Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 in outfits

Jeremiah and I are still out of town visiting family -- a couple of days away has turned into an extended week, and we've really been enjoying our time away from work and responsibility and yes, blogging. I had many plans of sharing some outfits with you, but I've been phoning it in all week and repeating all of my red/white outfits from the 30 for 30 Remix Project. Lazy, lazy ...

I thought since it was New Year's Eve, I thought I'd share some of my favorite outfits of the last year. It's been fun to look back, and I'm incredibly excited for new projects in the next year. 

Hope you all have a wonderful night, and see you in 2011! Regular outfit posts will resume on Monday.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Carol of the bears

Not to be outshone by any red-nosed prodigies this year, Sprinkle decided to audition for Santa's reindeer casting call. Jingle bear rock indeed.

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Have a holly jolly whatever

 Top: Arizona Jeans Co., thrifted; Sweater: Faded Glory;
Boots: Target; Skirt: Kasper, thrifted;Belt: Loft;
Hairbow (as bowtie): Treasure Box of Bows.
Photos of me by Jeremiah.

Yesterday was a really busy day full of a million errands and Christmas shopping, so I didn't have time to go to my usual picture spots and had to get Jeremiah to take my photos very quickly at the Coke mural. I feel out of sorts when I don't get to take my own photos -- I really like the routine of going to the park and setting things up, and so I feel like I am losing some battle with myself when I don't get to do it. But Jeremiah is pretty good-natured about doing it on these busy days.

After today I'll be on Christmas vacation and visiting family around the state. It'll be a little quiet around here this weekend, but I'll be back in a few days.

I hope I don't sound too schmaltzy here, but I really love this wonderful blog community and will miss you all during the break. I hope you have a wonderful weekend, wherever you are and whatever you celebrate!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Sartorial resolutions, meet my closet: 2011 edition

After some deep reflecting over what I'd like to accomplish style-wise for next year, here are my sartorial resolutions for 2011. I couldn't think of a better way to depict them than in graffiti-ed photography (well, my first choice was skywriting them,  but Jeremiah said that would blow our Christmas budget, and then I'd really have to make all my relatives macaroni necklaces for presents).

Anyway, away we go:

I know it sounds kind of lame-o to list something as basic as separates as a sartorial resolution. But I've advocated for dress-wearing so much on this blog (and even did a challenge last spring to wear them all in succession), that they've almost become a crutch and I could be more creative with the other pieces that I have. The 30 for 30 Remix Challenge I did recently has helped me realize that there are some pieces that have some staying power (hello, leather skirt) and I want to try to utilize them more often. But, don't be alarmed now: this blog will always be a Team Dress advocate at heart. 

And for my next trick:

 One of the issues I had this year was that I would buy a bunch of statement, flashy pieces without having a clue how to work them seamlessly into my wardrobe. For example, the thrifted Ecru band jacket above languished in my closet for more than a year before I had the guts to wear it. After a few remixes with it, I can't imagine what I was so scared about. I want it to be like that for all of my statement pieces. Whenever I think of a "ridiculous" combination, I want to go with my first instinct of trying it out instead of letting those pieces go unused.

In the third act: 

Like boucle. Ikat. Turban. Velvet. Batik. Seersucker. Dirndl. Petticoat. I will keep an open mind for trying new things, while keeping an eye out for well-constructed pieces.

And, in conclusion:

This is the most ambitious of my resolutions, as it shows the direction I'd really like for my blog to go toward. I've grown to love doing my own photography in the last year, and I want to step up my sessions (and tripod stunts) by setting up some intricate photoshoots that tell stories, frame by frame. Some of my favorite photos from the last year seem to hint at an untold tale; I'd really like to expand that.  

Are you planning on doing sartorial resolutions, and what are they? 


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Featured: Self-photography with Hello, Monkeyface!

Self-photography wasn't something I became interested in until I started blogging, but it's since become a full-fledged obsession. I've really come to enjoy it because not only do you get full reign of how you're portrayed, it also becomes a one-person show, and it allows you to be the model, photographer and director of each photo session you do.

Which is why I'm so thrilled that Hello, Monkeyface! has started a "Self-Caught" interview series featuring self-photographers and their tips and experiences. As a self-photographer herself, Monkeyface has the seamless talent of combining playful Photoshop illustrations with stunning style photos, and she created this series to discuss ways to achieve better self-photography.

Click through here to read our thoughts on self-shooting tips, tricks and methods, as well as some awkward bystander stories (mine includes some energetic furry friends). Many thanks to Monkeyface for this feature of Sidewalk Chic, and for starting what is sure to be a delightful series!

Rhapsody in blue

Top: Banana Republic; Skirt: thrifted, vintage;
Belt: BR, gift from Marilou; Wedges: Bongo, thrifted.

I know what you're probably thinking -- that I am completely crazypants for wearing this outfit in the middle of December. But on Friday we had a strange and beautiful day where the high temperature was hovering around 70 degrees in the afternoon, and I had to take advantage of the nice day by wearing something I had been saving for spring. Welcome to Georgia -- our greatest export is weather confusion.

Because of the nice day, I decided to wear a darker color palette and my new-to-me gladiator wedges. I broke my 30 for 30 shopping ban for these, as well as for a few vintage dresses that still need to be hemmed. It was worth being bad.

Speaking of being bad, I've been playing catchup lately. There's some giant holiday at the end of the week, and I have to finish getting people gifts. Apparently finger-painted portraits and macaroni necklaces stopped being cute when I was 7, so I'm currently looking for new alternatives.

Nothing says "I love you" like a peanut butter pinecone bird feeder, right?

Monday, December 20, 2010

Sgt. Pepper's disco

Band jacket: Ecru, thrifted; Sequin shirt: vintage, thrifted; 
Jeans: LOFT; Necklace: giveaway gift, Hazel & Harlow;
Shoes: Ipanema, thrifted.
Photos of me by Jeremiah.

So I really, really wanted to wear this outfit during the 30 for 30, but I didn't have many opportunities to try it out in my everyday life -- no holiday parties or anything going on over here yet. So I went ahead and just wore it for a pizza outing downtown with Jeremiah. It ended up being perfect because a) it was graduation day at UGA, and I was a representin' alumna in my school colors and b) there were so many graduates outside taking photos of themselves in cap and gown, that Jeremiah and I didn't look bonkers taking my outfit photos at random spots. Win, win.

At first glance, it looks like there is too much going on with this outfit and you'd think the band jacket and the sequin top would compete for attention. Instead, I think they complement each other because they're both working with the same neutral color (black), and the sequins don't overwhelm the costume characteristics of the band jacket. 

Now, now if I could just find a traveling disco band, my life would be complete.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Treasured: DvF blue tote

Almost all of the items in my "Treasured" posts invoke a nostalgia that allow me to look back and enjoy the memories I've had with them, from childhood heirlooms to honeymoon trinkets.

But there are only a special few items that inspire me to look ahead as well.

A few years ago when I was halfway through college, my father died unexpectedly of a heart attack, and understandably, my family was bereft and adrift for most of that summer.  We were just us four, not five anymore, and couldn't seem to get over the insurmountable gap that my father had left.

When summer was almost over, I had to go back to college and get back into the swing of things. I had a post as an editor at my college newspaper that needed tending to. I could be busy. I had classes to take, and friends to see. I had goals before, didn't I? I had a life to get back into. I was needed. I needed.

I almost couldn't. Going back to school seemed like a huge obstacle. Insurmountable. Was it only two months since I had last been there? It seemed like lifetimes before. I was different, too. I felt older by experience but younger in my confusion. A walking paradox that cried.

One night, I went shopping with my mom at Ross to get out of the house. Most of our excursions during that month and half were not important by task. Going to the grocery store, going to the movies. Trivial in the everyday, but monumental in their emotional fulfillment of forgetting grief for just a couple hours.

We were walking in the aisles, talking about me going back to school. It'll be weird, I said. You'll be fine, she said.

I saw this bag hanging on the rack for a deal. Cerulean. Diane von Furstenberg. Everything about it said grownup and hopeful. I touched it wistfully. I had a few tote bags for school, but none as nice or beautiful.

My mom bought it for me. She said I needed a new bag anyways for my editor job, overlooking the fact that collegiate journalism doesn't require champagne tastes. In one purchase, she confirmed a love and confidence in me. You can do it. You'll be fine. 

And a week later, I was back in school, getting back into things. Getting back into going to class. Getting back into editing at work, writing columns, typing, and calling. Seeing friends. Talking, opening up again. Crying. Laughing.

I carried that bag everywhere that semester. It reminded me that I could get through this, I had life to look forward to and that I still deserved nice things. It was a leather-and-cotton life raft to help bridge the rift between who I was before, what I went through and who I wanted to become. I could forget my grief for a little while. I could make sense of the shards and move on, slowly but ever still pacing ahead.

An affirmation in cerulean.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Revisiting sartorial resolutions

About a year ago, I made some sartorial resolutions for myself to break out of my comfort zone with dressing and get bolder with my style. I had an idea of how I wanted to dress, which included a lot more remixing, vintage and more theatrical kinds of things. How did I stack up in the last year?

Here's what I said:

Reading different sites and finding new kinds of inspiration is a mind-opening way to expand what I already have in my closet. And I'm over the old stiff rules of not doing certain color combinations or fabrics during certain seasons. So next year, I will try to forget those dumb rules. I will wear black and brown, pink and red, mustard and purple. I will mismatch my patterns. I will wear brocade in spring, linen in fall. I will no longer care about the invisible audience and dress for myself.

How did I do? I like being accountable to this blog and to myself, so here's what I did:

What's the story, morning glory?

 Coat: H&M, thrifted; Dress: Sangria; 
Blouse: Ann Taylor, thrifted;
Hairbow (as bowtie): Treasure Box of Bows;
Tights: Target; Boots: LOFT (gift from Mom!).
Shop similar: Coat, dress, boots

Another thing a girl can do when she's really bored in a small town? Besides household organization and tripod crazy stunts? Make up a story in photos and pretend it's for an editorial spread. 

Whenever I put this outfit on, I thought I looked like the human embodiment of a tree, and so I kind of just expounded on the nature theme when I took photos in the woods. When I studied Latin in school, one of my favorite legends was about the nymph Daphne, who, after getting chased around by the lovesick god Apollo, prayed to Zeus to be turned into a tree to escape Apollo's advances. 

Skeezy mythical gods aside, I always thought this metamorphosis story was beautiful -- being able to transform --- and so I decided to play it out in my photos by embodying the myth. In half, I look like I'm ready to escape; in some, I'm at ease and completely grounded.

One of my goals for the next year is to tell more stories with my photos. It's incredibly fun and it beats organizing cereal boxes by color and deliciousness any day. 

So, I dare you: What kind of story would you tell with your outfit photos?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

All together now -- Outfits 1-30

Oh hi there, 30 JoAnns from the Remix Challenge. It's a little exhausting for me to look at, because I feel like they're all staring at me, wanting to borrow my clothes.

Anyway, some (non-scientific) statty-stats about my foray into remixing:

- I never wore the sequin shirt that I claimed would be the "piece de resistance" of the entire challenge. I am also apparently not good at predictions, so do not rely on me for lottery numbers or your future children's names*.  Actually, not wearing the sequin shirt became deliberate after the 20th outfit. It was getting colder, and I couldn't think of a different way to wear it without covering the sleeves. 

- Most-used items: the French Connection white bridal dress (5), the Old Navy leather skirt (5), the Target boots (20!).

- Favorite outfits: Anything that involved a red/black/white color scheme or the J. Crew paisley dress. 

And some final thoughts: This was not an easy challenge for me to do, and not just because it required me to do my laundry more often. It really challenged me to be creative with my outfits, but so much so to the point where I felt like I was constantly competing with the yesterday version of myself and trying to outdo whatever I had previously done. I am very happy that I pushed myself to do so, because I do like a lot of what I put together, but I am relieved that kind of internal pressure I created for myself in this challenge is over and I can move on to more important things.

Like wearing sweatpants.

Kidding. Just wanted to make sure you were paying attention. 

(Could you imagine, though? My dresses would be sharpening their pitchforks)

*I have a feeling you should name your child Astrid, regardless of gender, because that's a wicked name. Also, 42 is a good backup for any lottery number situation.
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