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Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!

It’s been a busy week! I started doing some freelance writing and editing, and I’m driving almost 3 hours away for a job interview/meeting this morning. It’s going to be a long day – but hopefully a productive one!

Here are some things I enjoyed online this week:

I plan to spend the weekend watching The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu and working on some blog posts for May! Oh, and brainstorming things to do on my next vacation (which isn’t happening soon enough!).

What are your plans for this weekend?

Friday Favorites

friday favorites

Time for this week’s Friday Favorites!

It’s been a very long week, and I’m glad to spend the weekend catching up on my meditation practice, spend time with family, and celebrate the return of Chelsea Handler’s show on Netflix. I also plan to eat as many chocolate eggs as I can stuff in me! Here are a few of my favorite things from this past week:

I hope everyone has a fun and sunny Easter weekend!

2015 Year in Review: Style

2015 Year in Review: Style

Winter Style Inspiration / Thrifty Fall Updates / What’s in my bag?: Fall Edition / Style Confession: I’m Basic

After going through my style posts for 2015, I realized that I wrote a lot more about other people and their style more than my own. I guess it’s because I have taken a while to really nail down my personal style, especially now that I no longer have to dress like a teacher.

While I hate taking photos of myself, I want to get better at it in the next year, so stay tuned for posts of my own outfits (and a few Pinterest-heavy posts too).

2015 Year in Review: Style

Spa Night / Fall Nail Polish Update / 10 Beauty Duds…and how not to waste them! / Summer Skincare: (Mostly) Drugstore Edition

One topic I did talk about a lot this year was beauty products! I’d say that if I had to choose one topic for my blog, I’d have the most fun with beauty-related posts. I love trying new things, and sharing my old favorites. Each season in WA is different than the last, so it has been fun trying to find the right products to get me through spring, summer, fall, and winter!

Right now, I’m piling on as much lotion and lipgloss as I can (thanks cold, dry air), but I’m also looking at self-tanners, BB creams, and other fun things I want to try out next year!

Overall, I assumed my style posts would be the worst out of all the topics this year, but they weren’t so bad after all. I’ve enjoyed sharing my thrift store steals, drugstore beauty buys, and my process to figure out my own personal style. I hope the coming year has more of the same, and maybe a few more career-friendly fashion posts too!

Featured on IFB!

Featured on IFB!

Yay!!

I was featured in the Independent Fashion Blogger’s “Links a la Mode” post from last week! If you’re looking for some amazing inspiration for your winter or holiday wardrobe, check out some of the links below!

Links à la Mode, December 10

SPONSOR: Shopbop Holiday Gift Guide, MM6, Madewell Dresses, Veronica Beard Jackets, MDS Stripes, SAME SWIM, Emerson Road, Infinity Scarves, Vests, Men’s Accessories

Friday Favorites: Links Aplenty!

Friday Favorites Links Aplenty

Happy Friday!

This week has been busy, cold, but very pretty outside! I’ve enjoyed getting out for hikes in the fog, taking a zillion photos, and trying to soak in the warm sun as much as possible.

Yesterday, Independent Fashion Bloggers featured one of my recent posts on their weekly round-up of some of the best style blog posts on the web! To continue sharing the love, I wanted to share the list with all of you too! I’m always looking for new inspiration on the fashion front, and this is a great place to start!

So here you go! Enjoy this week’s list of amazing fashionistas, and their (much better than mine) style. Oh, and have a great weekend!

Links à la Mode, November 12

SPONSOR: Shopbop Carven, BB Dakota Jackets, Giuseppe Zanotti Sneakers, KC Designs, The Third Piece, xSELcupcakes and cashmere Dresses, Slip On Sneakers, Black Backpacks, Men’s Parkas

Recent Thrift Store Buys

Recent Thrift Store Buys

Thrift shopping has become a very enjoyable habit lately, though I haven’t actually bought much since my Halloween costume trip. I’ve been focused on getting things ready for the holidays, and spending more time outdoors hiking than out shopping.

I did, however, score a few great finds for home this past week – and at insane prices! Goodwill has weekly tag sales, which means I scored the duck bookends, brass bowl, and fish mirror for only $1.79 each! The flower hanging I think was only $3, which is still pretty good! The ducks are solid wood, and are helping prop up my heavy cookbooks. The mirror I plan on repainting in a fun color (like deep purple or blue), and the flower hanging is going in our bedroom after I figure out where to put it. As for the brass bowl, I thought it would be a great place to put holiday candy.

Recent Thrift Store Buys

While I haven’t bought clothes much lately, I did grab a couple sweaters. The one on the left is originally from Target, and is so comfortable. I’ve worn it several times already, and will probably wear it out this winter. The one on the right is from Dress Barn, oddly enough, and is also insanely comfy! I think I finally have a decent winter wardrobe to keep me warm and happy this year – and I got it all with a tiny budget.

Well, I’m off now to grab a cup of tea and a book…and yes, probably while wearing one of those comfy sweaters!

Style Confession: I’m Basic

Style Confession: I'm Basic

(All photos taken from my Pinterst “Style” page as proof I gravitate to this shit.)

I have a confession to make – one that might not be cool to admit as a blogger:

I have the world’s most basic style. Painfully, painfully basic bitch. It’s okay, though, really.

In my younger years, I always thought that I’d grow up into a more style-savvy adult. My teenage and young adult years were spent pouring over fashion magazines, and waiting impatiently for the days when I could wear high heels, silk blouses, pencil skirts, red lipstick, leather handbag, and perfectly coiffed hair. I always saw my adult self as a corporate piranha with a feminine twist…or a bit of an edge, depending on the year.

That never happened.

There is one defining moment, though, that I think led me down this path of basic, simple, boring style:

I became an educator.

Instead of living my dream of being a business woman with a wardrobe that meant business, I ended up in one of the most conservative careers. Add living in the ultra-conservative, Bible belt that is the Midwest, and that pretty much killed any chance of having a style evolution.

There is an unspoken rule that, as a woman in education, we are required to erase any semblance of femininity or sexuality. This means no accidental peek of cleavage, nothing even remotely form-fitting, nothing trendy, no shoes with more than a kitten heel, and leave the lipstick at home. My work wardrobe was (and still is) overly baggy, mostly black basics, high-necked sweaters, and flat shoes. It’s why, when I moved to Seattle, I got rid of almost all of my work clothes. None of it fit properly, and I felt like a nun wearing it.

Now that I’m not teaching anymore, I’m working on finding my own style again – and it’s tough. I’m trying to erase decades of fashion programming, from the preppy look I rocked in high school, hoodies and jeans of my college years, and buttoned-up schoolmarm style in recent years. Pinterest helps a lot because it gives me a chance to see a big picture version of what I like. Apparently I like dressing like I spend all my free time in a Starbucks, sipping on my PSL, then frolicking in the fall leaves, and Instagramming every minute of it.

As it turns out, I do have a bit of a style “wish list,” based on things I seem to find in most of the photos I pinned:

  1. I live in skinny jeans, and apparently my future stylish self will too. None of mine currently fit properly – some are too tight, some too loose. I need to find a pair that fit, and buy a dozen of them in many, many colors.
  2. I still want the leather handbag, but larger and not necessarily black. I have an orangey-brown leather tote bag that I love, and hope to keep for the rest of my life – so I’m well on my way!
  3. I need to accept that I like simple, preppy things like flannel shirts, fisherman knit sweaters, plaid scarves, and tweed blazers. My high school years left an impression on me, I guess, and I should just learn to live with it. I like Starbucks, too, and that’s okay.
  4. Accessories are a trouble area for me. I like the idea of wearing more jewelry, but I never do. I’m lucky if I remember to put my wedding ring on before leaving the house (sorry honey). I’m not sure I even own a bracelet….
  5. When I head back to work (hopefully sooner than later), I need to figure out how to ramp up my professional wardrobe. I hated dressing like a teacher when I was one, and don’t want to continue on that path in the future!

Overall, I think I’m getting closer to finding a style that suits me. As I get older, I’ve come to accept that my body isn’t the prototype for clothes, and I have to work with what I have at the time instead of waiting for it to change. I’m getting better at knowing what I like, and avoiding things I don’t like just because they fit my body or budget.

Maybe someday I’ll rock the killer heels and red lipstick at work, but for now I’m happy with a good loafer and cable knit sweater, like I walked out of an LL Bean ad. 

Vogue September Issue: 5 Trends to Buy Now!

Vogue September Issue

 

This year, I had the opportunity to get Vogue’s September issue digitally, thanks to my local library. The experience of swiping through went a lot faster than if I had leafed through a physical copy, but I also found I paid more attention. I’ve never looked to the ads before, but having them in a digital format for some reason made me take notice. I also spent more time reading the articles this year, though I think that might just be because I found them more interesting than in years past.

If you’re not the kind of person who enjoys leafing through 800+ pages of fashion, I decided to help you out by giving you a cliffsnotes (and yes, I spelled that right) version to help guide you to a fashion savvy fall!

Thrift stores are your friend!

The 1970s and 1990s played a huge role in much of this year’s issue, so get ready for some heavy thrifting this year if you don’t want to pay couture prices. Trust me, this year you can be trendy and on budget!

Floor length, long-sleeved, high-necked prairie dresses were in almost every ad and feature story. Chloe, Lanvin, and Gucci featured dresses that would make Stevie Nicks gush. The floral prints were small, and the color palette was autumn-ready (think burnt oranges, browns, deep purples, and black). There were a few shorter, 90s versions of this, but for the most part keep things pretty conservative to stay on trend this year. I thought the dresses by Burberry, Dolce & Gabbana, and Celine that featured larger floral patterns (think grandma’s couch) were also a nice way to go the hippie vibe while keeping it chic.

If you managed to save your furry Muppet-esque coats from college, now would be the time to give them a good brushing and break them out! Faux fur coats were featured alongside flowing blouses, boot-cut and bell-bottomed jeans, and chunky boots. Think more Margot Tenenbaum than Kurt Cobain.

Other things to hunt down in the thrift shop this year: neck scarves (if Leandra Medine hasn’t stolen them all yet), structured handbags, chunky boots, wide leg jeans, fisherman knit sweaters, and bowtie blouses

Watch The Royal Tenenbaums to figure out what colors to rock this fall!

Look no further than Prada for the color palette this season. They, among others, featured mustard yellows, turquoise blues, soft pinks, forest greens, and lots and lots of tweed. Many of the designers for fall went with colors that would blend in perfectly with the Tenenbaum family. The pinks, purples, blues, and reds are more saturated than years past, and balanced nicely with light brown suede or leather to keep things from getting too bright and cheery. Also, keep the textures classic – tweed, corduroy, wool, leather, and denim to keep from it looking like a 90s ripoff of a 70s outfit.

Also, if you’re over 30, stop bowing down to the altar of Margot Tenenbaum (you’re too old for polo shirt dresses, trust me) and really check out Etheline Tenenbaum’s wardrobe for inspiration. Her structured pieces in gorgeous colors are far more on trend this year- the pink coat she wears throughout the movie is perfect for this fall!

The white button down is cool again…and anything but basic!

For a long time, the white button down was the Basic B’s most basic of pieces – and don’t worry, it still is if that’s what you like. However, if you’re looking to up your game this year, go with a white button down that isn’t so simple. Try new cuts, and definitely go for more flowing fabrics. It should read slightly more blouse-y than school uniform. Undo more buttons, let your black bra shine through, but keep the sleeves long and buttoned tight at the wrist!

While we’re on the topic of basic white pieces, don’t forget to pick up a fisherman knit sweater if you somehow didn’t last year. They’re still very popular, and work well with this year’s trends!

Get your inner goth on this fall, and you’ll be set for winter too!

I didn’t forget the goths of the 90s, I promise, and neither did the September issue! Dolce & Gabbana, Alexander McQueen, Alberta Ferretti, and Proenza Schouler were definitely reppin’ for the goth girls this year. Think lots of structured black coats, black Victorian-era lace, and dark embroidery. Of course, we can count on people like Chanel to bring the blacks and greys, but this year it seems like a lot of other designers are enjoying the ease and subversiveness of an all-black outfit. I think this trend will make for a great transition from fall to winter, where we’ll see a lot more black than we have in recent years.

Pack up the bucket bags for now!

Structured bags are where it’s at this year. I think I only saw one bucket bag in the 800+ pages this year, and even the bags that had that 70s fringe were more structured than slouchy. I’ve never been a fan of slouchy handbags, so I’m glad to bid them good riddance for now!

If you get out early, you should have no problem finding some great thrift store bags that fit the bill – or you could spring for a new one that I guarantee you’ll use for years to come. They were in all shapes and sizes this year, so whether you want to go with a doctor’s bag or a cross-body mini, it’ll work!

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Of course, this isn’t a comprehensive list of what I saw in Vogue’s September issue this year, but they were the trends I saw popping up again and again! There were plenty of designers who keep things the same from year to year (Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Chanel, etc.), and you can still count on the 60’s London rocker/mod trend to be around for a while. But Vogue is all about the changes in season, and this resurgence of 70s and 90s fashion is a big change from what I’ve seen recently.

So get out there and start digging around your neighborhood thrift store before you head to the department stores – you might be surprised at how much you will find…and save!

 

Friday Favorites: Musical Genius…or not

Friday Favorites: Musical Genius...or not

“Practicing” the piano, and by practicing I’m probably just screwing around….

I’m wrapping up August with one final Friday Favorites! Here are some things I’ve enjoyed over the past week:

5 Great Fashion Books for Chic Summer Reading

When it comes to reading, I like to say I binge read in phases. If I read a book that I like, I’ll end up reading several more that are in the same vain, whether it’s books about the Jazz Age, coming of age stories, female comedians, international travel, or food. I also have a habit of sticking with the same author for a while, but that happens less often. I’ve enjoyed reading through the works of Oscar Wilde, Margaret Atwood, Anthony Bourdain, and Chelsea Handler. The range is great, but when I get hooked, I’m hooked for a while.

Lately, my reading list has been mostly about fashion. It all started with the book Parisian Chic: A Style Guide by Ines de la Fressange. Actually, it really started with her video series on YouTube with Roger Vivier, where she shares her love of shopping in Paris – the book being an extension of the video series. I enjoyed the book so much that I have been on a bit of a tear lately with fashion-related books. I’m also a sucker for a good biography, and fashion is full of stories from those who have lived through it.

If you’re in the mood for some summer reading, and you spend more time than you should reading fashion blogs (like I do), then I highly recommend picking up or downloading these for an afternoon on the beach, or a summer evening outdoors.

5 Great Fashion Books for Chic Summer Reading:

5 Great Fashion Books for Chic Summer Reading

Parisian Chic: A Style Guide
by Ines de la Fressange

This book is part style guide, part shopping map of Paris – and sounds like it was written by that much cooler, wiser Parisian friend we all wish we had. Ines’ writing style is conversational, self-depricating, and makes you wonder if she’s going to be ousted from the fashion inner-circle for divulging so much useful information. It’s a book that I will definitely purchase one day, if only to have the catalog of Paris stores and websites to refer back to – from where to find great a great leather jacket, to a website that sells the famous metal chairs that sit along the Jardin des Tuileries. The book itself looks like it has a leather cover, which would make it the most fashionable book on your shelf, too!

 

5 Great Fashion Books for Chic Summer Reading

The Gospel According to Coco Chanel: Life Lessons From The World’s Most Elegant Woman
by Karen Karbo

As I said earlier, I’m easily swayed by a good biography. Not knowing much about Coco Chanel, I found this book was a great introduction to the woman who would one day start a fashion institution. Karbo does a great job of blending in the story of Chanel’s rise to infamy with her own failed attempts at finding her own coveted Chanel tweed jacket (the holy grail of vintage fashion, I’ve noticed). I had no idea what kind of life Chanel lead, and the story was a fun, quick read. I think this would be a perfect beach blanket read – though I will warn you it’ll give you a major itch to do some thrift store shopping!

 

5 Great Fashion Books for Chic Summer Reading

How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are: Love, Style, and Bad Habits
by Anne Berest, Audrey Diwan, Caroline De Maigret, and Sophie Mas

While Ines’ book focuses on giving women advice on how to dress like a true Parisienne, this book gives us a roadmap on how to be a true Parisienne. These four amazing women show us how to live the chic, carefree life of a Parisienne – from how to answer a phone (hint: it involves not answering), what to wear (or not wear), and romance (like how to convince him you might have a lover). The book contains a lot of fun images, and has that snarky humor that Parisian women are well known for. I read this book in an afternoon, and it’s one I could easily re-read when I’m feeling like a totally dumb, overly stressed-out American. Their general consensus is that Parisian women are always cool, relaxed, and only mildly passionate about the world around them – or at the very least, can easily trick everyone into thinking they are.

 

5 Great Fashion Books for Chic Summer Reading

 I’ll Drink to That: A Life in Style, with a Twist
by Betty Halbreich

I picked this book up at the library on a whim recently, and tore through it over a few evenings. Halbreich grew up a wealthy debutante in Chicago, before getting married and begrudgingly moving to New York. After her marriage fell apart, and a few failed attempts at finding the right job, she ended up as a personal shopper (and therapist to the rich and famous) at Bergdorf Goodman, where she is still working well into her 80s. As a woman trying to find her place in a world that wasn’t always welcome to working women (especially those who are wealthy enough to not need a job), she paved the way for women to be taken seriously in retail. I enjoyed her biting sense of humor, and determination to make it as a professional powerhouse in spite of her upbringing.

 

5 Great Fashion Books for Chic Summer Reading

Grace: A Memoir
by Grace Coddington

I’ll admit that I avoided this book for a long time, simply because when it came out, it showed up in almost every fashion blog I was reading. Anything that popular I tend to take with a grain of salt, mostly because on more than one occasion, I’ve been left disappointed by book that people tell me I “absolutely must read right now!” I will say, however, I was pleasantly surprised by this autobiography. After watching The September Issue, like many people I found myself rooting for Coddington, the quirky creative director at Vogue. I enjoyed her foul-mouthed, no-holds-barred attitude, and her book definitely has plenty of that (though maybe not so much of the foul-mouth part). While this book appears to be a long tome, it’s full of Grace’s own illustrations, photos from her old modeling days, and so many short stories about her years in modeling and magazines that it’s another quick, fun read I’d suggest for a day at the beach. It’s also another beautiful book that would look amazing on any bookshelf (if you’re into that sort of thing).

 

If you have any other suggestions, feel free to leave a comment! I’m always looking for new books to add to my list!