Thursday, August 30, 2012

mixing things up.

Photo by Sarah Culver

shirt: Old Navy; skirt: Forever 21 (it is a silk blend!); wedges: DSW; belt: thrifted Coach

Photo by Sarah Culver

Photo by Sarah Culver
I will never forget the first day I realized that the colors in this shirt matched some featured in the skirt.  I think there might've been an audible, "oh YEAH!", muttered under my breath, like I had just read something that seemed true but that I hadn't yet been able to put into words.  It took me a while to work up the courage to actually wear this out in public, however.  It is one thing to mix patterns in a way that seems grown-up, and most people use the word "whimsical" to describe the sorts of outfits that execute pattern mixing well (think Anthropologie or even J. Crew).  It is another thing entirely to look like a five-year-old picked out your outfit, and I suppose I wondered if this particular mixture skewed in that direction.

Either way, I threw it on one day and ventured off to work.  And I adore the way I feel on the days that I wear these pieces together.  I feel fun and alive, youthful but not immature.  It's a good feeling to relish in, and sometimes we all need a bit of whimsy in life, don't you think?

**All photos taken by the SUPER talented Sarah Culver, who I am lucky to call a friend.  :)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

“I think hairstyle is the final tip-off whether or not a woman really knows herself.”
                                                                                                             - Hubert de Givenchy

Monday, August 20, 2012

the hair.

Ever since I was a little girl, my hair has been kind of a big deal.  People would stop my mom at the grocery store to comment on the girls with the "thick, red hair".  My sister and I lucked out in the recessive gene department (she has strawberry blonde hair and blue eyes, I got the auburn hair and green eyes -- thanks Mom and Dad!), and there has been no end to the comments about it since we were kids.

The hair is a mixed blessing, however.  Mine is very thick and wavy, and is riddled with awkward cowlicks.  It took me for-eh-verrrr to learn how to tame it in the slightest, which was especially difficult at a longer length.  It soaked up hair products like a plant that hadn't been watered in weeks.  The natural body and texture can at times make my hair poofy; the cowlicks can make it difficult for stylists to cut.  That said, I have had many different cuts ranging from almost elbow length hair with terrible bangs curled under with a 1" curling iron to collar bone length hair with a center part (bad choice!).

Here, follow me on an adventure through styles past:

This is how my hair was styled throughout most of my undergraduate experience.  I believe I instructed the stylist to give me long layers.  I stupidly washed this everyday, which meant that it was always dry and a little frizzy.  Do you see that slight bump at the crown?  That is natural, folks.  I did not tease my hair.  I brushed it.  On a side note, I really miss those frames.

This is the natural texture of my hair, y'all.  And yes, I do miss having hair this length sometimes.  I kept this angled bob for a while in my last year of undergrad. 

Here I am making an awful face, but my hair is straight.  I had just moved to the east coast to start graduate school and was spending lots of time alone reading, hence the terrifying facial expression here.  
I finally chopped my hair in the winter of 2008 and for some reason started to feel more like myself.  I kept enough length to still wear my hear in its natural state and was reassured in the feeling I had by compliments about how the haircut "looks just right for you".  
This was essentially the same cut as above but with my hair straightened.  Why, yes!  Those are fox "ears"! 
In December of 2008, I decided it was time to go even shorter, so I went in with an asymmetrical cut in mind.  I really liked this cut, but found it difficult to keep up with, so it really only lasted for about three months before I changed things up again.
Every time my hair grows out a little, it gets what I lovingly call "flippy things" around my ears.  In fall of 2009, I was decidedly dealing with hair of a flippy nature.
And this photo begins the quick progression (regression?) to ever shorter hair.  Once I made it here, all I wanted was shorter hair for the ease of styling it.
By the fall of 2010, I was sporting an actual "pixie" cut, which started a strong move towards a different style than I had been sporting before.  Everything I chose was more tailored and much more feminine, probably to offset the boyishness of my hair.  I also started experimenting much more with makeup at this point.
This photo documents the shortest my hair had ever been (up to that point!).  I loved the ease of getting ready but was admittedly self-conscious about exposing so much of my face.
My hair vacillated in between the length in the former photo and what you see here for quite a while.  Around November of 2011, I decided to see what growing out my hair would yield...
And this was as far as I got before deciding that I hated it.  It didn't suit the aesthetic I was going for in my style at all, and despite compliments I was getting from folks, I chopped it all off again in June. 

I am not sure if I will get bored and try to grow it out again in the future.  I cannot imagine cutting it shorter than it is now, but we'll see...

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

so, I went shopping.

Oh, Tax-Free Week...I simultaneously love and hate you.  You always cause me to spend more than I thought I would, but I LOVE what I snapped up today, so I guess it's alright.

We're all on a budget these days, and while I have my share of nicely tailored pieces (mostly found via consignment, eBay, or purchased after months of saving), I can't seem to help picking up items from checking account friendly places like Old Navy, Forever 21, and H&M.  If you know what to look for in terms of construction, material, and cut, I feel like it is possible to make items from these stores last more than one season.  My favorite ponte knit black pencil skirt is something I paid $13 for 3 years ago at F21.  And it looks pretty cute with my grey J.Crew wool blazer, I must say.  

I've been thinking for the last while about what sorts of items I'd like to add to my closet for my favorite season.  My fall wardrobe tends to fall heavily in favor of teals, mustards, wines, and tans, and I kept that in mind as I picked up the items you see above.  I can't wait to mix and match these pieces with what I already have!

Without further ado, here is what I snagged up (clockwise from top left):

Old Navy Rockstar Jeans in Camp Fire wash
Old Navy Rockstar Cords in Aniseed
- I have loved this particular fit in this pant since I discovered it last fall, as they're perfect for tucking into boots or wearing with heels or flats.  They have so many colors in this pant right now -- I encourage you to go try them on for size!
Old Navy Boat-Neck sweater in black/white stripe
F21 basic cream sweater
F21 Essential Sueded Shift Dress
- This dress has the potential to be very versatile.
F21 Double Breasted Knit Blazer (I can't find a link to this...)
F21/Love21 Knee-Length Bodycon Skirt
- So, I'm not sure how work-appropriate this skirt is, but that doesn't mean that I won't try to wear it there.  It's lined and the color is great with browns, greys, or blacks.
F21/Love21 Pintucked Pleats Shirt
F21/Love21 Oversized Y-Neck Top
- I was very excited to find both of these blouses!   I've been looking to incorporate more of these into my wardrobe, and this is a great way to get two colors I adore into further rotation.

I'll likely be purchasing a few other items (like shoes!) in the next couple of months, but I'm really excited about this start to my fall wardrobe!