Thursday, July 28, 2011

Substitute Wheels

i did it myself

i did it myself

i did it myself
works cited: thrifted skirt and belt; volcom sandals; F21 top; bicycle tote from etsy

Now that the house is packed up, the van is gone, I have moved our suitcases and cats into the place we're staying for the next week or two and Christopher is signing a lease on an apartment in D.C., I can exhale. I can also do the hours and hours of work that have piled up while we packed boxes and stressed out over apartment listings. I've been on campus a lot having meetings and grading presentations, so I've been in the mood for comfortable, keep-cool basics. My favorite part of this outfit is probably the bicycle tote, which I've been hauling around almost everywhere the past few days. Because my bicycles are in the moving van and I've been missing them, I have to substitute my real wheels for my printed ones (and comfortable shoes for walking everywhere I used to bike).

Summer Book Recommendations

oct1

Acks, this summer has been so busy that I've really fallen down on my book recommendation posts. So here is a belated list of some great, extra-long-for-the-beach, not-too-meaty-but-certainly-not-frivolous summer reads:

The Woman in White (Wilkie Collins)--a big fat Victorian mystery novel that you could devour in a matter of days or read bits at a time for a month. It's a great book for readers who love a compelling plot, but need something 100 IQ points smarter than the vampires who shalt not be named.

Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)--this seems like an obvious/easy recommendation for many reasons, but it's a wonderful, complicated, political, heart-wrenching book. I've read it several times but most recently, I had forgotten how quickly it takes you in and I read all 600-plus pages in a single day, unable to wrench myself from away.

The Emperor's Children (Claire Messud)--a novel on the light side, but there are some funny moments and fairly snappy writing throughout. It's an easy read and though it's self-indulgent at times, the moments of humor make up for it (at least for me).

Have you read anything good lately? I also just checked out The History of Love from the public library, because I'd read a few good reviews of it, but the jury is still out. Have you read it?

P.S. The Man Booker Prize longlist was announced on Tuesday; it's one of my favorite places to poach great contemporary reading recommendations.

P.P.S. Where do you go for book reviews? I used to read The New York Times but then I read a scathing review of Ian McEwan's beautifully-written On Chesil Beach followed by a glowing review of the sack-of-crap novel Commencement, so I've all but given up on its judgments.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Security Blanket

security blanket

security blanket

security blanket
works cited: american apparel skirt; top c/o ruche; thrifted belt; volcom sandals

I've really gotten a style security blanket going this summer with this belt and sandals--between the heat and the lifting of book boxes, I keep defaulting to what is comfortable (and, uh, accessible on the floor of the bedroom). Part of me feels obliged to keep things interesting, but the other (more haggard) part of me is okay with sticking with what's working. At least until we get moved in and I'm not picking my clothes out of a suitcase on the floor :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Chop Chop

chop chop

chop chop
works cited: h&m dress; volcom sandals; thrifted belt

Christopher is apartment-hunting in DC this week while I finished packing the house and grading for my summer courses. Sadly, this means I'm on my own for outfit pictures...and since my boyfriend has gotten pretty good at snapping the photos, I have let my photography muscles atrophy pathetically. Thus, while I dream of taking my own photos with the aplomb of the very talented Monkey Face, I fear that I can barely ensure that the top of my head will be in the frame. To segue at random, I have a question: I'm not sure this dress really suits me, even though am kind of getting on board the longer-skirt/dress trend. I think this particular dress is not quite long enough, so I thought I might chop it below the bust, add an elastic waist and make it into a (longer) skirt. What say you? I'm indecisive and would love your input.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Heidi Called; She'd Like Her Hairdo Back Now

thursday

thursday
(somewhat awkward close-up but at least you can see the earrings)

thursday
works cited: dress c/o ruche; UO flats; bag and earrings from etsy

After I got dressed today, I realized that this outfit reminds me a lot of Emily--braided hair, simple dress, artsy earrings. These somewhat silly milkmaid braids have become my favorite hot-weather hairstyle because I can do them when I haven't washed my hair in a few days (which feels like all the time this week), and they keep my heavy hair off my neck. At first, I felt a little bit costume-y wearing them, but now that I've gotten used to looking like my day job is herding cows on a mountaintop in Switzerland, I've really grown fond of them.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Shop My Closet on Smashion

We're downsizing quite a bit next year, so I'm culling my belongings and selling a few things on Smashion, including these skirts and dresses. I'm desperate to get rid of things so everything is cheap (i.e. under $10). Anything that doesn't sell by Saturday is going to Goodwill, so move fast if you see something you like. You're welcome to email me with any questions--and thank you!

Picnik collage

P.S. Smashion is having a great big giveaway on facebook where as more people "like" Smashion, the giveaway pot gets bigger and bigger. More details here.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Lookin' Good, Jeanne Calment

hot hot hot

hot hot hot

hot hot hot
works cited: j. crew skirt, belt and bracelet; ruche top; UO flats

Even though linen wrinkles like a Sphynx cat, it keeps a girl cool. And because walking out my front door feels more or less like stepping into a hot tub fully clothed, I could look like I'm wearing a supercentenarian and I wouldn't care, as long as it didn't make me any hotter than I already am. Today, I had the luxury of getting dressed because 1. I had office hours on campus and thus had to see other human beings; 2. my jean shorts are starting to keep their shape even after I take them off, and it's beginning to alarm me.

Monday, July 18, 2011

During Cleaner, Happier Days

lookbook

lookbook

lookbook
works cited: top and wedges c/o ruche; homemade skirt (instructions here); j. crew belt

Ruche's new summer lookbook is out and this top is one of the new pieces in the shop (if you haven't checked out Ruche's lookbooks, you should--the photography is gorgeous and they often have great literary references). This summer, my budget has been really tight so I've tried to stay away from temptation (i.e. online browsing) but I was delighted when they offered me a sneak peak from the new lookbook and a piece of my choice. To keep it real, I went for this top, which was affordable and seemed versatile--and it's good quality and even more beautiful in person. And as you may be able to tell by my clean hair in the above photos, these pictures were taken pre-packing. I do not currently look so put-together :)
P.S. Extended swooning over Ruche thanks to my immeasurably huge desire to be lying by a pool in Arizona rather than packing right now :)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Goodbyes: 1; Boxes Packed: 0

Goodbyes: 1; Boxes Packed: 0

Goodbyes: 1; Boxes Packed: 0

Goodbyes: 1; Boxes Packed: 0
works cited: loft dress; seychelles sandals (via 6pm on saaaaale); target belt; photos by the lovely jessica

When I said we're moving on short notice, I mean really short notice. There's not a box in our house today and we have to be moved out of this place and in D.C. by August 1st. While I should probably be wearing mesh shorts and hyperventilating over how much there is to do, I've been trying to get a little work done and say goodbye to people before I turn into the box-packing, frantic, cranky version of myself. Yesterday, I took a break from grading to have one last coffee date with Jessica, who always gives me that warm feeling in my heart and was also kind enough to take these photos while singing Right Said Fred to me.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Goodbye Midwest, Hello D.C.!

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This week, Christopher was offered an amazing job in Washington D.C. and we've decided to move there! I am on a dissertation fellowship for the next year, so this is an unusually flexible moment in my graduate career and I'm thrilled at the thought of writing my dissertation in proximity to the Library of Congress. It's bittersweet to leave good friends and an area of the country we've both loved so much, but we are both excited for the next step in our lives.
We're moving on very short notice and neither of us know the city at all so I would love any advice, suggestions, insight about living in D.C. if anyone has it. Do you know great neighborhoods to live in? Do you know any other humanities grad students who might need a dissertation buddy? What's the best bookstore in town?
Thank you so much for being the best readers on earth xoxo

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Repeat After Me

repeat after me

repeat after me

repeat after me
works cited: emersonmade dress; thrifted belt; old F21 earrings; volcom sandals

Many of the blogs I read express an interest in wearing and re-wearing pieces of clothing in a variety of different ways (mine is no exception). I like figuring out different ways to wear a top or dress or fun pair of wedges, and  I love getting ideas about how to wear old pieces in new ways. It makes my closet feel bigger. But I think there's also something to be said about wearing garments you love and feel great in on repeat. The other day, I was talking on the phone with my most stylish friend (yes you, Jen) who said to me, "I repeat the same outfit or the same kind of outfit all the time. And I look good all the time because of it." Jen is excruciatingly careful about the pieces that she adds to her wardrobe, and everything in her closet is beautiful, high-quality, and fits her perfectly. And she does look great all the time, because everything she wears suits her, even if she wears the same pieces on repeat. It made me think about this dress, which is beautifully-made and always makes me feel pretty. I've worn it a lot on the weekends and to special events this summer but haven't made an effort to photograph it because I've worn it almost the same way every time. Although I may not be particularly innovative about how I wear this dress, I'd like to think innovation isn't always the object when getting dressed, especially when I feel great wearing it, no matter how many times I repeat.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Confessions of an Accessories-Phobe

confessions of an accessory-phobe

confessions of an accessory-phobe

confessions of an accessory-phobe
works cited: j. crew skirt; gap tee; necklace c/o le mode; clark wedges

While belts are my most beloved style accessory (if by "accessory" you mean "crutch on which I am hopelessly dependent"), other add-ons like necklaces, bracelets, and summer scarves continue to intimidate me. This year, I have become affectionate with chunky necklaces, but still wearing any other kind of accessory with one feels like overkill to my accessory-deprived sensory system, despite how much I might like the look on other people. Today's necklace, for instance, I love, but requires me to remove every other piece of jewelry before I feel comfortable. I guess I am a one-accessory kind of lady, monogamous to my single piece of flair. Let's just say Coco Chanel's advice--"look in the mirror and take one thing off"--would leave an accessory-phobe looking even more vanilla than she is typically prone to.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Copy-Paste

copy paste

copy paste

copy paste
works cited: old navy tee; target skirt; thrifted belt; volcom sandals

Among Katherine's recent spree of killer outfits was this neutral monochrome look, which I mentally bookmarked for copy-pasting. Granted, mine is the impecunious grad student version of her more elegant ensemble, but I loved the idea of pairing this gray-green skirt with a similar color tee. It's simple, comfortable, and makes me feel put-together without being overdressed. Living in a small town (not a style mecca the way a city might be) means that I am always looking for outfits which make me feel stylish but not completely over-the-top. The truth is, while high fashion kind of fascinates me, I've always been much more interested in what is wearable for everyday life. What say you all? Do you follow Fashion with a capital "f" or do you mostly try to look just a little cuter than the average Joe on the street?

Friday, July 8, 2011

Tania's Outfit in Sketches



june 26

june 26

As I mentioned a couple weeks back, one of my new favorite blogs is My Closet in Sketches, where the exceptionally talented and intimidatingly-well-dressed Lauren sketches her outfits of the day. Then to my delight, Lauren wrote and asked if I'd like her to do a guest sketch of one of my outfits. Naturally I squealed aloud (embarrassing) and then sent her some pictures of a never-before-seen outfit from a few weekends back. Then she drew up this gorgeous sketch in which my legs look twice as long as they do in real life. Thank you so so much for taking the time to do the sketch, Lauren! You're one talented gal and I love the sketch.
P.S. I highly, highly recommend checking out Lauren's blog; it's different than a lot of other blogs out there and you just may get as addicted as I am.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Good Idea is to Have Very Talented Friends

P1060008

P1060017

megan nielsen
works cited: megan nielsen dress; mommed belt; target clogs

This outfit owes its inspiration to a few places: the first, of course, is my friend Megan. Megan designed this dress, is wicked talented, and also happens to be the sweetest person on the entire internet (this is an objective truth, I'd say). I got to meet her in person last year when she and her good-looking family were moving across the country and since then, we've stayed in close touch and she's always the first person I reach out to when I have a blog question (or occassionally a blog woe). And these shoes kind of freak me out, because I feel like they are a little too cool for me, but Elaine and Linda both rock them and so I'm trying to take a cue from them and be a little less afraid of cool shoes. And lastly, I put this image on my inspiration board several weeks ago and was reminded just how beautiful a blue dress and some brown accessories can be. Sometimes, I think simple outfits are just the best.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Soccer: 0; Library: 1

purple

purple

purple
works cited: thrifted skirt; tee c/o five bamboo; UO flats and belt; necklace c/o le mode

When I was in middle school and my dad was still cajoling me into playing sports, my soccer team's colors were purple and white. Now, every time I wear purple and white together, I think fondly back to the Highlanders and to the many games I spent standing on the fields staring into the trees and thinking about Laura Ingalls Wilder or Sandra Cisneros or whatever book I was reading at the moment . Impressively, I was hardly disturbed by the ball or my teammates whizzing by me. Team athlete, I was not, but I made up for it by being very popular with the school librarians.

[CLOSED] Giveaway: Win a Dress from La Posh!

laposh

This week you have a chance to win a dress from La Posh Style, a new sponsor. La Posh is offering one reader the dress of her choice from their store. My favorite is the rose a la mode dress (above left).
To enter, let me know which dress you'd pick from La Posh and leave a comment below. Please include an email address or a way to find you.
For an extra entry, you can "like" La Posh on facebook and leave a separate comment letting me know.
I'll pick a winner next week--good luck!
Update: the lucky winner is #16: Cora!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

See You Next Year, 4th of July

happy holiday hangover

happy holiday hangover

happy holiday hangover
works cited: target dress, volcom sandals

This weekend, between some pretty epic sessions grading on my laptop, I did get out of the house for a little fun--an afternoon trip to the pool; a so-bad-it's-good movie at the drive-in theater; playing with sparklers and eating homemade red, white, and blue popsicles on the porch. I wasn't in the mood to fuss with my clothing and it's been fairly warm, so a cotton dress and flat leather sandals felt just right.

Picnik collage
(Very original 4th of July celebrations)
P.S. It was such a riot reading and talking with you other grad students/academics/neurotics on Friday's post. I kept cracking up and wishing we could have a virtual study date together. Nerds unite!

Friday, July 1, 2011

A Very Merry Grad Student Weekend

very merry grad student

very merry grad student

very merry grad student
works cited: dress c/o ruche; j. crew cardigan and belt; target flats

If there's anyone left on the internets late on a Friday afternoon before a 3-day weekend, I have two things to say: I'm sorry that you're not outside and this is what I'm wearing today. The reason I am still shackled to my laptop late in the day is because I have loads of work to do in the next week. An academic schedule is a flexible one, but its flexibility is accompanied by the merciless you-should-always-be-working grad student voice. "Shall we go tubing?" says fun Tania. "How about you finish reading those articles first," says grad student voice. "How about barbecuing in the backyard?" suggests fun Tania. "But don't you want to finish grading that stack of papers?" the grad student voice counters. Worst of all is when fun Tania suggests taking an afternoon off. That's when grad student voice pulls out the big guns, "I bet [insert any other neurotic grad student colleague's name here] has been working since dawn." She's a slave driver, I tell you.
P.S. More of this sweater:
sweater