This week was very hard for those of us suffering from depression. Rest in the sweetest peace to Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain—advocates for women and inspiring individuals. Check on your strongest friends—some of us hide behind confidence.
We shouldn’t have to lose our idols to open up the conversation about mental illness and suicide. I know the above gif might seem a little flippant, but we have to normalize and destigmatize talking about mental health. Talkspace is a great resource for the uninsured or those too busy to commit to regular therapy appointments.
On a more positive note, I wanted to share some of the more positive things that have been running though my mind this week:
Michael and I are rewatching The Office from the beginning and holy guacamole is the finale emotional. I don’t even care if this is an unpopular opinion: American > British every damn day. When Michael showed up I *screamed*. Dwight & Angela’s wedding song is a string arrangement of “Sweet Child O’ Mine.”
If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a transparent clothing and accessory brand that sells well-made basics that are so stylish it’s criminal. I’ve been a fan for years, but they’ve expanded a lot recently and are starting to get that podcast sponsorship buzz, baby!
Their stuff is definitely pricey by fast-fashion Forever 21-esque standards, but Everlane pieces will last you years. It’s a perfect place to start your capsule wardrobe, something I haven’t done but really, really should. Everlane, to me, symbolizes the shift into investing in “grown-up” clothes. A very stylish grown-up with a sense of whimsy!
Here’s what I’m lusting over currently:
They just rolled out the denim short and denim skirt and I need both delivered to me immediately. Can we talk about how perfect that skirt length is?
Another super cool thing about Everlane is the Choose What You Pay section. As it states on their site, “It’s not a sale—it’s better.” Basically, they reduce the price of an item and tell you how much profit they’ll make from your purchase. The lowest price, usually, allows you to buy the item almost at cost. This is how I snagged my favorite canvas tote during the earlier days of the site.
So, there you have it. One of my favorite brands, out here changing the world. Ethical fashion is so important—my pledge for 2019 is to make exclusively ethical purchases. Check out Everlane: it’s like a beginner’s guide to dressing like a total boss.
Oh, P.S. they do sell men’s clothes too, so suit up your mans!
If you haven’t noticed yet, I am a serial window-shopper. Online shopping brings me peace in an otherwise chaotic world. Or it’s just a distraction, as posited in the shoe ads joke from The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (if you’re reading this and haven’t binged this show yet, get the hell out of here and do so—use my Amazon Prime password if you need it). IN ANY CASE, I always love learning about new stores to feed my habit (I’ve already memorized everything on the Madewell site because I am a complete psycho). Enter MANGO, a Spanish company (look out, Zara!)
MANGO has the cutest stuff, from basics to over-the-top faux fur coats. I’m sure it’s all deeply unethical fast fashion nonsense, but hey, I’m window shoppin’ here! Check the links below for my Spring ’18 moodboard.
Spring is in the air! Specifically the air in and around this dress. Apparently it’s going to be 70 degrees today, making it especially cruel that I’m not wearing this.
Friends, countrymen: As I mentioned in a post this summer, I have an office job! We’re all student employees, so, baby steps, but the department is cracking down on professional, “business casual” dress. It’s been a while since I’ve done a style post (and it’ll be a while before I do another (mama put on that post-wedding weight), but faithful followers know how I dress. I’m basically a spokeswoman for Madewell. Ripped jeans are my life. I own one blazer.
Luckily, my mom was game to take me shopping for a few office-appropriate dresses to tide me over. But I’m viewing this new dress code as an opportunity to overhaul my entire wardrobe. Since I’m officially going gray (more on that later), I should probably own more than slogan tees. Unfortunately, guidelines about women’s business casual are pretty vague, and range anywhere from “don’t be a slob” to “buy a bunch of skirt suits”. The only resource I’ve found so far that’s been remotely helpful is this list. Refinery 29 also put out a list, but it’s a bit high fashion for working in public schools. Like, I’m not getting away with a silk jumpsuit.
Here’s the thing: there is no such thing as a set business casual dress code for women. For men, it’s shockingly simple—a polo or button-down over khakis. Done. It’s industry standard. But women*, whose wardrobes tend to be more diverse (let’s change that, though #teamromphim), have a lot more at stake, both because of the uncertainty of what’s appropriate and because of the general lack of understanding of men*, colleagues and bosses. Additionally, every workplace is completely different, and some are far more conservative than others. Suddenly, skirt length and neckline depth come into play.
So, here are a few of my tried-and-true favorite pieces and combinations to help ease you into adulting!
The high-necked dress can’t fail. Conservative, stylish, and diverse, this is the #1 best option for women in the workplace, imo.
Tips: avoid strapless or spaghetti-strap looks, keep the hemline close to the knee
To tuck or not to tuck—that is the question. Tucking in shirts is a terrible curse. I honestly don’t know how guys do it every day. Inevitably, you get fabric-bunch and spend the entire day stealthily readjusting to avoid lumps and bumps. Plus, if your top’s not long enough, it falls out constantly. Enter, my great love, the bodysuit. Goodbye, lumps! The bodysuit’s design keeps your top looking sleek and in place all day. Pair it with a midi-skirt for maximum cuteness.
Tip: Tall girls—size up! Bodysuit proportions are definitely made for the vertically-challenged. I’m a size S/M and I always order a large for a flawless fit. #longtorsoproblems
This is still an area I struggle with. I’ve spent years putting together a dope sneaker collection, and now all my sweet kicks are collecting dust. I tend to fall back on the same few pairs over and over again, but I’m trying to vary my shoe game.
These are perfect for summer! Avoid super-high heels, since comfort is the main objective. My tip is to invest in one super nice pair that you can wear to events and one everyday pair that looks nice but is secretly cheap enough to replace after a long summer. Get one black pair and one saddle—you’ll thank me.
These are the actual cutest (and they come in pink!)
I’m in Massachusetts where the weather has the potential to be terrible during any season, so boots are a wardrobe must. Make sure you have at least one black and one brown pair. Also, peep toes are awesome for the early fall!
Office environments vary, but I guarantee if you’re in a relatively chill field like higher ed, this will help you conquer the first-job what-the-hell-do-I-wear?! blues. Just don’t forget your BOSS necklace!
*It should be noted that when I write “men” or “women” I refer to all those who identify as such and am not trying to enforce an outdated gender-binary system. Biology ≠ gender.
Good evening, all! Lately, I’ve been in complete get-shit-done mode. We’re streamlining our department at work in preparation for the busy fall season, my home is starting to come together inch by inch, and my financial aid picture for returning to college is looking considerably less grim. And, as a person who is about to graduate and get married (ew, so traditional), I’ve been thinking a lot about the personal style I want to carry with me into this new frontier of adulthood.
I consigned clothing both Monday and Friday. The first place I went to paid me $19 up front for 6 items of my clothes, which is insane, because I brought two baskets of well-maintained garments. We all know how much of a brand ho I can be, so I was discouraged that they accepted a sundress from Target, but not myriad garments from places like J.Crew and Urban Outfitters. The second consignment store follows a different buying model, and I’ve had a lot of success over the years selling to them. They donate unaccepted garments to charity, so either way, I win.
There are two reasons for the wardrobe pare-down. One is that my 24th birthday is fast-approaching, and the urge to cultivate a more professional and adult wardrobe is real. With each day that I age, neutrals become more appealing. Neutrals are everything—essential to creating an all-seasons wardrobe. I feel like my personal aesthetic has been completely schizophrenic over the years. From October to April I live in Banana Republic sweaters, skinny jeans, and boots (i.e. Webster’s definition of “basic”). The rest of the year, I exist in this space between bohemian, retro, and preppy that lacks cohesion. I still don’t feel like I fully know who I am as a dresser—just part of the process of growing up.
The second reason is minimalism in my home, which has been admittedly less than successful. You see, the only way to declutter is to NOT immediately replace clothes that you just got rid of with new, higher-end clothes. I was actually able to reduce the number of drawers I was using for clothing. They are now anal-retentively reorganized by category, and I’m making tiny signs to hang on the drawer pulls because my life is a sad parody of a Pinterest board.
Styling/redecorating my house has been such a challenge, but it seems like Michael is finally coming around about it. He is very open to any and all changes I make to communal areas, but his office and studio are sanctuaries that I barely feel allowed to enter, much less rework entirely. In the past week, I feel we’ve made a lot of progress.
This is the “after” picture of our entryway (or at least the :to be continued”). On the left is the door to our bedroom, on the right is the hallway to the front door. I don’t have a “before” picture, and be grateful—it was truly horrible. There was a tall cabinet whose top was not only broken off and balanced on top, but was covered in random clutter (including, but not limited to, 5 year old Christmas cards and coffee cup sleeves). There was also an (ugly) table lamp up there, which has been moved to the bedroom and awaits a new shade. The 4 ft or so of wall above was bare with an old nail sticking out. I replaced the cabinet with a small vintage bureau that my dad thrifted for me, a standing lamp with an updated shade, a wall calendar of vintage advertisements, and record covers as hanging art. The records I found used 2 for $1 at Newbury Comics, and I couldn’t be more excited to represent Linda Ronstadt and Elton John in my living room. I painted the clothespins turquoise as a fun pop of color against the hideous wall, which has to remain this tortured beige for the time being. Boo.
The entry-way joins this cozy reading corner, which I created earlier in the summer…
…this budding gallery wall, hung this week…
..and this area, which I “finished” last week by finally hanging my Sherri’s Inkart print, my Man Ray photo (cut from a calendar!) and our “engagement photo”, which will be replaced once we have a real one taken.
My living room is about 70% finished (and by finished, I mean in a state that I can live with until I afford to do a proper overhaul) and it’s super encouraging. I’ve been spending a lot of time in this room because it feels so much more put-together than the rest of the house that it’s became a calming oasis.
As always, thank you for letting me share my progress. It’s no Happy Handmade Home yet, but it’s getting there.
I’m lucky enough to have been free of “The Mondays” for the past few years, since I work on the weekends. Monday is my day off, and it’s a rare opportunity to break free of my all-black work wardrobe and have fun with prints and color. I’ve been lusting after Madewell (and its mama-brand, J.Crew) for years, but rarely can I justify the expense. So it was a total blessing that my work got in a huge shipment of Madewell goods, which heavily features horizontal stripes (my pattern spirit animal).
This “BEACH” striped top fortuitously matches my red Toms and navy shorts for a nautical-gone-casual vibe. Also featured is my Kelsi Dagger BK perforated leather bucket bag–an early birthday gift from my sweet mom.
I wish I could say I were using this day off to go to the beach and enjoy the blissful sun. Unfortunately for me, I have to research literary criticism for my poetry seminar tonight. Only 1 more week until school’s out!