Perfect Vulnerability

Perfect Vulnerability

· feeling open to the elements     · exposed
· susceptibility   · defenseless

OUTER: Boots by Margiela, shirtdress by Stephanie O Designs, jewelry by Moxxe Designs.
INNER: It is safe to reveal what is in my heart.

Use may cause heartfelt disclosure and willingness to step onto a stage.


This outfit represents feelings of security and vulnerability. It has a traditional form, but playfully reveals a
sense of 
openness and authenticity.

You may (or may not) have noticed a break in my blog posting in the past couple of weeks. I took a week off to travel for Thanksgiving, but upon returning found myself utterly consumed and sick over preparing for a TEDx Malibu talk. It became a bit of a beast. I was thrilled to have the opportunity, but as the date got closer I found myself writing and rewriting my speech. The knots in my back tightened as the realization that this speech would live for eternity on the Internet sunk in. I wondered if there was real value in what I wanted to speak about, or if it was too simple. When it comes to an outfit, I’m always a fan of the less-is-more approach, but I also know how hard simplicity can be to pull off (in design and in all areas of life). When I compared my speech to some of the TED talks I’ve seen over the years, I couldn’t help but not feel good enough. What if I went blank? What if people hated it? What if trolls posted negative comments? I wanted to cry. I wanted to cancel.

I’m a fan of all things Maison Martin Margiela, especially these subtle, sexy ankle boots. The flesh tone
extends the leg while the boot provides stability and security. The low heel is effortlessly wearable and
the black back adds an 
unexpected “wow” factor.

After days of torment, I finally experienced peace. I accepted that I might fail, fall apart on stage, and people might not like my talk—or me. I moved through the fear of being exposed and stripped off my other fears, too. I gave up notions of delivering a “perfect” speech and stopped trying to over-intellectualize my words. I’m not a scholar; I’m a style editor. I’m not a genius, but my perspective has value. It took me a bit, but I was able to step into my own shoes and deliver the message that’s in my heart. Instead of trying to be brave, I went for being perfectly vulnerable. I read once that perfect vulnerability is perfect protection. Here is a fantastic TEDx talk on “The Power of Vulnerability” given by Brené Brown.

Moxxe jewelry is reminiscent of another era. Designer Rachel Katz is inspired by her Mother’s and
Grandmother’s vintage jewelry 
collection. These bold pieces add a bit of glamour to a classic look

I’m happy to say that I did it! I stumbled a couple of times and two of my slides somehow flipped out of order, but I didn’t let those bumps in the road stop me. I’m not sure if it was great, but I’m sure relieved it’s over! (Relieved giggle emoticon.) Interestingly, I felt surprisingly comfortable delivering the talk, thank goodness.

Stephanie O Design is a rising star based out of Denver, CO. Her vibrant shirtdress is anything but
traditional. Bold colors and sensual arm slits create a look that’s 
simultaneously professional and fresh.

I’d like to give a huge shout of gratitude to Lisa Cypers Kamen and the entire TEDx Malibu team (Sarah Stephens, Corey Jenkins, the amazing crew, and all the volunteers) for believing in me and giving me the opportunity. The energy of this group is wonderful to behold.


Is there an area of your life in need of the Rx of “Perfect Vulnerability”? I’d love to hear about it!


My Sunset Sky



· weariness      · stagnation
· self neglect   · dullness



Outer: Foldable rain boots by Butterfly Twists, rain jacket by Viktor & Rolf.
Inner: I give myself a fresh start, whatever the weather or circumstances.


WARNING Wear may lead to puddle skipping and dancing in the rain.



Clouds inevitably float into my life, sometimes with warning, other times rather unexpectedly. Sometimes they issue a moody storm that pounds and pushes all of my petals to the ground.

I love the dramatic collar of this Viktor & Rolf rain jacket

Other days, drops gently clear away the smog and dust. I run outside and let the silver liquid kiss my wrinkled brow and pitter-patter upon my umbrella. My daughter and I slosh in mud puddles to see who can make the biggest splash. Rain!

ButterflyTwists2 Butterfly Twists
Fold down rain boots by Butterfly Twists are easy to carry in your purse.

I try to take it all in, the fickleness of my soul’s seasons. I smell the rain, feel the wind, and remind myself that this, too, shall pass. Each heavy drop washes away what no longer serves me. I embrace a clean slate, which inevitably adds color to my sunset sky.


Snapshots by Ayn Carrillo Gailey. Check out her creative projects at & Wondermint

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Sacred Sunday

Fortress of Inca Oxford Boot

· depletion      · sense of overwhelm
· tiredness       · lack of energy

Outer: Oxford boots by Fortress of Inca, straight-legged stretch jeans, flannel shirt by Patagonia,
House of Karm hair jewelry, and a good book.
Inner: I unplug from technology and recharge and restore my energy weekly. Repeat as necessary.

May cause an irrepressible surge of will and energy come Monday.

Oxford boot Sole Prescription

With such a busy workweek, it’s easy to spend the weekend running errands, doing chores and/or catching up on projects. Somehow I allowed Sunday to become just another workday, which is exacerbated by my addiction to technology (email, social media, blogging, etc).

A month ago I decided to start taking a modern-day Sabbath. One day a week, I kick up my heels, read a good book and restore my energy. For me, this includes unplugging from all of my technological distractions. I allow myself to answer or make actual phone calls that include real-person conversations, but besides that, I’m doing my best to put the computer, tablet and phone away for the day. (And if you are wondering, I wrote this blog post and set it to publish yesterday.)

Sunday style requires uber-comfy pieces that cultivate a relaxed state of being. I’m smitten with these high oxford boots by Fortress of Inca. They are comfortable and unpretentious, yet still chic—just because you’re lounging doesn’t mean you need to wear unsightly slippers for goodness’ sake!

It’s pretty amazing what one day of restoration can do.

What do you think about the idea of practicing a modern-day Sabbath?


More from House of Karm hair jewelry:

Snapshots by Ayn Carrillo Gailey. Check out her creative projects at & Wondermint

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“I Am Beautiful” Are Not Dirty Words

Open-toe, metallic heel boot by Celine

I’m much more comfortable behind a camera than in front of one. For a decade I’ve been an editor at various publications, working with top models and celebrities. So when many of my readers asked me to highlight more of my personal style, I cringed. No, my goal was simply to showcase the clothing (especially the shoes) that brought me joy, made me feel powerful, sexy, or more at peace.

Or was that really what was going on? I think something more complicated was brewing. I’m at ease with not being model thin and appreciate my classical features and sense of style. But, in the fashion industry, wearing a size 6 is considered “fat” and being over 30 is absolutely “old.” Frankly, no chic chick wants to be labeled as either.

This is a vintage dress I’ve owned and worn for several years. I’m drawn to polka-dots and anything
black and white. It also reminds me of Miss Monroe’s iconic air-blown dress.

Call me fat, call me old (or too thin and young), but I’m not afraid to tell the world that I think I’m beautiful. Yup, I said it. And no, I’m not a self-obsessed narcissist. I am sick and tired of advertisers, corporations and beauty products telling me I need to fix myself. I like who I am and the way I look. Yes, I have a bit of a belly and wrinkles around my eyes, but I am comfortable about that. I want all people, especially my young daughter, to understand that not only is it okay to feel beautiful, but self-love is one of the most important and empowering things a person can feel (and practice). I am fit. I am healthy. I am just right, stretch marks and all. (I’ll tell you a secret, I’ve dressed a lot of models and most of them aren’t flawless either.)

These boots by Celine are my go-to “going out” shoe right now. I love the way they give an edge to a
romantic dress or steam up a pair of leather pants or skinny jeans.

I feel beautiful; I hope you feel that you are, too.


I’m a fan of a well-fitting blazer. While I tend to stay away from bows in general, I find this one by
Viktor & Rolf to be playful and flattering yet simultaneously polished.

If you don’t, I want to encourage you to take a long look in the mirror and focus on the things you like about your appearance. Then try it again, this time focusing on all of the places you despise (we all have them). Instead of hating, send each of those areas love. Practice this every morning, as you get ready. Just like working out, it may feel uncomfortable in the beginning but it gets easier the more you practice. There is scientific evidence that proves that repeating a thought (or affirmation) actually creates new neural pathways in the brain. This simple exercise has changed my entire outlook on my physique. It’s quick and free, and there is no product in the world that can give you the kind of confidence that comes from loving yourself. “I am beautiful,” is a mantra I hope every person, man or woman, chants inwardly everyday. Join me by posting a photo of yourself on Facebook or twitter with the hashtag #soleprescription


The stunning metallic heel is incredibly comfortable. I went out this past weekend and was the only girl
able to keep her shoes on for the duration of our “dance off.” I even dropped it low a few times
(don’t worry, there was absolutely no twerking involved.)


Because you are beautiful, just the way you are.


Honest Gals Wear Cowboy Boots

Cowboy boots from roadside western warehouse somewhere in East Texas

Sole Prescription Pharmacy Dr. Shannon Bindler, M.A., C.E.C.
The cowboy boot—also known as the western boot—is prescribed for individuals who want to create more honesty in their lives. Cowboy boots are riding boots with a high shaft, no laces, stacked heels and leather soles. The most classic design has a narrow, pointed toe, but modern styles offer a variety of toe shapes, varying from extremely pointed to round. Western boots are most commonly made from leather but are occasionally crafted from snake, alligator, ostrich and other exotic animal skins.
A cowboy boot is prescribed to individuals suffering from one or more of the following feelings or experiences: dishonest and/or deceptive behavior, stretching the truth, insincerity, lying to self or others, inability to speak one's truth.
Wear may create an increase in sincerity, integrity, moral character, truthfulness, loyalty and straightforward conduct. Be especially sensitive while posting social media comments while wearing; may cause overly candid posts.

When I got to college in Oregon, I quickly became smitten with a super hunky bad­-boy type. He wore a black leather jacket, biker boots, drank whiskey from a flask (at the school cafeteria!), and, of course, rode a motorcycle. He lived on the edge, and I had a feeling my ability to pickle organic garden-­grown beets wouldn’t get me too far with the likes of him.

I had a pretty good idea of what bad­-boy types were into. My father, while an evangelical preacher (another story for another shoe), owned at least one Harley Davidson at all times while I was growing up. I often rode on the back, and I purchased a Honda 550 with my own money when I was in high school. While that might sound badass, my actual riding experience amounted to crashing the bike into my neighbors’ garage door and vowing to never get on the “death trap” again.

After months of careful “cafeteria strategy,” I developed a flirty banter with Motorcycle Guy. One afternoon, after flashing my best come-­hither smile, I was invited to join him for lunch. I found myself telling an invented tale about riding my motorcycle through a quiet mountain road one evening. The plot thickened when I somehow found myself stranded on a deserted road without gas. I saw a glimmer in his eyes, so I went on about the way I pushed the bike for miles… He seemed mesmerized, so of course my imaginary self then abandoned the bike and hiked to the nearest road. I eventually hitched a ride home from a group of hunters hauling a dead deer back from a kill. A broad smile showed his pearly teeth as I told him about the bloodstain that could still be seen on my leather jacket from brushing up against the deer’s hide…

The story had gotten a bit out of control, but I couldn’t stop now. He leaned in and quietly asked me on a date—to go shooting with him. Now, aside from a hunter’s safety course I took to impress my high school boyfriend, I’d never actually spent much time with guns. But I thought it was better not to mention this insignificant detail. I had a date with Motorcycle Guy! And it was going to be like something out of a James Dean movie.

That first date was smooth sailing. He picked me up because I’d told him my bike was still in Vermont, as was my allegedly bloodstained leather jacket. And, while I claimed I’d shot rifles before, cough, cough, I’d never shot a handgun… So could he show me?

By the fourth date, the lies became exhausting. I couldn’t remember if I had hitched or hiked all the way home (and had it been raining?), or if that stain was on the arm or the shoulder? Even worse, I started to fall in love with the guy. I knew if the relationship was going anywhere, I had to come clean. He didn’t even know me—worse, he was infatuated with someone who didn’t exist! That night, he asked if I wanted to give his bike a spin on my own. I told him I was tired and wondered how long it would be until he found out I couldn’t even start the darn thing.

The following weekend, he asked me to join him for a beer. Instead of wedging my feet into my biker boots, I dusted off my black and white cowboy boots. I sat on the edge of the bed and remembered my mom’s tales of my Uncle Si, an old west cowboy who wouldn’t tell a lie, no matter what the circumstances. She’d told me about the cowboy code of integrity and how she wished more people lived by that code. I feared the boots were going to disintegrate off my deceitful feet right then and there.

I took a few steps in my big girl boots and decided to tell Motorcycle Guy the truth. That night as we gazed at each other in the dimly lit dive bar, I let the real story flow. He laughed—this had to be a silly prank I was playing to be cute… right? His face soured when he realized that I had been a liar—and a pretty good one at that.

I braced the heels of my cowboy boots into the bike stirrups, knowing it would be the last time I’d grab his abdomen under his leather jacket. I subsequently spent the next two years avoiding him in the cafeteria. A few years later, I heard he’d found a sweet girl, one who didn’t ride imaginary motorcycles and who turned out to be an avid gardener… I couldn’t help but wonder if he actually might have liked me, just the way I was?

Well, I’ll never know, but I learned the hard way that the truth is always better than a lie. And pretending to know how to ride a motorcycle is something best left to rich, middle-aged men with heated handle bars and ridiculously large stereo systems. Not honest gals in cowboy boots.


Let Love Take You Where Love Wants To Go

My daughter is wearing Michael Kors Mary Janes and I’m wearing boots by Celine

Love is the sweetest thing that I know,
You keep it around by letting it go.
You follow close and you follow slow,
And let love take you where love wants to go.

I didn’t write this (and don’t know who did– send me an email if you can help me give proper credit), but have always found it to be the perfect poem about love. When I saw my 8 year-old wobbling out the door in my heels this morning it was all I could think about as I hovered behind her in an attempt to prevent a seven am trip to the hospital. It worked, if you are wondering, which is why I am happily sitting here instead of the ER.

What do your shoes say about love?



She Kept a Tight Circle

Boots by Dr. Martens

There’s nothing like being surrounded by people who root for you. People who have your back and push you upward. A group that believes there is enough room at the top for everyone. That one of our success means all of our success.

It’s more incredible yet, to stand beside my gals (and guys) and encourage them to reach for the stars. If they stumble, they know they’ll see a line of stilettos encouraging them to get up and try again.

Yup, these are my kind of friends and I am happy to have a lot of y’all playing alongside me these days.

I once heard that a friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you’ve forgotten the words. I must say it’s one of the nicest things to have and one of the best things to be.

She Works Hard For Her Money

Z-joe boots by ZiGiny

I love my work and I work hard at what I love. It’s easy when I’m in the flow. It’s hard when I’m not. I stay in the flow when I stay true to myself. Even if that self is occasionally messy and confused.

I’m a country work-boot kind of girl and a stiletto-wearing cosmopolitan lady. Yes, one could say my personal style is somewhat bipolar… So, when I found these boots, I knew they were made for me.

Now, I’m going to get to work—in the perfect pair of boots.