Wednesday, July 21, 2010

oops, I did it again

Okay, I have to admit something very shameful now: I woke up this morning and, in the throes of a terrible headache (excuses, excuses), got dressed in my workout clothes. And I haven't changed out of them all day. Everybody needs a day off, right? The thing is, there is a certain kind of woman in these parts whose daily uniform seems to be: a certain kind of Nike running shorts, a tank top, a bleached blond Bumpit ponytail, and diamond studs in her ears. Since I am not tall, fit or tan (and I don't have pierced ears and I gave my Bumpit to Goodwill), I tend to shy away from this kind of outfit. Also because I think clothing should be more of a creative choice than that. But anyway, I spent a day walking on the Dark Side and I have to admit it was a little thrilling.

However, I DID get dressed yesterday, in my 17th challenge outfit!

skirt - American Apparel, tank - GAP, scarf - Lifestyles (hippie store), sandals - GAP, belt - Target

Scarf-as-top day! Proof that I've learned at least one useful thing from this challenge. I hope my huge multi-colored headings properly convey how excited I am to officially be on the downward slope of the 30 for 30 challenge. Not shopping is harder than I thought it would be! In the interest of full disclosure, I came this close to buying a straw boater hat and a teapot necklace at Forever 21 the other day, and was stopped not by a guilty conscience but rather by a very long line at the register. Still, I think taking a break from shopping is a very good idea, and hopefully will make me a much more careful and frugal shopper in the future.

For now, I'm off on an adventure! I leave early tomorrow morning for my family's yearly week-long trip to Colorado, where there will be a lot of eating, a lot of looking at the mountains while drinking hot beverages in the morning, and a little light hiking (we wouldn't want to strain ourselves). I will hopefully have sporadic internet during the trip (I need to get away from technology for a bit, to be honest), but I will still be keeping to the challenge and photographing my outfits, and will compile a massive outfit post upon my return!

Monday, July 19, 2010

30 for 30 14-16

Halfway there, guys!!! To be honest, the remixing is getting a little more challenging--sure, I could just pair each of my different shirts with each of my different shirts and have 30 outfits, but that wouldn't be very interesting, now would it?

This was a good, very low-key weekend, mostly spent reading and pretending to clean but really reading some more. We also celebrated my grandmother's 91st birthday! To be honest I am trying to remember what I did on Saturday right now and all I can recall is that at one point I ate some rhubarb pie. I guess that's good enough?


boots- vintage, dress - Fossil, tee - Target, belt - vintage

I finally got my new boots in the mail! I bought them a couple of weeks ago and included them in my original 30 for 30 choices -- I just didn't know it would take me quite so long to get my hands on them. Nonetheless, they are beautiful, and I'm excited to have them in my closet. I don't wear leather unless it's second-time-around leather (according to my constantly fluctuating moral code, as long as I'm not supporting the current leather industry, it's okay). I probably over-think things a little bit.

Oh, also: I went to Walmart in this outfit and a guy unironically purchasing a bald eagle/american flag T-shirt told me he liked my outfit, so I'm counting it as a win.

dress - Urban Outfitters, shoes - TOM'S, tee - Gap, belt - J.Crew, necklace - gift

I am pleased to announce that I actually did a decent job of going outside to take pictures this weekend! I am getting better at the whole tripod/self-timer routine. Anyhow, this outfit was very easy and felt comfy all day. Without this challenge, I never would have thought to layer my shirts and dresses like I did on Saturday and Sunday -- I typically just throw a cardigan on over a dress and that's the extent of my fashion ingenuity. Anyway: fashion! It's happening over here, y'all!

skirt - self-made, shoes - TOM'S, shirt - vintage, necklace - gift, scarf - gift

This photo looks completely demented--can you believe it was the best of the bunch? My outfit today was completely sloppy-dirty-hippie, which is kind of my default mode of dressing. I also haven't shaved my legs for about two weeks (overshare?). I went to the dentist this morning (while suffering from horrific cramps), and figured I was suffering enough without also exerting the effort to dress decently.

I have been craving cold weather lately (i.e. have been watching a lot of netflixed Northern Exposure and fantasizing about winter soups). I'm still kind of enjoying the summer heat, though--it's very satisfying in a southern gothic novel / iced tea on the verandah kind of way (easy to say when one can hide in an air conditioned building all day like I can). I always romanticize the season I'm not in at the moment -- in six months, when I'm in the throes of January seasonal depression, I know I'll be longing for summer again.

Friday, July 16, 2010

30 for 30 12 & 13, plus NEW GLASSES!

So I ended up changing into yet another outfit before going out last night, due to an unfortunate incident related to my insistence on wearing SPF 100 sunscreen and a navy blue top at the same time. The sunscreen (and the bug spray I layered on top of it) turned out to be entirely unnecessary, since a thunderstorm swept through town, canceling our plans to watch a movie on the lawn at the art museum. Instead, Jessa and I ate our picnic in the car while watching the storm move in, then stopped by Starbucks for caffeine and headed to a late (indoor) movie. Still a fun night!

top - F21 (dress), shorts - Levi's, shoes - GAP, belt - vintage (my grandma's from the '40s)

I think I've finally mastered the dress-as-top challenge! The key is a wide, tight belt that will keep everything in place once you've folded and tucked it up. Does anybody have a more reliable method to make this work?

Also, my hummingbird and butterfly garden is doing SO well due to all the rain we've been having lately! I can't believe I grew it entirely from seed!

Tonight I headed to Lanna Thai (reliably the best Thai food in Tulsa, in case you were wondering) for a farewell dinner for Ruth, who's moving to Taiwan with her husband in a couple of weeks. It was good to be able to say a laid-back good-bye. I've become so much closer to Ruth, since we were both back living in Tulsa this year. I'll miss you, friend!

Top - Modcloth, Skirt - self-made, Tote - craft fair purchase, Shoes - Nine West outlet

I really like this loose, blousy silhouette for summer. I also like the combination of a very femine outfit with my new 1960s astronaut glasses! These glasses are the most amazing thing ever and seriously make me feel so confident! (even if I look a little sheepish here - I made Lissie photograph me in front of Lanna Thai and was a little embarrassed that people walking in had caught me pretending to be stylish).

I don't know about you, but I've had a very long week and am looking forward to a relaxing and productive weekend. I'm going to try to stay off the computer (except for the occasional episode of True Blood...), and will be back with more outfit posts on Monday! Do you have exciting weekend plans?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

30 for 30 - Eleven!

I did a very bad thing and forgot to photograph my outfit from yesterday--so I guess that puts me a day behind and with nothing to show for myself! I was too busy eating pistachio gelato and watching True Blood (so bad, yet so good) and writing cover letter after cover letter. Okay, really, I'm going to stop complaining about this job hunt someday soon. Like when I get a job.

Today's outfit is extra simple, because it is extra hot outside (heat index of 108!). Tonight I'm headed to the movie on the lawn at the Philbrook (it's Stargate!), and even after dark it will still be sultry.

top - Charlotte Russe, shorts - Levi's, sandals - GAP

bracelets & rings - gifts, necklace - craft fair purchase (made from a clock gear!)

It strikes me that this pose, which I imagined would show off my accessories, actually just makes me look like I'm having digestive trouble. Awkward!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

30 for 30 - TEN!!!

I'm a third of the way there, folks! Today was a long, hot day of running errands followed by a lovely evening reprieve in the form of dinner at The White Owl with a friend, followed by a trip to the movies to see Knight and Day. I was surprised by how much I liked that movie! Highly recommended.

sandals - GAP, skirt - American Apparel, belt - J. Crew, top - vintage (my mom's)

I did a bit of remixing here--the skirt is actually quite long, so I rolled the waistband and belted it higher to make the length a little more current. It's not rocket science (or even a dress turned into a top), but I'm working in baby steps here.

It finally felt like summer again today! It got up to 94 or so and is supposed to climb higher in the next few days. Thank god -- I was starting to feel like I lived somewhere normal.

My bracelets were all tangled together in my jewelry box this morning and I just decided to go with it! Also, I listened to a lot of music from the 60s today--this song in particular always gets me excited for hot hot hot weather.

Monday, July 12, 2010

30 for 30 - nine!

This outfit looks totally inappropriate for the sunny weather happening in the photo, but when I initially got dressed this morning it was (yet again) rainy and gray outside. Plus I spent the morning at the optometrist, and was dressing for a chilly doctor's office environment.

jeans - GAP, top - Fossil, scarf - vintage (from my mom), bracelet - vintage, belt - Target

Today I learned that boring T-shirt + big scarf + belt = new top! That's handy to know. I also spent the morning shopping (oops!). Actually, since my prescription changed and I hadn't gotten new glasses for a couple of years, I decided that some fancy specs were a Necessary Medical Expense, and thus exempt from the 30 for 30 shopping ban. I picked out some pretty cool ones too--they kind of make me look like I work for NASA mission control in 1963 (in a good way).

30 for 30 six, seven and eight

This weekend's trip to St. Louis was a bit of a whirlwind, but a little time out of town was also exactly what I needed. I drove up on Friday morning with a friend, and we stopped in Rolla, Missouri to eat lunch and check out UMR's scale model of Stonehenge.

Top - GAP, shorts - Levi's, shoes - TOM's, bag - craft fair purchase, sunglasses - Target, necklace - F21, head scarf - vintage (from my mom)

My road tripping outfit was pretty basic (comfort is important when you're driving for seven hours), but I do love the back detail on this tank top:

Upon getting into the city on Friday, we decided to have a late afternoon snack of gooey butter cake from Gooey Louie, and a peach concrete from Ted Drewes! After all that sugar we still had a little room for dinner, and met up with my college friend Anna for Vietnamese food, used-bookstore-strolling, and late hours at the St. Louis Art Museum.

Saturday we were up early to meet Anna again for pumpkin chocolate chip pancakes at Booster's Cafe (ridiculously good), followed by a stop at Third Degree Glass Factory so Anna could pick up some blown-glass creations she had made! Then we rounded out the day with a trip to the St. Louis Science Center, where we checked out an exhibit about pirates (!), one about Charles Darwin that made me want to become an amateur naturalist, and an amazing Omnimax movie about the Hubble Space Telescope. I love learning about cool new things!

dress - F21, belt - Target, bag - craft fair purchase, shoes - GAP

(with respect to the length of this dress, I have decided to adapt a Lady Gaga approach to dressing in which pants and decency are viewed as entirely optional)

Sunday morning we got up to go to church and brunch with my grandmother, who taught me everything I know about garment construction! She's a retired home ec teacher, and spent the Saturday afternoon of our visit judging the local 4H sewing entries.

dress - Old Navy, cardigan - Old Navy, shoes - Target, belt - Delias, necklace - craft fair

p.s. I'm having the hardest time figuring out how to turn an image into a link in Blogger! Does anyone have any good advice for someone who is practically computer illiterate?

Thursday, July 8, 2010


My outfit picture for today really conveys the extent to which I'm COMPLETELY FED UP with the endless rain that has engulfed Oklahoma. Will I never be able to outside and take a decent photo for this project again?

top - GAP, skirt - self-made, shoes - TOM's, necklace - J.Crew Outlet

I think the 30 for 30 must be getting to me because last night I had a dream that a commenter told me I was being too wordy in my blog updates. So, briefly: I wore this outfit to run some errands and get drenched in rain yet again. At least now I have groceries and garden trellises to show for myself.

Also: I'm going on a short road trip to St. Louis over the weekend, so I won't be posting again until Monday--but I WILL be documenting my outfits and adventures! Also, the 30 for 30 challenge makes packing a lot easier.

Book Reviews Part One

A couple of weeks ago I posted a list of the 50 books that I've read so far in 2010. Ali asked for reviews and recommendations, and I am happy to oblige! I couldn't narrow it down to a list that could fit in one post, so I'm going to do three or four posts over the next couple of weeks broken down by category. Today's category: children's books!

I adored this book! It's a kind of a tribute to the work of Edward Eager (Snyder talks about his influence here), which was a big part of my childhood. The wonderful thing about this book is the simple, everyday quality of the magic that the children discover. Plus, the town the book is set in, Quiet Falls, is based on Iowa City--an area of the country that is very dear to my heart. This story is, to a certain extent, about the way that the modern world (cell phones, the internet, TV) tends to rob life of its magic. This is a good book to read in a hammock on a summer day, and a good reminder to pay attention to the world around you.

This book is about Calpurnia Tate, the only girl in a family of boisterous boys living on a pecan plantation in Texas in 1899. Calpurnia, over the course of the book, develops a close relationship with her grandfather, who is an armchair scientist and a devotee of Charles Darwin. In many ways, Calpurnia is who I want to grow up to be. She is endlessly curious, rebellious, and passionately intellectual (even if she is only 12). This book is heartbreaking at times, since much of it deals with Calpurnia's desire to be taken seriously and to be able to go to college and become a scientist which was nearly impossible for a girl at that period in time. Without giving anything away, I'll say that by the end of the book I was hopeful that Calpurnia would one day reach her goals.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

30 for 30 three and four

Today you get two outfits for the price of one--it was just one of those days when it becomes necessary to drop everything, shower, and completely change clothes around 5 p.m. This morning I was functioning on less than an ideal amount of sleep (up too late writing cover letters). Whenever I'm sleep-deprived, I get really cold--does that happen to anyone else? Anyway, between that and the cloudy skies outside I just wanted something cozy and comforting, hence this outfit turned out to be more an autumn-appropriate combination.

dress - Fossil, cardigan - GAP, scarf - vintage (my mom's), shoes - Target, bracelet - museum gift shop, necklace - handmade

I love scarves because they're like a blanket you wear, and I love belts because they're like a hug you wear. Sorry--have I mentioned I'm sleep-deprived? Anyway, I should say a couple words about my necklace - it's actually made from beans! I purchased it from a friend who was selling them on behalf of her host-brother in Nicaragua, who makes them by hand with local nuts and beans. I think it's really lovely and for a long time I wore this necklace every day.

Most of my day was spent taking my aunt's newly rescued puppy to the vet. She's the cutest thing ever, but she's also suffering from the fleas and ticks which are a side effect of her mistreatment and abandonment before she was found by my aunt. Luckily, the vet says she's reasonably healthy and, now that she's being treated for worms and has her vaccinations, she should grow into a healthy dog! I'm so relieved. So basically I spent the day cuddling a flea-ridden puppy, hence the need to come home and shower and change.

Tonight I went to go see Eclipse, the new Twilight movie, with some friends. I'm not really a twilight fan, but I am a fan of awesomely bad movies and making snarky comments, so it was enjoyable evening. Continuing my theme of being cold even though it's in the mid-80s outside, I wanted an outfit that would be suitable for an air-conditioned movie theater.

jeans - GAP, shoes - Target, top - Urban Outfitters, cardigan - Old Navy, necklace - Fossil

I have to confess, I just recently purchased my first pair of skinny jeans, and I love them! I used to think I was too curvy to wear such tight-fitting jeans, but I decided to try them anyway, and I'm glad I did. They certainly don't hide my curves, but sometimes it's better to just flaunt these things.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

30 for 30 day 2

Day 2 of The Challenge! My outfit for today was the kind of thing I generally wear when I have five minutes to get dressed. I knew today would be pretty low-key--just running some errands and coming home to write and work on job applications and grad school research--so I kept things casual and simple. I thought about belting a cardigan over this dress, but it was so hot and humid that I couldn't bare the thought of adding another layer. In fact, when I walked outside to take pictures this morning, my camera lens and display immediately fogged up. Not a good sign.

dress - Urban Outfitters, shoes - TOM'S, headscarf - vintage (from my mom), necklace & rings - gifts

I love this dress because it's so light and gauzy--the next best thing to wearing nothing at all in this heat. The headscarf is a necessity due to my second-day bendy and frizzy hair, and the TOM'S are quickly becoming my favorite casual summertime shoes--they're light and breathable, yet still comfy and durable enough for lots of walking and exploring. Plus they're vegan!

I should say that this outfit didn't exactly work out as planned--on my way home from errand-running, I was caught in a torrential rainstorm, which led to a comedy of errors in the drive-through lane at the post office (dropped Netflix envelope floats away on a river of rain, bedraggled girl splashes after it and gets completely soaked in the process, deposits soaking wet Netflix envelope in the mailbox anyway)(the girl is me). At that point I was so wet that I just went ahead to the pharmacy and the gas station--by the time I got home, I closely resembled a drowned rat. Oh well, now I'm cozy in my purple owl pajamas. Time for tea and working on my resume!

Monday, July 5, 2010

30 for 30 Day 1

Okay, people, I am really pulling out all the stops for this 30 for 30 thing. By which I mean, I actually managed to both iron my skirt AND shave my legs, all on the same day. This is a rare occurrence.

It was actually kind of hard to put an outfit together this morning because I felt like I had too many things to choose from! Restricting the pool of clothing I can use already has me thinking of more creative ways to wear what I already own, but I'm sure I will be desperately fantasizing about other clothes soon enough. I went with something simple and appropriate for the heat today, but still nice enough to go out for dinner and a movie later. Also, I'm trying to train myself to actually wear heels out of the house--usually I get dressed in the morning, put on nice shoes, and then end up changing into flats when faced with the prospect of actually having to go somewhere and, you know, walk. I need to learn how to be a grown-up lady!

top - GAP, skirt - self-made, shoes - Nine West outlet

belt - thrifted, bird necklace - fossil, bottle-cap necklace - craft fair purchase, watch locket - gift

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Fourth!

Happy Fourth of July, everyone! I celebrated by sleeping in ridiculously late by accident, baking up some shortbread, doing a LOT of laundry to prepare for Kendi's 30 for 30 challenge , and then heading over to have dinner with family and set off a little heavy artillery. I'm a huge fan of literally burning through large amounts of money in the form of fireworks -- plus my grandmother's house, where we spend each 4th, is just outside the city limits, meaning we can blow up stuff legally! I'm usually not quite so violent in my ideologies, but something about celebrating our nation's founding just makes me throw caution to the wind, I guess.

scarf & earrings - thrifted, dress - anthropologie (years ago), shoes - Target

Speaking of throwing caution to the wind, check out my ridiculous patriotic ensemble. I think of this as my "Fourth of July" dress because that's the only day I ever wear it. I bought it on sale from Anthro years ago (maybe even when I was still in high school), and I've never figured out another occasion that it would work for. Maybe a 1940s beach-going themed party? I'll have to work on that one.

And finally, a gratuitously cute shot of the puppy that was dumped on my grandmother's property. My mom and I are taking her to the vet early next week to make sure she's healthy and parasite-free so she can finally be allowed indoors. My mother suggested they name her Scout, and I think it's going to stick!

The 30

Here are my chosen pieces for Kendi's 30 for 30 Challenge! Supposedly it's a better idea to plan ahead and have ideas of how to put your pieces together into outfits... but that seemed like a lot of work and honestly I was feeling far too lazy today, so it looks like I'm going to be flying by the seat of my pants. It was enough effort just to line things up near a window so I could get some decent light!

Shirts, from L to R: white tank & gray tank - GAP, gray feather tee - Target, navy flower tee - Charlotte Russe, aqua crochet-back tank - GAP, Stop Black Fox tee - vintage (my mom's from the '70s), floral top - Modcloth, red polka-dot top - Urban Outfitters, teal striped tee - GAP, typewriter tee - Fossil

(This seems like a lot of shirts, but I'm sure I'll get sick of them soon enough!)

2nd Layers, L to R: navy blazer - GAP, abstract floral cardigan - Target, aqua cardigan - Old Navy, navy cardigan - GAP

Skirts, L to R: navy high-waisted skirt - American Apparel, other three skirts were/will be made by me.

(I've been intending to make that mustard and teal material into a skirt for weeks, so I've decided it isn't cheating if that transformation happens during the challenge)

Bottoms: denim cut-offs - Levi's, skinny jeans - GAP

Dresses, L to R: blue and gray floral - Fossil, purple sprigged floral - Forever 21, Yellow floral - Old Navy, empire waist dress - Urban Outfitters, daisy belted dress - Modcloth

Shoes, L to R: black sandal flats - Target, gladiator sandals - GAP, Toms, mustard wedges - Nine West factory store

(not pictured, and rounding out my 30 items, are the awesome vintage cowboy boots I recently purchased via Etsy, which I hope will be here soon! I'm anticipating a lot of boots & sundress ensembles, as well as some hot-mess boots & cut-offs combinations)

Tomorrow, let the remixing begin!

Because I am Crazy

In the past few months, I've become kind of fascinated with the world of personal style blogs. Something about keeping a log of everything you wear, and what you look like every day, really appeals to the obsessive record-keeping part of my brain. Plus, it's kind of addictive to see how people express themselves through their clothing, and how real people with real bodies and real budgets interpret (and eschew) trends. Keeping all that in mind, I've decided to participate in Kendi's 30 for 30 challenge this year. (If you are at all interested in clothes and styling, I highly recommend you check out Kendi's blog!)

Anyway, here are the rules of the challenge:

1. The first rule of the 30 for 30 challenge is: don't talk about the 30 for 30 challenge.
2. No shopping for 30 days! (I'm going to abstain from buying new clothing, but may still shell out for a new book or two....)
3. Pick 30 items of clothing, and wear 30 outfits made of those items.
4. Shoes count towards your 30 items, but belts, jewelry & other accessories don't.
4. Pajamas, exercise clothing, etc. doesn't count towards your 30 clothing items.

Since the next 30 days of my life includes not one but two trips, this is going to be a challenge. One trip is my family's yearly week in Colorado, which involves a lot of hiking and chilly nights. I'm going to do myself a favor and decide right now that hiking boots, fleeces, grubby jeans, etc. fall under the category of "exercise clothing," but I will try to select only a very few outdoor necessities to add to my 30 items for that trip. Later this evening (after coming home from food and fireworks at my grandmother's house) I will post my catalogue of the items I've chosen.

Also, quickly, I think this kind of challenge is a good idea not just because it will force me to be more inventive when putting outfits together, but also because (I hope) it will make me more appreciative of what I have and more careful about what I buy. My goal is to approach acquisition mindfully (not always an easy task), and maybe putting myself on this kind of clothing "diet" will help. Furthermore, I wore a uniform to school for 12 years of my life and, to be honest, I kind of miss the simplicity of being able to throw on the same skirt, blouse, knee socks, and shoes every morning. If only I was still fifteen.....