Haze + Yearning

Friday, July 30, 2010

Fingers crossed for a smooth move tomorrow!
Ever have those days when you absolutely cannot decide on a nail color?

Me too.

[Haze is sold out but here are some other awesome colors by Sula, here is Yearning by China Glaze]

Photos - Brooklyn

[Ice, Prospect Park]

[Flower, post-wedding]

[Kitchen utensils]

[Spice rack]

[Fire escape]

All taken in Brooklyn, February 2010, on an old Canon Rebel.


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Hat: vintage/gift (thanks, Mom)
Shirt: H&M
Necklaces: 1: Banana Republic 2: vintage/gift (thanks, Gram)
Belt: J Crew
Jeans: Banana Republic
Bracelet: vintage/gift (thanks Gram)
Shoes: Payless

I've said it before, I'll say it again: when you work retail, your wardrobe dreams are just so much bigger than your closet realities, it's unfair. The upside is that it makes you thrifty: this outfit cost a total of $60 dollars. The shirt and jeans were both on deep final sales ($5 and $18 respectively, and the shirt was a steal from my sister!), I found the belt at a second-hand store for $4, got the shoes for $15, and paid $18 for the BR necklace. The rest of the pieces were hand-me-downs from a couple of the incredibly stylish women who started all my obsessions: my mom and grandmother.

This a very easy, glamorous ensemble designed for an evening out. I almost never wear pants at all, let alone jeans, but these are so soft and well-cut I can make an exception. The contrast of extremely dressy pieces with such laid-back jeans creates just the look I was hoping for: the top half reads 60s Edie-glam, the bottom half reads distressed man-pants. Edie-glam-man-pants. AKA, my dream.

This belt is a major player in my wardrobe - it goes with everything. The necklace has already been featured on this here blog. The hat was given to me a few weeks ago when my Mom returned from her 35th anniversary trip to the Grand Canyon with my awesome Dad - I can only imagine how beautiful she looked in it. As for the bracelet, I have an incredible picture of my grandparents sitting together in their wedding attire just before their ceremony, and she is wearing it on her left arm. She is perfection.

Here's the outfit on, and the only good shot I got of the bracelet and shoes. The shoes, by the way, are a deep purple and have ruffles all over the toes - so fun! (Sorry for the grainy pictures, my camera and I have had better days together.)

Fine we'll try it, don't defy it

First and foremost, I'm shocked and proud to say I've been featured as an up-and-coming Blog on Bloglovin' - I'm not sure how it happened, but I'm super excited! This little blog is barely beginning and I'm still learning the ropes, but it's nice that a couple other people are enjoying the ride with me.

Now down to business: the business of summertime tunes.

Washed Out is the project of southern gentleman Ernest Green. He's only released 2 EPs under the name, but they've both been received with high acclaim from major websites like Pitchfork, The Fader, and Stereogum. Not bad for a guy who does all his recording in his parent's house in Perry, Georgia.

It was nearly impossible to choose a song to feature from "Life of Leisure", my favorite of his two albums. Between it and the jj album I acquired a couple months ago lies my summer thus far: magical, misty, fuzzy, ethereal. I chose the track "You'll See It" because it's the most immediately danceable of the bunch, but they're all incredible. The album is a short but worthwhile trip.

"You'll See It" - Washed Out
[scroll to the bottom & click the orange download button]

July JackOLantern

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Blazer: Target
Striped long open sweater: Ann Taylor
Orange tank: Anthropologie
Grey tights: Gap
Shoes: Banana Republic
Flower belt: J Crew
Lime drop earrings: vintage/gift (thanks Julia)

I reeeeeeeally should be packing...but going through all my clothes just makes me want to play with them!

I'm still in the mood for fall. This outfit was inspired by the recently purchased orange tank - $10 at Anthropologie! I bought it because it has excellent transition potential: burnt orange with grey and white stones around the neck. And I think orange/black look awesome together, even though I always look like I'm going to a Halloween party when I wear them.

My mom bought me the sweater at Ann Taylor a couple of years ago, and I've always loved the idea of bold stripes under blazers. The little peek of contrast makes such a cool frame for whatever top is under the sweater. I also love that the sweater is longer than the blazer, but doesn't look sloppy coming out underneath it.

I originally bought the belt to go with this dress from J Crew, but have found it to be much more useful with other items in my closet as it tends to make that dress look even shorter than it already is. It's elegant and simple, with a few little silk and mesh flowers (mostly ivory, one pink, and one mustard yellow). These lime green earrings were a recent gift from my dear friend Julia and I'm in love with them. A hidden benefit of being the only girl left in the world who wears clip-ons: your friends give you all their good finds!

I'm hesitant about posting photos of myself (especially photos that I take myself...embarrassing), but I feel like this outfit looks so much better on a body than on a hanger. So here you go. Just to clarify, I'm not one of those girls who considers tights to be pants, but since it's still summer I haven't yet found the perfect grey stirrup pants for the upcoming months. It'll happen, don't worry, and I promise not to wear this outside my house until I have real pants to go with it. (Please forgive my incredibly messy room - again, I'm in the middle of moving.)

Happy Tuesday.
[And Happy Birthday to my sister Danielle!]

Louis Vuitton Ads, Fall 2010

Monday, July 26, 2010

I gasped when I saw these the first time. (And to be truthful, I'm not even a big Louis V girl.) All photos by the legendary Steven Meisel.

Stella McCartney Ads, Fall 2010

Sunday, July 25, 2010

How cute are the ads for Stella McCartney Fall 2010??

I know it's so easy to say, but I think Natalia Vodianova is my favorite model to look at.

I'll be true again, but until then I'll fake the books

Saturday, July 24, 2010

I don't know much about today's band, Lali Puna. What I do know is that they're based in Germany, that they have a steadily rotating cast of players, and the most consistent of those players is founder Valerie Trebeljahr.

Their music is electronic and experimental, and this song really doesn't sound anything like their others. I just happen to like it. Very moody, very pretty, very simple.

"Faking the Books" - Lali Puna

An outfit in anticipation of Autumn

Friday, July 23, 2010

Sweater: Evie, bought at TJ Maxx
Shirt: Banana Republic
Skirt: American Apparel
Belt: Accidentally stolen from a suburban Nordstrom junior's department - really, though.

Necklace: gift from parents from a trip to Hawaii

Today is the 15th summer day of 2010 in Chicago above 90 degrees. That's more 90 degree days than any of the past five summers. More 90 degree days than the past three summers combined. Make no mistake about it, I adore summer, but as I sit here in my non-air-conditioned apartment, stewing in my own sweat, I'm feeling just a wee excited for some fall weather. In anticipation of my favorite season of fashion, an outfit I can't wait to try out.

None of the pieces of this ensemble were bought at the same time. I've had the AA skirt for at least 4 years, the necklace for 3, but the sweater and shirt are relatively recent purchases. My mom spotted the sweater on final sale at TJ Maxx, the shirt was the first item I bought from Banana Republic with my employee discount.

I love mixing dissonant patterns - it works so well in the fall because you can also mix a bunch of layers and have it all be visible (as opposed to winter, when everything must be inevitably covered up with a massive coat). The shirt is three-quarter length, but I prefer it cuffed up over the top of the short-sleeved cardigan.

I'm looking forward to pairing this with a pair of black opaque Wolford tights, possibly even some patterned ones, and my favorite black riding boots.

Any old thing you do, I'll see you through

Sunday, July 18, 2010

There is no singer in history that I love more than Billie Holiday. I can't say much more than that. Call me a cliché , call me outdated, call me romantic. All are true.

One of my favorite recordings of hers. Enjoy with candles, sweet wine, open windows.

"Any Old Time" - Billie Holiday

(This song is part of a larger mix I've made entitled "Sigh". I will post it after I put some finishing touches on it. It's full of melancholy, wistful songs.)

Five Days Five Looks One Girl

[Image via vogue.com]

As someone who is very interested in making incredible clothes work in everyday life, I really enjoy Vogue.com's Five Days, Five Looks, One Girl feature. It features a different Vogue staffer each week, with outlines and descriptions of what they wear to the office all week long. Vogue’s Features Assistant Chelsea Zalopany is in the above photograph, in everything from Zara to Phillip Lim 3.1 to J Crew to vintage to Roberto Cavalli. I love seeing how even the highest rung of the fashion elite mixes styles, prices, and sentiments.

Here are the rest of the featured ladies.

(Also, for any other Old-Seasons-Of-The-Hills-Addicts, super intern Emily from New York makes an appearance on the feature - as a blonde, no less! For those of you who can't remember her, or prefer to not admit how much you remember, Emily was flown in from Teen Vogue's New York offices to help Lauren and Whitney on special assignments in Los Angeles. And on that note, I am going to go die of shame.)

Turning trash to treasure

Friday, July 16, 2010

Shirt: Old Navy Shorts: J Crew
Necklace: World Market Belt: Calvin Klein
Shoes: Banana Republic
Bra: Vintage/gift

I'm about to move for the gazillionth time in the city of Chicago, and anybody who knows me can tell you that the great bulk of my belongings are clothes. I have four enormous suitcases that in the past have only been able to hold about a third of my clothes - the rest have gone in garbage bags, duffel bags, beach bags, boxes...anywhere I can find space.

I've recently realized that this is ridiculous, especially when I don't even wear most of the things I cart around with me. The pointless weight needs to get cut this year, before I wind up a crazy old lady with rooms full of clothes instead of cats. This is the summer of The Edit: what I don't wear, I am banishing.

This outfit was inspired by an old pair of Favorite Fit J Crew chinos I was about to throw away. I'd considered throwing them out a few times before, but always ended up keeping them because of their softness and color. In truth I look terrible in J Crew pants (um, sorry I'm not a size-0 wasp with no ass), so I made the decision to throw them out. Then just as I threw them in a garbage bag and accepted that they were gone forever, I remembered the good times and figured I may as well give it a last ditch effort.

I pulled out some scissors, cut off the bottom two thirds off the legs, and rolled them into a short cuff. And POOF! Just like that, the pants that previously made me look like a whale have turned into the most slimming shorts I've ever owned.

I figured burnt orange shorts should have a pretty neutral/warm palate so I added a crisp white shirt with balloon sleeves, and faded, dark gold jewelry.

The belt has a silver buckle that I wish was the same dark gold color as the necklace, but it's still very cool. The shoes are faded grey with a wooden stacked heel/platform, so they fit in nicely as well.

I also liked the idea of having a little bit of a very fancy lace bra showing on the top - the outfit is so demure that it begs for a little fun. I used a faded turquoise lace bra with brown detailing and pale pink flowers.

I think if I had to give this look a name, I'd call it Desert Rose. And I never could have been brave enough to cut up my pants without being brave enough to throw them away first. Moral of the story? If you love something let it go (or, in this case, throw it out) - and if it's truly worth keeping it'll come back to you transformed.


The Very Best is made up of Esau Mwamwaya, Johan Karlberg and Etienne Tron. As their disparate names might suggest, their music is a delightful, jubilant confusion of styles and genres, all mixed together with their own East London flair. It was tough to pick just one song from them to post. "Chalo" is a soaring, pounding dance anthem that never fails to get me out of my chair. Mwamwaya's voice seems to lift the roof off my apartment every time I turn it on.

Also, check out their fun video for "Warm Heart of Africa" here.

Now get to dancin'!

"Chalo" - The Very Best

The Smiths in Britain (not those Smiths)

[Image via gofugyourself]

Digging the flag pants on Willow. Belligerent. This may be the only family photo I've ever seen that is more badass than any of my own family photos...

[See? I wasn't kidding. We're tough to beat.]

"Bye" on POV on PBS

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The subject of this post isn't particularly related to my blog, but it still deserves a mention.

My very talented friend Anthony Morrison directed and produced a short documentary called "Bye" that was shown on PBS Tuesday night as part of the Point of View documentary series. It's about an adorable 2 1/2 year-old boy named Jayden who is diagnosed with autism as he experiences his first couple of months of school in the Bronx.

I highly recommend it. Here's the link to watch it online.

Can't you see, I'm shining just for you

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Black Keys released Brothers back in May. A dear friend lent me their album, and I honestly think it's their most distinct, swampy, cohesive album yet. The CD itself somehow merges the senses of sound, sight, and touch - it is completely black, but somehow the surface is heat-activated, and the more you play it the lighter the color gets. It eventually becomes a light tan, and reveals the album's title written in black letters. I've played the CD so much that its now permanently brown. That's how good it is.

"Everlasting Light" is heavy and relentless and sexy. Much like summer itself. My favorite part is probably the occasional "shoo. shoo. shoo-waaaa" of the background singers.

Best enjoyed with a whiskey rocks and a lover close by.

"Everlasting Light" - the Black Keys.

This week's outfit

Dress: Jovovich-Hawk for Target.
Jacket: Cartonnier, Anthropologie. (pictured below)
Hat & necklace: Banana Republic.

Wore this delightful ensemble while grocery shopping and farmer's market-ing last weekend. The Jovovich-Hawk dress is a couple years old, another joyous discovery from a second-hand store. And the fit is perfect, which shocked me. I'm finding the low square neckline to be very flattering on me, against all odds. I think it makes me look like I have boobs (when I don't, really). Yay for tricks of the eye.

The necklace and hat are from Banana. I had been eyeing the hat since our store got it in around March, and had probably tried it on every day that I worked, only to be told repeatedly by a coworker that it looked dumb. Finally, when we only had one hat left, I decided I didn't care and bought it anyway. And thank goodness, cause I wear it nearly every day now. Lesson learned: people may call me silly but damnit, I will wear what I like. The necklace was an impulse purchase to complete an ensemble at work, to ensure I was in dress code - I've already had to superglue it back together.

Later in the evening I added a white blazer before going to uber-air conditioned Cafe Neo to get some writing done. The picture doesn't do it justice: it's a single-buttoned tuxedo style blazer with grey/white polka-dotted silk lining. It has really huge shoulder pads that I'm considering having removed, since I have wide enough shoulders as it is.

Anyway! An excellent outfit, in my humble opinion. And all the parts flex out as individual pieces beautifully.

Bad, bad blogger + J Crew WTF

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

I've been terrible lately. I'm gonna get better, promise.

On that note, I know I'm way tardy to the party on J. Crew's determination to become a more rounded, expensive, full-blown luxury brand, but seriously...

[Image via J. Crew]

$350.00 for a fucking tank top with sequins on it?? Yes, it's pretty. But if I have $350.00 to blow and I randomly decide to spend it at J. Crew, I am sure as hell not walking out with ONE TANK TOP. Someone please tell me this was a web editor's mistake, and that this actually costs $35.00. (Which, come to think of it, would be ridiculously cheap for J. Crew. And looking at the tank with THAT price in mind makes me feel much friendlier toward it. It is actually quite cute.)