Posts Tagged: dressing

The Right to Bare Arms

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I’ll fess right up: I’m not terribly fond of my arms. I lift weights every week based on a regimen created for me by a personal trainer, and there’s loads of muscle in there. Seriously, just ask me to flex. But there’s also loads of jiggle. And although I don’t want to be, I’m self-conscious about it. And I generally dress to keep them covered.

But it’s summer in Minnesota and that means it can get hot. Also nastily humid. Ya know, that sticky, icky, clingy environmental moisture that makes you feel like a giant dog tongue has just licked your whole body, clothing included? And under these circumstances, 3/4 sleeves become implements of torture.

And the fact of the matter is that my arm-related self-consciousness is centered on a recently developed, socially generated expectation that – in addition to slender legs, a flat belly, and lush breasts – all women should have toned arms. Absolutely jiggle-free, rock-solid, sculpted and toned arms. Similar to the ones seen on Jennifer Aniston, Jessica Biel, and other celebs who have live-in personal trainers and whose job it is to look a very specific way. Like all body-related mandates, this is unreasonable, shaming, and downright awful. I know this inside my brain. And it angers me endlessly and I want to fight back. Unfortunately my emotional self still kicks and screams when I pull on a tank top, wailing at the size, the jiggle, the uneven skin tone of my exposed arms. It then becomes an internal battle of wills: Shirk the imposed body mandates and feel exposed and self-conscious, or give in, cover up, and attempt to relax?

I try to bear in mind that sleeveless garments can be more flattering than short-sleeved ones, and go that route when it’s sweltering. And if it’s cool enough, I do 3/4 or cuff my long sleeves. But other days, days when my outrage manages to squelch my insecurity, I just force myself to remember this important mantra: All women have the right to bare arms, regardless of size, shape, or tone. The vast majority of us HAVE arms, many of us are forced to deal with heat and humidity at some point in the calendar year, and we should not allow restrictive social norms about how our bodies “should” look to shame us into dressing in clothing that makes us feel hot and miserable. Arms come in all shapes and sizes. Flattering them can certainly be a priority, but covering them up on a miserably hot day and risking heat rash in the name of hiding a little jiggle? No way. Not OK, not reasonable, not necessary.

I used to be incredibly self-conscious about my belly, and I still dress to downplay it. But friends, I have come to have a real and deep affection for it as a natural, biological, lovely, and defining part of my physical self. It took years of work, but I got there. So I have faith that my arm-battle will end because I want it to end. And I know what my ultimate conclusion should be: I have the right to bare arms. And so do we all.

Image courtesy sean dreilinger

This is a refreshed and revived post from the archive.

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Spring Wardrobe Capsule: My Run In Pastels

The Pastel Capsule Wardrobe

Joi’s Pastel Capsule Wardrobe

Hey Style Lovers! So, I recently took my very first try at creating a wardrobe capsule, and let me tell you, it truly was a challenge for me.

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Why? Well, for one thing, I love variety. Switching up my style genres depending on my mood is a part of who I am (see examples here, here, and here). Yet, I also enjoy stepping outside of my box, especially on my own terms.  The idea of maximizing a minimal wardrobe fascinates me. To be sure, a wardrobe capsule can be considered somewhat confining: One usually mixes and matches similar pieces to create cohesive looks for multiple days and or events. But, those confinements also come with fringe benefits!

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The Pastel Capsule Wardrobe: Take 1 of 4

Since this was my very first time I decided to take things slow:

2 main tops + 2 main bottoms = 4 different looks.

Spring is in the air, and what says springtime better than pastels?!

The Pastel Capsule: Take 2 of 4

The Pastel Capsule Wardrobe: Take 2

Here’s what I learned:

  1. Staying within the same color family is a simple way to go for beginners
  2. Don’t be afraid to switch up pieces and wear them in a way that you normally don’t. For example, I’m wearing one of my tops backwards. I’ve since discovered that I like it better that way :)
  3. Having a capsule wardrobe on hand makes getting dressed easy. It could be quite the ideal “go-to” for trips and work weeks.
  4. Don’t be afraid to challenge or limit yourself. You might actually enjoy it! The challenge for me was to limit my options, which in turn helped me to look at my clothes in a different way. This was a win/win for me!
The Pastel Capsule Wardrobe: Take 3 of 4

The Pastel Capsule Wardrobe: Take 3

For more details about what I’m wearing, visit my blog, here.

I’m curious: Have you tried creating your very own capsule wardrobe, or are you content with perusing them on Pinterest/ admiring them from afar? Which look is your favorite from my Spring Wardrobe Capsule?

Until next time!

XO
Joi

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I’m Joi and I blog my personal style via In My Joi. I’ve always enjoyed dressing up, yet notably, my personal style took on new dimensions when I hit my 30’s. You’ll find me saturated in bright colors, draped in vintage, and topped in hats. Occasionally I venture off to black and white combinations or take a playful dabble in mixed prints. It has been said that style is a way to express who you are, without having to speak. I wholeheartedly concur. Each day of life offers up a blank canvas, a fresh opportunity to use style to express different dimensions of my authentic self. Join my style adventures via Instagram, Tumblr, or Facebook!

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Tulle Skirt: Feminine Edge

Tulle Skirt

How to style a tulle skirt

Thank you very much for the warm welcome to Already Pretty! My very first post as a Contributor (Unapologetically Size 14, see here) was one full of depth and considerable feeling. Although there are many things that I feel quite passionately about, I wanted to share something light and airy this time around. Nothing says light and airy like a super poufy tulle skirt, right?! Too bad that the weather happened to be dreary and gray on the day that I wore this look… Alas, I’m moving on…

Tulle Skirt

Styling a tulle skirt: Feminine Edge

The cat is out of the bag; I am completely smitten with my tulle skirt (purchased back in 2013). In my mind there are 99+ ways it can be styled, and I just might be on a mission to document each and every one. Today I’m sharing one way, “Feminine Edge.”

How to wear a tutu

Tutu /tulle skirt styling

Tulle skirts ooze femininity. One rightly feels a sense of frilly girlhood each time it is worn. Side note: Although I ordered my skirt from a vendor on etsy, since then I have discovered tons of DIY tutorials all over the web.  They show you step-by-step exactly how to make a skirt identical to this one! I have that on my lengthy to-do list, because there are at least three other colors that I can totally see myself in.

How to wear a tulle skirt

Styling a tulle skirt with edge

Typically I style my tulle skirt/tutu with femininity in mind. But there’s no fun in staying inside ‘the box‘! I decided to step outside of my comfort zone, to target an edgy spin on things. Please check out my previous tulle skirt/tutu styles here, here, and here.

How to wear a tutu

Styling a tutu with edge appeal

My Rocksbox membership actually provided me with most of the jewelry worn here. I must say, their pieces added the exact edge factor that I was looking for! Have you heard of Rocksbox? It’s a membership-based jewelry styling service. Jeweled sets are curated for you based on your style profile, which you personalize. You can keep and wear the pieces for as long as you like, or return sets anytime, as often as you want. Guess what?! Just for YOU: Try the service free of charge for one month, by using code InMyJoiXoXo at checkout!

How to style/wear a tutu

Styling my tutu

To fully bring in the edge, I opted for reflective sunnies, studded spikes, mixed metals, a jean jacket, and rugged cowboy boots. Without further ado, I’d love to hear your thoughts! Did I accomplish my goal of “Feminine Edge”?

Until next time,
Joi

Sunnies: Bestsey Johnson | Jean jacket: Michael Kors | White top: Jones New York
Tulle skirt: Custom made | Cowboy boots: Steve Madden

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