Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Stolen Goods

Tues

Tues
works cited: UO pants; gap shirt; steve madden boots; DIY necklace from this tutorial

Pairing denim with the red pants was entirely inspired by this picture of Natalie from the other day. I don't have her excellent accessory--a chubby-cheeked red-headed baby--but I do have a very silly necklace made of pipes from the hardware store (not quite the same, right?). Speaking of Natalie, nothing made me laugh harder (or feel more relieved) during our apartment hunt earlier this summer than this post. The reference to Azkaban sent me into a paroxysm of giggles.
P.S. DC fall weather is out of this world. 62 at the end of November! Should've moved here years ago...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Holiday Magic

holiday magic

holiday magic

holiday magic
works cited: vintage thrifted christian dior sweater (yes you read that right...booyah!); anthro skirt; thrifted oxfords and watch; necklace from who knows where in high school

Just before Thanksgiving, freshly-relocated Carrie and I went to Unique Thrift, this crazy gigantic Wal-Mart sized thrift store in Virginia. I've been super-careful with my budget this fall but have been itching for a thrift store trip to spice up my winter closet a bit. Santa must have known I've been good this year, because I stumbled upon this Christian Dior striped sweater right away. It's quirky and in perfect condition and 3 dollars later and it was mine, all mine. Now that's what I call holiday magic.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Shine On

Shine On

Shine On

Shine On

Shine On
works cited: UO skirt; j. crew sequin tank; cardigan from jeremy's in berkeley; target scarf and boots; hue sweater tights; thrifted belt

The day after Thanksgiving seems to be the marker of the beginning of the holiday season, so yesterday I broke out my festive-and-much-neglected sequin tank top which Jenna Lyons told me to buy last winter swearing by its versatility which I have yet to discover adequately. However, I did see a really cute girl a few months back wearing a sequin tank top with a similar-toned scarf and cardigan, and it seemed to mellow out the sequins a bit by blending them into a neutral color palette. I tried her trick yesterday and liked it, even if I ended up looking a bit like a brown bear preparing for a disco ball. The weather was gorgeous, so I rode my bike to Georgetown to meet Kelsey, Eric, and Megan for lunch and to do a little holiday shopping for family members. Then I lugged my sparkly self back up the hill for a quiet evening preparing for the madness of end-of-term grading, dissertation editing, and freelance work that awaits me in the next few weeks.

Cyber Monday Sponsor Spotlight

For "Cyber Monday," I thought I'd spotlight a few great picks and great deals from the sponsors that help me keep my blog running. I'm unusually particular about sponsors, and try only to pick shops from which I have shopped or would shop on my own. In other words, they tend to be budget-friendly small businesses, often with great missions or ethical underpinnings. Without further ado, here are some of my favorite picks of the holiday season:

cozy
Ruche sweater (left); Hand-knit cowl from Seams to Be(right)
10% off Ruche with code "CYBERMON" and free shipping on all orders over $50

theshiny
Spotted Moth ring (left), Le Mode necklace (right)
10% off Spotted Moth with the code "NERD"; free shipping from Le Mode with code "CYBER"

ethicalpick
Charlotte's Web shirt from Out of Print (left); Five Bamboo fireside cowl (right)

shoes
Ruche sparkly shoes (left); Blowfish Bonvelle boots (right)
25% off everything at Blowfish with the code "CYBER25"

And for the very best deals, Go Chic or Go Home has an amazing link list of over 20 sales and codes, including 30% off GAP, 25% off J. Crew, and 30% off Steve Madden and many others. It's going to take all my willpower to stay away from J. Crew online today! Go here to find the full list.

Or if you're not in the mood to shop at all and you'd like to strengthen your resolve against holiday binge spending, might I send you to this incredible article?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Home Sweet Home

home sweet home

home sweet home

home sweet home
works cited: dress c/o spotted moth; target belt; cardigan c/o five bamboo; snood from etsy (seams to be); steve madden boots; socks a birthday gift from a girlfriend (thanks, Em!); breda watch

We finally made it home from Thanksgiving travels this evening, after being bumped from our flight in Atlanta yesterday night (free flight vouchers, come to mama!). I have to admit that DC feels even more like home after being away. The weather was balmy tonight, so Christopher and I dropped off our bags, changed our clothes, and wandered around Adams Morgan for several hours. Our empty fridge and "small business Saturday" gave us two good excuses to try the new pizza place on 18th. As it turns out, Mellow Mushroom is a small franchise so I'm not really sure it counts for small business Saturday, but since when did a girl need an excuse for Saturday night pizza, anyway?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Travel Uniform

travel uniform

travel uniform
works cited: gap pants; j. crew outlet chambray shirt; thrifted jacket; scarf from a street stand in london; target boots; moby dick bag c/o out of print

After my last few trips, I have finally settled on a travel uniform and I wear this pretty much every time I get on a plane now. Personally, comfort is my number one priority when I'm flying and I'm nettled by fashion websites trying to make over people in airports wearing yoga pants and putting them into stiff button-ups and tight jeans instead. If flying were glamorous like it once was, I'd understand the demand for snazzy apparel. But air travel these days is just a preview of the fires of hell--endless security lines, being stripped down and having to unpack your whole suitcase and repack it asfastaspossible because of the crush in the security line; a million delays and cancellations; having three layovers so your flight is cheaper; everyone and their mother bringing their crammed-full suitcases as carry-ons--so when I see people in yoga pants and pajamas, I think "smart move, sister." However, I'm not really much for yoga pants in public (except to yoga) so I've come to rely on my fake yoga pants--these gap black pants with a ton of stretch--paired with easy-to-take-on-and-off boots, a super-soft button up, and a big old scarf that doubles as blanket/pillow/personal screen. And of course, a really good book stashed in my bag (right now, this one). And on that note, we're off to spend the holiday with C's family. See you on the flip side!

Monday, November 21, 2011

ineluctable modality of the visible

ineluctable modality of the visible

ineluctable modality of the visible

ineluctable modality of the visible
works cited: ulysses tee (!!) c/o out of print books; UO pants; thrifted loafers; j. crew sweater (gift from my mom)

Big news in my household this week: out of print is finally making Ulysses shirts! For my money, Ulysses is the best novel ever written and last year I spent several weeks reading it aloud at a reading group with friends, which was one of the coolest experiences I've had in grad school. It's a difficult novel but it's also moving and hilarious, and reading it aloud was an incredible way to experience it. I miss my group of modernists and spent most of last week bumming around in this shirt finishing up my chapter draft and missing them. It must have been good energy, because I finally finished the draft I was working on (hurrah!).
P.S. Speaking of books, I did a post on Ruche about good holiday books to curl up with, if you want to check it out.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Comedy of Errors

comedy of errors

comedy of errors

comedy of errors
works cited: gap jeans and cowl; j. crew striped tee; target flats; sweater c/o ruche; bag from NPR; breda watch

It's not even 9 and this has definitely been one of Those Mornings. The comedy of errors mornings. The ones where you haven't posted for three days but now you are outside with your camera and the boyfriend who takes the best photos and he has five minutes to take your picture before he has to bike off to work. And that's when you realize you left your memory card upstairs. You're resilient at first--you'll take pictures using your camera's built-in generous 5-picture limit! But then your camera battery dies. However, you have three photographs! all of which are magically pretty good! and your camera can probably load the pictures onto your laptop even without battery! So you head off for your favorite coffee shop...only to realize you've left your wallet at home once you get there. And yet, serendipitously, by the time you go home to get your wallet and get back, your favorite table by the big sunny window has just opened up, which it never ever does. And the coffee is good, and you're working on your dissertation before 9 a.m. and the sun is shining outside the window. So it seems like there's hope for this morning, which is not so bad after all.
P.S. If you like Ruche as much as I do, they have a new lookbook and it's so cozy it actually makes me excited for winter.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Green Machine

green machine

green machine
works cited: j. crew sweater (old); ruche dress; hue tights; MIA wedges; necklace c/o little o by wolfbrother

A couple weeks ago, Lauren and I went to the Refinery29 launch party (there is a picture of what I wore here, if you'd like to see). While we were there, I spotted this adorable girl wearing a lime green cardigan over a black and white button-up and I was reminded of an almost identical sweater that has been languishing in the back of my closet for years. When I bought it, I thought lime green would be the most versatile color, but it has not proven to be so in practice. What else would one wear it with, besides the obvious neutrals (black, white, gray, navy)?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Rejuvenation

rejuvenation

rejuvenation

rejuvenation
(For that inevitable kind soul concerned if I was cold, or if I had a coat, the answers are no and yes. It was 55 most of the day and above you can view the woolen wonder I was wearing when the temps dropped.)

works cited: target tunic; ll bean sweater; UO pants and world's crappiest flats; h&m coat; triumph bicycle built by christopher; scarf from who knows where; helmet is hanging from my handlebars fear not, mom, i did wear it

This weekend, Christopher and I hopped on our bicycles and went exploring. Even though we've lived in DC for three months, we still haven't made our way to most of the big museums and tourist attractions. So on Saturday, we rode past the White House and toward the Natural History Museum, where we indulged in two big obsessions: weather and hippos. We saw an IMAX documentary about tornadoes and wandered through the mammal exhibit, paying special attention to the river horse on display. In short, it was fun and rejuvenating for the week ahead in which I will finish my chapter draft (if I say it enough and do it on the interwebs, it must be true). I will finish, I will finish, I will finish.... :)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Am I a Snob?

Am I Snob?

Am I Snob?

Am I Snob?
works cited: h&m dress; steve madden boots; hue tights; madewell sweater; thrifted belt and watch

It's a lonely couple of weeks for this nerd, because Christopher has back-to-back work trips and is only in town for three days in two weeks. Luckily I have him in my clutches this weekend and this morning cajoled him outside into the freezing windstorm of our back alley to take pictures. It was an American Beauty-style tornado of garbage outside the back door a few minutes ago. It would have been more beautiful if I weren't so concerned that old McDonald's wrappers were going to swirl onto my head.

P.S. I'm about two-thirds of my way through The Marriage Plot at the recommendation of several comments but, you guys, it's driving me crazy! I know why many recommended it--it's about an English major and it's very self-conscious about listing off all the post-structuralists Eugenides knows, but it's so anxious about proving its knowledge on literary theory that I'm dying to take a red pen to it and slash big sections. While I can be diplomatic in many areas of my life, I can't contain myself when it comes to judging books--I'm hard-won and this novel is driving me nuts. Nevertheless, my compulsion to finish things drives me toward its end where, as a good friend from grad school warns me, I will "want to throw the book against the wall." Have you read it? What did you think? Must I put to myself Woolf's question: am I a snob? (I fear the answer is decidedly yes.)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

More Book Recommendations


The above snap of my bedside table book pile should give some indication of the randomness of my extracurricular reads and the trouble I've had putting together a new coherent post. I read a lot for my dissertation, but rarely do I read books that I think would be perfect recommendations for the everyday voracious reader (unless anyone else has a fascination with 19th century country houses in which case boy do I have lots of books to recommend to you). Nevertheless, I've compiled a list of recent reads which I can recommend with moderate to significant enthusiasm:

The Sense of an Ending (Julian Barnes)--although wildly funny at its beginning, this novella/long essay peters into dark nostalgia in its second half and loses its energy. However, I found it worth it just for the opening chapters, at which I laughed aloud several times. It's also the most recent winner of the Man-Booker prize.

Lolita (Vladimir Nabokov)--I'm re-reading this for the third or fourth time and finding Humbert Humbert just as hilarious, oddly sympathetic, and simultaneously repulsive as I did the first time around. If you haven't read Lolita, you must. It's strange, funny, and makes you capable of feeling sympathy you didn't expect to have.

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (Junot Diaz)--It's a bit self-conscious about how smart it is in moments (a stupid simile about the MLA come to mind), but overall Diaz's novel is a funny and unsentimental portrait of the awkward coming-of-age of its protagonist, Oscar.

I've also read a giant stack of things I wouldn't recommend to any literate person, but this list of funny, sympathetic books definitely made the cut. Have your read anything lately that's so good you'd recommend it?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

D.O.D. 2

monday

monday

monday
works cited: gap jeans and shirt; scarf and bracelets were gifts from friends; target flats; thrifted bag

I've mentioned this once before, but I used to have a joke with a friend about people who would wear head-to-toe denim. We called it D.O.D.--"denim on denim"--and poked a lot of fun about it. Now I'll happily eat my words; there's no easier outfit than jeans and a chambray button-up. At this point, it seems like a given rather than a deviation from the norm, but it's another pretty busy week, so I'll take my shortcuts wherever I can get them. If that means ruthlessly copying myself, Kendi, and Jess, so be it.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Last Friday

friday

friday

friday
works cited: very wrinkled skirt: c/o spotted moth; steve madden boots; madewell cardigan; j. crew button-up; thrifted belt; bicycle tote from etsy; breda watch

I wore this last Friday just before going out of town to the mountains/hills in Virginia for the weekend. I realized after putting it on and walking out the door that it is the twin of this outfit (if it ain't broke, as they say). It was blissful to be out of the city for a few days, and it felt so calming to take hikes and build fires. Unfortunately, my aptitude for mangling technology inflicted itself on my camera and I managed to corrupt my camera's memory card by pulling it out of the computer without ejecting it--so you may be unjustly robbed of the pleasure of seeing me in my woodsy best. Also, this week may be a little low on pictures because Christopher is out of town and I've bungled my camera but I'll see if I can con my good friend who is visiting into taking a few photos. In any case, I have a few back-ups in my pocket plus I'm working on a new (overdue) post on book recommendations :)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Climate Change

climate change

climate change

climate change
works cited: UO skirt; j. crew blouse, belt and cardigan; steve madden flats

Fall in DC has been much milder than its midwest counterpart--at this time last year I couldn't imagine having bare legs, but the high for today is 65 and I'm going to take advantage of it. At some point, I'm sure I'll get soft and a 50-degree morning will feel really chilly. Then I'll start to look like everyone else, bundled in pea coats and scarves. But until I grow soft and easily-chilled in the mild DC climate, I'll milk my recently-relocated-from-a-colder-climate strength and skip tights a few more times.

How Do I Wear Thee: Long Sweaters

Yesterday I was glad to hear that long sweaters are still close to people's hearts. I've been feeling a dip in creativity, but I thought I'd try to get a boost of inspiration by compiling a post of previous wears. Turns out I really love my long gray sweater.

sweaters3
sweater2
sweaters1
sweaters4

The pattern suggests that long sweaters work best over skinny jeans or short dresses and skirts. Once I wore a long sweater over a long skirt, but it turned out to look pretty dumpy (evidence). I'd love to hear your ideas/see your links about long sweaters, if you'd like to share in the comments!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Weather in the Streets

The Weather in the Streets

The Weather in the Streets

The Weather in the Streets
works cited: UO red pants; h&m blouse; thrifted belt; j. crew sweater; bag from NPR; steve madden boots; earrings a gift (from anthro)

"Red pants again?" Christopher said dubiously when I came out of the bedroom this morning. Yes, Christopher, red pants again. These have such high lycra content they are basically red pajamas and secretly it is my goal to feel like I am wearing pajamas while still looking presentable. To non sequitor: are long sweaters still cool? Last fall it felt like no wardrobe was complete without one, but this fall I feel suddenly perplexed about how I am supposed to wear them. But pairing them with my red pajamas pants seems like a place to start.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Fording the River

nov 1

nov 1

nov 1
works cited: secondhand sweater; thrifted skirt and belt; target boots; both bracelets gifts from friends

I found this maxi skirt on an expedition with Emily a few months ago and while I really like it, I've been a little nervous about how to pull it off. If I wear it at my waist, it's just a little short at the bottom, a length I fear makes it fall within the range of What I'd Wear for an Oregon Trail Pilgrimage or possibly Are You Visiting 19 Kids and Counting? So today I just tugged the skirt down to give it extra length, and just to mix things up (har har), belted at the waist. It seems fitting to celebrate a blog anniversary by wearing something I might have balked at a year or two ago (long skirt) with something that's been a staple in an embarrassingly huge number of outfits (belt). And speaking of celebrating, I'm just two fat portfolios away from a finishing a big stack of grading. Hip hip hooray!