May 24th, 2011 § §
- Dress: Moulinette Soeurs via Anthropologie
- Sweater: Gap outlet
- Belt: Old Navy outlet
- Camisole (under): Banana Republic outlet
- Shoes: BR
I think S. brings up a great question: How do you best dress with stress? I had wondered at the beginning of this school year if during 9 months of dressing for classes 6 days a week there would come a point at which I absolutely could not stand to get dressed in the morning. For me getting dressed is fun. Obviously I enjoy it or else I wouldn’t bother playing around with what I wear, nor would I take the time to blog about it. Certainly in these last 9 months there have been days, or weeks even, when looking at my closet has inspired more dread than pleasure, but for the most part I’ve enjoyed starting my day playing “dress-up.” As I’ve said before, I use clothes to get me revved up, keep me motivated, and put on a brave front when I’m not feeling so tough inside.
However, in these last few weeks of school, as the weather has not warmed and the rain keeps falling, I have hit my wall. I have been going back to old, faithful staples that I’ve been wearing since I was in high school: corduroys and Birkenstocks. I haven’t blogged these outfits both because I feel “frumpy” in them and because it’s definitely not corduroy season in most of the country, so who cares how I styled a pair of cords in mid-May when really you want to know how to wear sundresses and straw hats?
Anyway, today I was actually feeling motivated enough to pull on a dress, a belt, and some cute flats. Pretty good considering there is a 70% chance of rain. Oh well, it’s time for me to bundle up for another afternoon of coaching in the drizzle. I probably will change out of these super comfy flats in favor of some waterproof sneakers, but who wants to see pictures of those?
Category: Dresses for Day, Layers Upon Layers, Our Best Flatware, Teaching Outfits
Tags: belted > blue > cardigan > green shoes > L. > plaid > shirt dress
May 19th, 2011 § §
- Tunic Shirt: Edme & Esyllte via clothing swap
- Shirt (under): Banana Republic
- Belt: BR Outlet
- Skinnies: Anne Taylor LOFT
- Shoes: Dolce Vita via endless.com
- Necklace: Accessorize (gift)
Nothing too exciting about this outfit other than the fact that I nabbed this great tunic shirt at the clothing swap I had recently. I have been having major problems getting excited to get dressed this week since it has been raining and in the 40s and 50s every day. Oh yeah, did I mention that it’s MID-MAY!!!!!!!!!! Needless to say, I’m going bonkers and am absolutely fed up with freezing in my classroom, so after my valiant attempt at spring tights last week, I’ve thrown in the towel on skirts in favor of pants until I see some serious sunshine.
My verdict is still out on this outfit, but in theory it was great. The loose tunic top, stretchy comfort of Anne Taylor ponte pants, and my new Dolce Vita flats! How cozy? How comfy? How not tight on my tumtum! Alas, the tunic seems a little too flowy (it is a size 12, but you can’t be too picky when it’s swapped/free!) and the belt I added to tame things just wasn’t sitting right on my torso no matter where I put it for some reason. I tried using a skinnier belt that was colorful, a looser belt that sat low, and a wide stretchy belt to pull it all in, but nothing worked. This was totally one of those outfits that left my room in a shambles because I had pulled EVERYTHING out of my closet to try to make it work. Oh well, you win some, you lose some.
Any ideas on how to make this tunic work in my wardrobe before it get’s put back in the swap-pile?
Category: Color Combinations, Our Best Flatware, Pants Please, Proportionally, Teaching Outfits
Tags: belted > black and brown > brown shoes > L. > neutrals
May 16th, 2011 § §
- Lace-edged Camisole: Banana Republic Outlet
- Cardigan: H&M
- Belt: American Apparel
- Skirt: White Rice
- Tights: Target
- Oxfords: Crown Vintage via DSW
- Necklace: gift from sister
Really? Tights in spring? Tights in the middle of May?! Yes folks, sad but true. The daffodils are blooming, fruit trees have burst into fluffy balls of white flowers, and my allergies are going haywire (pun intended), but the chill is not out of the air some days where I am. I had sworn off wearing tights after spring break, mostly because my waist and stomach were tired of being constricted like that, but I had to give in and break them out on Friday last week. To really feel sorry for myself I started to look back at when other bloggers around the country had packed up their winter tights for the year.
The ever hip and stylish Clare of Between Laundry Days was still wearing tights (or at least posting tight-ed outfits) in April, but has recently been enjoying sunshine and nylon-free gams.
The oft-skirted and always adorably dressed Tanya of What Would a Nerd Wear decided to freeze her kneecaps one particularly cold spring day, but she hasn’t donned tights in weeks (just look back at her recent posts!). Even my lovely co-bloggers out in academichic central were ditching their tights back in early April!
However, I do have a (reluctant) tights companion in the artistically photographed, well dressed and hilarious woman behind Hello, Monkeyface!, who also paired spring florals with tights this month, and the queen of color combos, Audi of Fashion For Nerds, also sported some firey red tights recently. Thank goodness! I really was starting to feel sorry for myself (wink wink)
On the flip-side, the always thoughtful and encouraging (and well heeled!) Sally at Already Pretty lined up some great ideas for how TO cover up even when it is warm out.
How have you been keeping warm during the mud season between winter and spring? Do you have a cut-off point for some wintery items that you refuse to wear after a certain date or season change?
Category: Layers Upon Layers, Our Best Flatware, Skirting the Issue, Teaching Outfits
Tags: belted > cardigan > floral > grey and purple > L. > oxford shoes > tights
May 12th, 2011 § §
- Dress: French Connection
- Shirt (under): Splendid via Nordstrom Rack
- Sweater: Banana Republic
- Pants: Anne Taylor Loft
- Shoes: Ciao Bella via DSW
I realize that this is extremely similar to the first way I styled this dress when I debuted it in London (it was a birthday gift from my fabulous sister). However, the addition of skinny black ponte pants underneath made the shorter hemline feel safer, and the shirt under and sweater over provided needed warmth.
The inspiration to tie the built-in belt from the dress on the outside of the cardigan is something that my co-bloggers have been perfecting for years. E. takes the ties on a solid color jersey dress to hold down a top layer consisting of an unbuttoned patterned shirt dress; S. takes a removable sash from a jersey dress to wrap around her outer layer; and A. uses the ties on a wrap dress to integrate her cardigan into her look. You can also use ties from blouses to hold down cardigans. If you want more ideas, check out A’s tutorial on how to use built in ties over cardigans.
Category: Dresses for Day, Layers Upon Layers, Our Best Flatware, Pants Please, Teaching Outfits, Uncategorized
Tags: belted > black flats > cardigan > L. > pattern > patterned dress
May 10th, 2011 § §
- Sweatshirt – Banana Repuclic
- Tank – Ann Taylor
- Belt – from L.
- Pants – swapped (originally from Gap)
- Flats – DSW
- Basket – gift from sister S. (similar ones can be found online and at Containers and Things)
The end of the Spring semester is always so hard because there is so much to wrap up (final papers and exams to grade, materials to turn in, accounts to balance, shelves to clean out, etc) yet the weather is beautiful and all I want to do is spend my days outdoors. Luckily, this weekend I was able to take a break from grading and visit the opening day of my local farmers market. We took our puppy and A2′s parents with us and we all had a great time on what turned out to be a lovely spring morning!
Remember this outfit from our Banana Republic challenge? I loved the slouchy yet pulled-together nature of my farmers market outfit, so when it came time to head out to the market for real, I instantly decided to try and recreate the look. I ended up purchasing the sweatshirt cardigan after styling it and had flats and a belt that would work. The big item I was missing was the checked tunic, and I could not for the life of me find a suitable replacement in my closet, so I ended up with a simple tank. I let the pop of color come from my pants rather than the top.
I picked these blue pants out of a pile at a recent clothing swap E. and I hosted, because I was drawn to the bright blue color. I didn’t like the way the pants looked on me when I fist tried them on, but I knew I could likely alter them into some thing I liked more. I do like them better with the cuffed bottoms, but I’m not crazy about the length of them – I wish they were a bit longer, like the olive ones I wore from Banana Republic. I’m thinking about chopping them into shorts, something like these or these (which I would cuff like the first ones but would be a bit longer). What do you think, leave them as cuffed cropped pants or chop them into cuffed shorts?
Category: Color Combinations, It's in the Bag, Our Best Flatware, Pants Please, Weekend Wear
Tags: A. > belted > cardigan > cuffed pants
May 5th, 2011 § §
- Shirt (tunic): French Connection
- Skirt: Calvin Klein outlet
- Belt: mom’s
- Shoes: Tahari via endless.com
- Necklace: Gift
I believe that one of the most fun things in life is twirling around while wearing a very full skirt. This skirt lends itself to playful swishing, swooshing, and all out spins. I had wanted to wear this shirt/tunic again, and I realized that the teal and lavender of the shirt would look great with this skirt and obi belt.
I’m sorry I haven’t been writing very lengthy posts lately, but much like everyone at this time of year, I’m crunched for time as the academic calendar winds down and tests, papers, and projects roll in my door. Sometimes a bright, sun-shiny top, or pop of color, or comfortable stand-by is what gets me through. Other times a full, fancy, almost bustled skirt will do the trick and I can twirl, twirl, twirl myself right into a happy mood. It makes me think I’m a carefree kid again – not like I was exactly twirling around as a kid all the time – but again, too many cotton commercials have conned me into believing that I wore cute summer dresses and spent lazy afternoons rolling down grassy slopes and swinging around to see my skirt flutter around me. Even if it didn’t happen, isn’t it ok to dream? As Miriam Toews put it in her beautiful novel A Complicated Kindness, “The stories that I have told myself are bleeding into a dream, finally, that is slowly coming true… Is it wrong to trust in a beautiful lie if it helps you get through life.”
What do you all think? If we’re talking about more than mixing up your memories, is it wrong to trust in a beautiful lie if it helps you get through life? What “lies” do you believe in?
Category: Color Combinations, Reaching New Heights, Skirting the Issue, Teaching Outfits, Theoretical
Tags: belted > floral > full skirt > green and purple > L. > purple > two-thirds color combination
May 3rd, 2011 § §
- Jersey Dress: 5/48 via Filene’s Basement
- Shirt: Bebe
- Camisole: Gap Outlet
- Belt: American Apparel
- Shoes: Ciao Bella via DSW
This is an example of how to convert a dress into a skirt by using a belt to hide the bottom of the shirt as if it were tucked in. I can’t wait for summer when I can wear this dress without anything over it, but for right now a little more coverage is needed. Like the dress I was wearing last week, this one is almost too short, but at this point in the year I’m so tired of my wardrobe that I’m starting to reach for things that I would otherwise hold off on wearing to school. I’ve been reaching more and more towards jersey materials and especially to jersey dresses for their comfortable fit and flexibility. Having a range of stretchy wide belts helps to accomplish tricks such as this one. Do you have any tricks for wearing specific clothing items to look like something else?
Category: Dresses for Day, Layers Upon Layers, Mixing Patterns, Our Best Flatware, Skirting the Issue, Teaching Outfits
Tags: belted > black and white > black flats > L. > pink
May 3rd, 2011 § §
- Cardigan – Banana Republic
- Tank – thrifted
- Belt – Gap
- Skirt – Gap
- Wedges – Kenneth Cole Reaction
- Earrings – Island souvenir
- Bangle – Gap Outlet
I feel like this is a very me outfit – I’m wearing my favorite wedges, my workhouse cardigan, by beloved full pinstriped skirt, and of course, stripes are the one pattern I wear a fair amount of. But, I have to admit, this outfit was totally inspired by E. I loved how she paired her vertically striped skirt with her horizontally red and white striped top and finished the look off with heels and and a cardigan As soon as I saw it I knew I would be recreating it soon.
I thrifted this red and oatmeal striped tank with a ruffle detail last month with this outfit in mind. I think it even mimics the fun detail E. added with the flower earring as broach.
I of course stuck with a mix of neutrals and added a belt to make it a bit more me, but I did add a yellow bangle as another nod to E.’s style. I even captured some wind blown shots, though nowhere near as glamorous as E.’s Marilyn Monroe meets Nike of Samothrace.
Thanks as always for the inspiration E.!
How about you readers, do you so unabashedly copy your friends’ style?
Category: Office Hours, Reaching New Heights, Skirting the Issue
Tags: A. > belted > brown and red > full skirt > pattern mixing > stripes > wedges
April 28th, 2011 § §
- Dress: J. Crew (thrifted)
- Sweater: Zen via Filene’s Basement
- Belt: Anthropologie
- Shoes: Tahari via endless.com
- Necklace: gift
I’ve worn this dress a lot since I bought it at a consignment shop this winter (same place that A. picked up her fab new blouse!), and I’ve consistently struggled with what to do about the ruffle around the neckline.
Well, genius that I am, I decided at 7:00am yesterday morning that the back part of the ruffle had got to go, so I took out my trusty scissors and happily took out the stitching holding on the back half. Why I hadn’t done this earlier, I’m not sure. Why I chose to do it at 7:00am in the morning while still a little delirious, I’m also not sure about. Regardless of the mysterious ways my addled morning-brain works, I’m happy with the results.
I’ve also had this sweater for a while and it was just about to go in the “swap-heap” before it was rescued for this outfit. It seemed good in theory to have a lightweight, cashmere, mushroom-brown cropped sweater, but in practice it has proven less practical. I’m not sure that this one outfit will totally redeem it, but it will at least survive until next fall because (drum roll) I’m packing up my winter clothes this weekend! I’m doing this in preparation both for spring (to finally arrive) and for a clothing swap I’m organizing next week. No better time than a season shift to clean out the old closet! A. and E. are hosting a swap soon as well, so keep your eyes out for some upcoming weekend workshops on the topic!
Finally, getting to the title of my post – I know I wear belts a lot, and I completely blame A. for this habit. I told you during belt week that belting is the gateway drug to becoming style obsessed (in a non-self destructive, good kind of way). However, my waist is not always happy being squished, and depending on how much I’ve consumed, my belts can get a little bit tight — until I found this belt on clearance at Anthropologie when A. and I were shopping in Boston. I know that plastic is generally not good for the environment, but stretchy, forgiving materials are very good for my post-winter but pre-spring training body, and this belt is plenty stretchy and very comfy.
Does your body noticeably change over the course of some seasons?
Category: Color Combinations, Dresses for Day, Reaching New Heights, Teaching Outfits
Tags: beige shoes > belted > brown and grey > cardigan > grey > jersey dress > L. > neutrals
April 25th, 2011 § §
- Sweater: Cable & Gauge via Marshalls
- Tank: Banana Republic
- Belt: BR
- Skirt: Gap
- Shoes: Madden Girl via DSW
- Necklace: gift
Spring is taking its sweet time coming to my neck-of-the-woods, and in the meantime it’s been grey and rainy for what feels like months (real time: probably only a few days out of each week for the last few weeks). I’m not sure about you, but my mood is more than a little influenced by the weather, so all these cloudy, chilly days have not been making me too happy. However, I am happy that April is national poetry month! Today especially, I’m reminded of T. S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land” and some of the most famous lines in all of poetry:
April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
After a rain soaked weekend, I decided to dress like the spring rain and dull roots and don blue and grey. This is basically another version of a monochrome outfit I put together last summer for our Color Wheel Challenge. As for memory and desire, well, the memory of past summers is the only thing making me smile in this picture.
The subtle embroidered flowers on the skirt and my flower belt also perked me up a bit, and I wore my green torsade in an effort to convince myself that all the rain really was bringing new, fresh, green things into the world. Usually I try to wear bright colors on days when I’m feeling low or the weather is bad, but today it was wearing little hints of spring that me happier. What are your tricks for changing your mood or combating a dreary climate?
Category: Color Combinations, Skirting the Issue, Teaching Outfits
Tags: belted > blue > blue and grey > floral > L. > monochrome