Q&A, 1

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Happy New Year, guys!

Welcome to my first Q&A post, 
in which I impart nuggets of likely incorrect 24-year-old wisdom!
I'm so excited that you guys sent in questions, and I'll do my best to answer some of them below. These are compiled from email, twitter, formspring, and comment questions. If you have any more, feel free to send em along!

Q: "What are the rules for mixing different patterns together?"
A: 1- Distinct but related color palates. You want the pieces to be connected but not inextricably tied. 2 - Different image density. A really intense thicket of tiny florals looks good next to clean stripes or polka dots. 3 - Different pattern size. If the flowers are huge, make the stripes small. If the polka dots are tiny, make the plaid big. But also, don't forget, RULES ARE MEANT TO BE BROKEN! Suno's spring 2011 stuff remains one of my favorite examples of how to do it.

[image via sunony.com]

Q: "I'm really bad at figuring out what items are worth to spend more money for - I always assume New Year's Eve dresses and ridiculous shoes are where I should put my money but then I only wear them once and feel stupid for wasting cash. What's worth investing in to you?"

A: I'm guilty on this one too - but I can tell you what I'm currently wanting to invest in! I feel like a  PERFECT, black v-neck t would solve a lot of my wardrobe conundrums. No ordinary t will do though - it must be soft, thin, sturdy, very open at the neck but not very deep, with a sleeve somewhere between a classic t and a cap, with a mid sized cuff...I could go on. It may seem insane but I'd pay a very large amount of money for this shirt if I found it - not because of a mesmerizing, lusty, one-night-only feeling it would give, but because of how often and happily I know I'd wear it. On the other hand, lust at first sight is a real thing - and the correct pair of ridiculous shoes could absolutely be worth it for two or three wears. So, I guess my answer is that the things worth investing big money in are the things you are CERTAIN will fill the need you have, whether it happens to be endlessly wearable basics or a neon spandex animal print jumpsuit.

Q: "Best places to thrift in Chicago?"
A: So, so many. Unique thrift stores are my bread and butter, particularly the Uptown location. I've also had great luck at the Village Discount in Roscoe Village and the Salvation Army around Clybourn and Ashland. Honestly though, the best thrifting I've ever done has been in less densely populated places: Colorado, Ohio, Michigan.

Q: "You always talk about how you don't wear jeans and I don't either, they always get too big and baggy even when they start out skinny. Is there a way to still wear them even if they're stretched? I hate spending so much money on them only to throw them out."

A: All you need is a dose of swag and a good pair of heels. My one-upon-a-time-they-were-skinny jeans are now often worn with a button down and booties.

The trick for me was to accept that they'd never be skinny again, and wear them like boyfriend denim.

Q: "Have you ever found a place that accepts used clothes that actually gives you a decent amount of money? Is it even worth it to try selling old stuff?"
A: Honestly, no. Unless you have a piece of significant value that you can sell at a consignment shop, I've never had great luck selling clothes I've used. I offer whatever I'm getting rid of to friends, and then drop it off at either a thrift shop or a donation center.

Q: "I'm in search for a good, warm, trendy/fashionable winter coat. I always wear a black puffy coat all winter long and I'm sick of it. Any good ideas for the Boston/colder climate winters? How do you look cute but stay warm?"

A: SO GUILTY HERE. I have a big brown Via Spiga puffer that I've been wearing since the year I moved to Chicago, and I am desperately trying to break the habit. The trouble is, I'm also a huge baby about cold temperatures. I am beginning to think that the only way to be fashionable in the winter is to force yourself to forego the puffer, and layer like crazy underneath something more chic - enter the modified house coat. I've lately been wearing sizeable sweaters, sometimes in twos and threes, underneath this thinnish wool coat: 

I feel no more bulky than I do in a puffer, but I feel so much less like a cold-weather-robot. Here are a whole bunch of sweaters I like for layering in situations like this- southwest-y geo, poufy sleeve all black, snowbunny, big button boyfriend, modified fair aisle, buttercup marc, pretty hooded one, and bumblebee. Seriously though, it's a learning process for me too! I have to force myself not to wear my puffy coat every time I leave the house.

Q: "What are the rules/guidelines for necklaces and necklines?  What length/style necklaces can you wear with different necklines?  For example, is it faux pas to wear overlapping necklace/necklines? Or when can you go longer v shorter/chunkier?"

A: This is a tricky one. My only peeve about necklaces and necklines is when the two overlap, and your necklace ends up playing an annoying game of peek-a-boo by coming in and out of your shirt. But overlapping necklaces and necklines can be very ladylike - definitely not a faux paus. I always feel like the greater the distance between the top of your neckline and your necklace, the more severe the look. Severe isn't bad - it's just pumped up. Let's look at Jessica Alba for example:
 Large distance = high impact

Overlapping = more subtle

Here are the combos that I always find work:

But after that it's all situational. As long as the necklace and neckline are either deliberately distinct or exactly aligned, you can't go wrong.
PHEW! Hope you enjoyed!

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