Thursday, March 31, 2011

The pretty little patter of a seaboard town

 Dress: Liz Claiborne, thrifted; Belt: Ann Taylor Loft;
 Shoes: Minnetonka; Flower crown: DIY by me.
Listening to: "Down by the water," The Decemberists.

I've been starting the last couple of posts with apologies for not blogging as much. I've had to take a break several times this month because of technological breakdowns -- my laptop, camera and television all died within the same week, and Jeremiah and I have spent every free weekend looking to replace them. It's been hard, because not being connected has left me feeling out of the loop by not being able to keep up with my  inbox, my friendships and my photography. Things have started to look up finally this week, though -- we just got my new laptop in the mail, so here's my foot back in, and  I am excited to getting back to a regular, consistent schedule.

While I was away, I did indulge in some DIY projects --- floral crowns! I am in love with the bohemian hair look -- I even used a floral wreath in my own wedding, and so I've been wanting to make some for awhile. I used this easy tutorial from Bleubird Vintage, and eventually made four of them with different flowers. The whole project was pretty cheap -- about $10 with supplies from Michael's -- and the only addendum I would add to the tutorial is that I had an easier time using silk leaves and smaller flowers. I couldn't get bulb-shaped flowers (like tulips) to work for me, but I'll try with more practice. I'm so excited about these, and plan on wearing them a lot this summer!

It feels so long, so tell me: how have you guys been? 

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Swan Queen dances again

 Black feather dress: Gap, from mom; 
Shoes: Aerosoles;
Bag: Lulu Letty giveaway, from Timely Vintage;
Cougar Bracelet: vintage, thrift find, from Finder's Keepers (Lawrenceville).
Photos by Jeremiah.

Yesterday was Jeremiah's birthday, and we celebrated by going downtown for an Indian dinner and visiting over milkshakes with his family. To help honor Jeremiah's big day, I decided to dress up in a dress that looks like it was fashioned from the leftover Rodarte pieces from the movie "Black Swan." It's one part delicate on top, and then it's madness in chiffon-y scraps on the skirt. And it's so fluffy. I danced around in it all night, and occasionally said quotes from the movie ("IT'S MY TURN" is pretty funny if you keep saying it in a guttural, maniacal growl).

Because nothing quite says "Happy birthday" to your spouse than imitating the psychological breakdown of a hallucinating, obsessive ballerina, amirite?

Happy weekend,

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I have confidence in sunshine

Dress: Erika, thrifted, vintage; Shoes: Zigi Soho;
Bag: Fossil, thrifted; Bracelet: gift.

Every time I wear this dress, I always think, "Fraulein Maria has come back from the abbey!" The flutter sleeves of this little slip of the dress are totally reminiscent of a certain bohemian nun turned singing sensation, no? I promise I won't break out into ditties about living hills or drops of golden sun or any of that (the world is better off not to hear me do so).

It's supposedly spring here, but I think we've already bypassed it and gone onto summer. It's 80 degrees here.  Eighty. That's insane. For those of you experiencing snowstorms up north, I wish you were here too.

I'm finally getting into the groove with my new camera! Normally this doesn't happen so soon, but yesterday's shoot went so well, and that rarely happens with sunset sessions. That last shot may be a new favorite.  I am still getting re-acclimated to blogging after my unexpected break, so I'm excited to get back to reading your blogs again!

Monday, March 21, 2011

An early morning walk

 Because it's been a long time since I've been there, and I've missed this place, here are more photos from my farm park visit. It's interesting to see how little has changed.

New camera species discovered after bear attack tragedy

SPECIAL REPORT - A new camera species, Sony Cybershotticus, a member of the digital photography family, has been discovered, just a few weeks after the bear attack that killed its camera predecessor.

Sony Cybershot, as it is more commonly known, with its good picture quality and silver packaging, is just one in a long line of cameras used in the Sidewalk Chic project. It was inducted into the prestigious Purse of Many and Unnecessary Objects this weekend and was taken on a field experiment to the farm park, a place of old and photo-worthy things.

"A new coworker so soon? Don't pull my leg," said Vista Explorer, a tripod and new colleague of the Cybershot. "I don't know if I can deal with this much change so quickly. It isn't stable."

The pivotal breakthrough came when a family member realized that Cybershot was in good working order and lying around a Kitchen Counter, a hangout for motley crews of appliances. Charger, a part-time nuclear power generator and colleague of the Cybershot, came in the mail for the induction.

"I am so fired up to be a part of this photo project," said the Charger, while gulping a Surge soda. "As long as we don't pull the plug too early in this work, we can make some magic."

"Did you know that 'ships in one to two days' really means a week?" said JoAnn, Sidewalk Chic blogger and new owner of the Cybershot. "That charger took forever to get here. Whatever, I'm just glad that I could take photos at the farm park to make up for my unexpected and mysterious absence."

The find comes just two weeks after the death of the Canon Powershot in a bear attack, a loss that left the Sidewalk Chic community reeling.

"It was a beautiful funeral for a stand-up guy," said Vista the tripod of the Powershot's memorial. "I made a few jokes in my eulogy, though I was upset so they probably were a little limp when I told them. A lot of people waved lighters and we sang 'Vogue' by Madonna. I mostly leaned on things for the rest of the week."

Cybershot performed well in the field and has already produced 56 photos.
As for Cybershot's longevity, that remains to be seen.

"I hope it lasts more than five months, " said JoAnn, the photographer and blogger. "I think things should get back to normal around here. I promise not to drop to my camera -- I mean, let bears get near it again."

Earlier: [Camera dies in epic bear attack]
Outfit details:
Dress: Donna Ricco;
Skeleton key necklace: vintage, from Minx;
Belt: Banana Republic, gift from Marilou;
Jacket: Aeropostale, thrifted;
Sandals: Jeffrey Campbell, giveaway from Elisharon.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Remixed: pleated skirt

Though it's an impractical piece for me to wear because it requires constant ironing and cleaning, nothing is more indicative of nice weather than this white pleated skirt. A thrift store find, it has more than proven its worth in my closet by how it layers and works as a neutral piece. I can't wait to wear it in more nautical-themed outfits later this summer.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Links a la Mode

Making it Your Own
Edited by Vahni of Grit & Glamour

Links à la Mode: March 10th

  • ALinetoZ: An Open Letter to High-Waisted Jeans
  • Arash Mazinani: How ethical are you when it comes to fashion? A look at the hypocrisy often involved in being ethical in fashion.
  • Beyond Fabric: Men's daily essentials—inside one man's bag holdall.
  • Corinne Monique: Cellissimo: a music-meets-fashion photoshoot inspired by high fashion ad campaigns.
  • Dress With Courage: Are you more likely to buy something if the model looks like you?
  • Designed By Ann: Reading glasses are suddenly fashionable—so here are makeup tips for girls who wear glasses.
  • Free Honey: On moving to 5 must-know tips for new bloggers.
  • Fishmonkey: On The Man Repeller, the male gaze, and its role in shaping fashion choices.
  • Grit & Glamour: Klout: What it is and Why it Matters
  • Holier than Now: Spring's Most Beautiful Lace Looks—5 Ways for < $50
  • In Her Stilettos: How to organize your jewelry while traveling—cheaply and stylishly.
  • Made-to-Travel: Asos Africa—the incredible ethical makers of this gorgeous line—oh! and it's on sale!
  • Melina Bee: Life and style tips inspired by Sophia Loren.
  • Obsessive Coolness: On the relationship—or surprising lack thereof—between talent and success in fashion blogging.
  • Oranges And Apples: Thoughts on Marthettes, blogging about 'feminine' stuff, and perfection.
  • Pretty Shiny Sparkly: A chic and easy way to wear the double denim trend.
  • Sidewalk Chic: Six ways to showcase accessories in outfit photos.
  • Sugar and Spice: Natalie Portman is effortlessly eco-chic at an Oscars after-party—in an inexpensive dress that hits H&M next month.
  • Trés Awesome: The weather may be crappy but that didn't stop people from being out and about with their bright and beautiful umbrellas.
  • Try It On Me: The resurgence of the denim shirt—not just for cowboys!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

In memoriam: Camera dies in epic bear attack

SPECIAL REPORT - The Sidewalk Chic camera, a Canon Powershot and budding landscape portrait prodigy, died suddenly Monday morning from complications of a short fall near a lake an epic bear attack. It was five months old.

A memorial service will be held Thursday morning and a burial will take place in the Kitchen Junk Drawer, a well-respected camera and technology graveyard. In lieu of flowers, its owner asks for respect that outfit photos will be postponed until a worthy replacement can be found during this difficult time, or the duration of this weekend.

The camera, revered for its focal zoom and multi-functional settings, saw many outdoor adventures, where it was often commissioned for sartorial, landscape and still-life photos. It was in the process of an outfit photoshoot, pictured above, at the time of its death.

"His work had a leg to stand on," said Vista Explorer, a tripod who was a trusted colleague of the Powershot. "He breathed stunts and photography, man. He was always ready to dangle over lakes and bridges with me, and would deliver beautiful results. Without him, my work has no purpose."

"I'm getting a little nostalgic," said Memory Card, another colleague of Powershot. "They always say to take a picture, because it will last longer. Thanks for the moments and mega pixels, dear pal."

In its short lifetime, the camera became known for its mastery of detail in capturing various locations, including beaches, railroads, parking decks and cotton fields. It was also familiar with ducks.

"Yeah, I'm pretty bummed," said JoAnn, Sidewalk Chic blogger and owner of the Powershot. "Who would have thought a two-foot tumble in the sand would have killed it? Talk about going out with a whimper, rather than a bang. I think I'll just tell people it got attacked by a bear. At least that's got a little dignity."

Powershot is survived by 3,438 photos.
"I suppose you could say I'm having an existential crisis," Vista Explorer tripod said of Powershot's impact. "I guess I'll go back to freelancing as an easel and spending weekends in three-legged races."

"It's a little inconvenient timing, what with the nice weather and all," JoAnn said of the camera's death. "If an outfit isn't blogged, did it really happen? I suppose I'll have to watch a sunset this weekend and actually just enjoy it."

Outfit details:
Dress: In Roads, vintage, thrifted; 
Sweater: Banana Republic, thrifted;
Shoes: Zigi Soho;
Bracelet: vintage, gift from sister. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Reclaiming leather skirts and other 'provocative' clothing

Note: For the next couple weeks, I will be tackling feminism in fashion as a member of the Feminist Fashion Bloggers group. For more information, click here.

About two minutes after this outfit photo was taken, I was propositioned on a street corner.

Walking by a sports bar on a sunny weekend afternoon, I passed by a man who watched my approach on the sidewalk, and stared at my body with interest. "Hey honey," he said, as he reached for my arm, "That's a nice skirt you got there. How about we make some bad decisions together?"  I rounded the corner with nary a reply as his protestations echoed behind me, and then busted myself for not coming up with a fast snappy comeback. Why yes, propositions from random men on street corners are always a good decision. Challenge accepted! or just a plain Eww would have sufficed.

Perhaps I was overthinking all of it, and that I should have just rolled my eyes at his attempts at compliments and catcalling. Perhaps by being confident enough to wear a titillating animal skin on my body, I should have developed my own thicker skin. But I was left feeling exposed, embarrassed at what I chose to wear that day, and with a sinking, guttural feeling of knowing that I had been reduced to a piece of leather clothing and a pair of legs.

It's a feeling I've uncomfortably known for most of my working life. Having worked previously in many male-dominated environments where being a woman was often cause for extra attention, it had become reflexive armor for me to become more modest in my work wardrobe, by shunning short hemlines, v-necks and exposed arms in favor of tightly-styled hair and long layers. By these limitations, I thought I had power over how I was perceived.

But after years of inter-cubicle observation and modest wardrobe practice, I've realized that harassment happens to all types of people, regardless of sartorial choice. And that by choosing to dress to deflect male attention, I was merely reinforcing its so-called importance to my daily style.

I've since grown into my own style and have decided to experiment in more designs. But clothing is never simple, especially in the way its intent and use is interpreted by the wearer and others. There is nothing wrong with wanting to dress sexy or be modest, because style comes in all types. But when those sartorial intentions become misconstrued, especially in cases of sexual harassment and violence, it becomes a universal problem. Too often those who are harassed have to defend their sartorial choices, as though such choices could make them worthy of disrespect, abuse and violence.

So, I ask this: Do you think certain clothing can ever be reclaimed from provocative connotations? Is there a way to reinforce a culture of respect and communication among both genders in regards to clothing choices?

Monday, March 7, 2011

3 looks I'm ready to wear for spring

As the temperatures rise and Mr. Sun stays out longer than ever, I'm ready to pack away my boots and tights and get ready to wear these wardrobe essentials more often. Since I've decided to reuse what I already own, these looks come from past outfits; hopefully they'll conjure up some new ideas.


It's pretty much a given that I'll be inspired to wear a lot of bright, solid-colored dresses, but I'd love to wear a few more monochromatic looks with my separates, especially patterned pieces. A lot of the spring runways have featured a few neon looks -- I'm looking forward to putting together a few outfits together, especially in orange and red.


Nautical looks just seem to work best in warmer temperatures. I'm really ready to bust out the pleats, brass buttons and stripes. Hopefully this year I'll be able to spend some time near the ocean too.


I'm usually not drawn to pastels (they usually remind me of Easter eggs), but I'm feeling experimental this spring, especially with shades of pink, purple, and green.

What are you excited about wearing this spring? Got a favorite trend?

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