Posts tagged: style inspiration
April 13, 2012

Spring Uniform: Work and Play

I think my style is progressing backwards. Right after college, one of my dear friends got a job at American Apparel. I remember sitting on my stoop talking to him on the phone about our low-paying jobs, and asking him what I needed from his new gig. “You’re kind of beyond t-shirts,” he said. And let’s just say that I smoothed my hands over the perfectly cheery vintage sundress I might have been wearing at the time and agreed.

But today I’m in love with a t-shirt (that lilac-colored one up there), and it’s the cornerstone of my spring uniform. Tuck it into a pencil skirt with a blazer and go to work. Tie a scarf on your head, slap on some jeans and platforms, and you’re ready for any kind of fun. Allow me to introduce you to my new muse, the Daybreak Tee. It’s linen jersey which feels a little grown up, and gives the fabric a streaky, almost space-dyed quality. It’s got an uber-flattering v-neckline, a scooped hem, and sweet little cap sleeves. It’s also $40: the most I’ve ever spent on a t-shirt. And this is where the cost-per-wear calculations come in. By the end of the summer, I think these little singlets will have proved themselves a great value.

And so for spring, at work and at play, I’m gravitating towards super-flattering basics punched up with quirky, personality-filled accessories and a swoop of liquid eyeliner to channel that ’60s starlet feeling. I find putting together collages like these so instructive both for shopping and getting dressed: once you have the template laid out, it’s much easier to pull it together in real life. A word about these Polyvore collages: I often choose items based on their color or shape, not because I’m actually going to buy a $500 A.P.C. trench coat. (Just felt the need to get that out there.)

What’s your uniform in this hard-to-dress-for season? Do you rely on the perfect cardigan, or a beloved trench? What do you wear on those days when a t-shirt is too little but a jacket is too much? And why did no one tell me how amazing a great t-shirt can be? (This feels like the moment when I discovered down was a bajillion times warmer than wool.)

March 5, 2012

I Want to Dress Like Isabelle in Hugo

Four very good reasons to see Hugo:

  1. Paris…
  2. …in the 1930s (The dresses! The hats! The little ladylike shoes!)
  3. It’s an enchanting movie with a big, inspiring, I-got-my-cry-on heart.
  4. That girl up there.

Isabelle embodies everything that is great about young girls. If you’re a fan of plucky heroines like Anne of Green Gables and Laura Ingalls (and I know you are), you’ll recognize her wide-eyed enthusiasm for books, charmingly advanced-beyond-her-age vocabulary, and her eager thirst for adventure. Plus, look at that outfit! She mixes patterns like a pro, rocks knee socks on snowy nights, and knows the importance of flat little boots; their comfort is of the utmost importance when running away from villains and towards your destiny. I dedicate all casual skirt and sweater combos in these last cold days of winter to her.

March 2, 2012

Bits and Bobs

1. I’ve become a two-coffee-a-day woman, and I don’t know why I resisted so long. In addition to getting to drink a delicious cortado, it’s also a chance to breathe some life into the afternoon: step outside, get some sunshine, have a chat with a barista. {via}

2. Turns out my dream Brigitte Bardot hair isn’t the easiest look to achieve, but a $1.29 pack of bobby pins (plus a little back-combing and hair spray) is getting me closer than ever.

3. Sharon Van Etten’s haunting voice on her gutsy, soulful new album, Tramp, has been playing a lot at our house. And I always go back to my favorites for some living room dancing.

4. Earlier this winter, I was having trouble going to bed in the evenings. The internet seemed like a vast and entertaining place that I never wanted to leave. Then my friend loaned me Her Fearful Symmetry, and I was reminded of how delicious it can be to climb into bed early and be subsumed in another world entirely. Bonus points when that world is creepy and English, filled with graveyards, rare books, and ghosts.

5. Little notepads like this one on the fridge or tucked in my purse make me feel more organized than I actually am.

6. This print is a good reminder to me to begin, no matter how small that first tiny step is. {via}

7. It’s not too early to start daydreaming about spring sandals is it? Good. {via}

Happy weekend! Hope it’s filled with loveliness and the promise of spring.

February 14, 2012

On Style and Systems

I used to read (and never comment) on a blog by a woman in Boston who took a picture of her outfit everyday in her full-length mirror. I felt creepy about my silent spying, but I couldn’t stop. Her systems fascinated me. She always turned out one leg at the same 45-degree angle. She wore her pants in a flowy, work-trouser way with conservative twin sets. She knew a bunch of ways to tie a scarf. It was like In Style come to life. I didn’t really care for the way she dressed, but I admired her tirelessly methodical approach. Her goal was to create a capsule wardrobe of perfect basics, modeled on our ideal of what the so-chic French do. (She also shared what she ate everyday which also aimed to follow a French model: cream sauces, good pastries, strong coffee, small portions, no snacks. The occasional bag of Doritos worked there way in because, well, shit gets real.)

I am obsessed with systems in an almost I long to be a left-brained person way. Linear, pragmatic, solution-based, I’ve convinced myself that systems can be created to crack the code on looking chic everyday, cooking dinner, staying fit, saving money, and producing good creative work. According to this as yet untested theory of mine, the only difficult part should be finding your system.

I’m about halfway through creating my Style Statement. I am loving this book with its pages upon pages of questions for self-reflection: What’s your definition of sexy? Who embodies a sense of style that speaks to you? Where do you feel your best? The end goal of this book is to come up with a two word catch-all, not only for your wardrobe, but as guiding principles for all that you do in life. Your style statement should represent you at your most you.

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