Sunday, June 26, 2016

"Into the White"

   It wasn’t so long ago that I posted about how my current transitional state had caused me to really scale back on my shopping.  I guess when one is uncertain about their financial security it becomes impossible to find joy in the act of spending.  Lately, I've transformed into one frugal fashionista.  Suddenly, I find more value in what I already have then what I think I need.  As a result, I’m a woman who now wears white…wha?  That’s right, white!  This unexpected occurrence is a result of the fact that white is the color in my closet that’s received the least attention.  Therefore, it's suddenly interesting to me since I haven't worn most of these pieces.  I mean, come on!  White symbolizes optimism and innocence.  It’s the color of baby lambs, milk, and fresh snow.  All I can say is, “I detest winter, I’m in dire need of a bone density test, and the only kind of lamb I’ve ever encountered has been wrapped in pita bread and smothered in cucumber sauce.”  Hmm…delicious cucumber sauce, it’s also white, now that I think about it. 
   Obviously, the ensemble I’m wearing in the above photographs is my attempt to feature this unexplored area of my closet.  Upon taking these pictures I was again shocked at how much I like seeing myself in lighter colors.  No more emo outfits for this lady.  I’m wearing happy little polka dots while listening to The Pixies!  Consequently, I’ve noticed I have many accessories I can finally style.  These were pieces I could never quite figure out how to wear.  However, now I see the solution was always present.  "Hello Rayna, there are options in your wardrobe beyond black and brown!"  Suddenly the white purse, that should have turned green long ago from expiration, is actively on my arm.  Who would have guessed it could pair perfectly with my long forgotten navy vintage belt.  Now this unlikely pair has become my current favorite style combination!
   Speaking of surprising combinations, I think it’s valid to state that presently my life has been full of them.  Its old news to anyone who knows me that I left my job of ten years and have now entered a kind of fluid frontier.  I like to think of it as my Bohemian summer.  I’m a free spirit belonging only to the wind, and I go where it takes me…which lately has been straight into my backyard to maintain perennials.  To explain, I may not be quite as hippie dippy as I’d like to seem.  In actuality, I’ve been working my buns off since leaving my job, only this time it’s been for a different employer.  Yep I’m working for my boyfriend’s landscaping company, and let me tell you just because you’re dating the boss doesn’t mean the harsh rays of the sun are filtered. 
   What I’m getting at here is working sans air-conditioning in the summer is hard.  While out in the oppressive heat I believe I’ve come close to experiencing a different kind of, “white light,” other than what’s been radiating out of my closet.  OK, dramatic joking aside, the type of work I’ve been doing lately has been quite challenging for me.  I've done some things I never thought I could achieve and I actually find myself excited to see what I'm capable of…like wearing white and finally styling that vintage belt…no wait, bigger things than that. 
   Lastly, the best thing that has come out of my Boho summer has been my amazing sandal tan lines!  My greenhouse buddies would be so proud of me! really, the best thing that has come out of my season of sovereignty has been my relationship with Al.  I want to state that he has been really wonderful to me during what could have been a very stressful time.  Instead, I’m learning how to drive a riding lawn mower, paint dump trucks, and prune trees.  I also have the first tan I’ve ever had in my life, which luckily looks great with the color white.  At this time I would like to thank the wonderful man I date for giving me the confidence to participate in all of these strange changes.  Due to the number of years we’ve been together, I tend to overlook his kindness as simply normal.  I mentioned earlier that suddenly I value what I already have more than what I think I need.  I think this statement applies to more than just the clothes in my closet.

Dress:  Kensie
Jeans:  Silver Jeans
Shoes:  Frye
Purse:  Kate Spade
Belt:  Vintage

Sunday, June 19, 2016

I Caught Destiny by the Throat

    I believe I’ve previously mentioned that sometimes the act of shopping seems smothered in destiny.  In other words, there are instances where certain pieces are simply meant to be owned by an individual.  For example, it’s like when my, “Spidey sense,” tingles after driving by a Goodwill store and I have to flip an illegal U-turn because, “God is telling me there is a pair of vintage, lace up, Made in Italy suede go-go boots waiting for me in aisle three!”  That actually happened to me once…OK, minus the minor traffic violation and the premonition of EXACTLY what was waiting for me.  Looking back now I guess I’m glad I didn’t have to tell a police officer the reason I erratically turned in the middle of the road was because, "Shoes that look like they belonged to Stevie Nicks at one time are in the thrift store."  However, if I had to explain this I like to believe law enforcement would totally understand.  I guess my overall point is to reiterate that shopping can be an activity that seems, "driven," by fate.   So people, stop feeling guilty about spending money on apparel!  These items are destined to be yours and the act of purchasing is simply out of your control.  How do you like that for justification?
   Recently, while my brother was in town visiting, I experienced one of these mysterious happenings.  I want to first clarify that my brother is definitely my, “bestie,” and I say this for many reasons.  Rather than list a bunch of random cliché justifications for this statement I'll simplify it to one.  The kid hears me say something like, “Oooh, this would be a perfect location for glamour shots!” and his response is, “Did you bring the camera?”  Anyone who is willing to crank out about eighty five pictures of me acting like an idiot in public is truly charitable.  Not to mention talented, since he has mastered the art of gracefully smoking while holding a camera.  What can I say?  He is definitely a born artist.  The pictures above are an example of an afternoon spent with the Hallman siblings.  On this particular day we got our coffee and proceeded to loiter at one of our favorite parks.  To explain, loitering is my second favorite activity only to glamour shots.  I have to say it really was an enjoyable afternoon full of wasting time.  However, admittedly on this day, our photo shoot had a purpose.  To be totally honest our, "aimless," meanderings were actually planned because I had a string of serendipity around my neck.
   What I’m referring to is the necklace I’m wearing in the above pictures.  As I mentioned earlier, I’m used to experiencing a type of strange intuition when it comes to hunting down prizes at the thrift store.  What I’m not familiar with is when these treasures actually find me.  To explain, the necklace I have on in these photographs was one that I had admired for years at a boutique in Fargo, ND.  As I’ve clarified in previous posts, my brother resides in Fargo, (a wonderful town I also used to live in), and I find myself going there quite often.  On several of my trips north, I would visit a particular store and always see the necklace, pictured above, lying in the jewelry case.  I would think, “Man, that is so cool!  I really should buy that.”  However, for one reason or another I would always let guilt talk me out of it.  “Rayna, you already went crazy at the Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch Thrift Store.  We don’t need to be outright gluttonous, now do we?”  I would hear in my head.  “Besides, it will be here next time I’m in town,” I would think and for quite a while I was right.  That necklace sat in the case for years, waiting for me to take it home, until one trip it was no longer there.  I have to admit I felt nearly sick about it. 
   Just a few weeks ago, but literally years after I had forgotten my missed opportunity, my brother handed me the necklace.  “Uh yeah, I thought it was pretty cool too and when you never bought it I actually snagged it for a friend of mine,” he admitted sheepishly.  He then continued, “But that friend moved away before I had the chance to give it to her so I’ve been hanging onto it in order to give to you and well…I kind of forgot.”  “Forgot!” I thought.  First this beautiful piece was stuck sitting in a display case for about three years and then when it was finally purchased it was, "forgotten," in a dude’s drawer!  The injustice!...the outrage!...the pure wrongness!...all of it just made me smile.  “Come to Mama,” I thought while finally putting on MY necklace.  A necklace that was actually purchased for someone else, but somehow found it's way back to me.  Now if that isn’t a beautiful fairy tale I don’t know what is.

Belt:  Thrifted 
Skirt:  Thrifted
Boots:  Vintage
Purse:  Vintage
Necklace:  Beijo Brazil  (Purchased from Zandbroz Variety in Fargo, ND)
Bracelet:  Thrifted
Sunglasses:  Coach

*All pictures taken by Zeb, except for the one below.  Everyone needs a glamour shot.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

This Dude Did Done Do the Do-Rag

   Despite the fact that I’ve been unable to go on any major shopping sprees as of late, I have to say life has been pretty decent.  As many of you know…and by, "many," I mean the three people who actually read this blog…I’ve currently been looking for new employment.  After working at the same establishment for ten years this is an activity I'm no longer familiar with.  Whatever happened to the days where one could walk into a business and talk to a real person in order to apply for a job?  Recently I’ve found everything is done on the Internet.  An individual is expected to conduct their search, fill out an application, and even shake someone’s hand all through the Web.  OK, maybe the handshake thing is a stretch, but I’m sure someone has thought of a way to virtually do this.  Heck, maybe handshakes are a thing of the past!  God please help guide my behavior if this apparently outdated lady actually gets an interview.
   As a result of my current situation, some of my fashion choices have been rather questionable.  I seem to be of the opinion that a casual appearance is good enough for a day spent mumbling to myself.  To clarify, I’m not going crazy.  I just find that I’m spending an awful lot of time by myself…watching daytime television…which would make anyone babble like an idiot.  Yep, it just doesn’t seem necessary to get all dressed up in order to hit the couch…or the riding lawn mower.  Yes, I said RIDING LAWN MOWER!  However, that topic is a whole separate blog post. 
   Looking through my favorite style blogs I’ve noticed some bloggers doing posts on only fashion accessories.  I thought, “Perfect!  I can feature the, "best friend," to not only daytime television enthusiasts, but also outdoors men (I promise I'll eventually reveal my recent adventures in the wild.)  However, at this time I want to take a moment to pay homage to my current style obsession, the do-rag!  In my opinion, there never was a more necessary accessory. 
   Are you feeling down about your productivity?  Slap on a do-rag and suddenly look like you’ve been hard at it scrubbing floors.  Having a, “Meh,” moment with your hair because you tried, once again, to cut your own bangs and suddenly your head is more asymmetrical than the lead singer of Flock of Seagulls?  Simple! Cover it with a cute do-rag and suddenly transform that outdated New Wave look into a super trending Boho beauty.  Lastly is your mood one of isolation, since seemingly everyone you know is working among other individuals and you’ve suddenly found yourself pulling weeds in an empty field while telling your life story to…well…no one?  (Again, we'll save that for another blog post.)  No problem!  Put on a do-rag and instantly feel like you’re about to hit the streets with, "the gang," on the old Harley Davidson.  In my opinion there's no sour mood the do-rag can’t remedy. 
   On a more serious note, sometimes one can’t think of a blog-worthy ensemble.  It’s these occasions that a fashion blogger has to rely on their accessories to carry a look…or a post…or about one page worth of nonsense writing.  The day I photographed these pictures I had absolutely no motivation to style an outfit.  Instead, I put on the old reliable uniform of a baseball t-shirt and jeans.  I decided to jazz it up with a do-rag and some bangle bracelets.  Looking at these pictures now, I think it's amazing how just a couple of well considered accessories can totally save an otherwise pathetic look.  So next time you find yourself alone, with bad hair, and totally unmotivated dig out your favorite vintage scarf or bandanna and tie that sucker around your head!  I guarantee something good will happen, even if this just means you're laughing at your reflection in the mirror.

Do-Rag:  Thrifted (Savers in Fargo, ND)  I’m seriously on the hunt for more of these Russian style scarves!
Bracelets:  Thrifted

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Back In The Saddle?

   While some aspects of my life seem like they’ve stalled, others have really been cooking.  For instance, I’ve liked the pictures I’ve been taking for this blog lately.  Recently I was starting to feel like all of my photographs were stagnant.  I would put on yet another uninspired outfit and stand in front of my tripod trying to muster enthusiasm for something I just didn’t feel anymore.  Me…I didn’t feel excited about taking glamour shots anymore.  Something was clearly wrong!  I wondered things like, “Have I just exhausted every flattering angle of my face?  Do I even like this hairstyle anymore?”....or most frighteningly, “Am I simply out of good combinations of clothing in my wardrobe?”  To an outsider these types of thoughts probably seem extremely trivial.  However, for an individual who has spent countless hours constructing her, “perfect,” identity through her closet, these thoughts were more than disappointing.
   Thankfully it seems the tides have changed.  As a result of my extra free time I've developed a new enthusiasm towards blogging.  I feel more relaxed in front of my camera.  Probably because I know there's nothing else I have going on.  I’m able to take my time while doing things.  I can get ready in the morning at my own pace.  In addition, I've developed the patience to explore the previously neglected items in my closet.  I think it’s quite common for most individuals to rely on a few key pieces to construct the majority of their looks.  Despite the fact that I have MANY choices I’m ashamed to admit that it's always seemed easier to rotate the, "old reliable," garments.  I'm often horrified to discover what percentage of my closet has actually never been photographed for this blog! 
   Not only has having more time helped improve my wardrobe selections, but surprisingly having less money has also helped .  I will admit to my shopping addiction.  Unfortunately lately I've been on a complete spending freeze in regards to clothing.  At first I was absolutely horrified by the thought of not shopping.  However, now that I’m practicing restraint I find myself searching my own closet in order to seek out that, “new clothing buzz.”  As I mentioned earlier, I find there are so many pieces I’ve hardly ever…or maybe never…worn.  It’s these pieces that have always made me feel most shameful about my addiction.  It feels good to be taking notice of these forgotten treasures and finally give them the attention they deserve.  Who knew that less income would result in more clothing options?
   The pictures above show a perfect example of what I’m referring to.  As I was searching through my closet on another, “substitute shopping trip,” I came across the top I’m wearing.  I had picked it up a while ago at one of my favorite local vintage boutiques.  I remember thinking how pretty it was and considering how I might style it.  I then proceeded to hang it with the other white shirts in my closet, (aka the land of forgotten fashion.)  Looking back at the pictures in this blog I realize that I simply don’t wear white shirts…like ever.  Unfortunately, looking in my closet one would think white was my favorite color!  I look at the images featured in this post and think, “I look great in white.  Why the heck have I been avoiding that section of my closet for so long?"  All I can come up with is, “Life is really strange.”  One would think that less money would create a lot of doom and gloom in an individual.  Lately, I would've thought black would be my favorite color.  However, I’m predicting a lot of white in the rotation soon.  I guess, despite everything, the future still seems bright to this blogger.

Jeans:  Liverpool
Wedges:  Dr. Scholl's
Purse:  BCBG Max Azria
Belt:  Thrifted
Bracelets:  Thrifted