Sunday, January 25, 2015

Next Best Thing

   Well it's a new year and guess what, 2015 feels a lot like 2014!  Actually, it kinda feels a lot like 2013, and the year before that, and the year before that.  I guess my point is the, age ain't nothing but a number thing.  Wait, that's not it exactly.  Yet, it's a darn nice metaphor, don't you think?
   Lately, I've been hearing a lot of buzz about New Year's resolutions,  Mostly, a lot of jargon relating to squats, fasting, and something called a retention band?  Unless the retention band is something new designed to help me retain the many memories and ridiculous stories I share on this blog, I don't foresee this device in my future.  
   All of this resolution talk brings to mind a mantra my coworker taught me this winter declaring, "Maintain, No Gain!  While I'm aware she learned this little snippet from her local gym, I chose to modify it's meaning to fit my current interests.  I'm sorry to report these interests lie far from the setting of a gym and closer to that of the new pizza joint in town.  Now, if one could just have a pizza party at the gym...wait, Planet Fitness does that!  Well then, this girl may just have time to eat and run...right out the door that is.  No, my new year's dream will not be found at any gym and, "Maintain, No Gain!" simply reminds me a, "ho hum," attitude towards life will get me absolutely the same place I was in last year.  
   Speaking of the past, reminds me to mention the scarf I'm wearing in the above photographs.  Since I'm such a big fan of metaphors I feel this is an opportune time to insert yet another, and let me warn you it's probably going to be kind of a stretch.  The scarf I have on in this blog post is a product of the Missoni for Target collection of 2011.  This collection was an experimental collaboration between an elite luxury designer and a big box retailer aimed toward the, "average Jane."  The promotion was intended to last for six weeks, however it nearly sold out after an astounding one day!  Introduce, "average Jane," a.k.a myself who unbeknownst to me was one of the many who ate up the hype created by the commercials and fashion magazines.  All I can state is, lucky I worked late that morning and made a desperate run for the nearest Target before my shift.  Two scarves and a pair of shoes later, I went to work feeling only slightly poorer and a whole lot closer to one of the top notch names I adore in fashion.  
   Where am I going with this?  I guess what I'm trying to get across is over time my expectations have changed. Now, after a full year of obsessive reading and writing style blogs, I look at my Missoni for Target scarf and think, "Wow, I hate that (for Target) bit at the end!"  Through creating this blog, I have gained a new confidence and enthusiasm for myself.  I have big dreams for the future and am tired of simply settling for the next best thing.  Everyday, I strive to transform into the successful, charismatic, and above all stylish woman I want to be.  Someday, this woman will be wearing a, "real," Missoni scarf.  I'm just ecstatic there's no gym time necessary to do it.

Coat: (Gift from a friend) Mossimo Supply Co.
Sweater:  Banana Republic
Pants:  Ann Taylor Loft
Boots:  Ugg
Purse:  Ivanka Trump
Scarf:  Missoni for Target

Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Haute Hall of Fame (Barbie)

   The other day I found myself having a conversation with my hairstylist about what her three year old daughter got for Christmas this year.  I was rather shocked to find out that this child, of the year 2015, had asked Santa for Barbie dolls!  Barbie?!  Seriously, the youth of today is still paying attention to her?
   The more I thought about Barbie the more I wondered at how this, "little lady," has endured the passage of time.  Another example was presented to me when a co-worker came to work with a brand new hot pink puffer parka.  The color of this garment was quite striking and by the end of the work day most people where referring to her as our, "Greenhouse Barbie."   Despite the range of ages working at the nursery, there was no confusion as to whom this pink coat reminded us of.  
   I guess the question I would like to present is, how did she do it?  How did Barbie transcend time to become an icon, "it," girl?  During the course of my lifetime there have been many of these type of girls. These ladies range from names like Molly Ringwald, Cindy Crawford, Britney Spears, and Kim Kardashian.  Often fashion icons suddenly come into style and inevitably always disappear.  So the question remains, how has Barbie maintained?  Why is she still relevant to society today?
   My best guess is that she doesn't age.  Unlike her iconic peers, Barbie has been able to maintain her flawless appearance, and unmarred character.  This is extremely important to a society that places so much importance on the beauty and virtue of women.  No matter what the year, Barbie remains perfect.
   In addition, Barbie has been able to easily adapt to the trends of the times.  Unlike mortal trendsetters, she has been able to adjust her appearance to match the ideal of each decade.  One can see these changes in the images I included in this post.  The first image is the Barbie of the 1950s, whereas the last is from the 1990s.  On a side note, I found it fascinating that the 1950s Barbie was a near perfect representation of the modern day hipster.  Proving, once again, fashion really does recycle itself.
   I knew I was destined to credit Barbie as a fashion icon when I found myself at Savers staring at the scarf I'm wearing in this post.  There she was again...Barbie!...and I had no doubt about who she was. Of course, I would feel really stupid if someone told me my scarf was actually a representation of Betty from the, "Archie," comic.  Really though, who the heck remembers her?  

Coat:  Hurley
Blazer:  Vintage (Pendleton) 
Jeans:  Silver Jeans
Purse:  Dooney & Bourke
Hat:  Thrifted (Cashmere!)
Scarf:  Thrifted
Mittens:  Handmade (Purchased at a craft fair) 

Sunday, January 11, 2015


   A short while back my mom exclaimed to me that, "she was in a Kerfuffle!"  Leave it to Pat to use such language.  I cannot tell you how many great words that woman has taught me over the years. Actually I can, and if you choose to keep periodically checking this blog you will inevitably learn all of them.  I blame her for my coworker and I constantly throwing the term, "Mishegoss", into conversations.  Don't know what it means?  Look it up.  You would be shocked at how often it's meaning is appropriate during daily activities.  Anyway, when mom showed up at Starbucks the other day exasperated and mumbling about kerfuffles, I immediately knew what she meant without looking it up.  Clearly, this was a woman in turmoil! 
   The reason I decided to focus on this topic, specifically, is because of the frequency I'm being confronted with it. Basically, the issue is simple.  It's January in South Dakota and EVERYONE is in turmoil.  Between hearing about problems like the after holiday financial slump, the general morose of the public due to the absolute absence of the sun, and horrific tales of ghastly flu like conditions I am convinced that every individual is the victim of their own emotional kerfuffle.
   Kerfuffle is defined as a commotion or fuss.  Upon talking to any South Dakotan during the winter, it is more than likely this type of scenario will be mentioned.  Lately, I myself have desperately been trying to avoid this seasonal scourge.  What is my key to emotional peace in the depths of winter?  How do I avoid that menacing feeling of malaise that spreads like the common cold this time of year?  How else?  Handbags, of course!
   Who needs the Dalai Lama to find inner peace while exists?  Meditation, Smedititation!... Coach is having their semi-annual sale!  Not to mention, if you live in a town possessing a TJ Maxx store you have absolutely no reason to ruminate.  For God's sake there are discounted designer handbags within reach!  Let me tell you there ain't no better distraction from depression than Dooney!
   So as the winter months go by my collection of purses grows larger...
   and my check book gets smaller...
   and my concern about hoarding gets realer...
   Yep, no problems here folks.  Seasonal depression has got to be a myth.
   Jeesh, Gazoontite!  I should get that sneezing checked out.

Coat:  True Grit
Sweater:  Caslon 
Skirt:  Gap
Boots:  Ruff Hewn
Purse:  Thrifted
Scarf:  L Couture Boutique


Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Habits of Haute (A Year of Style 2014)


While I was growing up, New Year's Eve was one of those holidays my family simply did not acknowledge.  My mom would always insist on all of us, "laying low," for the evening, and would inevitably end up retiring to her bedroom way before the ball had even dropped.  I would always stay up and watch the celebrations on TV, admiring all the fabulous clothing and chaos.  Often, I would wonder why my family always skipped out on the excuse to join this ultimate night to party.
   Now that I'm in my thirties, I have begun to understand my mom's hesitation toward embracing the upcoming year.  I find with age, I have become more reflective towards life, and with this inevitably more nostalgic.  Now being the, "semi-established," adult I like to think of myself as, I no longer constantly dream of a limitless future.  Instead, I often find myself longing for the comforting past.  I sometimes simply miss being an irresponsible kid.
   Which brings me to my main issue with New Year's Eve.  With the passing of each year it becomes increasingly impossible to ignore the fact that I am nowhere near being a child anymore.  When an individual is in their twenties the public still chalks up erratic or reckless behavior to, "they're still a kid."  However, I've never heard those words uttered when referring to a 35 year old.  When one enters their mid thirties it is no longer socially acceptable to not have the majority of, (and excuse me for being crass), "your shit together."  One is supposed to have their, "life plan," figured out at this point.  This is why I start getting sleepy at 10:30 PM on New Year's Eve.  While I am fairly comfortable with not having a conventional, "life plan," at the age of 35, I find others are not able to accept this about me.  Add the extreme attention this holiday gives to the passing of time and I become paranoid about my lack of a, "life plan."  All of the sudden, a New Year's Eve celebration seems like a time bomb ticking off my lack of concrete plans, goals, and achievements of the last year.  When did the ball drop start signifying a sinking situation rather than future opportunities?
    Introduce blog post, "The Habits of Haute (A Year of Style 2014)."  It just so happens that this New Year's Eve actually coincides almost perfectly with the one year anniversary of this style blog. This anniversary is something I am proud of.  I have decided that instead of beating myself up this holiday, I am going to focus on what I did achieve this year.  As one can see in the photographs above, I recorded 2014 through pictures and text.  Throughout this process I was able to share much of my personal style, stories, and even some feelings!  Someday I can look back at this blog and admire, laugh, or most likely be horribly embarrassed at the person I revealed myself to be.  The important thing to me is that I remember who I was, what I looked like, and even what I was wearing. Maybe, through analyzing these pictures and posts I will realize I always did have a real adult, "life plan."  I suspect that plan revolved around pursuing the things I enjoy.  So this New Year's Eve I will happily remember 2014 as a year spent blasting Black Sabbath tunes, making new friends, battling rodents in my vehicle, hundreds of vanilla lattes, and of course, boat loads of clothes. Because one always wants to look their best when approaching a promising future.