Feeding My Inner Teen – Style Savvy Trendsetters

So there’s this video game that my friend bought me for Christmas a couple years ago.  It’s called Style Savvy Trendsetters and it’s always on my game rotation.  Truthfully it barely leaves my 3DS slot.

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I’m pretty much living the fantasy of my teenage self vicariously through this game.  You know, being beautiful, skinny, wealthy and a queen of style with her own fashionable boutique.

You start off the game creating a character for yourself.  I think my only complaint is that the body sizes are limited – as in everyone in this game is super thin (including the men – hello bishounen!) but there is a wide range of skin, hair and eye colours to choose from.  Later on in the game you can adjust your hairstyle and makeup as options become unlocked.

Your character (I named mine Rarity because, well, if I’m going to play a game all about style, what ELSE would I choose) walks into a local boutique and the owner there has this weird revelation.  That you, yes YOU, have something special about you.  Something unique.  Something amazingly fashionista!  So she hires you then takes off to, I dunno, go on vacation and leaves you in the hands of her partner.

Yup.  I'm just going to go drink myself into a stupor and leave my store in the hands of someone with absolutely no experience.

Yup. I’m just going to go drink myself into a stupor and leave my store in the hands of someone with absolutely no experience.

You would think this foolhardy in any other situation but your character has been imbued with god-like fashion powers and is able to dress people in complete outfits in exactly the style they need.  Your fashion abilities impress your absent boss so much, she GIVES YOU HER BOUTIQUE.  Also everyone keeps telling you how awesome, beautiful and fashionable you are.

You then get to change around the style of the store, re name it, and re brand it as your own.  I like the Princess style so mine often looks like this:

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So. Much. PINK.

 

Depending on the setting for your shop (princess, edgy, girly, boho-chic etc) that’s the customer you will attract the most.  The game comes from Japan so the fashion styles are some of the hottest over there – you don’t see much Gothic Lolita running around Canadian streets.  Which is awesome for me because I totally LOVE all the styles in the game.iEpi1kwdT7JfoYou are also in charge of buying, and the clothes change with the seasons, so there is always something new and neat at the buyers center.  Everything you buy for the store, the buyer’s center also sends a copy to your house, so suddenly your closet is bursting with sweet, sweet fashion.

You can even dress up your room.

You can even dress up your room.

Seriously, I pretty much spend half the time trying outfits on my character.  Not to mention the make up and hair combinations.  Before going to the local photo studio to have my professional shots done, or downtown to people watch, or the park to have my flower fortune told, or the trendy tea shop to…well…drink tea.

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Later you get to dress up the guys in your town.

And if running your own shop and creating a town full of beautiful, fashionable people wasn’t enough, there are even fashion contests.  You get a model, dress her up in the theme with what’s in your closet, and have her walk down the runway.  If you win you get more clothes (surprise!) and added bonuses for your store.

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It’s got a cute sense of humour too.  You’ll have conversations with customers, and be invited out on the town with them.  Each of your customers have little quirks outlined on their profile cards – which you can read at anytime.  They’ll often say the craziest stuff when in conversation with each other, so get your screen capping finger handy!

tumblr_mdlqoscfli1qzp9weo2_250I just can’t stop playing this game.  I love dressing up all the people in the different fashions.  Weirdly I seem to have picked up a thing or two from the game, as I am now a bit more aware of different styles, what they’re called, and how they are matched together on the human body.  It’s like the best game of paper dolls ever.

char-montageMy inner teen loves it.  I always wanted to be a fashion forward kind of gal.  There was someone I used to hang out with who was, and I looked up to her for it.  She always knew how to put together the best outfit from her underwear out to her shoes.  I wish there had been Gothic Lolita and Pop! style more readily available when I was younger, I would have rocked that princess skirt.

I am glad they changed the name from "Girls Mode" in Japan to "Style Savvy" here.

I am glad they changed the name from “Girls Mode” in Japan to “Style Savvy” here.

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This Blog Is Not Tested On Animals

Hooray!

Europe has banned the sale of cosmetics tested on animals (or that contain ingredients that were tested on animals).  This makes the European Union the first zone in the world to have and enforce such a ban.

While I may not like it I understand that there is a need for animal testing in medicine.  However cosmetic animal testing does not need to happen.  There are other methods.  And really, life-saving surgery and drugs are necessary, mascara is not.

It’s hard to shop cruelty free.  Many companies that say their products are not tested on animals still test the ingredients.  Or they don’t test in North America but are more than happy to test on animals when selling in other countries.  They don’t practice what they preach and that irks me.

I’d like to slowly replace all our household cosmetic and cleaning products with cruelty-free alternatives.  If they are good-for-the-Earth as well I’m sold.  I want Arthur to know that I practice what I preach.  That being kind extends to all living things, not just other humans.

So far I’ve replaced my shampoo, conditioner, face wash and hand lotion.  All from Lush Cosmetics who are not only against animal-testing they actively fight against it.  They were a big part in the petition that helped Europe sign off on the ban.  They are hosting an online petition for North America to do the same.

I love Lush’s products.  They are also Earth-friendly and handmade by actual people.  I like that I’m supporting a company that supports my community.  I encourage you to give them a try and if you are unsure of where to start stop in and talk to a sales associate.  They are really nice and uber-excited about the product they are selling.  I would be too if I worked there!

For make-up (other than Lush) I enjoy Pure Fusion Cosmetics.  She’s Canadian and hand makes these fantastic mineral eye shadows.

One product at a time can really make a difference.  To find more companies that are cruelty-free visit The Leaping Bunny – there’s even a booklet you can order to carry with you so you can check while shopping!

Having a child has made me more aware of the footprint I am leaving on this world and of the stories behind the consumer choices that I make.  If I continue to make small changes it doesn’t seem so overwhelming and gives me a sense of accomplishment.  One step at a time.

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Hooray For The Hoodie – A Luv Story

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Hoodies are sassy.

If I was a regeneration of The Doctor and I had to pick one piece of clothing that would represent “my Doctor” it would be the hoodie. Most likely a purple one with some sort of funky urban-esque pattern.  I would travel through time and space saving planets and civilizations in my hoodie and eating cupcakes.

I love hoodies.  I own more hoodies than any other piece of clothing.  Some tell a story, like the zip-up hoodie I bought at Disturbed’s Indestructible tour where my husband got to see them play for the very first time (and fell in love, as I did, with David Draiman).  I had to run to every merch booth in the place to find one in my size and snatched up the last XL.  There’s the pull-over hoodie my mom got me for Christmas a couple of years ago that is waterproof.  Yes, I can wear a hoodie when it rains.  

This Christmas my mother got me the best hoodie ever!  A hoodie that is also a jacket and will keep you warm in -15 degree weather.  Mind.  Blown. This jacket-hoodie is soft, fuzzy and sports a trendy red and black checked pattern.  The hood is really large (a must on ANY good hoodie) and I have worn it on the coldest of days with nothing but a tank top underneath.  Now I can wear my favourite piece of clothing year round!  Thanks Mommy!

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Does anyone else always picture monks hitting themselves with their books thanks to Monty Python? For serious, I can never see monks without laughing now.

The hoodie can trace it’s history all the way back to medieval Europe where monks wore a type of hooded cowl as formal wear.  In the 1930’s Champion created the first hooded sweatshirt for workers who toiled away in the freezing temperatures of upstate New York.  This hooded sweatshirt took off in the 1970’s due to the rise of hip-hop culture and interest of high fashion icons.  It wasn’t until the 1990’s though that we started calling it a “hoodie” and it was worn by skateboarders, rap artists, surfers, university students, hooligans and petty criminals – and pretty much everyone else.  

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And neon. Which is also coming back. And I kinda like it.

The 90’s is when my love affair with hoodies began.  I was an awkward and shy teenager desperate to hide my “curves” from the critical eye of my classmates.  I could buy hoodies sizes larger than my body and hide away in the soft lining.  When out and about I could pull the hood up, put on my earphones and drain out the world.  In my early 20’s hoodies became much more of a fashion statement for me.  When I was goth they were all black with skulls and metal bands emblazoned across them.  When I was a raver they were brightly coloured, often with cute characters on them.  Now I have a small collection of hoodies for my baby to wear because babies in hoodies are cute as hell.

I have a few rules for myself when buying a new hoodie.  They must be at least one size bigger than my body so I can bury myself in them when I’m sick.  They must have a large hood that easily fits over my head if I was wearing a hat – if the hood is too small what’s the point?  And they must be soft.  I’m a sucker for hoodies lined with fuzzy fabric – like slipping into the skin of a butchered stuffed animal.

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Those stuffed bears didn’t stand a chance. I watch anime. I know how Japanese girls fight.

I’m wearing a hoodie right now.  It’s a bright green colour that always reminds me of my days stuffing the pockets with candy and dancing the night away in some club.  Now it’s an easy piece of clothing to wear with a baby (did I mention easily washed?) and comes with a string for the hood that Arthur loves to chew on.  Plus if I put the hood on it makes him smile and laugh.  Apparently I look funny in a hood.

Hoodie Fun-Facts

In the province of Saskatchewan hoodies are sometimes referred to as “bunny-hugs”.

In New Zealand they have a hoodie day to battle the stereotypes that young hoodie wearers are all hooligans.

In the UK Bluewater shopping center banned the wearing of hoodies and baseball caps but still had them up for sale!

Adventures At the Local Trendy Mall

There are two malls where I live.  The one closest to me has practical stores full of good deals for families and moms.  The other mall is the one I hung out at when I was 16 and trying to be “trendy” and “fashionable”.  It’s only gotten worse as the city matured and is now full of fashionable stores carrying the latest and greatest of clothes and must have electronics.  Plus the food court has great Thai food.   Coconut shrimp.  So GOOD.

Today I got up and fancied myself up.  After all I was going to the trendy mall to eat lunch with an adorable and fashionable friend whom I hadn’t seen for awhile.  She’s a good friend and one of my favorite people in the whole world.  She is also always beautifully and uniquely dressed and inspires me to do the same.  So black skirt, pretty white top with ruffles (in which I look pregnant and not horribly overweight) and my new undulation scarf it was.  Then I actually put on make-up and put some product in my hair and was out the door.  Twenty dollars in my pocket, a bag full of gifts for my friend and hope that I could make it more than an hour before having to collapse into a chair.  That’s me on the bus trying to look like I’m not taking my own picture.  I’m obsessed with my new Hipstamatic App for my iPod – so here is a Hipstamatic picture journal of my day.

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My Favorite Shoes – Almost a Eulogy

My feet have a love affair happening that they just can’t seem to give up.  Especially now when they have ballooned to extra enormous proportions – I swear I had ankles six months ago – and don’t fit in any other footwear I own (which, admittedly, is not much).  They’ve given up their favoritism of the flip-flops and slipped into well-worn fake leather and crumbling fabric.

I don’t own many shoes at all.  Let’s see if I can name them all – two pairs of flip-flops in different puples, one pair of red and black men’s skater shoes and one pair of brown mary-jane style shoes that don’t actually fit me and I bought because hey, $10.00, and crazily thought I could bend them to my will.  Or my foot shape.  Or something.

I would LOVE to have a shoe closet full of shoes like these:

Aren’t these ADORABLY SEXY? Don’t you just want them? I know I do!

But alas, my feet are not meant for shoes such as these. My non-pregnant shoe size is a whopping 11 wide. They just don’t make shoes like this for women in those sizes. I routinely have to shop in the men’s section just to find shoes that fit – hence the men’s skate shoes.  Once, in my 20’s, I stumbled into a shop in Toronto that sold men’s sizes in women’s shoes (they were close to the local “drag” strip of clubs and bars) and I just about died.  I bought a horribly expensive pair of heels that I wore for YEARS and YEARS.  Sadly, the shop closed down before I could save up for another pair.

Which is why, when I found these beauties and slipped them on I felt like Cinderella finding her prince!  Except my prince came in the shape of last year’s Sketcher’s back-to-school offering.

And here they are. Aren’t they GORGEOUS?

When they were new they were shiny and black.  They went with absolutely everything (which in my wardrobe means jeans, t-shirts and the occasional skirt) so I wore them with absolutely everything.  I could slip them on and go and the treads were strong enough to survive into the winter when I would be inevitably forced to buy boots.  I’ve worn these shoes for so long that if you were to ask me when I bought them I would just shake my head and laugh.  I have no idea.  It was over 5 years ago…that’s as far back as I could calculate.

They are a sad sight now.  They are scuffed beyond repair and the fabric inside is peeling away showing only a glimpse of the glorious purple and black tartan design that was there.  The soul is cracked and breaking apart.  But oh, how I love these shoes.  No other shoes have ever compared to these.  Sketchers doesn’t make them anymore and I have never found another like them.  So until the soul cracks completely or the fake leather rips I will proudly wear these shoes with my pregnancy skirts and beyond.  When they do finally succumb to wear-and-tear I will place them in a shoe box and bury them in the yard with a small marker proclaiming their awesomeness.  They deserve that much having been such good friends to me and my feet for all these years.