Sunday, October 25, 2015

Four Years, For Shame!

   I'm embarrassed to admit that I'm a bit of a hoarder when it comes to fashion.  Okay I'll confess, maybe I've been known to hoard other things as well.  Being October, it's hard for me not to reminisce about trick or treating as a child.  I remember hauling home giant bags of boxed Nerds, Dum-Dum suckers, and even a few popcorn balls.  Remember people, it was the 80's.  Horror stories about unwrapped treats were still considered urban legend back then.  Anyway, the best part about Halloween for an admittedly OCD kid was returning home to SORT the candy.  Keep in mind I specified sort the candy, not eat it.  I remember sitting in my parents living room with my brother, both of us elated with the giant piles of, "loot," that lay before us.  Zeb would immediately begin to jam as many goodies down his gullet before our Mom could pull the plug on what would certainly turn into a night of intense intestinal distress.  I, on the other hand, would refuse to eat a single piece of my earnings.  Instead, I would divide my candy into categories that made sense to me. For instance, it always began with a good candy pile and a crap candy pile.  The good candy pile would revolve around such items as, Reese's Pieces, Rolos and gasp... be still my beating heart, if I was lucky enough, a Caramello or two.  The crap candy pile was comprised of Root Beer Barrels, black licorice, and absolutely anything with a wax paper wrapper.  After determining these two groups, my childhood self would then subdivide the categories into smaller piles determined by things like size or color of packaging.  Interestingly enough, the adult me still enjoys categorizing things.   I find this especially apparent when entering my strictly color coded closet.  I guess I've just always liked my, "treats," organized. 
   As a child I took great pleasure in stockpiling objects that had value to me. However, now that I'm an adult I acknowledge the problem with this type of behavior.  Looking back, I realize how much of that treasured Halloween candy actually went rotten and got thrown away.  I was just too busy sorting to actually eat it.  The really crazy thing is I'm just not that into candy!  I think I enjoyed the concept of having a precious collection way more than the actual food itself.  Except the Caramellos.  God bless Cadbury for those little buggers.  
   Now that I'm an adult I see some disturbing similarities to that candy hoarding kid of the 80's.  In the pictures above I'm wearing a pair of sandals I was all, "hot and bothered," to buy while on a trip to Duluth, MN.  Upon seeing these beauties I was convinced that my life would not be complete unless I had a pair of lime green platforms.  I mean come on, the green section of my shoe collection was seriously lacking!  At the time, there was no guilt about spontaneously spending on an item I felt I couldn't live without. However lets jump forward to four years later when I took these photographs wearing my precious sandals FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME!...terrible, I know.
   In closing, writing this blog post has made me consider many things.  Even though I've changed immensely since I was that little girl trick or treating in cardboard wings, I still retain some of my old habits.  I guess I'm thankful that shoes, unlike candy, have an extended expiration date. Heck, with the way the fashion industry works some of my amassed items will probably be considered valuable vintage by the time I finally get around to wearing them.  Also, should the zombie apocalypse hit on Halloween, be advised that this lady knows where one can get plenty of fantastic looking size 8.5's, and enough candy to give the ultimate sugar rush in order to run in them.

T-Shirt:  Obey
Jeans:  Thrifted  (Rustler)
Sandals:  Tsubo
Purse:  Marc Jacobs
Necklace:  Dead Things
Bracelet:  Thrifted
Sunglasses:  Kate Spade
Ramones/ Pet Sematary Video:  (Because it's almost Halloween and I love this song.)

*  All pictures taken by Clark.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Old Reliable

   Sometimes being a style blogger is not all it's cracked up to be.  Upon starting this blog I was excited to join the ranks of the many fashion conscious women I've looked up to.  In my eyes, these women always represent themselves as beautiful, successful, and motivated individuals. Simply put, they look like people who have a plan.  Being a person who relies heavily on routine, the idea of having a long term plan is extremely appealing to me.  So, how did I decide to form my long term plan?  Well, I figured a good start was to look like someone with one of those...things...thingys...long term plan jobbers.
   I have to say that in many ways my blog has been a very positive thing for me.  It has allowed me to pursue my interests in fashion, photography, and writing.  It has also exposed me to some opportunities that would surely never have happened had I not began this adventure.  I mean, it's not every day this lady has people knocking down her door to take pictures for local magazines.  This being stated, I'm not always confident my blog is one hundred percent good for me.  Unlike the many style bloggers I follow online, I tend to address way more than just person style while writing my posts.  In fact, on many occasions my posts have absolutely nothing to do with fashion.  Okay yeah, so I'll admit it.  I use this blog mostly to get all the gobbledygook out of my head.  It's occurred to me that doing this may put a major monkey wrench in the original concept of portraying a beautiful, successful, and well put together woman.  What can I say though?  This is me.
   I guess what I'm getting at here is I've always been a person concerned with the idea of looking perfect.  Don't get me wrong, perfect is not the same as pretty.  While I do enjoy taking ridiculous, "glamour," shots of myself I often wonder what I'm truly trying to convey with these pictures. Recently, I've come to the conclusion that I just want to look like someone with a plan.  I'm constantly striving to be the person I expect myself to be.  Sometimes when I look through these pictures I see myself and criticize by thinking, "Well, that's not who I want to be!"
   All this seriousness was on my mind today because I woke up and simply didn't feel like dressing like the perfect woman with a plan.  I didn't want to straighten my hair or coordinate my handbag to my outfit.  In fact, I wanted to wear the same outfit I wore yesterday because there was no thought involved.  It's taken me a long time to realize that even, "fabulous," fashion bloggers have days where they don't care what they're wearing.  I've decided that I'm going to give myself a break.  If I don't feel like putting on mascara it doesn't mean I'm presenting myself as a failure to the public.  If I decide to wear jeans in every blog post this month it doesn't condemn me to being an amateur of fashion.  Lastly, if I continue to carry the same old reliable purse because I'm too lazy to change out my crap, and black Kate Spade goes with everything, this does not mean, "shame on me."  
   Writing this post now has made me realize just how hard women can be on themselves.  We're expected to look perfect, act friendly, and be productive at all times.  And who's putting this pressure on us?  Ourselves!  So, from now on I'm going to attempt to remind myself that the perfect looking style blogger is still a real person.  These women also have insecurities, fleeting ugly thoughts, and yeah, they fart too.  However, every long term plan eventually encounters some type of gastrointestinal issue...right?    

Jacket:  Vintage  (Cherokee)
Shirt:  Miss Me
Jeans:  Guess
Sneakers:  New Balance
Purse:  Kate Spade
Headscarf:  Self made  (banditaz bandanaz)
Earrings:  Natasha  
Sunglasses:  Kate Spade

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Fundraising for Free People

    It's that time again people!  Time for sticky fingers from caramel apples and cider at the orchard. Time for backaches from unloading endless truckloads of  blue pumpkins and Turks Turban gourds at the greenhouse.  Lastly, time for flu shot fever as this paranoid blogger tries to decipher whether the person sniffling next to her is suffering from something contagious or simple allergies.  Yes, it's fall y'all!, and with it comes a whole new boatload of issues.
   Of course, there's really only one true issue consuming me at this time.  Any individual interested in style can probably define it.  What can I say but, we're in the depths of fall catalog season and I simply don't have enough money to buy all the fantastic clothing that's being shown to me!  Damn you Donald Pliner!  Curses to companies like Sundance and JCrew!..."and what is this striking little jewel of a catalog laying on the floor at my parents house beside their love-seat?  Hmmm, Poetry? I've never heard of this brand...oh my god would you look at that plaid boucle' scarf!  Quick, slip the catalog in your purse.  Mom will never notice it's gone.  Remember, keep a straight face when she asks you later where you got that fantastic scarf."  Yeah, these are the things going on in my head.  
   The biggest temptation for me has been presented, yet again, by the fall catalog from Free People. WARNING:  if you see this publication resting anywhere near you close your eyes and repeat the phrase, "The power of Christ compels you!"  I say this because you're certain to be at the precipice of a serious clothing possession.  Ever since I was about 16 years old I've been obsessed with this brand. One would think that this now 36 year old blogger would be a bit too old to shop from the same catalog she did during her teen years.  However, that's the beauty of a brand like Free People.  It's simply timeless.  Not only do the designs of these pieces often give a respectful nod to the style of past decades, but the quality of the garments themselves create appeal among a more mature audience.  I remember the first Free People item I ever bought.  I was in high school at the time and I discovered the most adorable burnt sienna crochet shirt with blue stars embroidered along the top. While I was in love with this eclectic little number, I now smile at what I considered to be the best aspect of that article of clothing.  I loved the tag!  I remember looking at it with it's Art Nouveau inspired graphic of a beautiful bohemian woman, hair swirling around an intricate font spelling the two words that would ultimately lead me into the destiny of a wannabe label whore.  "Free People," it said and after that I never overlooked another tag.
   Interestingly enough, out of all the pieces of Free People I've collected over the years I'm not wearing a stitch of it in the pictures above.  The reason this brand was on my mind the day I wore this outfit was because this was the ensemble I was going to wear to the fall fashion show presented by one of my favorite local clothing stores.  It just so happens that this particular boutique carries a large quantity of Free People merchandise at their store.  Merchandise that I'd been plotting to get my hands on ever since I laid eyes on the fall catalog.  Now, I say, "WAS going to wear," because upon actually going to the show I felt rather under the weather and decided it would be unwise to go into public.  Again I ask you, flu or allergies?  It concerns me how much time I spend thinking about this. 
   In closing, life is full of unpleasant issues.  Is missing out on the Free People slouchy menswear sweater coat the worst thing that can happen to a woman?  YE...NO!...I mean no.  Is it the most fun option out of all my issues to obsess over.  Absolutely!  So if you see a haggard looking lady vomiting up pea soup and speaking in Latin realize that the cause could be one of three things.  The woman could have the flu.  She could have allergies, or she could have just received the newest fantastic catalog from Free People.

Dress:  Bebe
Jeans:  Liverpool
Heels:  Guess
Purse:  Kate Spade
Bracelet:  Thrifted
Sunglasses:  Kate Spade


Sunday, October 4, 2015

Patchwork, Pantera, and Pilgrim

   My brother says it best when he comments that him and I love doing hoodrat stuff.  Now, ten years ago this statement would be completely accurate.  Unfortunately for my parents, both their children went through rather lengthy stages of participating in sometimes questionable behavior.  Looking back I think fondly of those days filled with semi-shady intentions.  They were days...heck, they were years that revolved around binge drinking, loitering, and wasting endless time.  Mostly they were days that, in my mind, held no consequences because I was an immature little twit who decided to put off adulthood as long as possible.  Lucky for me, I'm able to reminisce about these times because I eventually grew out of them.  It's like one day I turned 31 and realized, "Holy crap! I've got a whole lot of nothing going on!  I might be a loser...huh."  That friends is the rather vague, PG rated, after school special inspired version of how I traded in my misguided, masochistic self for the semi adult minded individual I've become.   
   However, just because a person has decided to alter their undesirable behavior does not mean they don't continue to desire some aspects of it.  While I would rather set fire to my entire wardrobe than ever give in to the urge to drink alcohol again, I still find myself missing my old self.  I mourn the passing of that individual who didn't constantly care about what was necessarily right or wrong. Even today I'm one of those people who holds the opinion that things aren't always black and white.  There is a large chunk of life that is often grey and sometimes it's so much easier living there.  
   So, on the day I took the above blog pictures I had myself a hoodrat day.  No people, I didn't break down and slug two Mickey's forties on a park bench...again.  Instead, I chose the much less destructive, but equally unmotivated activity of loitering.  Yes loitering, the last shred of my shady past that neither my brother, nor myself, has been able to shake.  What can I say other than, we just love wasting time in public places.  In addition to this, I often find myself drawn to the most rundown places.  People are always giving me hell for hanging out in unsavory surroundings.  I'll admit to the fact that if there's a White Castle restaurant in the neighborhood, if there's a bullet proof glass booth housing a gas station attendant, or if there's a raving lunatic pacing the lobby of the downtown public library I will not be far away.  Awe...thinking about these things now makes me a little misty for my old neighborhood in Minneapolis.  Okay, I'm over that.  Anyway, you get the picture.  There's a very strange part of this mid-thirties, white, Midwestern woman drawn to life in the ghetto.  Hey, Elvis was interested in it too.
   Analyzing all of this now, I think the reason I like hanging out in these type of neighborhoods is that many people there seem to be partaking in hoodrat behavior.  However as an outsider just passing through I'm only exposed to the PG rated simplification of this world, (and as we all know from my earlier paragraph, I like this kiddie version).  In this rendition of my town's crappy neighborhoods, no one is unemployed, high on drugs, or suffering.  Instead everyone is just partaking in the juvenile activity of wasting time...on their porches...on a work day.  Of course, in my admittedly naive mind, these people are choosing to do this and are always happy.
   In conclusion, my 36 year old version of hoodrat behavior includes cruising around the cruddy part of town for hours in my patchwork skirt, listening to old tunes by Pantera on the radio, only to finally stop at the public library to read, "I Am Pilgrim," among a bunch of other people wasting endless hours of time on a work day.  

Shirt:  Mossimo Supply Co.
Boots:  Thrifted (Tony Lama) 
Belt:  Thrifted  
Necklace:  Dead Things
Ring:  Purchased at a craft fair.