Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Posing or Poser?

   Recently it occurred to me that people may actually believe I know what I'm talking about when regarding fashion.  Let me clarify that statement for everyone.  I was aware of the fact that people know I love fashion.  I also suspected people realized, through this blog, I may be trying to live out some kind of glamorous juvenile dream of being famous in the industry I adore.  What never occurred to me is that people would seriously think my opinion on personal style really held any weight.  I mean I write a fashion blog, but really most of the time I end up rambling on about hanging out at the coffee shop in my mid-thirties.  Maybe that should have been the main focus of this blog. Unfortunately, I'm just too narcissistic to be satisfied with hundreds of pictures of tall decaf vanilla lattes.  Plus, I have a really great sweater collection that is too fun not to share.
   The reason I was suddenly confronted with the idea that people may think I'm some sort of expert on the topic of style is simple.  I literally had an individual say to me, "Aren't you an expert in fashion?"  My first reaction to this was to snort in agreement to what I thought at the time was a sarcastic crack towards my blog.  However this, "Negative Nancy," was soon shamed upon realizing the individual talking sincerely believed I was a professional regarding the topic of fashion. In that instant I was extremely flattered, yet equally horrified by the idea that I may have some sort of obligation to understand what it is I'm talking about.  Does a fashion blogger have a moral responsibility to correctly inform her readers?  In other words, if I insist that harem pants are the, "bee's knees," and some little wide eyed fashionista gets beat up in South Dakota because they wore them, is that on me?  Are people actually listening to what I think is cool?  Wait...are people actually reading this blog?!  I thought I was just constructing the ultimate scrap book.
   I will state since starting, "Little House of Haute," I have had some pretty awesome opportunities to get involved in the local fashion scene.  I modeled on the cover of a local magazine.  I did a photo shoot with some good friends in order to advertise for my absolute favorite local vintage boutique, Elofson. Lastly, I hit the runway as a model for a charity fashion show in order to raise money to help cure kids cancer.  I had an absolute blast participating in all of these events.  Furthermore, I'm certain I would've never done them if not for this blog and the exposure it has given me.  Basically, I'm a true believer that one must always listen to the whispering voice saying, "if you build it they will come."
   Of course, leave it to me to over-analyze things rather than roll with it.  Lately, I find myself worrying about how long I can keep, "fooling," everyone.  So, here it is.  Here is where I admit yet again, "I am not an expert in fashion."  In fact, I'm not sure one can define anyone as an actual expert in fashion.  I believe personal style is a type of art form and therefore, completely subjective.   As with fine art, I think individuals can study the history of fashion including things like it's origins, patterns, and technical execution.  However, when one chooses to ignore the latest trends and pursue what they believe to be their true aesthetic identity through apparel, anything goes.  Maybe that's why I love both fine art and fashion so much.  Unlike the realms of science and math there are very few rules that haven't been successfully broken.
   In closing, a fashion expert I am not.  You can define me as a fashion enthusiast.  Do I get every outfit right?  Heck no!  Do I wear every outfit with the attitude that in no way could it be wrong? Absolutely yes, even if it involves harem pants in South Dakota.

Coat:  Vintage  (Betty Rose)
Sweater:  Vintage
Jeans:  Gap
Boots:  Ugg
Purse:  Lucky Brand
Belt:  Anthropologie
Sunglasses:  Versace

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Wild to Docile, Docile to Wild

   Recently, it was brought to my attention that I may be in some sort of rut.  I state, "may," because generally, when I find myself in this type of situation I can be a bit depressing to be around. However, lately I feel alright.  In fact, I feel better than alright.  I would say I've been feeling pretty darn spiffy compared to how I was feeling around the time these pictures were taken.  Yes, that's snow on the ground and unfortunately I have somehow collected a few posts from winter that still need to be published.  So instead of posting pictures of me frolicking in floral prints by spring budding magnolias, I'm showing the last outfits of winter 2015 a.k.a ,"The season of the big rut." Bear with me here people I promise not to dredge this out too long.
   Anyway back to my earlier proclamation, the reason I suspect I'm stuck came after a comment my boyfriend made stating he didn't know why I wasn't going out anymore with friends.  To this statement I indignantly responded, "How dare he accuse me of such behavior!  I had been just as social as I ever was!"  I then made a lame attempt to cite all the latest social activities I had participated in during the past couple months and was rather horrified to realize they could fit easily on a few fingers.  What can I say?  A short while ago it was winter .  I had a valid reason for not wanting to make an effort to brave the elements for a few measly hours of social interaction.  
   Of course now it's spring, and a fairly nice one at that.  I no longer have the excuses of icy roads and bone chilling temperatures.  The sun is shining, the days are longer, and town is bustling with all kinds of pre-summer activities.  In other words, things are happening.  So why have I not been going out?
   It certainly isn't due to lack of something to wear.  The whole situation reminds me of my brother back in grade school.  As a child, Zeb, was never a huge fan of reading novels.  In school it was common for the English instructors to have us kids read the books of our choice followed by mandatory book reports.  Somehow, my brother was able to spend his entire K-12 career writing about the novels, "Call of the Wild," and, "White Fang."  Unbeknownst to his instructors my brother never read more than those two books.  He simply recycled his previous book reports by updating them to the appropriate writing level. For someone who didn't like to read, the kid was a genius!  
   I am reminded of this scenario now because I believe my anti-social behavior is somewhat similar.  I have become very comfortable with the, "story," of my everyday activities.  I know what I do, where I go, and who I'm with on my days off.  The plot line goes like this:  read, Starbucks, by myself, repeat...  I like this, "story," of my life and rather than starting a new chapter with something I may not be familiar with, I take the lazy way out and continue to live the life of a decaf swilling, impeccably dressed wallflower.
   The other reason my brother's, "wild to docile, docile to wild," loop has been on my mind is due to the amount of coyotes I had in my yard this winter.  Yes, literally coyotes in my YARD! Granted, I do live a few miles out of town.  I'm used to a number of random encounters with all kinds of vermin and other wildlife.  However, this season was rather special.  This winter we had one, "different," coyote that was seen several times walking up and down our driveway in broad day light.  I guess he was just hanging out.  Maybe like me, he had gotten lost from his friends and decided to develop a routine of his own.  Keeping all of this in mind, the day I wore the outfit pictured above, I was inspired by that lonely leper of the pack.  I was also inspired by my brother's multiple book reports honoring, not only wildlife, but slackers everywhere.  Yep, the day I photographed these pictures I put on my leopard print headscarf and Wildfox sweatshirt and set out for a day on the town! Of course, when I say, "day out on the town,"  I mean I went to read, at Starbucks, by myself.  Don't worry though, spring is now here so my routine will alter greatly.  Now my days off will consist of: read, Starbucks, by myself on the PATIO.  Who say's you can't teach an old dog new tricks?

Jacket:  Gap
Sweatshirt:  Wildfox
Pants:  Ann Taylor LOFT
Boots:  Ugg
Purse:  Kate Spade
Headscarf:  banditaz bandanaz  (Self Made)
Ring:  Purchased at a craft fair

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

What Costume?

   Recently, I found myself hobnobbing with hipsters again at a local fashion show.  If I keep this up I may actually be considered as someone with a social life.  Anyway, this particular event revolved around a, "Fashion through the Decades," type theme.  It was recommended that attendees came dressed wearing a version of  their favorite decade.  "No problemo," I thought.  I'll just wear my regular clothes.
   People who know me well are aware that I am a nostalgia junkie.  Ever since I was old enough to make my own decisions I have swayed towards the objects and art of the past.  I love wearing vintage clothing, listening to vinyl classic rock albums, and watching old TV reruns.  I actually have a theory that I surround myself with these things in a desperate effort to time travel to a place that I've romanticized as perfect.  I guess I just feel safe in the past.  I feel like there are few surprises and everything is neatly compartmentalized into these stereotypes of how each decade was supposed to be.  The past is unlike the future.  When concerning the future, one cannot know what to expect. Those of us defined as control freaks often find this unsettling.  Whew, that got philosophical fast! Who knew fashion could dredge up so much thought?
   Returning to the topic at hand, for my representation of a favorite decade I went for a 1970's meets modern, "Boho," look.  Immediately upon hearing of the show, I knew I would be styling this type of outfit.  The reason for this is simple.  My closet is full of this type of clothing.  Now, I want to state I do not dress in head to toe vintage every day.  In fact, I make a conscious decision not to do so.  I'm of the opinion that half the challenge when regarding vintage clothing is making it relevant in today's world.  I feel it's imperative to mix vintage treasures in with modern apparel in order to create a style that can be admired and relatable to others.  Mostly, my main goal is to not look like I'm wearing a costume.
   Ironically, the outfit I wore in the photographs above, to represent the 1970's, only had two real vintage elements involved.  The coat and necklace I wore were authentic pieces from the glorious long ago.  The rest of this outfit was simply modern pieces blessed with a vintage vibe.  After I got dressed for the event I wondered, "Do I look '70's enough?"  I really felt like maybe I had under dressed since it was an outfit I would have worn for an afternoon outing to Starbucks.  Of course, my doubts were quickly squelched when a pretty legitimate looking hipster stopped me and remarked, "Love your costume."  
   "What costume?," I thought.

Coat:  Vintage
Shirt:  Ann Taylor
Vest:  Thrifted
Jeans:  Silver Jeans
Boots:  Ugg
Hat:  Something Special Hats
Necklace:  Vintage

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sons of A...m I the Only One Who Finds this Disturbing?

   I like to think of myself as fairly, "worldly," and by this I mean streetwise.  I mean, Hey...I lived in Uptown, Minneapolis for about three years.  During that period of time my apartment was burglarized.  I saw my friend's purse get snatched right out from under her arm.  My ex-boyfriend's car got broad daylight...during a snowstorm!  Despite the fact that I am presently a thirty-something woman living in South Dakota I have been exposed to small doses of urban life. Not to mention, I can darn near recite the entire script of the movie, "Juice," to anyone who may be interested.  Of course, I may not be as compelling as Tupac Shakur's character was at the time, but mark my words I'm no less passionate about romanticizing urban street life.  
   My point here is I don't think of myself as sheltered.  In my lifetime I have been the victim of small scale crime.  Maybe, I myself have even participated in some shenanigans.  Yes even me, the "straight edge", decaf swilling, "no roasted red peppers on that please, it kills my stomach," lady has had her moments hanging with the riffraff.  Yep, no sissy's here.  Does a wuss watch, "American Horror Story?"  Can a yellow belly deal daily with the general public at her job?  Most importantly can a namby-pamby pull off wearing a Wu-Tang Clan sweatshirt?  I think not!
   Now that I've established my street cred I can finally get to the point of this post.  Recently, my boyfriend and I tried to get into the TV show, "Sons of Anarchy."  I had been warned by several individuals that this show was extremely graphic and not for the, "faint of heart."  However, due to the several reasons I previously mentioned, compounded with the fact that I'm a South Dakotan and thought I should be familiar with biker culture, I was confident in my ability to, "handle," this show.  I WAS SO WRONG!  Again, give me a movie like,  "Boyz N the Hood," any day.  "Breaking Bad," no problem!  Heck, I own the entire, "Nightmare on Elm Street," box set and never once was as horrified during that as I was watching, "Sons of Anarchy."  I guess the difference is I can justify the violence of three kids trying to survive growing up in the ghetto.  I can empathize with one chemistry teacher's metamorphosis into a drug lord for the sake of his family's financial future.  Finally, I simply find Freddy Krueger less frightening than the character of Gemma in, "Sons of Anarchy." 
   In closing, upon wearing the outfit pictured above, I had someone tell me my purse reminded them of, "Sons of Anarchy."  I smiled thinking how a cream puff like me had paired it with a sweater from the Banana Republic.  All I could think was, "Yo, you got the juice now."

Jacket:  Mossimo Supply Co
Sweater:  Banana Republic
Jeans:  Guess
Boots:  Hunter
Purse:  Loungefly
Mittens:  Handmade (Purchased at a craft fair)
Earrings:  Handmade (Gift from a friend)

(Little House of Haute will now be posting every Sunday AND Wednesday until further notice.)

Sunday, April 12, 2015

"Sweatin' to the Oldies"

   Recently, a friend of mine posted on Facebook that he had turned over a new leaf and started an exercise regiment that revolved around the classic Richard Simmon's, "Sweatin' to the Oldies," program.  At first, I was delighted to hear I was not the only individual on Facebook old enough to remember this workout.  However, after careful consideration I began to feel like, "Wait a minute, are those of us in our mid-thirties supposed to be working out?"  Could it be true the people who tell me they go to the gym are actually, going to the gym?  I thought that was just a code phrase for, "I'm leaving, I'm tired of this conversation," or, "There is this bar I hang out at.  It's called The Gym." Seriously though, I'm starting to suspect people I know are working out and I've got to tell you I find it unsettling.
   Of course, this occurs to me as I tear into another tub of french onion dip followed by a couple of slices of pizza.  As I chew, I rationalize that I'm not an athletic individual.  "Sporty spice," I ain't. It's arty spice who lives here.  Keeping that in mind, I realize most of my friends are of the creative persuasion.  I seem to remember several of them mentioning gym memberships to me in passing.   Now, I can't be sure of this because again at the time I thought they were telling me something about their cousin Jim. bad.
   Seeing my friend's post on Facebook actually got me thinking about working out.  Which then got me reminiscing about the wonderfully kitschy, "Sweatin' to the Oldies," tapes.  Ultimately this ended with me wondering if I could pull off wearing a sweat band on my forehead.  OK joking aside, this line of thought ended with me considering the word, "Oldie."  I began to wonder what items in my closet would be considered my, "Oldies."  You see at this point I had completely lost interest with the topic of exercise and had moved on to study how it could relate to fashion.  How could I incorporate exercise into my style blog?  I decided that I too would join the, "Sweatin' to the Oldies," program. So I grabbed one of my oldest and well loved articles of clothing and took these pictures.  The scarf I'm wearing in the above photographs is one that I purchased back in college on spring break in Winnipeg, Canada.  Who goes to Winnipeg on spring break, you ask?  Fargo kids, I answer.  
   Anyway, I acquired this scarf and at the time it was a major staple in my wardrobe.  I came across it the other day and despite the rather warm temperatures decided to feature it in the blog.  I reasoned it was a huge contributor to the style of my younger self and deserved to be credited.  So instead of going to the gym for a youthful appearance, I am opting to spend this unseasonably warm spring, "Sweatin' to the Oldies," in style.  

Sweater:  Free People
Skirt:  Ann Taylor
Boots:  Ugg
Purse:  Michael Kors 
Scarf:  Purchased in Winnipeg, Canada.
Ring:  Purchased at a craft fair.
Sunglasses:  Versace