Sunday, March 27, 2016

Hey! Don't cramp my style!

   Lately I’ve been doing a lot of deep thinking about shoes.  I partly blame this on my obsessive complaining about UGG boots.  Now don’t get me wrong, I love all things UGG.  However my affection for this company runs so deep that I seem to exclusively wear their footwear between the months of November through March.  Over the years I’ve begun to realize that one of the main drawbacks to having a style blog is self-critique.  It’s just so darn easy to go through old posts and notice, “Wow, horizontal prints really are a horrible thing!” and, “Anything involving the word Bubblegum, cosmetic product or not, is not meant for a 36 year old woman.”  Of course, this year my biggest criticism so far has been, “How many consecutive days have I worn the same UGG boots?”  I know what you’re thinking.  “Poor privileged style blogger is tired of her designer snow boots.  What a rough life.”  You know, I’m inclined to agree with this sarcasm.  Have I become so superficial that my biggest problem is wearing the same pair of shoes in every glamour shot?  Uh…yep.
   As a result of all this serious contemplation, I’ve decided to shift my focus on footwear for awhile.  It’s strange how I go through stages of obsessing over certain aspects of my wardrobe.  For many years I was, “crack addict,” crazy over purses.  While I still love all kinds of handbags, ranging in quality and quirk, I seem to have recovered from the severity of this addiction.  Of course, like any true addict I’ve continually replaced my former problems with new obsessions.  First it was handbags...then it was sunglasses...until it was necklaces...followed by replaced by shoes.  “When does it end?!” I ask you.
   It’s not like I don’t have enough shoes already.  I’m willing to guess any person who walked off the street and into my closet without knowing me would immediately label me a shoe diva.  Ironically enough, on several occasions I’ve literally come home and found strangers standing in my closet with my significant other.  It’s like every time he has guests over he decides to give them a tour of my closet!  His justification for this has always been he likes to show off his handy work at building walk-ins, but honestly I think he does it to simply get a rise out of me.  I mean, who wants the world to know their dirty little addictions, despite the fact they're covered in fantastic fringe and sequins?
   I guess what I’m getting at here is that even though I’m pledging to pay more attention to the aesthetic qualities good footwear can add to an outfit, I don't necessarily intend to suddenly go insane and buy four new pairs of sandals.  Did that sound believable to anyone, I was too busy, “yucking it up,” to tell.  Honestly though, I don’t need any more shoes in my closet.  I simply should pay more attention to the ones I already own.  Okay again, for the last two sentences I was in some type of fugue state.  Have I already mentioned the amazing Frye sandals I NEED for this season?
   You know composing this post now really makes me realize I might have a problem.  I mean sometimes one just needs to sit quietly and write it all down for the world to read.  Is it possible that I’m using this blog post as some sort of public confession?  Here’s a thought, was my special man friend simply trying some new type of therapy on me while he was traipsing everyone and their dog through my closet?  Could it be that all along he was waiting for me to acknowledge an issue that has plagued me for years?  My God, I feel like such a weight has been lifted off of me.  I want to run to him now and have him sweep me up into his strong arms so I can let him know I finally realize, “I think it’s my high heels that are causing me to get severe leg cramps at night!  The next time I buy a pair don’t let me forget to pick up some Dr. Scholl’s.” 

Shirt:  Old Navy
Skirt:  Vintage
Boots:  Thrifted  (Sporto)
Purse:  Loop NYC  (Andy Warhol collection)
Necklace:  Made by a friend.  (Thank You Fay!)

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Dress for S...ilence

   Okay, so obviously I took the above pictures a few weeks ago, when there was still snow on the ground.  Now that the weather has significantly improved please expect to see photographs that don’t include me standing in front of a garage door.  Sorry about that folks, but there’s only so far one can traipse out in the yard without a coat during a South Dakota winter. 
   In addition to the improved scenery featured in my posts, I hope that this warming trend will also motivate me to get out and socialize a bit more.  Already people seem to be coming out of the woodwork, burrowing out of the hidey holes they hunkered down in for the past few months.  I'm certainly no exception.  Unfortunately, I have an awful habit of strictly hanging out at home, Starbucks, or the public library on my days off work.  If a person can’t find me at one of these locations wait about two hours for me to finish up thrifting at Savers or St. Vinny’s and I should eventually appear.  Yep, that’s how predictable my late-thirties have gotten.
   As a result of my lackluster social life, I’ve decided to try and get out a bit more.  You know, like…live a little instead of just read or write about it.  Not too long ago I challenged myself to attend a gathering of ladies that I was graciously invited to by someone I've never really socialized with.  Now I must confess this introvert was slightly nervous at the idea of hanging out with a crowd of people I did not kno…Oh, who am I trying to fool?  I was uncomfortable with the idea of hanging out with a group…period.  Let’s face it, some of us individuals just do better with one on one situations at hmm….I don’t know, Starbucks?  Yeah, I’ve heard that’s a lovely establishment.  Seriously though, if I don’t have a grande decaf vanilla latte in front of me as a shield from the outside world I get a little shook up.  Hey we all have our crutches, right?
   Returning to my story, on the day I took the pictures above I was anticipating the early arrival of spring.  Even though there was still ample snow in our yard I found myself excited at the prospect of warmer weather, finally ditching my Ugg boots, and of course, a more comfortable walk from my car to the door of Starbucks.  All of these thoughts made me feel rather lighthearted, which apparently made me weak and more susceptible to accepting an invite to an event I would normally run shrieking from.   
   Finally, the night of the party arrived and after long consideration I decided that I would wear the outfit featured in the above post.  I reasoned the event was more than likely going to be a casual one and due to the lingering cold temperatures a dress, or anything involving tights, would simply not be a practical choice.  Also, I was dying to debut my newly thrifted Sporto brand wellies.  I couldn’t wait to show off the fact that they have velvet laces and a heel!  Let me tell you the coffee at Starbucks never tasted as good as it did that day after my trip to Savers.  (It occurs to me now that Starbucks should really be giving me some kind of benefit for all the promoting I do for them on this blog.)
   Anyhow, I arrived exactly on time for the function, which by the looks of the attending guests was at least ten minutes too late.  I also had to remove my adorable booties at the door and enter the party without the one accessory that made me feel like, “Hey, I’m cool.  I can meet new people.”  In addition, I ended up being totally overdressed at an event where everyone seemed to receive the mandatory sweatshirt and jeans memo.  I like to think that maybe this is why no one except the host of this outing spoke to me the entire time I was there.  Is it possible they were all convinced I was a snob because of my super cute shoes…that were not on my feet…that were in fact resting in a wet pile?  After about an hour and a half of sitting on a couch by myself, staring off into space, I was asked to participate in a sort of group activity.  During this activity it was my responsibility to read the game’s directions to my, “teammates.”  When asked to do this one of the party’s guests said to me, “And you can read the directions.  I assume you can read, right?”  It was at this point that I thought, “Yes!  Yes I can read.  I can read quite well in fact, and that’s exactly what I’m going to go do right now,” and I walked out the door.  I guess the lesson I learned here is it’s good to try new things, but the old ones are usually better.

Jacket:  Nick & Mo
Jeans:  Guess
Boots:  Thrifted  (Sporto)
Purse:  Aimee Kestenberg
Belt:  Vintage  (Inherited from Dad)
Necklace:  Vintage
Sunglasses:  Vintage  (Gucci)

Sunday, March 13, 2016

For the Record

   Lately I’ve been guilty of neglecting my style blog.  I remember a time when I would daydream about the outfits I’d put together for each post.  People would be talking to me and even though I was nodding in agreement with them, in my head I was taking a mental tour of my closet in an attempt to piece together my next, “fabulous,” look.  Unfortunately, these last couple months I’ve just not felt that fabulous about my appearance. 
   Now please don’t get me wrong.  I’m hardly suffering from self-esteem problems.  I guess I just kind of feel like a formulaic fashionista.  My pictures are all starting to seem so similar.  Maybe I need a new hairstyle.  Or, could it be that I should check out new, "exotic," shoot locations instead of my backyard?  Perhaps it’s simply a case of needing to change my regular lipstick color.  Here’s an idea, “A new purse would be nice!”  I guess what I’m getting at is, I seem to be in kind of a funk regarding style so don’t be surprised if my next post features me wearing a pair of hot pink zebra print parachute pants.  Seriously, I believe this would be more compelling than my same old Ugg boots.
   Despite my present feelings of, “Meh,” toward my wardrobe, I have developed a strong interest in my music blog (  (Yes, that last sentence was a shameless plug, but if I don’t do it who will?)  Now when people talk to me I shake my head and say a lot of, “I get that,” while obsessively thinking about which 80’s new wave albums I still need to locate on vinyl in order to complete my collection.  I’ll confess I never thought I would find an addiction that matched the severity of my clothing compulsion.  However, guess what’s just as fun as hunting down vintage ESCADA belts?  ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!!  Okay, let’s try again…Guess what’s just as fun as rambling on for paragraphs about one’s addiction to vintage ESCADA belts?  Surprisingly, it’s almost more fun to babble about what one was listening to on their turntable while wearing vintage ESCADA.  (Side note:  This is an activity I’m dying to actually try out, considering all I do is browse ESCADA on Etsy, sigh... and end up with another belt from Brighton’s 80's collection.)  Not that there’s anything wrong with that.  However, one does have to wonder just what an, “ESCADA kind of lady,” might be listening to.  I’m thinking Lady Gaga, or maybe old school Madonna?  She’s certainly not listening to the classic rock that’s always on heavy rotation at my house.  Maybe it’s good I haven’t yet purchased my, “dream belt,” yet. 
   Writing all of this now, I’m beginning to wonder which blog I’m thinking about.  I’m starting to realize how confusing it can be to maintain a coherent thought process regarding two separate topics on a weekly basis.  At the same time, it seems that a relationship between both fashion and music is only natural.  The music industry is infamous for their many characters of style.  In addition, it’s not uncommon for me to look to my favorite songs for outfit inspiration before a night out on the town.  In fact, the ensemble I’m wearing in the above pictures was a result of about five days of listening to 70's Cher.  Wait…so maybe I haven’t actually lost interest in my fashion blog.  Maybe I’ve just altered my process of constructing a look.  Could it be that I’ve been concerning myself with nothing?  Perhaps my music obsession has not replaced my narcissism.  In fact, it suddenly seems highly probable that music could only enhance my interest in blogging about clothing.  Now I don’t just think of myself as a stylish individual with lots of cute things to say about nothing.  Yep, instead I think of myself as an intellectual critic with lots of cute things to wear while listening to great tunes and still saying, well…nothing.  Phew, I’m so relieved.  I was starting to think all this writing was just a waste of time. 

Sweater:  Thrifted
Jeans:  Henry & Belle
Boots:  "Argh!"...Ugg
Purse:  Lucky Brand  
Belt:  Vintage  (Etoile "Made In Italy")  "Not quite ESCADA, but getting closer!"
Necklace:  Vintage  (Avon)
Sunglasses:  Vintage

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Two Birds, One...Afternoon?

   Lately, when I get up in the morning to let the dog out I can hear an owl, “hooting,” in one of our trees.  It’s like clockwork;  I drag myself out of bed, toss on my ratty slippers, stumble out the door with blurry eyes, (which only get blurrier after inevitably becoming snow-blind from the reflection of the sun,) and wait for our four legged friend to find the absolute perfect spot to do her business.  As I’m standing there, freezing and unable to see anything, I can hear a faint, “hoot…hoot…” in the distance.  While I don’t consider myself much of a bird enthusiast, I do find comfort in the fact that signs of life seem to be seeping through the surface of the frozen tundra.  Plus, the owl I mentioned follows a strict routine which is something I can really get behind. 
   In the spirit of keeping with routine, I too have been attempting to continue my regular habits despite the oppressive weather those of us in South Dakota have been experiencing.  The other day I was driving to my regular Starbucks when I noticed a large hawk perched on a fence post.  It was an impressive sight and reminded me of my little morning friend in the trees.  Considering all of this now makes me smile.  I find it strange how much I look forward to hearing what I envision as the, “little guy,” each morning.  In fact, I seem to enjoy it so much I once caught myself bragging to a customer at work about, “MY owl,” and it’s, “peaceful morning song.”  Ha! I wonder what, "my owl," thinks about the sounds of my colorful morning vocabulary as I flail around blindly while trying not to step in dog crap.
   After seeing the hawk on my coffee excursion I took it's presence as an omen.  I was supposed to be out and about that day.  I was being called to do something important.  “The Gods,” obviously had something waiting for me.  So what did I end up doing you ask?  I fulfilled my calling of course.  I went thrifting!
   Okay, so despite the heavy sarcasm presented I want to clarify that I do believe I have a gift for sensing when there’s something waiting for me at the thrift store.  Somehow I always seem to get the message of when I should stop.  It goes like this; I’m driving my car and see a hawk sitting on a fence post, which makes me think of the owl living in my tree. Of course, this makes me cringe at the thought of the hideous jacket I wear in the mornings while taking the dog out.  As a result, I remember I haven’t been to St. Vinny’s in a while to, "troll," their $3.00 coat rack.  See how that works.  Next thing I know there’s a magnetic pull forcing my car to abandon my tall decaf vanilla latte and head to the nearest thrift store.  Suddenly, “Voila!” I’m taking blog pictures in my newly acquired denim coat.
   This is exactly what happened the day I took the pictures featured in the post above.  However, not only did I end up buying a new coat, (which reminded me of a much more expensive version I’ve been admiring in the Free People catalog for quite some time,) I also ended up purchasing the beautiful copper cable knit sweater I’m wearing as well.  “Two Birds, One Sto… Afternoon,” I thought.  I continued by marveling at the idea, “All as a result of two birds in one afternoon."  Well, if that’s not a sign that I should keep shopping then I don’t know what is.

Coat:  Thrifted
Skirt:  Thrifted (Handmade)
Boots:  Ugg
Purse:  Frye
Sunglasses:  Vintage