Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Simplify, simplify

Blouse: Loft; Shorts: American Eagle, Sandals: Miss Trish of Capri, Target;
Hair wreath: Self-made.

Total confession: I am not spending money on clothes for the foreseeable future. Part of it has to do with the fact that Jeremiah and I just paid for some of our graduate school fees, and now a good chunk of our disposable income will be prioritized towards academia (as we think it should be).

 But really, most of it has to do with the fact that I'm just over shopping and acquiring things. It feels completely vulgar and selfish to me to say there's nothing to wear when I have a closet full of clothes.  For the first time in my academic life, I didn't do any back-to-school clothing spending, after looking in my closet and realizing I have all that I really need for a while.  I suppose a lot of my wardrobe is comprised of affordable vintage clothing, but I no longer want to buy from thrift stores just because I can, and because they're cheap and accessible. In the future, I want to buy things that last, even if acquiring those things are long-term goals. I know thrift items are not necessarily excluded from being durable and well-constructed, just as newer items can still be poorly made. But in general, I'm just tired of having items that don't fit well or fall apart easily, and I want to change that. In the meantime, I've been digging deep into my closet for items I haven't worn often or at all and making accessories with bits and pieces I have left around my house (like this hair wreath). To me, there is something very satisfying about making do with things I already have. 

I've also been thinking about the direction of this blog. It's kind of morphed into a style/landscape photography thing, and sometimes I feel like it leans more on that than it does on the breakdown of my outfits. I'll continue to post my sartorial  choices on here, but I think there will be less emphasis on capturing the everyday, and focusing on photography. I'll also still do reviews/giveaways as they come, because I feel like that's giving back to you guys in some little way. But the crux of this blog (and my interests) are in style/landscape photography, so I'll be doing that. 

Anyways, onto less serious things. The weekend before school started, I had a lot of pent-up excited energy and could not sit still in my apartment. I ended up making a ton of hair wreaths (and watching a lot of "Breaking Bad") to keep me busy, and this particular floral one has been worn often in the last couple weeks. To make it, I basically pulled the fabric flowers away from their plastic stems, and then strung them on floral wire (kind of like a Hawaiian lei). I like wearing this wreath asymmetrically with all the flowers on one side, as it's a very subtle look and makes it an easy wreath to wear with basic clothing. I have made some autumn-inspired ones for the next few months and I'll be sharing a DIY tutorial about them tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A host of golden daffodils

 Sailboat dress: vintage, from Minx, gift from Jeremiah; Striped blouse: Chaps;
Key necklace: vintage, from Minx; Sandals: Miss Trish of Capri, Target.

"I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze ...

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed---and gazed---but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils. "

- William Wordsworth, "I wandered lonely as a cloud"

Monday, August 29, 2011

Lately: Bright lights

The fair recently came into town, so Jeremiah and I stopped to practice some photography before our trivia night. Fairs and carnivals always remind me of one of my favorite movies, Hitchcock's "Strangers on a Train." Though it's a morbid association in the hands of a macabre filmmaker, I don't think I'll ever tire of looking for bright lights and geometric designs ...

Strawberry lemonade

 Dress: Arlene Airess, vintage; Sweater: Old Navy;
Headband: BR, gift from Marilou
Sandals: Miss Trish of Capri, Target; Bag: thrifted. 

I've been breaking out my sweater collection even though the thermometer says it's still 100 degrees out, and even though I'm sure I could fry eggs on the sidewalk (I tried that when I was a kid, and it totally just left gooey yolk on the sidewalk). My classrooms have been really chilly lately, so it's been imperative to bring a  few layers everyday. I really like this combination, because it reminds me of my favorite summer treats, frozen strawberries and lemonade. 

I think I've found a new-but-somewhat-vain technique to keep me awake for late study nights: curling my hair. For some reason, rolling my strands into pillow rollers while reading about research methods distracts me from other things I'd rather be doing, like surfing the Internet, and the by-product is nice, full hair in the mornings. Got to love study methods that offer some beauty perks ... 

P.S. The winner of the Easy Canvas Prints giveaway is ...

Kimmie -- congrats!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Piled higher and deeper

 Dress: J. Crew; Striped blouse: Gap; Shoes: Zigi Soho; Belt: J. Crew, thrifted;
Bracelet: Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, HI; Leather crossbody bag: thrifted.
Photos of me by Jeremiah.

The last week has been an absolute blur of starting graduate school and my assistantship. It's been exciting, and I've been full of nervous energy all week. This semester, I'm taking required research-based classes (i.e. how to do research at the graduate level), so while I won't be too far into my advertising concentration, I'll still be doing a lot (a lot!) of reading. 

I've worn some form of this outfit twice already in the last week, and have alternated wearing the blouse over or under the dress. I really like the juxtaposition of the green stripes against the paisley print. My first outfits during the first two days of school were unremarkable because I wore more business-wear for my job on those days. But I wore this the third day of class (and during some much-needed downtown time with Jeremiah later that night), and felt a little more like myself with the print mixing. 

What do you wear to feel confident on first days (of school, or work)?

P.S. I'll be picking a winner of the Easy Canvas Prints giveaway tonight.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Thoughts from the Sidewalk

from "Blackbird," by the Beatles. 

("Fly, blackbird, fly -- Into the light of the dark black night ...")

Monday, August 15, 2011

Giveaway - Win a custom print from Easy Canvas Prints

Let's start with some art fun this Monday, shall we? This week's giveaway is offered by Easy Canvas Prints, an online canvas printing company that turns photos into wall art. They're giving Sidewalk Chic readers a chance to win an 8x10 canvas print of their own!

I was offered a chance to review their services by testing out their site tools and choosing a canvas print. I decided to use a photo of my own below -- something that I found sentimental and would punch up the colors in my living room. I chose the 8x10 option of the photo below, but there are other larger sizes available. 

I found the site tools really easy to use and customize -- you can crop and add different editing options to your heart's desire to the photo. In addition, there's an option for how to make the image look on the sides of the canvas, which really helps create an art gallery look to the print. All in all, I got my order very quickly and am very ecstatic about the results:

With that said, Easy Canvas Prints is offering one U.S. reader an 8x10 canvas of their own photo! There are so many options on how to customize these prints -- you can use it for a beloved photo, art print, or favorite phrase. Just check out the ideas in the gallery here

To enter: 

- Visit Easy Canvas Prints and tell me what you would put on your canvas print by leaving a comment below.

For extra entries (make a new comment after doing each):

- Become a Facebook fan of Easy Canvas Prints. 
- Follow Easy Canvas Prints on Twitter.
- Become a follower of Sidewalk Chic on GFC.

Giveaway ends Monday, August 22nd. Open to U.S. readers (excluding Alaska and Hawaii). Good luck!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Remixed: Elie Tahari pleated dress

 I received this dress as part of a hand-me-down collection from a very stylish aunt and it's one of the most designer items I own. As skirt pleats are one of my favorite sartorial details, this dress has been a year-round fixture. The drop-waist sporty design reminds me of 1920s decadence, like something right up Daisy Buchanan's alley. Though I'm not one for tearing up the dance floor with some Charleston steps, I do like playing up this frock's vintage aesthetics with scarves and schoolgirl sweaters.

Lately: Celebration

About a month ago our friends Dan and Rach got married, and I've finally sifted through all the photos from their celebration blowout. We've known the couple for years, so it was an especially joyous time full of food, memories, and of course, longtime pals. Above, Jeremiah and I are goofing off after the rehearsal dinner, as viewed by our friend V...

And here's V and I, having fun with nighttime photography.

Some more from the big day: 

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