What’s not to love about it Fall? (Except of course, if like me, you currently live in the Midwest, then Fall is accompanied by a gnawing feeling of dread in the pit of your stomach; an impending sense of doom knowing that winter is coming soon). But, I’m handling it the same way I handle all of my life’s problems: denial.
You know, maybe I am a basic bitch- and maybe that’s ok? because I love all the basic girl things about Autumn: the falling leaves, the brisk weather, and the clothing options: boyfriend jeans, comfy sweaters, colorful scarves, and boots (LOTS of boots). Comfort is alwayyyys number one.
If you’re a mom and into fashion, you’ve probably heard of The Mom Edit by now and if you haven’t yet, well, you’re missing out. I’ve mentioned my love for Shana, the site’s creator, before and shared some of the art collaborations we have done together for The Mom Edit. Last month, we were talking about what direction we should head in this year for our monthly art/style collaborations when Shana suggested doing a mini shoot featuring both my style and my art. We were already at the beach, and a few glasses deep into our bottle of white wine so we figured why the heck not?! And then last night I got a text from my best friend who said she just spotted my feature on The Mom Edit, so I thought I would share some of the photos here too!
“Summer isn’t over, summer isn’t over.” I am hoping that if I keep telling myself, I can make it true, or at the least live happily in my own delusion for a little while longer and the reason I am determined to do this post even though it’s practically September and everyone is about ready to gear up for Autumn.
Apparently my refusal to accept that summer is over is subconsciously coming out in the clothes I am choosing to wear. Walking down the stairs today, my boyfriend greeted me by saying “Ahoy sailor,” and saw that I looked like I was ready to set sail on a catamaran in the following outfit:
not that I minded being mistaken for an overzealous mariner…..As a fairly new resident of Michigan, the magic that is summers on Lake Michigan has yet to loose any of it’s potency on me. I could spend all day walking up and down the Lake shoreline gathering driftwood and pebbles, or laying on the sand and reading cheap literature until my skin is burnt to a crisp and spend every night watching the sunset over the lake, and drinking unhealthy amounts of white wine with friends around a campfire….There is no better medicine for my soul.
So that’s my excuse for spending an absorbent amount of time putting together my first style board set on polyvore
on which I spent an unhealthy amount of time obsessing over and that I awkwardly titled “Final Beach Day Trip of the Summer:”
She is an architect and urban designer with a passion for vibrant colors and a sense of style that is one of a kind. I first discovered her via Instagram @monlinglee fell instantly in love with every single one of her photos. She combines her unique and brilliantly colored personal style in perfectly coordinated urban environments.
By following her instagram account, I found out that she was teaming up with J. Crew to “Test-drive” Their new spring accessories on their blog: hello.jcrew.com. And was inspired to try to create my own color blocked outfit with my skirt I bought for a penny at Nordstroms Rack. JCrew and Monling Lee are having an instagram contest on how where you wear (and pair, and pile on) your J.Crew accessories with the hashtags #ACCESSORYFIX and #JCREWCONTEST for a chance to win one of three $1,500 shopping sprees. And although I don’t have a new spring accessory to actually join in…here are my outfits:
I don’t wear white often because of a few reasons (like being unable to go more than 10 minutes without spilling something) but the after Labor Day rule isn’t one of them . But, I’ve seen a lot of cool styling this winter with white denim or trousers and I don’t know if it’s becoming more fashionably acceptable to wear white after the designated time. I kind of think wearing white is perfect in the winter, especially when I am getting sick of all the black I wear in mourning for the summer.
so here are three different ways to casually style white denim jeans for winter wear….
How do you guys feel about white denim during winter? Yay or nay??
I’m trying out something different and just going to post more simple, short OOTD (outfit of the day) posts with the outfit details…bc sometimes I can’t think of anything really interesting to write about the outfit…unless you guys think of something.
I really, really love the midi dress look and I emphasis the word look because the way a midi dress looks on a model (stunning) is not how a midi LOOKS on me. The models’ curves (or lack of them) are perfectly highlighted in the form fitting style of a midi and the length accentuates their slim legs. I don’t know if I really thought that I would look the same as the 100 pound 5ft 9 model did in the same midi.
Here is the midi dress I purchased:
but…SURPRISE! I didn’t look anything like the model. It accentuated my curves alright, every friggin nook and cranny was on display. It probably didn’t help that the midi I bought was thin jersey fabric, which is probably one of the least forgiving fabrics there is. So I buried the dress in the back of my closet and tried to forget I ever thought I could pull the look off.
The thing is…I’ve never liked my body, but I also think most women in America have struggled with loving and accepting their bodies at some point. I’ve been working up to writing about the journey I am on to loving myself and it’s been a long, bloody battle for me but….(and I swear all this has to it has to do with the midi dress!)
But since I turning 30 this year, it really hit me how much of life I have wasted and how many experiences I missed out on because I’ve been to busy disliking myself and caring to much what people think.Doing these self-absorbed, materialistic Personal Style posts was a coconscious decision of mine to do what makes me happy and to (try) not to worry about whether or not people like it. Also, it’s nice to actually start caring about myself again 🙂
So, when cleaning up my closet, I stumbling on the crumpled up midi dress of disappointment and gave it another go (outfitted in my spanx body armor) and decided to give it another try and I came up with a few different ways to wear a form fitting midi with more confidence.
Wearing a big, drapey cardigan helps me feel like I have a layer of protection and it keeps all my lumpy areas that I am self-conscious about covered. But the open front still shows off the cute length and style of the midi.
#2 Wearing shoes with heels (booties are my favorite for winter) add much needed length to your frame.
Here are a few pair of booties that give me the warm fuzzies and that I think would look good with a a casual style midi dress:
Most midis cut off at around calf-level (depending on height) which I love but also has the tendency to make legs look shorter and bulkier.
#3 Layer it up to create different looks.
A midi is fun to play around with different looks and is a versatile dress that can be simple and classic or fun and trendy. Adding colorful layers, like my favorite crazy plaid pants, creates lines, and helps to “distract” the eye from those worry areas.
A split sided basic top is perfect to throw over a midi because it covers my least favorite areas (my tummy and the booty) and I like the look it creates.
#4: Spanx is also your friend.
Good ole trusty spanx, instilling confidence into the self-conscious since the dawning of time.
You don’t know how long I’ve been waiting to use that title!
Maybe turning 30 brought some maturity to me finally, as seen in my new found love of all things plaid.
I don’t know.
But I do know that before this winter I have never preferred Plaid or any other “Classic” styles. But as in most things with me, I always go overboard with any new interest of mine, Whether it’s: painting, DIY projects, yoga, or clothing, I suck all the fun out of whatever it is I like, until I am sick of it. That’s probably how my new love of “Plaid” will end up, but for now, me and plaid are BFFs.
I have seen so many cute plaid scarfs, hats, and ect. on my friends and people I see out and about, this winter that I wish I could have taken pictures of some people I saw who inspired my new obsession for plaid. If anyone has any pics of them wearing their favorite plaid accessory or clothing item to add to this post, or your opinion on plaid, my email firstname.lastname@example.org and I will add it!
But For now, here are some of my favorite plaidy plaids…
I’ve got a little pooch belly, but hey that’s okay!
Skirt is from Charlotte Russe ($19.99 or buy 1 get 1 for $10.00) which I bought in store and couldn’t find online but they have a similar one online (for $19.99):
Knit short sleeve white top is from H&M from this summer but I found a similar top from H&M that I actually think would look better with the plaid skirt. Their Heavy Jersey Fabric Short Sleeve Top available online in black or light grey for only $17.95:
The boots I bought at Target, probably 2 winters ago, and are still my tried and true favorites (plus the heels are about 2″ so I can actually go wear them out without walking like I am on stilts ) I love the contrasting brown leather ankle strappy things that make it okay for me to wear with black or brown (at least thats what I tell myself..fashion experts would probably say different). But I found a very similar pair by Dv by Dolce Vita Brand, called their Jaxen Suede Booties available at Lord and Taylor online and on sale for only $64.48 (marked down from $128):
My second “Plaid” winter outfit, is mainly just these pants I found at Forever21. I bought them online, (Got super excited and actually bought two of the same exact pair..so if anyone is interested in a free pair of pants…email me!) A lot of my style decision thought process goes something like this: “Should I really be considering wearing this?” “I look ridiculous.” and finally “Oh well, who cares!” and then proceed to checkout. And so it was with these pants:
These Gingham plaid pants are available at Forever 21 currently on sale for only $16.99. But aren’t for the faint of heart, I’ve got some junk in my trunks and these pants def. don’t help to conceal that. But they are red plaid pants for under $20 so…
The great thing about this being my blog is that I can write any of the ridiculous nerd-tastic, groan inducing things that come to my mind (i.e.: calling this blog: “large and in charge scarf”) Here is an accurate representation of what I look like and feel like most of the time:
I do love Gandalf and have welded more than one walking stick in my hand and demanded no one to pass.
But, Im pretty sure the only person who reads this is my mom. So…hey mom!
Back to my scarf….The weather outside has turned, the leaves are changing and there is a damp, chill in the air, which doesn’t bother me one bit… This is my favorite kind of weather, the changing in weather only reminds most people of what what is to come after: the dreaded Midwestern Winter, but still I love it and relish being outside at this time of the year even more so than in the summer (probably because it feels like my natural average temperature runs about 102 degrees, so the summer feels like one big, hot, sweaty, smelly anxiety attack for me).
I really love Fall in Michigan…out on a walk the other day we saw a heard of at least eight deer, four of which were fawns, right down the street from me. I sat and watched them for over 10 minutes until they had enough of me staring and disappeared into their kingdom enclave in the forest. It was magical. I never get sick of all the nature that surrounds me here- last Christmastime, I looked out of the window of there house and saw a gaggle )?) of wild turkey, a few deer and several Red Cardinals in the trees surrounding me…take a picture of that and it put it on a Christmas card folks!
SCARF. A customer came in to my work the other day in what looked like the warmest, comfiest, huge, knitted scarf I’ve ever seen. So, naturally, I asked where she got it and it was made for her by her sister (of course). But that got me thinking how I needed one just like it and found one….
This is the biggest, thickest, warmest infinity scarf (at a moderate price) that I have ever had and Again, H&M is where I came across it for $12.95:
(while returning “mom jeans” that I bought thinking I could pull them off and was utterly appalled at just how much they look like “mom jeans” and not “cool jeans…I don’t think I have the skinny figure to pull them off…) Again: here is an accurate representation of me in mom jeans:
Some day, when I am an actual mom, I will wear my mom jeans with pride (And to embarrass my children) but, today is not the day.
I spent longer than I should have trying to fit as many words starting with the letter “F” in the title.. (Ill save you the counting: it’s four). I’ve been waiting alll summer to write this post. Because Autumn is my favorite. I’ve seen this Someecards Ecard floating around online the past few weeks:
And as a white girl who likes her yoga pants (they are comfy and stretchy!) I have several objections. First off, I don’t think an individual’s avid appreciation for the Fall Season has anything to do with the fact I am a white girl who likes her yoga pants on occasion (so comfy and stretchy!). Secondly, I don’t even like Pumpkin Spice Lattes (pumpkin candles, loaf breads, muffins and pancakes are another story). But, I will tell you my favorite things about Fall without you having to go through the trouble of saying “Pumpkin Spice Latte” 3 times. (Who’s the weirdo now? At least Im not the one talking to my mirror…amiright?)
I was thinking about what it was that made me love Autumn so much and I found this “Autumn Blessing” Affirmation on pinterest that resonated with me:
I never realized before that all the changes in nature that Autumn brings; (the crisp weather, bright colored leaves, the smell of firewood burning that permeates the air) really does represent a time of transformation and reflection. As a very sensory and visually orientated person, I appreciate the transformations to my physical environment that Fall brings. It forces me to acknowledge the passing of time, every time I walk outdoors. I appreciate the Autumn season even more after being in Southern California for four years while at school. Looking back at that wonderful life experience, it feels like one really long summer and its difficult for me to remember exactly when my favorite and most precious memories occurred. While the winter season is a whole other beast here in the Midwest, I’ve come to relish the Fall season even more.
Besides the beautiful weather (and the dozens of colorful leaves I find and put in my coat pockets and forget about and then spend the rest of the year pulling crumbled up bits of dried leaves out of various pockets) the other reason I love Autumn is for the fashion!
Maybe its because I remember all those end of summer clothes shopping excursions with my mom trying to pick out the perfect outfit for the first day of school, or maybe it’s because I spend my entire summers sweating through everything I wear the second I step outdoors and I’ve never felt comfortable in my skin in a summer wardrobe: shorts (the chafing!), bikinis (the shaving!) and tank tops (the arm jiggles!). I am much more comfortable covering up “all that” in scarves and over sized sweaters.
As usual, I got sidetracked on what was supposed to be a short intro into the main subject of this post: my 6 Fall Wardrobe Essentials.
I decided to make an inspiration board using my illustrations so here we go:
1. Leather (or Leatherette) Moto Jacket:
Not so heavy or bulky as a winter coat and as the outermost layer of clothing, it’s the important in making a “style statement.” With oversized cardigans and slouchy, drapey sweaters and not to mention scarves, a simple, classic and fitted moto leather jacket keeps me from looking like a chunky pumpkin.
for (wait for it, wait for it) $890. I love everything about this jacket (the dramatic, asymmetrical collar or oversized lapels) and the color. And if I was in a position to buy it, I would and probably never take it off.
available at Urban Outfitters for $98.00. And it’s VEGAN, so you can feel good about not harming animals while wearing it!
2) A Bold (Tribal Inspired) Statement Jewelry Piece:
When I’m browsing for clothing or jewelry online, I always, 100% of the time, go with the more outrageous, the more colorful and bold option. Should a 30 year old be purchasing leopard print jeans? I learned the answer (it’s a big NO for me) when I showed up to the elementary school I was teaching at, only to run into 7th grader wearing the same exact pair as me (she was embarrassed, I was like “twinsies!!) At these moments, I question my sanity and resentfully acknowledge my actual age. (I am 30, I am 30, I am 30). I am learning the beauty of simplicity but this is not one of those times. I give you the aptly named Falkor necklace from DylanLex.com…
and my reaction to seeing this necklace for the first time can be summed up in the following picture:
and the Falcor necklace can be yours for only $980.00!
aaaand that’s the face I made when I saw the price.
Or you can do what I do, to wile away the hours and find some original and tribal inspired statement necklaces over on my favorite site on the web, etsy.
3. Boho Leather Handbag
Just recently I have re-fallen in love with bucket bags and leather backpacks as well as vintage tooled leather bags as well. I have been debating on fringed leather bags for years now and I still like them, although, they are becoming part of that festival season uniform- but my eye is always drawn to them.
Madewell makes a classic and simple style leather backpack- I don’t know why, but almost every leather bag I have ever owned is this carmel color. It’s definitely my favorite and saves me from having to decide wether to go with black or brown.
I also love the vintage fabric woven tote/bucket bags/leather backpacks but have yet to find a patterned bag that is also a designer brand Etsy and Ebay are my stomping grounds for those unique and beautiful finds and the best part is they are usually one of a kind!
My heart skipped a beat when I saw this woven, Ikat, bucket bag on etsy:
whew, sorry this post is getting long! thanks for sticking with me.
Fourth on the list of Fall Wardrobe Essentials is….
4. Oversized, Slouchy, Sweater or Cardigan:
My two personal favorite sweaters of this season (as well as the color contrast jeans) are both from H&M. Although not everything is carried in their online store…
The Oversized Sweater is available online in both gray and navy blue for an absolute steal of $14.95. I love this sweater and am so glad it caught my eye, although I have to admit , I would have passed it by if the mustard color version hadn’t caught my eye in the store. I love the length and the lightweight texture. I also am a big fan of contrast colors (as you might have guessed) but the black sleeves are definitely pleather and not very breathable.
And here is the dark blue version also on sale for $14.95. I love the leather pants and really would like some of my own (imitation leather of course) but let’s hope this beautiful model’s leather pants are not made of the same pleather material as the sweater, or she is definitely sweating it out. What do you guys think about leather pants? Do you own any?
My second favorite oversized sweater is also from H&M, the Ribbed-Knit Sweater, which I got in Orange and is also nicely priced at $24.95. For the low prices, I am impressed with the quality of the garments I have purchased from H&M.
and just cause a girl’s gotta dream about overpriced clothing items I will never be able to afford way out of my reach… my ultimate dream sweaters are both from Acne Studios (one of my new favorite “Dream” brands).
The Galactic Turtleneck Sweater is available at Barney’s New York and Also Acne Studio’s website for $620.00.
oh boots, bootie, boot, boots. I love boots….I can never have enough. What is it about women and their love for shoes and handbags? I don’t know, and don’t really care. In the past, I have always gone for tall, knee high length boots, but in recent years I am drawn more and more to ankle boots.
Basically every boot that Anthropologie has on their website is amazing. Their whole selection of boots, booties, ect, are kick ass, and usually always are.
I love the triple buckles and the price of the Vendaveles Boots (available exclusively online at Anthropologie) for $150.00.
Since I am loving anything and everything color blocked this season I love both of these booties from Anthropologie:
and the Coromell Booties, $130.00, also available exclusively online at Anthropologie as well.
#6: Patterned Fitted Pencil Skirt
Goes well with an oversized sweater, tights and booties. And again, anthropologie stuns with their patterned pencil skirts:
Perhaps my favorite skirt at the moment (which I am currently trying unsuccessfully to persuade my boyfriend to buy for me for our 2 year anniversary) is this beautiful Tapestry Pencil Skirt, $98.00 from Anthropologie, available online and in stores.
I love the longer length of the new pencil skirts, like this Collection Stripe Skirt, from J.Crew for $128.00, but on sale right now for 25% off using the code: SHOPFORFALL.
Thank you for sticking with me through this incredibly long and incredibly materialistic post. I hope you all take the time to enjoy the first official day of Fall tomorrow.
See what I did there…With the title? Yeah, I need to get out more. Before I start in to my epic blue hair adventures, I just want to thank all of my friends, family and anyone else out there who read my last blog post: “Blessed are The Cracked…” I struggled with posting it for a long time, as it went deeper than I usually go.
But when I posted a link to the article on my Facebook page (in an outright act of shameless self-promotion, and deleted it twice before I left it there) I was so blown away by everyones kind words and encouragement. I was walking around glowing for the entire day and it was such a boost in confidence that Im surprised I didn’t sprout peacock feathers out my bum! So thanks again.
Now, I will be the first to tell you, that I get quickly excited about ideas and don’t always think my them through. I just get caught up in the moment and fail to think clearly.
I convinced myself that I was mentally prepared to dye my hair because I went so far as to create a profile on Taaz.com (a website where you can try out different hair styles and make up using pictures of yourself). My idea of “thinking this through” was to upload a picture and try out some different hair styles. I promptly found and tried the only blue hair color style available, (on the gorgeous katy Perry). This is the picture they had:
Gorgeous right? Yeah. Aaaaaaand well, here is how mine turned out….just in case you haven’t laughed today…
Me and Katy are practically twins! But really, the website was actually really great and these “virtual makeover” websites have come a long way in the years since they first came out and I did it in high school, a good 15 years ago (and I am glad those photos can never be unearthed). Taaz.com, allowed you to contour the hair style to fit better onto your head (as my head is huge and round like a basketball). but I wasn’t done yet! so my next step was to download a free iPhone app called Make With Beauty that allowed me to take a picture of myself and change the color of my hair already. I couldn’t figure out how manipulate the hair color effectively in the app and my hair always ended up looking like it would glow in the dark. but the idea was to see what I would look like with a lighter shade of blue:
Looks like I dipped my head in some radioactive goo…A little to neon/glow in the dark for me- but still closer to what I wanted.
so by now I was getting pretty pumped up about the idea…Maybe a little too excited because following morning, I woke up and went straight to Ulta, where I hastily picked up a bottle of Jerome Russell’s Punky Colour in turquoise for only $9.99.
And here is when things get sketchy…
in my haste/over-excitement… I didn’t read the directions or the label completely and carefully and what I thought was NON permanent was actually SEMI- Permanent (the back says 5-40 washes).Which is a problem because I needed my hair to be back to a natural blonde hair color by the following week for work.
The directions said to leave it in your hair for 20-40 minutes and since I wanted a lighter color of blue (that would wash out quickly) I left it in for only 15 minutes. Little did I know that my hair was the PERFECT type (damaged, bleached, blonde, dry) to absorb and hang on to allll of the turquoise color.
After I washed out the hair dye, I took a look in the mirror and spent the next few hours washing my hair over and over in a blue blur of anxiety attacks and hyper-ventilating. I called out for help from friends on Facebook and Instagram, and read several articles for home hair color lifter remedies (I wasn’t close t0 being able to leave the house). With friends help and a great article on Wikihow (which I highly suggest looking at if you find yourself in the same position as I did) I tried all sorts of home remedies: soaking my hair in crushed vitamin C tablets, adding dish soap to my shampoo, adding laundry detergent to my shampoo, , adding baking soda to dandruff shampoo and again washing. These helped to lighten the color somewhat but left me with a new and even scarier problem: severe hair breakage!
It was during my cry for help from my friends on social media that my old college roommate introduced me to the amazing Alison and her blog The Alison Show. She had also dyed her hair a similar color, although she went the preferable route: to a hair stylist. She was so kind and reached out to me and said that she too freaked out when she first saw her hair in the mirror but that it washed out so quickly that she wished it had stayed longer.
After 48 hours of locking myself in my house and washing my hair over 10 times, I had resigned myself to my immediate future as a blue-headed smurf.
Within a few days I ended up really liking my mermaid hair and wishing I could keep it longer,
So here are some of my tips for if you want to dye your hair blue, green, pink or any other fabulous combination:
1) always READ THE LABEL carefully!
2) Before doing a semi-permanant or permanent color try something that will wash out in 2 to 3 washes such as:
3) Try out different styles using a smart phone app or Taaz.com
4) Be emotionally prepared!
5) Consider the damage level that any hair dye does to your hair
have fun and dye away. If you have any pictures or stories about your wild hair dye adventures, feel free to email me at email@example.com with pictures and your story and I will share it!
Happy Memorial Day weekend everyone! Be safe and have fun!
Lately, I have been reading the Happiness Project, a memoir by Gretchen Rubin. I picked it up, after much hesitation since I had been seeing it everywhere and was a little weary of it, for a couple of reasons. My personal life took a drastic and unexpected turn about a month ago and I was forced to reevaluate my life. I realized that I had not been happy and was not living my “best” life. Every day life had gotten ahold of me and I had stopped enjoying the little things like spending time with my loved ones, taking time to reflect and relax, and doing new and exciting things. This sparked an idea I had to come up with my own bucket list. Well, not a bucket list, but a “life list.” I started compiling a list of things that I wanted to do (not necessarily before I died) that I had been missing out on. My list included simple things like: “cooking dinner more,” “buying a bike”, “spend more time outdoors.” Things that I have always wanted to do and always told myself I would do, but never got around too. I started compiling them in a journal and it kind of took on a life of it’s own.
So far, my list is 72 items and counting.
The first thing I did on my list, was the most physically noticeable and required the least amount of effort on my part: #18: cut all my hair off! Now, let me explain why this is a big deal. The last time I cut my hair more than an inch every two months or so, was when I was in the 3rd grade (over 20 years ago!) Of course, this was pre-puberty and my peers were merciless. Even adults made comments on it. My brother told me years later that his teacher asked him that first day I came to school after my hair cut, “who is the new boy at school?”
I tried finding my year book photo but this is the closest pic I could find…another bad hair cut idea of mine (the perm)
Needless to say, I was scarred and scared to cut my hair after that so I let it go and it got looooooong.
So one Sunday morning a couple weeks ago, I was having breakfast with an old friend and told her I wanted to cut my hair. She got excited and we called around to different salons and took the first open appointment. By lunch time 21 inches of my hair was in a baggy and most of my hair was gone!
It really is amazing how doing something as simple as cutting your hair can make you feel like a new person and spark you to make changes.
Has anyone else read the Happiness Project and/or made a life/bucket list?