Friday, September 30, 2011

Blog Love: Dresses on a Clothesline


For this week's Blog Love feature, we have the lovely Ron of Dresses on a Clothesline!  Ron is not only adorable and stylish, but she takes beautiful pictures.  And, she sews things!  Gotta love them crafters.

Do you have a formula for getting ready in the morning? (ie, first a top, then accessories, or is certain music necessary?)
I can't say I do, apart from just choosing an outfit I already know works. On dull days I sometimes dump my wardrobe onto my bed and try to brainstorm new combinations, trying each one on to assess how wearable it really is. That way, when I'm in a rush in the morning, I don't get stuck in a rut when I have nothing to wear. When I have more time to get dressed, I turn on my music (whatever I think suits my mood best at the moment I'm dressing) and let that inspire me. An outfit can be ruined without the right shoe, that's what gets me stuck most of the time.

Your style isn't something that is easily categorizable; you're not Girly or Edgy or Boho.  How would you define it?
Thrifty-chic, though that's a rubbish description. I also like vintage, without looking like a history book illustration. Some of my friends call me a hipster, I guess I am a bit of a cookie cutter hipster, I feel right at home in East London. On the other hand I also love being out in nature, so I love florals and long flowy dresses.


How did you personally come into this style?
Up until I was 17 I couldn't have cared less about what I wore, it was all jeans and a hoodie. Then I bought my first pair of jeans on my own (yeah, until I was 17 I'd only ever gone shopping with my mum), they were a pair of cheap skinny jeans on sale at Zara. Since then I feel that my style has been improving and slowly my wardrobe has been evolving to reflect my personality better (discovering thrifting helped a lot), I'm still not there, but it's light years away from what I initially thought was "stylish".


What would you advise someone trying to find their own style do?
It's difficult to decide on a style when you don't know what the possibilities are. Peruse the internet to find inspiration. Be a picky buyer, that's probably the hardest point, but imagine the item on someone else, would you think, "I want it, I want it now" or "It's nice, but it's not that great"? Also, try to imagine it working with the rest of your wardrobe. Finding your style won't happen overnight, it's more of an evolution.


Do you have any style icons or sources of inspiration that you're willing to share?
Rather than choose a single style icon I grab inspiration from everywhere. I decided to get a tumblr so that I could keep a collection of my inspirations, it's like my online scrapbook (http://bookofcosmia.tumblr.com/). Some stylish people I admire: Joanna Newsom and Florence Welch. Great catalogues: Urban outfitters. Brilliant photos: Tim Walker.

What are your favorite 3 pieces and why?
This is a tough one.
Dual tone brogues: I found these in patent leather in a dark burgundy and ivory, make any outfit look awesome. Best of all they only cost me 4 pounds.
Vintage upholstery coat: Another thrifted find, when I wear it I'm often told I resemble some old relative's furniture or curtains. I guess it would be a great camouflage.
Vintage silk blouse: I'm adamant that it's perfect for any weather and all occasions, it's wonderful to the touch and has a subtle paisley print which I adore.

Do you feel you have any trademarks?
For about a year, it's been hats, felt bowlers in the winter and anything made of straw in the summer. I don't think I've developed my style enough to have a trademark though. Unless wearing flats counts as a trademark, I think it's more a sign of being practical and a little lazy.

Do you have any advise for taking pretty pictures for photography newbs?
Use a tripod, helps in low light and if you want to take self-portraits. Really get to know your camera and don't be afraid to edit your photos after your done. Take your time taking and editing photos, as they say, Rome wasn't built in a day.

If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
I love food, I can't choose just one thing. If it were one item it would be sour crunchy apples or maybe passion fruit, I never get sick of passion fruit. A single dish, fried egg sandwich, or maybe I'm just craving one right now.

Thanks, Ron!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Happy Thoughts for Thursday



Rain.  Sometimes I don't like being wet.  Sometimes I don't mind it, plus it smells good and sounds pretty.  Yesterday was one of the later days.

Skype lets me talk to awesome people. Thanks skype.

Awesome people.

Increasing weight that I'm lifting when I work out makes me feel strong.  We tend to underestimate ourselves too often.  You are so much stronger than you know!

Doing things that you know are good. Eating lunch with a lonely person.  Volunteering. Smiling.

Getting mail.  Last Thursday I got a very special letter from a very special boyfriend, and it made me smile all day long, and then some.

Not being in trouble.  I had a few rough days this week, and was feeling particularly incompetent at work.  Instead of being mad at me my boss and lovely coworkers were really cool about it.  Thanks for understanding, world.

Cookie dough.  Suite dinner this week was kids night: mac'n'cheese and dinosaur chicken nuggets, with cookie dough for desert.  I like cookie dough, especially when there's leftovers that we can pick at for a few days afterwards...

Orange Mango juice. I bought a big bottle of it at walmart for $2.50, and it is delicious.  I'm really not a big fan of flavored drinks, but this is wonderful.  It's like orange juice, but slightly sweeter without feeling sugary.

People talking in their sleep.  Last night when I came home my roommate said hello without actually waking up.  She's adorable.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Boot time

Does anyone else think that boots are the sexiest type of footwear?  I don't mean sexy in the eyes of men; I mean to the wearer.  Heels may look pretty, but does anyone actually feel attractive while tottering around?  They may look pretty while you're standing still, but I hate now incompetent they make me feel.  In heels, I'm forced to take tiny steps, and am limited to hard, stable surfaces.  
In contrast, in boots I can walk through grass, and cracks in the sidewalk don't give me any problems.  I can walk as fast as I want to in boots.  In boots I feel independent and invincible.  I feel powerful.  Plus, I love the way boots hug my legs.  I love lacing my boots tightly, or leaving the undone.  The choice adds to the appeal.  


I prefer boots that lace for that reason.  What's your favorite type of boot?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Music Monday and the Modcloth Sale!

Modcloth is having a sale and it's wonderful.  It's also selling out ridiculously fast.  During my fifteen minutes of lunch break I was rushing through, trying to get what I wanted before everything sold out.  Then I realized that rushing is really a terrible way to shop, and that it would only make me feel guilty.  I looked at it again when I got home tonight and picked out some things that I liked, but decided that I really didn't love anything enough to shell out money.  It's about time I start showing some self restraint.

Here's my favorite dress from the sale, and what I would pair it with, and of course the accompanying Music Monday song.  I haven't figured out how to embed songs yet without using youtube, but I really have no idea what is going on in this video.  Ignore that and just listen to the song.  It's a good one, I promise.


Warm Me Up


dress, sweaterpumps, bag, Enamel ring, Floral ring, earrings, umbrella

you know who you are

I think that internet shopping can really be a bad thing sometimes.  When I see a sale in a store, I'm able to feel the often cheep fabric, and examine the clothes for shoddy workmanship, and try things on; with internet shopping we're stuck with pretty pictures and the promises of the merchandiser.  It is so much harder to control myself over the internet, since it's so easy to find what seem like deals, pre-shipping.

This is an old favorite that's pretty consistent on my workout playlists; Tory was playing it this weekend and got it stuck in my head.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Moving summer into autumn


I love taking summery pieces and adding layers to them to turn them into something new for fall.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Antonio Berardi

Antonio Berardi's spring rtw collection is wonderful.  I think it's the perfect mix of hard and soft, with super feminine chiffon trains, and sharp corners.  Also, it's sparkly.  What else do I need out of life?  New fan, right here. 

All photos courtesy of style.com.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Blog Love: Blonde Bedhead

I'm introducing another new column!  In Blog Love I post interviews with bloggers that I admire/LOVE.  First up this week is Andrea of Blonde Bedhead.  
I want to start off saying that I love Andrea's blog, and her style! (Just look at her shoes!!)  In addition to having a very strong look, she's also a very sweet person.  Let's talk to her!

Do you have a formula for getting ready in the morning? (ie, first a top, then accessories, or is certain music necessary?)
My formula: pick out everything the night before! An incident back in the fourth grade of missing the bus based on taking too long to pick out my outfit led me to picking everything out the night before and I usually think of something I'm excited about whether it's a top I haven't worn in a while or a new pair of shoes and then I style an outfit around them! 

Your style isn't something that is easily fit into one box; you're not Girly or Edgy or Boho.  How would you define it?
I feel as if my style has been changing a lot the last year or so. I typically define my style more edgy only because I feel most myself and comfortable dressed in all leather and black, but it's been fun to branch out and try new things and create challenges for myself to add an edge to even girly, whimsical pieces that I love. First and foremost, I love a comfy outfit and a crazy pair of shoes, so I typically like to wear something basic with crazy, ridiculous shoes. 

How did you personally come into this style?
I think in college I started wearing a lot of jackets and boots and started to really love black and anything a little more edgy. As I look at my dad, I see a resemblance with what he likes and what I likes. My dad wears vintage band tees (he's been wearing the same shirts since the 70s), tight black jeans, leather boots and he always accessorizes with a lot of leather bracelets and rings. I've really grown into a style much similar to his and it's actually pretty amusing to me because I used to be embarrassed of his style! 


What would you advise someone trying to find their own style do?
Wear what feels most like YOU no matter what the trend is. I've learned this through experience. I've always liked certain trends and want to pull them off, but I end up not feeling comfortable. Go with your gut, what suits your personality and makes you feel confident and comfortable. 


Do you have any style icons or sources of inspiration that you're willing to share?
My source of inspiration is Caroline of Caroline's Mode and Stockholm Streetstyle. I'm influenced by swedish style just because it's everything I love: great basics with an edge. 


What are your favorite 3 pieces and why?
My three favorite pieces I own is my BCBG leather jacket I scored 70 percent off last winter. It's a great addition to any outfit to add that edge I feel like I always need, a pair of worn out, scuffed Jeffrey Campbell Warsaw boots that are extremely comfortable and look bad ass and my small Marc Jacobs bag because it adds some class to even the most haggard of my outfits. 


Do you feel you have any trademarks?
Trademarks? I'd say maybe my hair? People recognize me from afar because my larger than life hair! 

How do you define a stylish woman?
Tailored clothing (clothes should fit you well!), something extra that takes an outfit a notch above whether it's a bright shoe or a funky jacket and confidence.  


If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
ICE CREAM! I could live off of it. I pretty much already do. 

Just because I'm a Chicago-area native and I'm curious, what are your favorite places to shop in Chicago?
I enjoy Knee Deep Vintage, H&M and Zara of course, Akira, Comfort Me boutique and Lori's Shoes are just a few off the top of my head!

Thanks so much Andrea! 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Overdressing is my drug


This outfit is just a little bit crazy, which I like.  Sometimes you need a little crazy to stay sane.  It's been one of those weeks.  Also, I promised Tory that I'd only post the best pictures.  Happy, Tory?
happy flapping
Ok, it's story time.  First, the shirt.
another great picture just for Tory
Oh, this shirt.  I saw something like it at forever 21 and fell in love; however, they didn't have my size.  So a few months later when I found printed jersey in the clearance bin at JoAnn Fabric's, I pounced.  I ran right home and laid my favorite tank top out on top of my fabric, and without a second thought, cut around it.  I added a somewhat asymmetrical-uneven hem for kicks.  I whipped it together in about 20 minutes.  I hated it.  It was too short, and the hems were are wrinkly.
Sorry, no underwear pictures.
The next day, I decided that it was ok afterall, and there you go! I made a matching hairbow, because I had a thing for a while with making matching hairbows.  I also made matching underwear by tacking some ruffles onto plain old underwear, because I had a think for ruffled underwear for a time too.  Someday I'm going to wear them together as a nightie set instead of as day clothes, once I don't have a roommate who would be bothered by that sort of thing.  Winkwink. Kidding.
This is not a closeup of my crotch. This is a closeup of the fabrics.
And that's my stomach, sicko.
Next story. The skirt!
I went fabric shopping at the Textile Outlet Warehouse this summer with some friends.  I saw this fabric and immediately thought pencil skirt. I bought a yard and brought it home, and when I showed it to my best friend, the first thing out of her mouth was "OMG, pencil skirt!" No kidding.  Now, I'm not capable of using patterns, right? Right. So I drafted my own.

I wanted this to be a normal pencil skirt, not a high waisted one. Only, I seem to be incapable of measuring myself at any point other than up at my waist.  So it ended up being a high waisted skirt.  Also, the fabric that I got measured 39" across.  My hips were 38" at the widest point.  As most know, you need some amount of ease for clothes to work.  I chose to ignore that and plow ahead, hoping that everything would work itself out.

Well, it didn't work itself out.  I could get the skirt on, but I couldn't really move in it, and there were way too many panty lines going on for this to ever see the light of day.  At that point, I was leaving for school in two days, and didn't have time to attempt to fix it.  So I cried and packed it away.  I was so upset.  Not only was the fabric gorgeous, but I used my new favorite technique, the deep hem, and a superlong zipper than spanned the entire length of the skirt.  This was one very nice garment, aside from the fact that I couldn't breathe in it.
Just trying to get the zipper in there. 
Since I've been at college, I've been making an effort to eat semi-healthily.  I have two hour marching rehearsals every other day, and those are more strenuous than most suspect.  Twice a week I wake up at 6 in the morning to work out with one of my awesome trombone girls.  Long story short, I tried the skirt of sadness on last night and it fit!  It's still snug, but it's not uncomfortable, and more importantly I can breathe.  As an asthmatic, let me tell you, oxygen is a good thing.

Also, as the day went on and my skirt continually twisted itself sideways, I realized that I don't necessarily need the zipper in the back.  The darts are even all around, so it could be in the front if I wanted it too.  I love clothes with possibilities!

Happy Thoughts for Thursday

My face isn't exploding anymore. I'm still getting over the cold, but I don't have to carry a box of kleenex around with me everywhere.

The nature of language really amuses me too.  I like how certain brands of products have become their own  item.  For instance, hardly anyone uses the word tissue anymore; the word is kleenex.  Same thing for post it notes.  How does that happen?

Gold Bond hand cream is the most glorious invention ever.  I love it.

Friendly bloggers.  That's, like, all of them.

When the microwave heats your food all the way through.

Professors who make exceptions. Fact: I'm an overachiever. I had a mini freak out earlier this week because I didn't know if I would be able to take half the classes that I planned on taking next semester since I'm not formally admitted into the major yet.  Most people don't do that until the end of sophomore year.  Since I've "performed well academically" in the past, my advisor is going to try to pull some strings to let me take the classes early.  She's wonderful.  My previous advisor, the general freshman one assigned to a sixth of the class, was terrible.  He tried to convince me not to take classes because I didn't need them.  Hi.  This is college.  I'm here because I want to learn.  My new advisor understands that, and supports it.

But also, Professors who hold the line.  It's kind of nice when teachers take action and reprimand students who don't pull their own weight.

Before I say this, I have to explain that our marching band is very sectionalistic.  We stick to our own.  I am a trombone player, and I love my bonies.  That being said, this year's trumpets are pretty awesome.

Planning a less hectic life.  Hopefully next semester will be a little calmer.  I may even be able to schedule in a little study time.  Wouldn't that be nice.

Warm, homemade apple pie. My suitemates are awesome.  We (Kalya) made pie on Sunday and it was the best pie I've ever had.

Being able to wear real clothes. It's not until this privilege gets taken away that I realize how much it means to me.  For the first time in a while, I'm wearing a skirt, and it feels wonderful.  I'm not really a fan of classes and activities that require you to dress a certain way.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

13 Non-Scientific Reasons to Get Out of Bed After the First Alarm Rings


While everyone I know loves to sleep, nearly everyone hates waking up.  I know plenty of people who hit the snooze button several times before actually stepping foot out of bed.  Here are some great reasons why you should just get out of bed already!

1. The sooner you get up, the less of your alarm you have to listen too.  That sound is not pretty.

2. COFFEE

3. Time for breakfast! Personally, breakfast is my favorite meal of the day.  I will wake up early if on so that I have time to eat breakfast. 

4. Depending on when you get up, you might be able to watch the sun rise.  At least, if you get up early you'll be privy to early morning sunlight, which in my opinion is the prettiest kind.  The world looks a lot different before everyone wakes up.

5. You'll have time to decide what to wear and get dolled up, instead of having to throw on the first thing you can find and run out the door.  Everybody feels better when they know they look pulled together.

6. You won't have to run out the door if you get up on time! Not having to rush to get somewhere is a great way to start your day.

7. Since you're not rushing, you're less likely to forget things. 

8. Pushing snooze again and again doesn't actually let you sleep longer.  If you get up when your alarm goes off, you'll feel less sleep deprived, theoretically.  Or, you'll have time to use some handy-dandy makeup to disguise those sleepless eyes.

9.  People who wake up earlier tend to be more productive sooner in the day.  I can't express how good it feels to have everything you need to do finished by noon, and then to be able to relax a little while everyone else is struggling to finish their work.  

10. Starting your day on time means that you're less likely to be late.  Not only does it feel good to be ready and waiting for work or classes to start, but it leaves a good impression on whomever you're working with.  Punctuality is a virtue.

11.  You'll have time to tidy up a bit.  Whether that means doing the breakfast dishes, making the bed, or picking up yesterday's clothes, that's one less little thing that has to be done later.  Plus, after a long day of working, isn't it nice to not come home to a list of chores?

12. It feels good! Getting up on the first buzz takes self discipline.  Who doesn't enjoy feeling like they're in control of their life? I know I do.

13. Getting up early gives you a chance to get in the right mindset.  Taking two minutes to enjoy the quiet and get psyched for your day can really make a difference with how your day goes.  

Have an Awesome day!

Monday, September 19, 2011

New Staples

Today was rainy but warm, and I somehow magically have a cold.  Usually people can tell when they're getting sick; this was completely out of the blue.  I was fine for my first two classes, and then the second I stepped into work my face started exploding, and it hasn't stopped since.  I think I've used half a box of tissues already.

On the bright side, I loved my outfit today.  I bought this vest this past weekend off the the same clearance rack that I found yesterday's pants.  I've wanted a vest for a few years, but it's so hard to find one that fits well.  This one is great.  I almost didn't get it because of the random ruching on the front.  I decided that no one but me would notice, and I was sold on the soft tweed fabric, and the fact that it's lined!  How often do you find lined garments in fast fashion chains?


I also wore these boots for the first time.  I loved them when I bought them, but once I got them home I worried that they were too want-to-be-biker-esque.  Then I decided that I didn't care, and now I like them again.  They're really comfortable, and I feel like the colored zipper in the back draws attention to the fact that my legs go on for miles, as my mother says.

Cold, cold go away...

Outfit Details
Shirt: Delias, clearance
Vest: Charlotte Russe, clearance
Jeans: Delias
Boots: DSW
Watch: Walmart
Scarf: Gift

An Obsession

For the last few days I've been listening to nothing but Company of Thieves.  I did a Music Monday post featuring them over the summer, but somehow this song didn't make it into the mix.  CoT is a really great band, and I'd love to see them live again sometime.  For now, I'll just have to satisfy myself with the repeat button.
If I were in the mood to dress like Genevieve and I had the resources to shop right now, this is what I'd wear.  Lately, I do want to incorporate a little of her style into my own.  That's what happens when I fall in love with a band, though.  However, being a poor college student I don't have extra shopping money right now.  I'll have to be creative with what I have!

In Passing 2

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Possibilities


I bought these pants yesterday off of the clearance rack at Charlotte Russe.  I then had the hardest time getting dressed this morning, not because I didn't want to wear clothes, but because I had so many potential outfits.  I knew I wanted to wear these pants, but I wanted to pair them with so many different things!  I supposed that's one sad thing about clothes: you can only wear one thing at a time.

Fall is great and terrible for that reason too; there's so many great things to do, but only so much time to do them in.  It's a time of beginnings, with the start of school, and also a season for being outdoors.  Yet, sunshine time is limited by classwork and jobs and the weather.

Once i had this outfit on, I wasn't completely happy with it, honestly.  However, I spent so much time picking it out that I didn't want to change, even though I had a ton of other potential outfits half-planned in my head.
Creepers. My suitemates are great.

Outfit Details:
Shirt: thrifted
Sweater: Old Navy
Pants: Charlotte Russe
Shoes: Wanted

Friday, September 16, 2011

Shoe love

Everyone has guilty pleasures, whether they admit it or not.  I stand before you today confessing one of my own.  It is common knowledge that the things sold in stores in malls that are targeted towards girls in their early teens are not the epitome of quality.  (I'm talking to you, forever 21 and company.)  Knowing that the majority of the items in the store are of poor quality, I can't help but love Charlotte Russe shoes.  They are not in any way practical for my life, yet I can't help but drool over them.  I have one pair of heels from Charlotte Russe that I love to wear around my bedroom; I'm too much of a chicken to attempt to wear them for long periods of time outside.  My feet are beat up enough from my other shoes.

I just think Charlotte Russe shoes are incredibly sexy, in a girl way, not in an impress-the-guys way.  Here are some of my current favorites:
You can't say that these aren't fabulous.  I'd throw these on with my usual tshirt, jeans, blazer ensemble to liven things up.  You know, in that world where I wear heels outside of the privacy of my room.
For the days when you're feeling a little Pretty in Pink, mixed with a desire to kick some ass.
These are just adorable.  
Everybody needs a shoe that can double as a weapon, right?  Or maybe just an awesome shoe that draws attention to the fact that despite the adorable bows you wore yesterday, you are not someone to mess with.  Or something.
I think these might be my favortie right now.  They're just a little 80's, just enough Pat Benataresque to make me want to love them forever.  Somebody please tell me that they're terribly impractical, because the more I look at them the closer I'm coming to breaking down.  This is the curse of debit cards and online shopping.
See, they do have practical shoes! They're not as glorious as the heels, but they're still pretty cute.  I like these ones a lot.
I am a sucker for the media.  When I was a kid I said I would never wear leopard print.  Well, I have to admit that I'm not a kid anymore, and it's growing on me.  Plus, I always wanted mary janes.  When I was in prime mary jane age, my feet were too big, and the only ones we could find looked like these.  Cute as they are, they don't exactly fit the Catholic school dress code.