The Cozy Sweater

Photos taken prior to #snowbama

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Weather in the south is weird. I am not used to random 60 degree days in February. I’m used to buckets of snow, and trying to scrap ice off of my windshield with a credit card because I forgot to grab the actual ice scraper from my husband’s car (Note: always have multiple scrapers). Now, I’m certainly not complaining. I am figuring out how much of a winter wardrobe I need on hand versus how much should stay in storage.

Around Christmas time I purchased a few in-between weather pieces. Things that would carry me through weather transitions as fall and spring are longer in the south. This cardigan has recently become the main workhorse item in my closet. It looks stylish but is as comfortable as a giant cozy blanket. It’s also breathable and light enough to wear for a sunny winter afternoon. The perfect combination!

What is your workhorse clothing item?

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Tank Top from Old Navy (similar) | Sweater from Abercrombie & Fitch (similar) | Jeans from Kasil (old) | Necklace from Madewell (similar) | Sunglasses (old)

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Flower Child

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I loved everything about The Wonder YearsWinnie Cooper and Kevin Arnold’s childhood crushing was always real and tender. The honest struggle of raising a family during a tumultuous time in history (late 1960s) made this television show meaningful, even to a 12-year-old girl (me) watching it in syndication. I laughed and cried right along with each character.

Though the show’s focus was usually on Kevin and his friends, we mustn’t forget about his cool older sister Karen, who oozed effortless hippie chic in every way.

Boho isn’t my every-day style but I appreciate the simple, laid-back nature of layering with texture and print. Peasant tops had a resurgence this summer and I really wanted to find a vintage piece to add to my wardrobe. Last summer, Jordan and I spent a morning at the Brooklyn Flea market and I happened to find this really beautiful top.

Continue reading “Flower Child”

Krochet Style

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I distinctly remember the first outfit Jordan gave me as a gift. It was for our first Valentine’s Day together in 2006. We went out to dinner to an Italian restaurant near my college campus. After our meal, we sat in his red Ford Focus to exchange our presents to one another. I have no idea what I gave him but my box consisted of this striped, short sleeve cropped sweater, a green tank top for layering and earrings. I wore out those items of clothing but the earrings I still own. 🙂

Jordan has great taste and a lot of my favorite pieces in my wardrobe are because of him. This sweater was a Christmas present and has quickly become a new favorite. I love that the sleeves are cotton and breathable, I can get really hot in wool sweaters.

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As someone who enjoys clothes and fashion, I appreciate companies who are trying to do better. The rise of fast fashion, which makes experimenting with trends affordable, has distanced us from the effects of sweatshops and the real cost of our cheap decisions. I spent so much money in my late teens/early 20s on clothing from dubious sources that would essentially fall apart after a few washes.

Krochet Kids is passionate about providing great products, while offering an honest wage through their model of opportunity, education, and mentorship. Each crocheted piece is handmade by women in Peru and Uganda – a name is etched inside each item, so you know exactly who made your piece.

Mine was made in Peru by Rosemary.

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Sweater from Krochet Kids | Jeans from Gap (similar) | Shoes from Target (similar) | I stole these old Fossil glasses from Jordan’s glove box.

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Dressing Seasonally / / Sweaters

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^ Top knots all day, everyday. 🙂

I feel fairly comfortable dressing for summer and winter. I know which fabrics keep me cool when it’s 80° and how many layers are necessary to stay warm when it’s 20°. It’s those in-between temperatures (basically all of fall and spring!) that I never quite get right. I usually dress to match the high temperature of the day and completely forget how cold the days begin! Nashville’s peak temperature is much later in the day (around 4 or 5 pm) and I’m slowly adjusting. In Chicago, the peak is right at noon. Friends gave me advice about dressing in a lot of layers to survive the changing temperatures.

Jordan recently took a trip to our storage unit to unearth our winter gear. After assessing my clothes, I realized not many of my sweaters fit underneath my light jacket. It’s not quite time to wear my winter coat all day long, so I was happy to find this color block sweater from the Gap. It’s warm, but lightweight enough to layer underneath my jacket!

How do you dress for the in-between seasons?

Jacket from JCrew | Sweater from Gap (similar) | Pants from Uniqlo (similar)

And a few more sweaters I’m loving right now.

One | Two | Three | Four

/ / Natalie’s series on wool has been really interesting and informative!

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Toting with Off Switch

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In high school I was really into tote bags. I would decorate blank canvas bags from craft stores by modpodging pictures torn out of magazines. Recently, I found my college messenger bag with a worn off picture of John Mayer glued to the front. Boy, did I love him, I mean it … I loved it, the bag.

Eventually after college, I veered from the canvas tote bag. The thing about purses is unless you pay for quality materials they fall apart easily. About three years ago, I paired down my collection to one Coach leather purse and some clutches for special occasions, plus one small crossbody bag from Kenneth Cole. I loved my crossbody purse, but after years of daily use it began to fall apart. The only downside about that purse was its size. I often brought another bag with me to keep in the car. I had reached bag lady status.

In NYC, over the summer, I bought a Dean & Deluca tote and I wondered, “Why did I veer from my high school ways?” Unlike some other manmade materials, canvas is durable and washable. I realized quickly a regular purse wasn’t necessary for my current lifestyle. I keep makeup and catch all’s such as receipts or gum in small zip containers, but I still have plenty of room for extras: snacks, reading material, a scarf, umbrella, or my camera. I like to be prepared. 🙂

I love my Dean & Deluca tote, but I wanted one that was a bit smaller. Enter the Be Kind tote from Off Switch. It’s the perfect everyday size and I don’t miss having a traditional purse.

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/ / What kind of purse/bag do you use daily?

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Style Obsession / / Clogs

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Photo Links / / 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

There are many fashion styles I feared would never resurface: overalls, adult backpacks, (tiny) floral patterned dresses, but most of all clogs. (Basically everything Angela Chase wore on My So-Called Life.) I had clogs growing up, but they certainly weren’t cute. They looked more like these (except the inexpensive/cheap store brand). A few years ago, I started seeing clogs resurface on the streets of Chicago. I wasn’t exactly sure what I thought about them, but slowly my mind began to change especially after seeing how they were being styled (here, herehere & here).

Last winter I went thrifting for sweaters and found a lone pair of clogs just waiting for a new home. By some miracle they were exactly my size and have been a perfect addition to my closet!

I’ve talked before about my desire to purchase quality over quantity in regards to fashion. I used to buy cheap $20 shoes constantly and more often than not, they revealed themselves to be completely uncomfortable and poorly constructed. I’ve weeded most of those shoes out of my closet and have begun replacing them with higher quality products (I still have this pair on my wish list). Despite what you might think of wooden soles, clogs are extremely comfortable and durable shoes. I look forward to having them for many years to come!

Have you been wearing something lately you thought you’d never try? What are your thoughts about the resurgence of clogs?

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The Packing Dilemma

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Packing, oh packing! I am not a minimalist by nature. My purse is almost always (over) stocked with (non) essentials like 25 bobbi pins, three lipsticks, and backup glasses for contact days. This isn’t really an issue for everyday jaunts, but when I need to anticipate clothing needs for a week or more, things get tricky. The first couple of years of our marriage luggage was still free on flights, it was a rude awakening the first time we had to limit to a carry on!

I almost always end up bringing the pants that only work with that one pair of shoes or the shirt that should have been ironed/happens to have a stain (true story from our road trip). The completely neutral, mix and match wardrobe, would be ideal not only in life, but travel. I’m not there yet. Maybe when I grow up 😉

If you follow me on Pinterest you’ve probably noticed my obsession with packing lists. Sometimes I find them a little unrealistic, especially considering most people will want to change into something different for evening activities. I don’t know about you, but after I’ve walked all day, I like to freshen up.

When you are reading this Jordan and I will already be in New York City! I really enjoy seeing how other’s pack and than practically wear those items. I loosely based my packing list off of this one, but since I no longer need room for a blow dryer/flat iron (longer length + grown out bangs = less high maintenance hair), I brought a couple extra pieces.

Packing List (6 full days + 2 travel days)

4 bottoms (2 pants, 2 shorts)
3 dresses (1 dressy for Broadway show, 1 sundress that will double as a coverup if we decide to go to the Jersey Shore, 1 extra dress for day or night)
3 Sleeveless tops
3 Tee shirts
1 Chambray button up
1 Jean jacket
1 Pull over sweatshirt for planes and cold bedrooms
3 pairs of shoes (sandals, wedges, and sneakers)

And of course the extras…

Undergarments, toiletries, bathing suit, and jewelry.

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^ Vacations are one of the only times that my jewelry gets worn. Now that I don’t work in an office, they often sit on my dresser untouched. 🙁

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Our NYC itinerary is loosely planned, so I took flexibility into consideration with my choices. I still managed to have space in my carry on! Success!

/ / Do you find it difficult to pack everything into a carry on?

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Doing it the French Way

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Over the last year or so, I’ve been on a mission, a mission to curate my wardrobe differently. After I transitioned out of college and started building a professional wardrobe, I fell into the trap of over-acquiring. While it was fun browsing stores like Forever 21 and H&M, cheap clothes simply don’t last. After I left that job, far too many pieces became obsolete because I wasn’t buying multipurpose clothes. I wasn’t making smart or wise purchases.

Continue reading “Doing it the French Way”

Warby Parker

Warby Parker Glasses

Let’s talk about glasses for a minute, shall we? I don’t remember my eyesight transitioning from good to poor, I just remember selecting my first pair of glasses. I was seven and they were strictly for reading. The next year I graduated to full-fledged bifocals (lines included!). Every two years I would get a new pair of glasses once my prescription changed: initially my color choice was pink or purple and then I matured to blue or beige.

Because I began swimming competitively when I was 10, I eventually had to start wearing contacts underneath my goggles (this was realized once I couldn’t read the giant digital clock anymore). In high school I outgrew the need for bifocals which made wearing contacts much easier. Contacts became my main source of vision assistance until problems arose: dry eyes and protein deposits that were the result of an allergy. Prescription eye drops helped, but only if used everyday. I switched to one-a-day contacts, which eliminated the need for the eye drops, but were too expensive to use everyday. About three years ago, I decided to buy a pair of glasses that I really liked to alternate with my contacts. I began to really like wearing glasses again and now only wear contacts occasionally.

As a person who wears glasses primarily, I desired to have more than one pair (a nice pair of glasses and a play pair of glasses) but $250/$350 just wasn’t in my budget. Then I remembered Warby Parker. They provide reasonably priced glasses and also partner with organizations to give a pair to people in need (like the Toms Shoes model). I was a little skeptical that purchasing glasses online would work for me. I was wrong!

Let’s break down the specifics. First you can select up to five pairs of glasses for the free, home try on program. My initial idea was to go with a rounder frame (my current pair was more rectangular). Luckily I scored on the first go-round, but if I hadn’t liked any of them, I could have picked five more until I found a winner. Next you have to acquire a current prescription from your optometrists office. Finally, follow the online instructions for uploading your prescription and you are all set!

The glasses start at $95 which includes frames AND lenses! Because my prescription is above a certain strength they cost an extra $30 dollars, but I still couldn’t believe I got such a beautiful product for under $130. The frames do feel lighter than previous frames, but if a little less plastic means a more economical price I am ok with it. Anytime I get new glasses my eyes take about a day to adjust and it wasn’t any different with these.  One of my main concerns was how I would get them adjusted, but they fit perfectly and I’m assuming my optometrist would do it for me in the future.

Warby Parker Glasses

Warby Parker Glasses

Have any of you used Warby Parker before?

**I’m wearing Edgeworth in Whiskey Tortoise.

A Shoe Story

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I’ve mentioned before about how Jordan and I packed for our European vacation earlier this year. Restricting ourselves to one carry-on suitcase + backpack/shoulder bag a piece was made possible by having access to a washing machine at various stages of our trip. It probably comes as no surprise to all the ladies out there, but the hardest packing choice I had was what shoes to bring!

Looking back, my feet probably would have appreciated if I had walked around with my New Balance’s, but I was trying to avoid the American tourist look. I wanted to bring my nice J. Crew leather riding boots, but I’m glad I listened to Jordan when he mentioned how the spring rain might not be kind to the soft leather. My shoe selection ended up being one pair of flats, black wedges, brown boots, and my trusty Hunter Rain Boots. The first day we arrived in London it snowed and a few subsequent days it rained, so my Hunters got the most use.

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Shoes haven’t really been an obsession of mine. In the past, I tended to find one pair of shoes that I loved and then wore them to death, but that also meant my shoes were either all-purpose or no real purpose (So many bridesmaid shoes!). Walking around London and Paris I noticed that all the women (and most men) have really nice shoes: practical but sexy. I was inspired to branch out with my footwear and make sure any new purchases would be versatile and functional, but also fashionable.

I decided to start assessing my shoe needs with my sandal collection. This summer I threw out all of my five dollar cheap sandals and replaced them with one, yes one pair of Salt Water Sandals. I wore them constantly, both at the beach and walking around town. I thought I would miss having a lot of options, but it was the opposite.

These wedge sneakers are from Superdry, which I bought on Regent’s Street in London. I fell in love with them during our trip and my shoe obsession got started off on the right foot.

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