Thursday, September 30, 2010

The month of September in outfits

This might have been my favorite month photographically. I'm challenging myself next month to come up with more outfit combinations and other new places for photos.

In September, I:

- Dressed down a silk dress with an anorak.
- Abandoned an old photo location.
- Made gingham work for fall weather.
- Answered your questions.
- Did some pattern mixing in dark colors.
- Celebrated Labor Day.
- Dressed like a Crayola box.
- Started a new job.
- Made plaid look sweet.
- Had my first guest blogger, Marilou.
- Played around in a prairie frock.
- Wore some lace.
- Make that leather, too.
- Watched the sunrise.
- Got lost.
- Bought a new camera.

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You're a new morning

Dress: Laura Ashley, vintage, thrifted;
Sweater, belt: Ann Taylor LOFT;
Shoes: Zigi Soho.
How I've worn the dress before: here.
Listening to: "New Morning," Alpha Rev.

I am really pleased with how this photo set turned out. I took the new camera out to the park in the morning, and tinkered around with the settings as the sun crept up. Apparently there is a huge difference between "Landscape" (which focuses on more blue and green tones) and "Sunset" (warmer tones), and knowing this helped me get the color tones that I wanted to capture.

The direction of my blog photography has evolved since I first started taking photos. I've found more and more that while my intent is to take photos of my outfit, I'm more interested and content in fusing those looks with landscape backgrounds to create more of an editorialized shot, and have more of my photos look like illustrations. I've been looking at a lot of nature photos online for inspiration -- particularly Ansel Adams' work. I know it sounds really ambitious, but I'm trying to figure out how to incorporate those kinds of nature settings more and more into my outfit shots.

It's the return of the Southern-d├ębutante-circa-1983 dress. This might be my favorite outfit ever on the ol' blog. I have struggled with how to style the dress for everyday wear because it seems so formal (tiers! sweetheart neckline! in-your-face print!). This time around, I basically just employed my autumn outfit formula: Add a sweater and belt it. I get to wear it without getting asked if I'm going to a themed party, and the tiers aren't compromised. The dress is happy, and so am I.

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

My closet MVPs

I always talk about remixing more clothing pieces in my closet, but there are certain items that always seem to do the heavy lifting by acting as the foundation or supporting player in an outfit. Here are my most used items, and why I consider them important:


 Thrifted Donna Ricco dress
 This category was hard to compile, because of my much-documented dress obsession. But since I found this dress this summer, it's worked for many different occasions, including birthday parties and trivia dinners. I love the muted color palette and print and how it can transition with the seasons.

Ann Taylor Loft purple printed dress
 Another well-worn favorite, for the same reasons as the dress above. I scored it for about $10 on final sale. The purple has worked really well with the other items in my closet.

Thrifted Arpeja dress
When I bought this dress in February, I knew I had to have it (it was $3 at the Salvation Army), but I struggled at first with styling it and not knowing how to temper its loud print. Somehow, I've managed to wear it many different ways during the seasons, and have layered it with sweaters and a skirt. Some of my favorite outfits have included this dress, and I've decided to just let its ruffles be.


 Ruffled sweater from Ann Taylor Loft
 This was a Christmas gift. I spent so much time wearing it during winter and spring, and I don't expect that to change this fall. The detailing is romantic enough to wear with some of my floaty dresses, and it adds a sweet touch to some of the more neutral ones. I also love that it looks cute with a belt!

Brown sweater from Target

 Another cold weather staple. This wool sweater (from the Merona Collection, around $30) really has helped make some of my summer dresses wearable during the fall and winter. I usually do not have that much luck at bargain stores like Target, but I've been really happy that this has held up.

Target Kady cognac boots
These were a purchase from last fall, and it's surprising how long these $30 boots have held up. Despite being a bargain deal, their neutral brown color has gone with everything, and have helped transition some of my floatier dresses to fall.

Shoes, gift from the Philippines
These were a souvenir from my mom and sister's trip earlier this summer. I have worn them almost nonstop since receiving them. I love the neutral color and the fact that they are slim enough to fit my narrow feet (most flats are too wide for me). In fact, I've held off wearing these recently because I need to get them resoled!


LOFT red belt

I think I resort to this belt the most because it's the only one I have that fits at my waist the best. It doesn't have notches in it like a normal belt, but it cinches as tight as I want it to. Plus, it adds a pop of color around my waist, which is especially helpful in an otherwise neutral outfit.

In compiling this list, I've found that Ann Taylor Loft and Target were my most used brands. I don't always shop there, but it seems like I can find reliable staples from those stores.

What are your closet MVPs?

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A trail of crumbs

Dress: Jennifer Moore, thrifted;
Sweater: Target:
Moccasins: Minnetonka.

Thanks for all the nice things you guys said on my last post. My new camera is still taking some getting used to, but I am excited about it.

I went to the park at my normal time last night, and it was already almost dark! What the what?!? It definitely made my walk in the woods a bit spookier. Usually Georgia is the last place to get chilly while the rest of the country experiences autumn, and now it's getting dark at 7:15 and the temperatures are hovering around 69 degrees. I don't mind it, because it's been a reprieve from the long hot summer. But it makes me wonder if it's coming earlier than usual, are we going to have a longer winter? Hope not...

Anyway, I loved wearing this outfit. It's brown and cinnamon colored and just reminds me of the season that's already here.

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Thoughts from the Sidewalk

from "Leaves that are Green," Simon and Garfunkel. October is my favorite month -- I can't wait for dead leaves and pumpkin patches....!

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What I wore...when I was seven

It's been raining a lot outside, so opportunities for outfit photos have drastically diminished. I thought I'd share with you a recent find -- the only photographic evidence of my favorite childhood clothing item: my pink and turquoise tennis shoes.

I remember these shoes being a total dream. They were pink, purple and turquoise; Velcro-ed, zipped and laced; had shoelaces that changed colors in the sun; and lit up whenever I took a step. They were a conversation starter in my second grade class, and I remember I always won the race of who-can-take-their-shoes-off-the-fastest (I don't know why that was a particular game in my class, but whatever, I was the champion). I loved them, and I kept the shoes long after I had outgrown them, before their ratty conditions forced them to be thrown out.

I love these photos because I look really happy at the fair -- who doesn't like to be reminded of a cheerful memory? But they also provide some insight into my current style preferences, such as pattern mixing and bright colors. And it looks like even back then, I matched my surroundings (though not on purpose when I was younger) -- in the first photo, those shoes couldn't have matched that carousel horse any better...

Did you have a favorite childhood clothing item? Do you still own it? Do your past clothing choices affect your current style tastes? Share!

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Monday, September 27, 2010

"Mad Men" links: Season 4, Episode 10

"Hands and Knees," image via AMC.

Episode 10 of every "Mad Men" season usually seems to be when events start to really landslide and things pick up huge momentum. Last night's episode was no exception. As usual, no spoilers related to last night are referenced in this post, but obviously if you click a link you'll get details. Hope you enjoy!

- The Wall Street Journal has an interview with Lynn Shelton, who directed "Hands and Knees."

- Basket of Kisses contemplates the secrets of last night's episode, and why many of the characters have nowhere to run. In reference to last week's "The Beautiful Girls," a closer look at who's really the "emu" of the show.

- Mark Moses, aka Duck Phillips, has returned to "Desperate Housewives" as Paul Young. See who else has played roles on both these shows.

- A London museum will be showcasing some 1960s "Mad Men" era clothes. (The setup in the first photo with the birds overhead is evocative of Betty and the "Shoot" episode!)

- Jon Hamm opens up about previously battling depression. His real life experiences overlap a bit with Don's character, as Hamm lost both his parents while he was young.

- AMC has an interview up with Cara Buono (aka Dr. Faye Miller).

- Elisabeth Moss tells Entertainment Weekly about her favorite "Mad Men" episode.

- And finally, New York Magazine has some fun reenacting some "Mad Men" scenes with the dolls. "Never fear, First-Aid Joan is here!"

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I'm going back to the start

Dress: Arpeja, vintage, thrifted;
Sweater, belt: Ann Taylor Loft;
Boots: Target.

I bought a new camera over the weekend (an Olympus FE-4030), and these are my first photos with it! It'll take some getting used to in understanding it. This is going to sound weird, but I feel like I had my own language and relationship with my old camera, in that I not only understood all its settings, but I knew what to do when it wasn't working the right way. When I took pictures with the new one, I kept getting frustrated when I didn't know which settings were where, and the changing light settings (it was partly cloudy) only exacerbated things. I can already say that I love my new one, and that there is much more clarity in the photos than the ones produced with my older one, but I am still learning. I cannot wait until I understand its language!

It has been raining non-stop here. I put on my cheeriest, most ruffly outfit to combat the mucky weather. I have hesitated in the past to pair this sweater and this dress together, because it seems like confectionary overload, but this week I couldn't resist looking like funfetti. Again.

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Friday, September 24, 2010

Some outtakes

It's been a loooong week, dear friends. Excuse the lack of outfit photos the last couple days -- my camera died and I'm in the process of either trying to get it fixed/buy a new one. I'm hoping to be back and running by early next week. I hope you'll understand and bear with me in the meantime -- I really feel weird not taking my outfit photos everyday, and it feels like my universe is out of whack without doing them.
For now, here are some recent outtakes to hopefully tide you over.

That last one is a failed jumping attempt! It can be harder than it looks.

Hope you have a great weekend,

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