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Cowboys, Brenda and Beauty Bundle

Travis, Wade Earp, and Brenda above; my beauty bundle below.

Travis, Wade Earp, and Brenda above; my beauty bundle below.

One of my favorite weekends in Sonoma is when the Sonoma International Film Festival takes over the town for four days and nights in April. The day before it starts I study the festival guide and make my early selections. There’s no way to see everything but one thing I know for sure is that I’ll see films that are memorable and informative (I seem to gravitate to the documentaries) that live with me for days, months, even years.

This year was no exception. One of those films, Queens and Cowboys: A Straight Year on the Gay Rodeo, was riveting. It had several main characters it followed throughout a year of rodeo competitions all over the US and Canada. The director, Matt Livadary, a straight guy from Hollywood, saw a strong story and followed it. Out of 800 hours of film, he created a 92-minute documentary that culminated in the World Finals at the end of the rodeo season. The winner of those finals last year was Wade Earp (yes, a descendant of Wyatt Earp) who is standing next to me in this photo taken after the screening. I feel lucky to have met Wade and Travis (standing next to him), another cowboy in the IGRA rodeo circuit.

How do I make a segue to fashion? That’s going to be as tough as staying on a bull for 6 seconds. Okay, not really, but I don’t think I’ll even try. I just like these guys so much and I’m glad Russ asked if I wanted a picture with them so I have this memory. But what I’ve been meaning to talk about for awhile is how my wardrobe and accessories are changing as a result of cutting my hair off and growing out my natural color which I haven’t seen in at least ten years! Some of you have asked me about the process and although I’ll save some of those details for another time, I do want to share how I managed the transition without having to buy a lot of new things.

The beauty bundle–it’s key! Once my hair wasn’t red anymore, I needed clothes and accessories that were softer than the high contrast I was used to wearing. Most of my new accessories are in the gunmetal family. While I acquire garments in yummy neutrals like mushroom, dusty brown, charcoal, and cool taupe, I can use accessories as a beauty bundle that will tie everything together no matter what color I’m wearing.

In this beauty bundle I have a gray-brown handbag designed by Calleen Cordero (purchased at Robindira Unsworth in Petaluma), a leather studded cuff also by Calleen Cordero, hoop earrings in a burnished charcoal metal from Gallery of Jewels in SF, layered chains from somewhere or other, and a heavier braided leather chain belt that I actually use as a necklace. The scarf is that same gray-brown color as the bag. Whatever I’m wearing, I can put this bundle of accessories on and it pulls the outfit together. I love that about beauty bundles!

So if you’re letting your hair go natural (I love the savings in time and money!), expect to make some other changes. Use your hair color as the inspiration for a palette of accessories. That way you’ll force people’s eye to move up the body and to the top of your head quickly. Not only do you look instantly put together but it’s slimming too. It’s all because of that up and vertical line you’re creating.

If you want to learn more about beauty bundles, check out Brenda Kinsel’s Fashion Makeover, pages 124, 138-143.

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