Late to Breakfast (at Tiffany’s!)

I’ve been late to the party on a lot of movies. I didn’t see “Titanic” until 2006; I didn’t see “Lord of the Rings” until weeks before “Return of the King” came out; I still haven’t seen the complete “Star Wars” series. Since I got my Netflix account a year ago, though, I’ve been trying to fill some of the holes in my “movie education.”

Here at school, every other girl in the dorms has a “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” poster. Two of my three roommates have them! After 2.5 years of looking at her pearls, updo, sunglasses, tiara, giant cigarette and whatever else, I finally decided to check the movie out for myself a few nights ago. I don’t know what I was expecting, but it was very different from what I thought it would be, in a good way. I liked it a lot — I laughed, I got sad, I fell in love with the characters.

And, of course, like every other girl in the dorms, I fell a little bit in love with everything Audrey Hepburn/Holly Golightly wore. The dresses! The coats! The skirts! The jewelry! She always looked beautiful, but she made it look so effortless. I just wanted to steal her entire wardrobe.

The next morning, I woke up feeling completely inspired. I took a cue from a simple outfit from the movie that I couldn’t find a picture of because you only see it for a short time: the day she goes to the library with Paul in that awesome reddish pea coat, she wears a polo tucked into a pencil skirt. I didn’t quite want to go all the way to a pencil skirt for my campus job, but I at least put on a formal skirt.

It’s a shamefully amateur attempt, I know, but it made me smile, and all of my coworkers loved it, too (“What are you dressed up for?” “Oh, nothing, just saw ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ last night!”). I don’t think anyone would look at this outfit and say, “Oh, totally inspired by Audrey Hepburn,” but I think I got the overall concept I took away from admiring how she dressed: You don’t need to wait for a formal occasion to break out your formal skirt, and even a basic day should be an opportunity to dress up a little. If Holly Golightly can dress up to go to the library, I can dress up to go to class.

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Belatedly, a Valentine’s Day post

Sorry for the lengthy absence! It’s been a crazy two weeks — traveling, schoolwork, work-work, sporting events, bad weather, the usual. But, don’t worry — I have some good posts coming up! I have a few new sweaters and nail polishes and styling tricks to show off. Stay tuned.

Before I get to the good stuff, though, I have to post my Valentine’s Day outfit, just because I liked it. It’s nothing crazy, I didn’t go full-out heart-spangled, but I never pass up an opportunity to dress for a holiday, even in college, so I had to go somewhat pink and flouncy. I tried to tone it down with brown accessories, and eventually I added a light gray cardigan, too. I don’t think I’ve ever belted this skirt before, and I’ll do it again, for sure — I really like the shape it creates.

Look at that flawless hand heart. You’re impressed.

I had a low-key but fun Valentine’s Day; four of my friends and I had  “Singles Awareness Soiree,” where we baked cake, watched a movie and laughed a lot. Overall a great night. How did you celebrate? And at what age do you think I have to give up dressing up for holidays? 😉

Not-so-casual Friday

I finally did laundry for the first time in a month, which is alarming on so many levels. How did I accumulate so many items of clothing that I can go a month without washing anything and still have stuff to wear? And how am I fitting everything in my itty-bitty college room?

Most college students take “My clothes are dirty” as an excuse to wear old t-shirts and sweatpants. Given that I have to maintain a semi-professional appearance all the time for my work, though, for me it means more dresses and “nice clothes” than usual. When my casual jeans got too dirty to keep wearing, I went as long as I could wearing dresses and skirts, but Friday I had to pull out my nice jeans, which require heels because I still have not had them altered. Heels on a normal college day! People were judging so hard.

The challenge became finding a top that was casual enough to not look ridiculous on campus but nice enough to wear with heels. So, I went for nice but basic: just a turtleneck sweater in a rich color. I even threw on that snakeskin belt I got for Christmas and had no idea how to wear, which is exciting — now that I’ve worn it with an outfit other than the one the saleswoman put together for me, I might be able to actually wear it on a sort-of-regular basis.

Do you ever think to yourself, “WHERE DID ALL OF THESE CLOTHES COME FROM?” I know it’s totally #firstworldproblems, but really. It’s embarrassing. I’d love some advice on how to execute a closet purge so I can have more space and feel better about myself. Cheers.

Mixing textures: Flowers and snakes

Ann Taylor and Loft are stores on my “Get used to so you can dress like a grown-up” list, but I’ll readily admit that they intimidate me. The first time I tried to visit Ann Taylor, I didn’t even make it in the door — I saw nothing but neutrals and suits and promptly fled.

But I couldn’t avoid it forever: I received several Ann Taylor pieces for Christmas, and I had to make the trip to return or exchange the ones that didn’t fit. I was left with an item I could handle — a beautiful gold bangle — and two that I liked but had absolutely no idea how to wear: a cream floral-textured pencil-ish skirt and a skinny faux-snakeskin belt.

I asked the saleswoman for some help picking out tops that would work with the skirt, and we ended up with two turtlenecks, one burgandy, one coral. I really like the turtlenecks; they’re soft, which is always great, and they have elbow-length sleeves, ideal for push-every-sleeve-past-my-elbows me. Here’s one of the outfits we finally came up with:

I don’t think it’s perfect — I wish I could find some burgandy tights to swap for black, and it could use a necklace — but it’s a step in the right direction. If you have any other ideas on how I could wear either of those items — the skirt or the belt — they would be greatly appreciated! Cheers.

Sweater: Ann Taylor Petite Elbow Sleeve Turtleneck, sz XS (Not available online, final sale in stores — similar here, with long sleeves). Skirt: Ann Taylor Petite Snow Flower Lace Skirt, sz 2P. Belt: Ann Taylor Perfect Skinny Watersnake Belt, sz XS. Tights: Target. Shoes: Payless Dexter Karma Pump, sz 5.

Sweater dress and small-town fun

For as long as I can remember, it’s been a tradition in my family for my mom, sister, aunt and I to go out for tea for one afternoon over Christmas break. We live close to Chicago, so we’ve always gone to a fancy hotel in the city, dressed to the nines, and sat in a beautiful room, drinking tea out of delicate teapots and sneaking sugar cubes when Mom wasn’t looking.

This year, we decided to switch it up and take a more laid-back approach to the tradition. One of the nice things about living in Chicagoland is that you can drive an hour one way for a major metro area, and drive an hour the other way and end up in a tiny, quaint town in a farming area. My mom found a cute little teashop in a 5,000-person town, and it was perfect. Casual, but totally charming.

I was still on a dark-color overload after wearing black so many days in a row for the holidays, so I went for my purple sweater dress, white tights and my Missoni for Target flats. I would have been way underdressed for the city, but for where we were, it was just right.

My feet got caught off in this picture, but I like it anyway — love the pink tree, and the shadows are cool. Not bad for autotimer.

After a delicious tea, we went roaming around the town — mostly shopping in Christmas-y, vintage-y shops, but some wandering, too. I could never live in a small town, because I like a bit of hustle and bustle in my life, but they’re always fun to explore for an afternoon. So many cute sights to see, especially around the holidays. Cheers.

Dress: Macy’s (old). Belt: Forever 21 (old). Flats: Missoni for Target (out of stock). Tights: Target (recent — they sell them in stores very cheap in a million colors, and they’re awesome).

Oops! I belted again.

Okay, yeah, there’s nothing “oops” about belting. You guys should just recognize by now that I can never pass up an opportunity for a lame post title.

Anyway, I tried a belted cardigan for the first time on Tuesday and love, love, loved the way it looked. I do jeans and a cardigan all the time, but belting it just made it look so much more mature, which is always something I aim for.

Yesterday, I needed a classy outfit to wear on a job assignment, and it was too windy for a dress or a skirt. I had forgotten about this cardigan — bought on clearance at Banana Republic around Christmas, worn the first week of the semester — but I found it again and decided to give it a go. Last time I wore it, I put it with jeans, a gray tank and black wedges. This time, I wanted to give my brown wedges a day out, because I rarely wear them, so I went with a brown tank, too. And when I remembered that I own a skinny brown belt? Well. I just had to belt it.

Some parts of this still threw me off a bit — can I match my belt to my tank top? am I wearing the belt too high? — but for the most part I was really pleased with the way it turned out. I didn’t know if the belting would work with the sweater — you can’t really tell, but it has these chiffon-ish rose-ish things around the top and edges — but it did! Cheers.

Looks like I’m going to need to go cardigan-shopping. And belt-shopping. Uh oh….

Remixing (Like a boss)

Hello beautiful people! It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I’m sorry. You know I love you. It’s just that time of year: the last few weeks of school. If all goes well, I’ll be heading home May 8. If not, May 11. Worst case scenario, May 13. Let’s hope for the 8th, right? I need to get out of here! I love my school, but the papers and projects and general drama are dragging me down.

I haven’t been blogging for two reasons. The first is, as I just said, the crazy-business. The second is that I just have not been dressing well lately! It has rained here for almost a week straight, and I just cannot bring myself to dress well in the rain. It’s been a parade of solid tanks and black cardigans, solid polos, lazy things. After going most of the semester sans hoodies, I’ve had two hoodie days this week. I’ve barely even worn necklaces or earrings. I did manage a super cute Easter outfit, but was too busy celebrating with friends to get a picture. So, I guess I haven’t been blogging because I haven’t been proud of what I’ve worn. I’m sorry!

But, I made up for it big time yesterday. Yesterday was my last real shift at my job/class, so I wanted to dress up even more than I usually do. I took advantage of the cloudy-but-not-rainy day and broke out the pencil skirt I bought in February. Topped it with my cute LOFT blouse and a cardigan for warmth, and finished it off with a belt and wedges (can’t run around my job in heels!). The end result? I think I managed what I’ve been working toward for months: Dressing like a grown-up.

And then! I work 12-hour shifts, and I knew I wouldn’t last the whole time in a pencil skirt, so I threw a pair of jeans in my bag. Untuck the shirt, belt the cardigan, and you have a whole new outfit!

I am seriously so proud of both of these outfits. The ruffly blouse, the pencil skirt, the belted cardigan — all looks that I would never have tried on my own, and a definite step out of my usual dressing habits. But I’ve been so inspired by my favorite petite fashion bloggers — Jean at Extra Petite, Kelly at Alterations Needed, Jess at Stylepint and Kileen at Cute and Little are my current idols — that I wanted to try some things that I thought they would wear. I’m sure they’d look a billion times better, with colors and accessories and actual heels and the like, but for a college kid, it’s not a bad start.

I wish I lived somewhere I could wear outfits like this to work every day. Maybe next year!

Skirt: H &M. Belt: Macy’s (came with the dress from this post). Blouse: LOFT. Cami: Forever 21. Cardigan: LOFT. Jeans: Target. Wedges: Payless.

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