually advocating confidence and empowerment, I am all for that.

That said, the end result isn’t always pleasing or polished.

There’s something to be said about lapels laying flat.  The smooth lines of a figure-flattering garment.  Non gaping buttons.  About zero jiggling when walking while clad in a top that hugs every curve, every line.

I don’t know.  I often wonder what a woman on the other side of the breast spectrum would say about her endowments.  Would she consider them both a blessing and a curse?  Does she (ever) think of having smaller ones?  I question also why society places so much emphases on the attraction level of a woman in direct correlation with her bra cup size.  Is that actually true in all circumstances?  I feel as though most of the men I’ve spoken to don’t see it that way.

Or perhaps they were just being polite to petite-chested me.  Who knows GRIN

Back to my concerns about boob size.  Well, I did something about it in early May.  No, we’re not talking implants.  Or fillers.  Or fat transfers.  I recently went through stem cell therapy for my Lupus and decided to have localised injections into both knees, right shoulder/rotator cuff and, yes, my breasts. That. Hurt.  So much that I almost gave up halfway through but the thought of having lopsided boobs was enough to propel me forwards and onwards.

If research is to be believed, I should see a slight (oh so natural) augmentation in the bustline over the next six to eight months.  Nothing quite Pamela Lee Anderson (thank god) but sufficient to realise the need to purchase new bras.

My doctor pre-empts that I will require at least another two to three procedures, on a annual basis, primarily for the Lupus but hey, why not provide more aid to the cleavage whilst we’re at it, right?  To be honest, I haven’t seen any difference yet.  It’s early days so I’m not surprised.

I am, however, cautiously optimistic.  And excited to see what transpires.

Would you be interested to know when I know?

Now to the denim at hand.  A few days ago, we showcased jeans worn on the DL.  Today, we’re featuring that very same pair (Eve and I, we are) in a fancy fashion.  Not too long ago, those two words, “denim” and “fancy” would never ever appear in the one same sentence yet here we are, with them being paraded at galas alongside the most elaborate of bejewelled gowns.  Of course I am, in true Sheela style, 24 hours late (forgive me, please, Jodie and Eve, I really am trying my best to play catch-up) (and failing in a most epic fashion, clearly).

Take a look at how we all dressed our jeans fit to paint the town red.

Eve, Teens (the world according to eve)

Eve | The World According To Eve

Look at mah boo go.  Strutting her stuff in that deliciously adorable polka dot peplum top with those jeans (that I still covet and yearn for).  If you look at her fuchsia wedges carefully, you might just spy a tiny black heart she drew in with a Sharpie many years ago.

Sheela, 40s (sheela writes)

I think “fancy jeans”, I instantly think blazer and lace.  I do not know I think that but here they are, in all their dressed up glory.  The choker added a touch of IDGAF.

Jodie, 50s (jodie’s touch of style)

Jodie | Jodie's Touch Of Style

Love the plethora of print and texure in this outfit.  So SO many things going on but look at how harmoniously (and aesthetically) they’re cohabiting alongside each other?  And to think just a scant year or so ago, print mixing wasn’t quite Jodie’s cup of tea 🙂

Stacy, 60s (jodie’s touch of style)

What an unusual choice to pick yellow as an accent colour.  Bold but not even remotely overpowering, those pops provide the perfect (heady) dose of zest to Stacy’s look.  She needs to be careful with that bag though, I’m terribly inclined to snatch it away for myself!!!

Charlotte, 80s (jodie’s touch of style)

I adore the walking disco ball aka Charlotte.  All that sparkling goodness.  It could’ve gone so wrong but her sequinned top is a perfect sartorial contrast to the clean, stark lines of her dark wash jeans.  And look at her sunnies OMG #girlcrush

And there you have it.

Fancy jeans.

How do you dress denim up?

 

Love, Sheela

I link up here.

What Makes You, You?

Ya, boo.

What makes you, you?

 

A simple prompt from the awesome Jodie, about the versatility of denim, gave rise to the question of what makes you, you.  Is it your external self with its specific composition of water, protein, connective tissue, fats, bones, carbohydrates and DNA?  Or, conversely, is it how that external facade is packaged namely dress style, trimmings (body art, ink, etc), hair colour?

Or, as a third alternative. is it how we think and behave that dictates and makes us who we are?  Our moral guidelines, our moral code?  Our beliefs?

Could it be all of the above?

I rather think so.

After all, at the end of the day, our physical selves take instructions from our minds, our emotions.  How we feel manifests itself into how we conduct ourselves, how we appear in the eyes of the world.

As I explain myself, I am also reminded of an impromptu conversation with a friend, Michael, just a fortnight ago.  This oh so articulate and creative friend revealed how he’d often visualise himself as the lead character in fictional scenarios.  Fictional and ever-changing scenarios based on his current mood, whims and fancies.  Now while he may have done so to further boost his passion for screenwriting, it occurred to me how real life is a carbon copy of just that, i.e., all those curveballs thrown our way?  Well, they too fashion us into who we are, at that specific season of our lives.

I know, I know, trust Sheela to come up with something so elaborate and thought-provoking based off on a desire to showcase the humble denim jeans beyond stereotypical expectations.  I couldn’t stick to the bare basics even if I wanted to, and apparently I never want to GRIN

But back to the question at hand.

What makes you, you?

If there’s one thing I’ve discerned over the years seasons of my existence, it’s that the core of being Sheela lies in authenticity.  Being true to who I am.  Even if at times I don’t quite like who I am.  Or the things I’ve done.  Every decision I’ve made, every turn I’ve taken (or not), I can safely attest has, for the most part, been grounded in who I am, what I stand for, and the reasons behind why I’ve done things the way I have.

You are the decisions you make. 

Or, as is often the case, possessing the courage to make a decision.

Not your instincts, not your thoughts, not your beliefs, only actions.

In this particular instance, however, there wasn’t anything quite sage-like a motive behind pulling on a pair of jeans.  It was strictly a sartorial-conscious decision in ensuring I complied with the theme Jodie and I had concocted up, albeit I am 24 hours late (forgive me, please, Jodie and Eve, clearly advanced scheduling is not will never be my forte).

When we decided to cast the spotlight on jeans for this particular collaboration, the idea was to showcase how denim would fare under both casual as well as fancy circumstances.  Today (and yesterday for those ladies who can actually meet a deadline), the humble pair takes on a slightly dressed-down attitude.

Come see what “dressed-down” in jeans means to each of us.

Eve, Teens (the world according to eve)

Eve | The World According To Eve

So much to love and covet in this look.  I’ll confess, I bought those jeans for me, but then when they arrived, they were such an Eve pair that it was a no-brainer to hand it over.  From the plaid shirt to the distressed rips to those tuxedo stripes and colour-blocking patches to adorable star appliques on her foots, there’s SO much going on here that it borders on the style schizophrenic.  And don’t they all look absolutely killer on Eve??

Sheela, 40s (sheela writes)

Yellow so not mellow.  And rips lined up like a stairway to style heaven.  Heh.  I tried.

Jodie, 50s (jodie’s touch of style)

Jodie | Jodie's Touch Of Style

How does this woman always look so relaxed and poised and sweat-free?  It would so irksome if I didn’t like love her to bits.  A casual kimono and the sweetest top, both in China blue + white make for such a soothing palette.  Then you throw in the starkness of dark-washed jeans, and a fashion paradox is born. Give it to Jodie to infuse little dollops of flirt in tassel earrings, bohemian bag, and pretty-in-pink wedges.

Charlotte, 80s (jodie’s touch of style)

Charlotte | Jodie's Touch Of Style

I’ve said it MULTIPLE times, I love this woman.  Her style is defined but never boring, never predictable, as clearly evident from her wearing that most adorable of floral necklaces with a classic gingham blazer.  Charlotte does not shy away from colour (another reason why she’s #goals) but also does not use it for the sake of being a walking rainbow.  Here, the pops of colours are ever so strategically placed.  Yes, I’m gushing, sue me.

And there you have it.

Casual jeans.  Not quite Summer-weather-friendly but for the sake of a brief photoshoot, we survived.  Once the lens cap was placed back onto the camera, I ditched my heels and moto jacket, braided the hair, and replaced my Bowie tee with a sleeveless tank #bless

How do you denim it down?

 

Love, Sheela

I link up here.