Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Back-to-School Giveaways Part 4: $30 to Le Mode Accessories

Picnik collage

This week, you have the chance to win $30 to Le Mode accessories to spend as you like. They have loads of chunky necklaces, delicate earrings, bangles, and bags that will fit at least half a dozen books :) I'd go for the emerald necklace above and I'd wear it with jeans and a white tee (simple and pretty).
To enter, check out Le Mode and leave a comment below.
For an extra entry, you can leave a comment if you follow Le Mode on facebook or on twitter.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Out of the Office

DSCF0971
(picture by Emily)

I'm out west for a week, visiting good friends and my favorite coast and enjoying a break from the city. I'll be back next Tuesday, full of vim and vigor and new posts.
In the meantime, I'll still have back to school giveaways going. If you want to see what I wore this weekend, go here! And if you want to read about more nerdiness, head over here!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Lengthy

navymint

navymint

navymint
works cited: j.crew shirt; thrifted skirt; target shoes; hand-me-down necklace

Although the days are getting shorter, a couple things in my life are growing longer these days. For example: hemlines. I thrifted this skirt and decided against chopping it since aren't longer hemlines in these days (at least, I hope so because the look is kind of growing on me)?  Secondly: my dissertation, an area of my life clearly benefiting from my lack of friends/social life in DC. Thirdly: my weekend! Christopher's twin brother (and my beloved friend) was in town for the weekend so I took a break from blogging and everything else to spend time with them. Hope you had a great weekend!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Eat My Shorts, Real Simple

eat my shorts, real simple

eat my shorts, real simple

eat my shorts, real simple

eat my shorts, real simple
works cited: thrifted dress, belt, and loafers

Do you like heeled loafers? I was pretty wishy-washy on them until I saw this picture in a Real Simple magazine that I was flipping through in a waiting room. I really like the way the shoes were styled and suddenly I could imagine wearing them (but definitely not for the ridiculous prices at which most shoe stores sell them). A few weeks later, I stumbled upon these loafers (Italian leather! stacked heel! actually comfortable for walking in a city!) on a thrift expedition with Emily, and I happily realized I could recreate the styling of the Real Simple outfit entirely from thrifted items. This is a rare triumph for me, sweetened by the fact that Christopher surprisingly loves these shoes as much as I do. Happy day!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

[CLOSED] Back-to-School Giveaways Part 3: Win $50 to Ruche

16

This week, you have the chance to win $50 to one of my favorite online shops, Ruche. Their clothes are affordable and beautiful. To enter, pick out your favorite item on Ruche and leave a comment below. For an extra entry, you can like Ruche on facebook. I'll pick a winner next week--good luck!
Update: the lucky winner is #391: Jordann!

A Tidbit About Teaching Online

pink + rust

pink + rust
works cited: anthro skirt; thrifted brooks shirt (actually pale pink in real life); madewell sweater; steve madden boots; target belt

I'm feeling more or less back to myself today--enough to get dressed and share one funny tidbit about teaching online. My class "meets" twice a week in an "virtual classroom," in which we can type messages, transmit video or audio, and draw on a virtual whiteboard. Although I really miss interacting with students face to face, one of the unexpectedly great things about the online classroom is that when I lecture into my microphone, I can imagine that all my students are rapt with attention on the other side of their computers. In a conventional classroom, there is always someone who stayed up too late studying and is nodding off in class as you talk (disheartening, even when you know the student can't help it). But in an online classroom, I let my imagination run wild and believe that all my students are ramrod straight in their chairs, devotedly taking notes. It's a great perk :)

skirt

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Senioritis

planet of the apes

planet of the apes
works cited: BDG jeans; steve madden flats; UO sweater; ruche necklace; old navy trench

Turns out I am feeling a little under the weather, so here is an outfit from last weekend, when Christopher and I went to Baltimore to see my grandparents, who were in town for the weekend. Christopher would be horrified to know that I greatly admired much of the style I saw among my grandparents' friends--piles of jewelry, big plaids, head-to-toe monochrome. I love that so many vintage styles are back in stores (and of course, in thrift stores on the cheap); all the old ladies on the street look especially stylish these days.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Rocky Road

rocky road

rocky road

rocky road
works cited: gap pants; target boots and tee; thrifted jacket; h&m bag; nobletown vintage earrings and bracelet from christopher

Unable to decide whether my stuffy head is the result of a cold or of allergies, I realized that there's only one cure for symptoms stemming from a mystery cause: ice cream. A few bites of Rocky Road were pretty restorative, as were these pajama-like clothes. Nothing like stretchy pants, stretchy tee shirt, cotton jacket and boots to make you feel like taking a nap on the world.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Bleary-Eyed

bleary eyed

bleary eyed
works cited: madewell jeans and sweater; target tee; danskos; thrifted belt; awesome nobletown vintage earrings impossible to see in photos

The cooler weather has arrived and with it, my allergies. I'm so puffy-faced and bleary-eyed today that I look like I've been on a several-day crying jag. As a grad student, this provides me the convenient opportunity to perform my work/suffering by claiming that I stayed up all night working, in the manner of Benjamin Franklin leaving his lights on so the neighbors should think he worked later than they did. Let's hope my sniffling doesn't give me away.
P.S. This outfit inspired by this image of black and white stripes + rust color. Incidentally, her entire blog is just as rad as that photo.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

[CLOSED] Back-to-School Giveaways Part 2: Win a Dress from Five Bamboo!

fivebamboo

For part 2 of the back-to-school giveaway bonanza, you have the chance to win a dress from Five Bamboo, one of my favorite places to buy environmentally-sustainable, ethically-produced wardrobe basics. Five Bamboo clothes are buttery soft and well-made, plus, they are a small company based in Seattle, my favorite city ever. They're offering one reader a new dress of her choice: the Adelie dress (left) or the Holliday dress (right).
To enter, visit Five Bamboo, and leave a comment below that includes which dress you'd pick if you won. I'll pick a winner next week!
Update: the lucky winner is Rebecca.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Hip Hip-opotamus!

river horse

river horse

river horse
works cited: dress c/o ruche; gap jacket; target sliver wedges; breda watch

Since Christopher and I began dating, we've had a beloved, too-inside-to-explain joke about hippos. He got me a stuffed hippo for our first Valentine's day together; we went to the Chicago zoo expressly to see the hippos; whenever he goes away on trips, he draws me pictures of hippos with hearts around them (sounds weird when I write it down but it's actually really funny and sweet); and over the years, we've read so much about hippos that we both know a staggering amount of useless information about the animal (for example, did you know hippos are responsible for more human deaths than any other mammal?). So when I saw this dress at Ruche, Christopher begged me to get it. What could be more perfect than a pretty dress that also makes you laugh?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Granny Chic

accidental granny

accidental granny

accidental granny
works cited: vintage thrifted dress and watch; madewell sweater; UO flats; bag from NPR

I inadvertently dressed like a granny yesterday--this dress probably belonged to an 80 year-old before I picked it up at Goodwill and this sweater has elbow patches. [It's so cold in the Library of Congress reading room, I need a wool sweater even when it's 80 degrees outside. The last few times I've gone, I've just sat there shivering.] Despite these pragmatic justifications of granny apparel, I also must admit that looking like a member of the AARP feels fitting, as it reflects my other young-granny tendencies--my habits of crooning "early to bed, early to rise!" to anyone who will listen; shaking my fist at young people in the street (mostly when they are about to run me over on my bicycle); my love for clunky shoes with arch support; an appreciation for old movies, actual books, and reading the paper on a paper rather than a screen; and a fear of things with wires, plugs or the word "gigabyte" anywhere near them. Grannies have got it going on, if you ask me :)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Germophobia

sunday

sunday

sunday
works cited: loft dress; gap denim jacket; h&m bag; UO flats; bracelet from j. crew outlet

Have you seen the movie Contagion? Naturally I'll wait for Annie's assessment before I make my final verdict but it appealed to me as a disaster-movie lover and the spawn of a public health professional and a doctor. Also, I was thrilled that everyone washed their hands extra-carefully in the bathroom afterward because I'm secretly anxious about germs in public places (I blame cancer; I once had a weak immune system so I'm a life-long paranoiac about sanitation). Have you seen it/do you have any other good movie recommendations? Speaking of cancer, do you think 50/50 will be any good?

Friday, September 9, 2011

[CLOSED] Back-to-School Giveaways Part 1: Thread Case

The back-to-school season feels a little like Christmas to any nerd worth her salt, so to celebrate, I've set up a big old series of September-October-back-to-school giveaways to put a little pep in your step, whether you're starting another year of college, heading back to graduate school, or just inclined to pick up some pencils and fresh notebooks to commemorate the season. First up: Thread Case!

happyhearts

Thread Case sells both vintage and contemporary pieces and is offering the chance to win this sweet heart purse. Go check them out and leave a comment below. I'll pick a winner at random next week.
Update: the lucky winner is GwenStella.

North by Northwest

the other nerd

the other nerd

the other nerd
works cited: anthro skirt and earrings; top c/o ruche; belt from old navy; dansko clogs :)

I actually wore this on Wednesday when I went to meet Emily to check out a few DC thrift stores. Emily is a seasoned world traveler and arrived with maps, a comprehensive list of DC thrift stores, and a compass; I was just dead weight who mooched off her planning. However, lest you think the fates would let Emily's meticulousness go unnoticed, I will report that the very first thing she absent-mindedly laid her hand on at our first stop was a silk DVF dress. The girl's got magic powers. And she knows a thing or two about sensible shoes.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Sensible Shoes

sensible shoes

sensible shoes
works cited: dress c/o spotted moth; dansko clogs; thrifted belt and bag

These shoes are incredibly practical, provide good arch support, and are comfortable for miles of walking, which makes me suspect they could be categorized by my mother's aphorism about her closet: "never in style, never out of style." But Christopher told me the danskos were his favorite pair in my closet, and THEN two 13 year-old girls stopped me on the street and complimented my shoes, asking me where I got them, and THEN my super-chic tattooed hair-cutter was wearing a pair of open-toed Danskos. Plus, they've been on the Sartorialist. Have the tides turned? Are sensible shoes acceptable--nay, perhaps even stylish--in public? Or am I skewed by being in the company of nerds?
P.S. They no longer make this exact style, but here are three others I like as much if not more than my own pair: 1, 2, 3.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Round of Applause for the Weather

A Round of Applause for the Weather

A Round of Applause for the Weather

A Round of Applause for the Weather
works cited: thrifted jacket; lands end canvas dress; thrifted belt; steve madden boots; thrifted bag (are you getting sick of it yet?); socks c/o american apparel; breda watch

I know some people find discussions of the weather boring, however, I am not in their camp. I grew up in the Bay Area, where for several months in the 7th grade, I thought the thermometer on my REI backpack was broken (turns out it is always 65 degrees, whether it is June or January). In short, weather was boring growing up because there was no weather. Subsequently, my mother (East coast native) and I developed an obsession with extreme weather and would spend hours watching the Weather Channel and going to see every bad natural disaster movie Hollywood released in the 1990's (Twister, Dante's Peak, The Day After Tomorrow). In the past few years, I've been living in parts of the country where the weather actually varies, which is a source of great joy to my mother, who frequently has me describe the current weather patterns to her over the phone. Ergo, she is always the first person to get my text message photo of the recent snowfall or to stay on the phone with me while I hunker down in the basement during a tornado and she checks the radar on the weather channel, safe behind her desk in overcast 65-degree Berkeley weather. East coast weather is endlessly fascinating to me because it is so variable, and I've come to love the changing leaves in the fall and the surprise winter snowstorms and the super-hot summer days. But on days like yesterday--65 degrees and cozily rainy--I think maybe Berkeley wouldn't be a bad place to end up after all.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Friendspiration

friendspiration

friendspiration
works cited: dress c/o spotted moth; anthro sweater; UO flats; thrifted bag (which Sue tells me is a kyondo and the tag tells me made in Kenya, where hopefully in its first life was a fair-trade bag)

I wore this over the weekend when I was celebrating the last few days of summer--white dresses! bike rides in the park! a trip to Eastern Market! eating on open air patios!--and while I'm not particularly invested in the white-or-no-white after labor day rules (snooze), I do feel a little less inclined to wear my summery white dresses once it gets into September and I'm in the mood for a different color palette. On another note, I shamelessly copied my friend from grad school (miss you, M.) who bought this dress in navy blue and looked so smashing in it that I had to have one of my own. Friendspiration is the best inspiration, if you ask me. Hope you had a lovely weekend; I have so much fun stuff coming up this month on this blog that I can't wait to share! XO

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Difficulty of Getting Dressed

the difficulty of getting dressed

the difficulty of getting dressed
works cited: tee c/o five bamboo; handmade skirt (pattern here); thrifted belt, bag, and wedges; necklace from etsy (c/o little o by wolfbrother); earrings a gift from christopher (handmade at boneyard pottery)

One of the ideas I've been brooding over lately is how difficult it can be to shop/dress ethically. Tuesday's post and the conversations that ensued were very thought-provoking and made me realize one of the major obstacles standing between me and 100% ethical clothes shopping is that being an ethical shopper of clothing is time-consuming, expensive, and difficult in a way other consumer activism is not. It's easy and fun to ride my bike instead of drive; and it's cheaper and more delicious to go to the farmer's market than the grocery store; but it takes a lot of time, research, and money to buy clothing ethically. Today's outfit feels more or less ethically-sound (handmade, environmentally-conscious, thrifted, etc.) but it took more research, time, and resources to locate these garments than it would have to walk into the nearby Gap and buy the cheap tee and jeans that fit. This leaves me wondering: are there any shortcuts for shopping ethically? Five Bamboo, for instance, has really great basic tees, dresses, and undergarments that are ethically-produced and reasonably-priced. Thrifting is cheap but takes dedication and time. Handmade clothes (like Megan's or Emerson Made) are a great way to go, but not easy on the pocketbook. If accessibility is the number one obstacle standing between a consumer and an ethical shopping choice, the lazy and busy part of me wants to know: how do you make ethical clothes-buying easier?
P.S. And because this post was a little heavy, here's a few things on the lighter side: lobsters! a nerdy mug! hermoine! better book titles (the most hilarious website ever)!
Update: Loren suggests this website as a great place to start doing research: better world shopper, for grades on a lot of major clothing brands.