February 29, 2012

A Personal Stance On Photo Retouching

Normally my Wednesday posts revolve around an outfit that I wore this week, but today I am going to take a break from my normal posting schedule to talk about a little thing called photo retouching.  Why photo retouching? Well I was flipping through the March 2012 issue of Glamour (the one with the gorgeous Amanda Seyfried on the cover) and happened upon this article.  I fell into reading it and I found it disturbing and enlightening at the same time.  Disturbing because it brought to light the prevalence and heavy handedness of photo retouching not only in the fashion world, but the world of us regular folks too.  Retouched facebook photos, dating profile pics people who want to perfect their look to try and match pop media's impossible standard of beauty.  The article was also enlightening because it forced me to examine my policy on photo retouching on my blog and in other aspects of my digital life. 

So here it is, I have retouched my outfit shots in the past, in an attempt to create a more polished, professional looking photo.  Most of the time I only correct lighting and adjust the color in my shots, sometimes I went further to erase dark circles and a few zits.  I have looked at other fashion blogs written by women who look model perfect and felt inadequate about my looks.  I have been tempted (but never have) to go overboard with retouching; making my skin smoother, teeth whiter and body trimmer. 

What stopped me was the fact that this blog is about my personal style. If I retouched my photos too much they would stop looking like me and become some strange alien version of myself.  I want to keep my blog real, and I believe that is exactly what fashion blogging should be.  A real un-retouched view of life, style, fashion.  If someone wants glossy perfection they can find it in a fashion magazine, my blog is about real everyday fashion and beauty. 

The image below is an example of taking retouching to the extreme.  It's a scary view of what image "perfection" can look like.  I don't like it, this picture doesn't even look like me, it looks like a doll version of me.

From this point forward my blog policy on retouching the images of myself (I can't control the Photoshopped fashion pics) is as follows;

I solemnly swear to retouch sparingly
Let the wrinkles in my clothes
(and in my face) shine through
Let the fact that I love green tea show on my teeth
and the evidence that I love cookies and chocolate show on my hips
Let my imperfect complexion be seen
and let the only retouching on my skin be with foundation and concealer

If you agree with the statement above and want to Keep Fashion Blogging For Real grab the button below and paste it in your blogs side bar (link it to this page or the FB page).  State your retouching policy on your blog and like the Keep Fashion Blogging For Real Page on Facebook. 

*This is my personal view of what I think fashion blogging should be, there is no wrong or right in this issue.  It's all about what you feel comfortable with, but I do think that heavily retouched photos sends the wrong message and sets an impossible to achieve standard of beauty.

February 27, 2012

I know a bazillion blogs and news sites alike will be buzzing about who wore it best at the Academy Awards (and whose nipples were hanging out), but I just had to share these two gorgeous gowns from last night.  In the dresses there was plenty of red, an assortment of jewel tones, a heavy dose of black, but the gowns that stood out for me were soft and ephemeral as worn by Penelope Cruz or structured and minimalist like what was worn by Gwyneth Paltrow.  These two are the winners in my little black fashion book. 

Penelope Cruz 2012 Academy Awards wearing Giorgio Armani Privé. Image from here.

Gwyneth Paltrow at the 2012 Academy Awards wearing this fantastic Tom Ford cape number. Image from here.
Did you watch?  What do you think of my picks?
Did you have a favorite dress from last nigh?

February 24, 2012

Happy Birthday Baby!

On February 21st my blog officially turned 1, Yay!  I can not believe that it has been a year since I started this project.  This blog has been like my child, I have nurtured it, I have seen it through (multiple) awkward phases and many an identity crisis.  I have fashioned it into something I am proud of.  The most exciting part of this journey is...it's not over.  I am excited to see where I can take my blog in 2012.  So even though this is few days late,  I wish my blog a very....

Image from here

P.S. What do you think of the new banner?  I think 2012 will be the year of polka dots.

February 22, 2012

Watching Too Much Downton Abbey

I love a good period costume film as much as the next fashion loving girl.  In fact I had for a short time considered studying costume design and I still would love to see the behind the scenes workings of a wardrobe department.  I must confess that all this love of costume finery is what is fueling a new addiction of mine. All my friends and family know about my most recent addiction, though there is no intervention needed, my addiction is to the show Downton Abbey.  

I love the juicy drama each week, the one line quips from the Dowager Countess of Grantham (the incomparable Maggie Smith) and the sumptuous costumes.  Today's outfit was perhaps subconsciously inspired by the flowing skirts, ephemeral layers, lush fabrics and decadents jewels (can't forget the jewels).

What I'm Wearing:

Tank: Old Navy
Kimono Jacket: Love Squared (worn here and here)
Scarf worn as Top: No label, gift
Skirt: Ann Taylor (Similar to this)
Belt: Chaps (Similar to this)
Necklace: Erickson Beamon for Bauble Bar (from IFB Gift Bag)

February 14, 2012

This + This = Fashion Love

Jason Wu Spring 2012

I have no words, really just...
Happy Valentine's Day to those that celebrate the day.  Normally I would be the first one to flip off this holiday, but lately I have had a change of heart, there really isn't anything bad about having a day devoted to love. I hope you all have someone to love; be it friends, family, boy/girlfriend, but most importantly...yourself.

February 13, 2012

Currently Craving: Chambray Blue Button Down

At least one night a week you can be sure to find me scouring the internet for an item I am currently obsessing over.  My internet shopping expeditions usually result in success, though I often talk myself out of buying in the end(probably a good thing).  I don't usually document my online shopping findings, but I think that from now on I will make it a weekly thing to share with you my current fashion cravings.  Right now it's all about Chambray blue button downs.  I know they were on the scene last year, but I think they will be even bigger this year.  Especially with printed pants and shorts being a huge trend.  Personally I feel like a Chambray button will give you a lot of mileage in your spring wardrobe, it can be layered, it's versatile and easy to care for. Here are my picks under $100.

What I Want Now:Chambray Blues

February 10, 2012

IFB February 2012

It has been almost a year since I started my blog and there have been a few times this year where I wanted to walk a way.  Times when I felt like my blog was not making an impact, times when I would obsessively check my stats, as if they would grant me some sort of approbation for the work I was doing.  There were times when I felt like I wanted to flat out quit.

Yesterday I attended the IFB Conference at Milk Studios in NY.  There were so many wonderful, and interesting bloggers that were thrilled to be at the conference.  They were excited by what they were doing, inspired by the different panel topics and starstruck by the professional blogger panelists.  While practical topics about driving traffic, monetizing, affiliate marketing and connecting with readers were discussed.  The resounding sentiment from everyone there was they started to explore this brave new digital world because it was topic that interested them (fashion) and blogging became something they loved doing, period.  Hearing this and being surrounded by bloggers new and old yesterday reaffirmed why I am doing this and helped me reassess what I want this blog to be. 

This time around I decided to create a photo journal from my day to give you a peak inside the conference and the sights of the surrounding city.  Enjoy! If you were at the conference I would love to hear your thoughts, and if you wrote about it leave your link.

A little early so I stopped in Starbucks and sat by the window sipping green tea.  People watching to my hearts content.
When I arrived there was already a whole lot of people there and excitement was in the air.  I scanned the room and found a few friends I met at the last IFB conference. 
Color, color everywhere.  If I had to sum up one major fashion theme that people were sporting,it would have to be rainbow brights! From shoes, to tops, to bags oh my it was electric.

To borrow from Ms. Medine for a moment, I had a definite arm party going on.  Glancing over the panelists creds and schedule for the day. I sported the bright color trend on my nails.

I was seated right next to a big column in the middle/left side of the room.  While it wasn't the best seat (I had a hard time seeing the panel), I was fascinated by the workings of the Live Stream crew.  They probably thought I was really creepy for the amount I was staring.

Leopard print and top knots abound!  A couple of stylish gals in front of me.
Lunch break, I went across the street to Chelsea Market with the awesome Jessica (Bows & Sequins), Katie (Today I Want), Lindsay (Black & Blonde) and Stephanie (Kitschy).  After scarfing down some food, so hungry.  I went to explore a bit and discovered this journal in a little stationary shop.  Honestly I am horrible at journal keeping, but I am a sucker for anything Jane Austen. No, I didn't buy it, practical me won out.
J Brand had a little boutique set up at the conference where they were showcasing their new RTW collection.  Attendees were asked to style a unique look using pieces from the collection for a chance to win J Brand prizes (more on that later).
The look I styled using J Brands Lennox blazer.  This slim fit blazer was gorgeous, such a soft supple leather with an asymmetrical button closure. The color is a neutral mix of taupe and grey.  I later found out it retails for something like $1,000.  Gasp...I am horrified they let me even touch it. I loved it, but at that price... le sigh...it's not for me.
I finally decide to move up to the front to get a shot of Panel 4, "How to Make Your Blog Irresistible".  From left to right Ann Colville Somma (Holier Than Now), Nicolette Mason (Nicolette Mason), Grace Atwood (Bauble Bar/ Stripes & Sequins) Wendy Nguyen (Wendy's Lookbook), Ande Torres (Style Scrapbook), Connie Wang (Refinery 29), Erica Domesek (P.S. I Made This).

After I left the conference I was walking back to the subway when I saw this building that stopped me in my tracks.  I think it was a hotel, aside from the crazy cool architecture, what struck me was the marque around the entrance. While you can't see it in the picture the marque had the word dream scrolled repeatedly around it.  Perfect way to sum up the day, you have got to have a dream otherwise what's the point.
Shout out to the new bloggers I met this time around Cathy (Petite Therapy), Christa ( Fresh Squeezed Fashion), Dana (what-the-frock) and Stephanie (Kitschy).

For more photos, video and tweets check out the coverage from livestream:

If you are a blogger who wrote about or photographed the conference please leave your link in the comments.

February 7, 2012

I'll Be At The IFB Conference Tomorrow

Tomorrow I will be stepping away from the computer and trekking into NYC to attend the Independent Fashion Blogger's Conference at Milk Studios.  If you can't attend this year you can still tune into the action here, I will be streaming IFB feed live from my blog.  If you can't watch (ahem work) but would love to catch up on twitter make sure to follow me @jrosestyle and the Independent Fashion Bloggers @_IFB.  If you are going to be at the conference, please come up and say hi, this is what I'll be wearing.

Live video from your iPhone using Ustream

February 6, 2012

Refinery 29 is Searching for the Next Big Style Blogger

I have always felt like a small fish in a big pond with regards to the blogging universe.  The pond in this scenario is the fashion blog world and the other fish are all of the other talented people writing and photographing their fashion obsessions and favorite outfits.  With all the blogs out there I feel truly honored that people have chosen to read and follow my little blog.  While I am content with my little rocky corner of the big pond I would like to branch out and and grow my little blog that could.  Part of  reaching out is taking charge of promoting my blog.  This new goal I am sure will force me to chances I would have not taken in the past.  A chance like entering my little blog in Refinery 29 Next Style Blogger Contest.  Now I'm a fairly modest gal and it's completely against my nature to promote, it feels like bragging, but if ya' heart petite girls with a modest budget and a penchant for vintage style click below to vote for my blog.

Click on this button to go to the site to vote.

This is my entry!

P.S. If I get 10 "hearts" I would be over the moon, so if you are inclined (which I hope you are) please pass this on to help spread the word.

February 4, 2012

Keeping It Classic-IFB Outfit

I will be the first to admit that I am not too diligent about planning ahead.  In fact I'm a big fan of procrastination.  That being said I have learned that in some instances it's really important to plan ahead. For example when attending a big event.  Then it is crucial to make sure you have everything you are going to need from undergarments to the right shoes.  Now I make sure to try the outfit on a couple days before the event to make sure all the pieces are just right.

The outfit that I am wearing to the winter Independent Fashion Blogger's Conference is no exception to my careful planning.  A couple of weeks ago I was actually dead set on wearing something entirely different than the look you see hear.  What happened?  Well fate intervened...I was wandering around one of my fav thrift stores when I found a beautiful black wool pleated skirt.  I could instantly tell this skirt was high quality and well made, I checked the tag, Yves Saint Laurent.  Shut my face ( you know cause my mouth was hanging open)!  I only had to pray that it fit, which after a quick try on I saw that it did.  I was going to just buy the skirt but then I saw a black and white polka dot top (I'm a sucker for polka dots) that I thought would work with the skirt.  It did and I walked out of there with both pieces for under $20.  Those finds completely changed the course of my outfit.  Without further ado (blah, blah, blah from me) here's what I'm wearing.

1.Merona Trenchcoat, $0, Hand Me Down  2.Pocket Watch Necklace, $?, Gift  3.Ann Taylor Blouse, $8, Thrift Store   4.Owl Pin, $2, Thrift Store  5. Bunch o' Bangles $?, Gifts or Borrowed, 6. Michael Michael Kors bag, $99, MK Store   7.Yves Saint Laurent Wool Skirt, $11, Thrift Store  8. Rockport Janae Bootie, $160, Shoes.com  9. Houndstooth Stocking, $11, Nordstrom
Are you going to the conference? Please leave me your link if you posted your outfit, I would love to see what you are wearing.

DIY Projects to Try this Weekend

Confession: I don't know about you, but I'm not the biggest sports fan (gasp, I know, don't judge me).  I don't have anything against it, but it doesn't really interest me.  So while many people are planning a weekend get together to view a pretty huge football game, I am planning an alternative craft project instead.  Something simple that doesn't require a lot of materials and can be done in one sitting.  Here are two contenders:

I am loving these two simple projects especially since I have most of the materials lying around the house.  Does anyone else have alterna-football plans?  What craft projects are you working on lately?