Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Last of the Twenties.

When you turn 29 (or rather, when I turned 29, yesterday) a lot of people do this thing where they tell you how great your 30s are going to be. Which is fine, and reassuring I suppose, but I sort of don't really care? I mean I do care, sometimes I am stopped and frozen with absolute fear at being in my late 20s and still being pretty unsure about so many things (various articles and think-pieces and quotations from lots of authors spread are applied to the corners of the internet where I lurk in a soothing salve of you are not alones and this is what you're supposed to feel likes), but like the weather there isn't anything to be done about it (and, like the weather, I still talk about it all the time anyway). 

Birthdays are tricky. They stress me out. I love making a fuss about everyone else's, and truthfully the last two birthdays of mine have been absolute winners in pretty much every way. There's just pressure, you know? "Enjoy your day!" or "Have THE BEST birthday!" and I don't know, that sounds ungrateful you know? I don't mean that, just in the end I went happily to work, and it rained a lot so I didn't have to water the plants, mom made pasta and I brought home a cake from work and shared it with some stellar friends. I dressed up for two hours and then threw on my ubiquitous denim shorts and striped shirt for most of the evening. I did enjoy my day, once I let go of the internal pressure to make it something out of the ordinary so it seemed silly to go somewhere besides just around the corner to snap a few outfit shots. 

Birthday dress and undereye circles: this is 29
Dress: J. Crew (current season), Shoes: J. Crew summer 2012, Clutch: J. Crew (I don't know when but a few years ago), Starlette Crown: Giant Dwarf

Getting dressed up and going to Target is a pastime I've been enjoying since high school, when my best friend and I did just that, and were luckily interviewed in the parking lot about summer weather (it didn't actually end up on the news).  

This time I went to pick up a movie, only to realize it's not actually out yet.

Birthday dress and undereye circles: this is 29

Birthday dress and undereye circles: this is 29

Birthday dress and undereye circles: this is 29

I'm pretty bad at walking in these shoes. I've been giving myself a break lately, in heels but of a practical height, and in these my ankles feel like they're made of tums. Every year I'm obsessed with having a birthday dress, even though it doesn't usually make it the whole way, and somehow the blue seemed necessary (bright blues and dusty pinks are all in my mind these days when it comes to just about everything). None of it is vintage, which I always feel a little bit guilty about, but then when you work in a place that sells clothing it infiltrates your wardrobe and sometimes head-to-toe one brand just happens. I'm 29, I'm learning to let go of caring about that kind of thing, sort of.

Birthday dress and undereye circles: this is 29

Birthday dress and undereye circles: this is 29

Birthday dress and undereye circles: this is 29

I'm also trying not to care about things like what my under-eyes are doing, but if anyone has a recommendation for concealers that don't dry out and settle and flake, I am all ears and eyes and wallet (my kingdom for a full night's sleep).

Birthday dress and undereye circles: this is 29

Birthday dress and undereye circles: this is 29

At the end of the day though, I'm pretty happy to do anything (or nothing) in my little star crown, a funny dress, eating nice food with cool people and a little bit wistfully entering my last year as a twenty-something--a phrase I've always been fond of, for unknown reasons. 

Thanks to David for taking my pictures!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Dirty Sneaker Summer.

I've felt weird about blogging lately--not that I have any intentions to stop, but I'm feeling a shift in wardrobing. Suddenly a lot of what I have seems a little too prim, or sweet, things I thought for years I would never give up. I'm suddenly concerned with appearing too 'done', feeling too fussed with. These days are always in the middle of feeling the opposite, ones when I want to pile on the eyeshadow and curl my hair and be all kinds of outfitted. 

That, and after all this time I still hate running around with the self-timer. There are always people around and it just feels so uncomfortable in front of the camera then! It's my main deterrent, that and taking 300 pictures and hating all of them. I'm constantly torn between wanting to keep up with everyone who has such nice shots, good backgrounds and locations, and wanting to just do what I've always done and keep a visual log of my outfits and thoughts regardless of what's going on these days with sponsors and whatnot. 

Sneakers and a dress is just easier
Dress: J. Crew, Shoes: Converse, finally dirty, Bag: Vintage, thrifted, breaking. 

I suppose this is part of why I've been slowly chopping my hair over the last few weeks. Months, if I'm being honest. The last chunk went last week, this sudden moment of cutting clarity finally gaining momentum into what I suppose is the long bob that's been the thing for a year or so now. I just felt like my hair was hanging there, not doing much, and it had to go. Of course I'm struck with moments of But Elves Don't Have Short Hair, because I think I'll never let go of my Tolkien-life dreams, before thinking yeah but you also don't live in Middle Earth, so. 

Sneakers and a dress is just easier

Sneakers and a dress is just easier

I'm fascinated by pinterest hair inspiration boards, all these women with that J. Crew undone, slightly fuzzy, but clearly alive hair tucked behind ears with middle or deep side parts. What potion is happening to make that possible? I've got curls down, pins and rags and curling irons, but straight and un-done is a whole different world to me. My hair texture is none--it's smooth like it's been flat-ironed, so I've already amassed quite a pile of products promising texture and volume. I'm trying not to use heat, just let it do what it wants, but after years of being fussy about all of it, letting go is proving difficult. I didn't even like this dress much when we first got it in at work. And then it went way on sale, and despite my efforts at saving lately, which have been going mostly alright, I thought well, I need something easy to get me through, something to throw on without having to think about it but still look somewhat put together: the saving grace of a summer dress.

Sneakers and a dress is just easier

Sneakers and a dress is just easier

Sneakers and a dress is just easier

It's also pressing towards August, humid 90-degree days and the occasional soupy rain shower, where every day is a different easy dress with sneakers. All my espadrilles are stained by this point, straps on sandals are starting to come apart from wear, these are the grubby days of summer when we're all gulping up whatever golden days we've got left, dirty soles of feet and chlorine dreams.

Thanks to my dad for snapping these for me!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Almost Abandoned.

Roosevelt baths

In the depths of winter a group of gal-pals and I treated ourselves to a Roosevelt Baths visit. It was, in case there was any doubt, a bath-lovers dream. Especially in January, when things are starting to look pretty bleak. Located in a sprawling park, some of the buildings from the baths original incarnation weren't yet remodeled, and the result was that in the distance some of these buildings were sort of creepily institutional. At least, until recently. I've heard that in the somewhat recent past you could get inside and wander around the individual bathing rooms with their 1930s era tubs and tile (which, to be honest is still intact in the houses that are renovated) but inspecting the buildings these days it looks like a new life is in the works for them. Of course the new ones are lovely for actual use, but my old things loving heart gets all aflutter over cracking paint on door frames. 

Bath house explorations
Dress: Vintage via jessjamesjake on etsy, Bag: thrifted, Shoes: Madewell, old. 

The nice thing is a day spent in the park isn't lost at all, and we spent some time wandering the outdoor hallways (what are those even called, really?), lolling about in the grass absorbing some sun, before heading back into town proper to buy candy and baked goods, rounding out the day at dinner with friends. 

Bath house explorations

Bath house explorations

Pretty typical early summer weekend vibes, where I wanna be pretty but unfussy--ending up in this dress maybe more than twice a week. Jess sent me a shot of it on one of her out-of-town thrifting excursions, and I wanted it. Or, I thought I wanted it. I wasn't 100% certain, but I was pretty sure. Trying it on sealed the deal (doesn't it always?) and I brought this beauty home. It's got that nipped-in waist full-skirt thing that makes summer bearable. 

Bath house explorations

Sometimes I'm like, is a dress by itself really an outfit? Is it worth a post? I feel like I need a vest, a jacket, some extra piece to make it worthy. In the end though I'm a sucker for some true-blue this is what I wore realism, that accessible honesty thing it seems like the internet is obsessed with in an authentic hashtag kind of way (I don't mean to sound irritated here--I love all of this stuff) and aren't the clothes someone throws on most often the most interesting? Maybe not. Either way, love this beauty of a dress. 

Bath house explorations

Thanks to this guy for being an obliging photographer and snapping these!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

In Bloom.

And just like that, it's summer. 

Among lilacs

Among lilacs

Maybe not just like that. It's only May, and the early days of it at that, with potential for cooler days looming, but these last two weeks have been full of days in the 80s with brilliant sun. I've already had my first burn of the season (I forgot sunscreen, I forgot about bare arms and forehead freckles) and at home we've pulled the cover off the pool. It's not quite warm enough to go in, but it's all glistening and thirsty sparkles in the sun. I'm making a pool float wish-list. 

Among lilacs
Blouse: Antique (estate sale), Shorts: Allen Company on etsy, Shoes: Old, Sunglasses: H&M (current season)

Among lilacs

Among lilacs

This is the week when everything has popped. Full-fledged leaves are happening, and every flowering tree has exploded with a lush-ness I don't think I've seen in a few years. For once everything is timed together, probably waiting to burst after the coldest winter in ages. 

I've been celebrating by basically flinging myself into every blossom explosion possible, mostly apple-blossoms in trees in the park, but also our lilac bush (tree? shrub? I should know these things). I can take about ten minutes before the sticky-sweet smell starts to turn my stomach and I've become aware of the confectioner's sugar sheen of pollen on my skin from every other plant in the area, but it's hard not to feel really stereotypically happy to be alive with your head in a bunch of flowering branches with the happy, fat bees.  Also this skirt? Is shorts, so I can lie in the grass and climb on branches without much fear in the way of exposure. More 90s floral floucy tap pants please?

Among lilacs

Among lilacs

Among lilacs



Thursday, April 16, 2015

Mithril.

I bought this sweater at work based entirely on the fact that it looks as much like Bilbo's/Frodo's mithril vest/shirt from The Hobbit/The Lord of the Rings as possible without actually being a chain-mail or otherwise armor-related garment. It's like secret-nerd nod, with just myself, so I can think yes, today, I am feeling more middle-earth than usual. Not that I usually keep that kind of thing a secret but, still. 

Mithril

Mithril
Sweater, Skirt, Bracelet, Shoes, Socks: All J. Crew (bracelet and shoes from previous seasons, the rest all current), Tote: fieldguided

I mean, I waited for it to go on sale, I made sure I really wanted it, but every day at work I'd check and see if it had been marked down. 

Mithril

Mithril

This outfit is a rarity (sort of. For a blog post anyway) in that I'm wearing almost entirely J. Crew. Anyone who knows me beyond this blog knows I work there, and I'm pretty sure the most cursory investigation of my instagram feed would show the obvious. Plus it is rare that an outfit on here won't contain something from the brand. I've just always felt a bit odd about stating it here, and I generally try to mix it up and throw in some vintage but occasionally it fits together in a way and I think well, after so many years it's bound to happen. 

Mithril

To be honest, I haven't been buying as much at work this year (I'm trying to be better about my purchases), but these two pieces were ones I couldn't resist. The skirt is a little out of my comfort zone--I always admire midi skirts, but pleated ones like this make me feel really hip-py (as in, wide-hipped rather than free-spirited or whatever) and conscious. I've decided to care about that kind of thing less. It's hard, my default safety zone of mini-skirt is really hard to turn down, but I also really enjoy looking down and seeing iridescent pink micro-pleats, and not worrying about wind or picking something up off the ground in a short skirt. 

We'll see if I keep it up. 

Thanks to Jess for snapping these pictures!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Easter!

Not a whole outfit for this year's post, because it's a repeat dress from two years ago, but as always I love an excuse to be ridiculously pastel. This year it's a purple lipstick kinda day!

Easter lipstick!
Dress, pin, scarf: all vintage Lipstick: NYX Macaron 

Easter lipstick!

I bought some, with a shade of light blue, a few weeks ago on a whim and have yet to actually wear either of them out of the house, or with an outfit beyond my PJs (all by me onesies makeup parties on socially empty Friday nights).

Easter lipstick!

Easter lipstick!

Easter lipstick!

Of course, because cooking is on the agenda, this outfit ended up not being worn for very long, but even just for photos it's worth it! Happy Easter!


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

My Tights are Still Black.

It's not spring here yet. There are still snow piles, and where there isn't, there's mud. I'm trying hard not to complain about it, or think at all of that March where it got really warm, and remember that April is the soggiest, windiest, longest tease of a season ever. Right now it's 43 degrees out, which is practically a heat-wave, although it's not sunny. I'm still wearing black tights daily. 

My tights are still black.
Coat: c/o Bohemian Bisoux on etsy, Shirt: H&M summer 2014, Vest: J. Crew summer 2013, Skirt: JessJamesJake, Shoes: J. Crew Factory holiday 2013

My tights are still black.

This is an outfit I had originally planned to (maybe) wear to an annual party last week, but ended up in 1940s velvet instead (one of the benefits of this lingering winter is I can extend the velvet-wearing season for a much longer period). I almost didn't post it because I'm in the midst of chores and e-mails before heading off to work (in a big sweater and leggings--bakery work isn't really friendly to 50s chiffon) and I thought well, I better take of my chipped nail polish and that'll set my back a little bit in time and who knows if I'll actually get the picture-taking in?

It's one of those things where it seems like so many bloggers these days are really pulled-together and able to stay on top of their nails and hair and most days I'm chewing a pastel Essie shade off my fingers, wondering if I can get away with a few wrinkles in my skirt, and haven't had a haircut since October. But I like a little bit of realism in my blogs you know? Band-aid on the knee kinda style.

My tights are still black.

My tights are still black.

Sometimes you have a friend who sells vintage, and when you water her plants while she's away you also find a few treasures hanging in her storage that you then hound her for until you can come over and try them on and hand over your Christmas bonus money. That's where this skirt came from. This deliciously frothy confection of a skirt was hanging in Jess's basement and I needed it. It haunted me! I wore it for Valentine's day, but the temperatures that weekend weren't really the best and the poor skirt ended up hiding under many layers of clothes.

My tights are still black.

My tights are still black.

I don't know that a striped crop top and denim vest do it justice, but the way it moves is too much, and I've been staring at it on my wall longing to wear it so, until summer when it can combine with little Edwardian cottons, this'll do. 

My tights are still black.

My tights are still black.

I've also added a little garden rose necklace from Camille Carnevale to my daily jewels. I like that it's a little bit of that my girlishness has sharp teeth thing going on, a vibe I can always get on board with, so it's the first from her spring line that I've snapped up and have been wearing almost daily (with my little moon, of course).

My tights are still black.

My tights are still black.

My tights are still black.

And of course, this coat. I never in a million years though I'd get so much wear out of it, but somehow, it goes with almost everything (or nothing? They're kind of the same idea). I like to call it, to myself, my introverted vampire coat, because I can flip the collar up and hide if I need to.