Friday, May 31, 2013

The Clothing Collective

Okay, so I have been majorly MIA for the past two weeks, but work was extra hectic and it sapped all energy and will to live out of me.

But now I'm back and excited to announce The Clothing Collective, a new project with my bestie Crystal (of Seoul Sold)!

Every week we are going to feature an outfit post that we feel best represents whatever theme for the week we've chosen (first up, an anniversary dinner date outfit!) and see what each other comes up with!

Here's our schedule for June:

Anniversary/ Date Night... June 2nd
Spring Garden Party... June 9th
Summer Fun... June 16th
Work-out wear... June 23rd
Beachwear... June 30th

Here's who we are:

My name is Crystal and until just a few years I was pretty much fashion challenged. I never knew what to wear and always felt like I was lost in a clothing store.

On top of being a complete fashion wreck I was also struggling with my weight and not knowing how to flatter my body with my clothing choices was hard. Well the fitness gods intervened and I got myself a brand-new body, but STILL no clue how to best accentuate it so I started to study up and I really began to see fashion in a whole new light.

Fashion stopped being my life's bane and became a thing that I enjoyed after I took the time to understand how to dress my shape. I believe that fashion should be a vehicle of self-expression and empowerment for women at every size, and I hope you like what I bring to The Clothing Collective, because I'll be bringing my A-game!

Hello again. I’m a fashion school drop-out turned journalist but I still love clothes and I love seeing what creative outfits other people come up with (particularly if they are daring as that is so not my style!).  My look would probably best be described as classic with a nod to current trends (ugh, how pretentious does that sound?). All I know is I absolutely think less is more and would rather have an understated look than be known for being over the top—but don’t get me wrong I love bold looks on other ladies! My clothes are rarely* designer because um, journalist, here, but I don’t see that as an impediment to creating really cute looks.

I’m excited to start this project with Crystal and see what we both come up!

*and by rarely, I mean never.

(all graphics were designed by the lovely Crystal. Thanks, buttercup!)

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Style icon: Taylor Swift

Photo by jazills

I'll admit it. I'm a Taylor Swift apologist. She's obsessed with boys. She always makes herself the victim. She's a bad feminist. Look, I KNOW, okay? I KNOW.

But damn it if her music isn't catchy and sometimes she just gets it SO right with her songs and my feelings, that I have no problem admitting at 25 that I love her.

But look, let's get it out of the way, there are things about her that are obnoxious. Namely:
1) She's lacking in enough self-awareness to sing exhibit A, B and C and follow it up with "Better Than Revenge," (wherein she sings about the girl who stole her boyfriend) without batting an eye.

2) She couldn't take a joke and, according to Vanity Fair, suggested Tina Fey and Amy Poehler (who are living goddesses) are going to hell.

3) That overly earnest VMAs performance where she played part of the footage of Kanye West grabbing the mic out of her hands on a TV screen before she sang "Innocent" barefoot. Also, before Kanye came out and performed "Runaway," which includes the unapologetic lyrics, "let's have a toast for the douchebags."

4) She likes to shit on her mom's intelligence. (Okay, this point may not be entirely fair, but every time I hear the following lyrics I want to roll my eyes).

"It's the age of princesses and pirate ships/And the seven dwarfs/And Daddy's smart/And you're the prettiest lady in the whole wide world"--from "The Best Day"

The entire song is a sweet ode to her mom, but the whole "men are brainy and women have the looks" is so archaic it hurts.Why can't you recognize your mom for her brains too, Taylor?!

Also, this: "He's close to my mother/Talks business with my father"--from "The Way I Loved You"

What does that even mean? Are they both in the steel business? Do they talk over cigars and brandy? Whatever it is, naturally he wouldn't be talking about it with the mother.. because, gah, like that bitch would understand.

Oh, and also this: "He's got his mother's eyes, his father's ambition/I wonder if he knows how much I miss him"--from "Superman"

Ugh, Taylor. Just, UGH. 

5) And okay, all the other complaints--like how she never recognizes herself as the problem--that don't bother me because I listen to her to commiserate, and when it comes to complaining about boys, she has it in the bag.

But can we talk about where she doesn't fail, ever?

Her clothes. Homegirl kills it every time she steps out at an awards show.

Granted, I wish she'd mix her colors up a little more (she pretty much sticks to the basics--red, white and black, with a bunch of off-white thrown in for good measure), but her Red album has been nothing but awesome for her red-carpet style. And I'm not sure anyone has recently rocked bright red lips quite as well.  

At the same time, her everyday style has gotten so twee (Refer here). Knit sweaters with animals on them? Check. Oxfords? Check. Peter-pan collars? Refer to last picture, and check. Yes, even illusion peter pan collars.

I'd make fun of her if it didn't mirror my own style so painfully.

It should also be noted her hair has come a long way. I know she was famous for her ringlets, but I always thought they were too "done" looking, too uniform. She looks awesome with bangs and her new style just makes her face look sharper.

And I love how despite the twee every day clothes she wears, she's gone for much more adult styles like plunging necklines and backs (done classily, naturally, since she is Taylor Fucking Swift) and tight minidresses.

She's come a long way from the seemingly endless supply of sparkly dresses she used to show up in at every damn award show.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Date night

I don’t understand when people say they don’t like dates or dating in general. It’s pretty hopeless at times, sure, but if anything else even a terrible date is a funny memory/story/movie plot/blog post down the road.

And really? Let’s list this out: a) I love getting dressed up. b) I love eating out. c) I love not doing the previous two things alone. So going on dates is fine and dandy to me.  

But my boyfriend and I have been together for almost a year (anniversary in two weeks! What-what!), so we don’t really go on too many technical “dates” most of the time, unless you count me showing up at his place in leggings as a date. So, it’s fun to occasionally designate an evening for a formal date every now and then--which is why it was lovely to get a text from him yesterday morning asking me out.

He wouldn’t tell me where he planned to take me besides that it would be in a certain area of town where there are several casual bars and restaurants, so I decided to pull out a dress I purchased this time last year at Target. The dress is fun but unfussy and my boyfriend has already said he likes it, so I guess I try to make him happy sometimes.

Wristlet from Fossil, Dress from Target

Now I have some male friends who have made fun of it for resembling this, but I think they’re just jealous they didn’t find the dress first. And who doesn’t love Fruit Stripe Gum? No one. Or hateful jerks. One of the two.

Necklace from Maurices (I forgot it was only $8!)

The arrow necklace is also a nice, subtle way to tell your date that you’re hoping Cupid is going to stick an arrow in his (or her) ass and that you already know it’s true love, and also that you were ready to have babies with them, like yesterday.

You can’t see my shoes, but I wore brown gladiator sandals, which is fitting when it’s really fucking hot outside and you don’t want your feet sweat to stink up your shoes. Not that I would personally know.

Date night done right: Logan in a flannel shirt and the pretty flowers he brought for me.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Red, white and blue

So personally, I like to plan holiday outfits out MONTHS in advance. Because nothing says you care... like caring way too much.*

This is my contender for the Fourth of July:

Blouse and earrings from local boutiques, skirt from Sportsgirl.

Wristlet from Fossil, bracelet from local boutique.

These photos (my second foray into ‘style blog photos’) were taken on an unseasonably warm winter day last fall, with the help of Crystal (of Seoul Sold).

The polka dots and Peter Pan collar say I’m whimsical, while the red mini-skirt with gold sailor buttons say I mean business. 

The blouse was on clearance at a local boutique, where each piece of clothing is $35 or under and only two sizes of each (s/m/l) are ordered for the entire store. Which means whenever I see something I like, I feel like I have to buy it RIGHT THEN or it'll be gone. (Also how I've ended up with items of clothing that I haven't worn once. I crumple completely under sales-lady peer pressure. It's mildly pathetic.) 

Notice none of the photos show my legs. That’s because I discovered that I put on my bad tights—the pair I save to layer under other tights when it’s cold—after the shoot was finished and didn’t happen to see the run on the back of my thigh. And apparently Crystal, who is SUPPOSED to be my bestie, didn’t notice it either. Now those tights have a black ‘X’ marked on the inside crotch for DON’T WEAR ALONE. 

I stole this nail art from the ladies at The Beauty Department, who according to one of their commenters, stole it from another blogger whose version is pretty damn adorable, but my nail shape is more suited to The Beauty Department's tutorial.

It’s a bit funny--this taking photos business for the blog. You can't help but feel dumb making stupid faces in public locations. No idea how models do it so un-self-consciously (though I’m guessing being gorgeous helps).

Crystal, who has much more experience in front of the camera, tried to teach me all the right poses and faces. But I failed. A lot.

The outtakes:

 *Okay, no. The patriotism is coincidental. I like red pants and red skirts and probably won't actually do anything on the Fourth. Because I'm cool like that. 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

First style shoot!

My first foray into style-blogging was for my best friend Crystal and her awesome blog Seoul Sold.

The photos were taken by my boyfriend on his cellphone. “Everything was good but your face,” and “get your doofus smile under control" might have been uttered during the shooting.

Read the post here

My attempt at a non-doofus face.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

25 is the new 15

Or something like that.

It’s ridiculous that at 25, I feel old, but I guess that’s what you get for living in a college town surrounded by fresh-out-of-high-school teenagers who weren’t even old enough to enjoy Britney Spears at her peak.

I turned 25 last September and planned to start a style blog soon after. And then I didn’t. So it’s about damn time I started this blog. Because if there is anything a girl whose main job is reporting crime for a Midwest paper has to offer—it’s style tips.

Because this is necessary, here are some important facts about me:

I watch the Real Housewives like it’s my goddamn job.

Every skirt I’ve worn for the past five years has been high-waisted. (Minus, of course, the pencil skirts I wear to court).

There isn’t a peter pan collar I’ve met that I didn’t like.

I don’t make a habit of wearing heels because I’m lazy and while I get the appeal of heels, I choose not to care.

I absolutely love horror movies even though they freak me out and I can barely make eye contact with the screen for the two hours it takes the majority of the characters to die.  

Oh, and I love raspberry wheat beer.