Belatedly, a Valentine’s Day post

Sorry for the lengthy absence! It’s been a crazy two weeks β€” traveling, schoolwork, work-work, sporting events, bad weather, the usual. But, don’t worry β€” 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 β€” 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 hadΒ  “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? πŸ˜‰

How to wear Oxfords? (And a happy ‘first!’)

I’m a shameless complimenter. If I like something a stranger is wearing, I always make a point of saying so. In a restaurant? Sure. Elevator? Why not? Walking across campus? Always. Even if I’m on the phone? Yup.

I’ve been doing it for years, but I’ve never been complimented by a stranger before. Last week, it finally happened! I was walking across our campus quad, and a girl broke off her phone conversation to tell me she liked my outfit. It completely made my day β€” it was nice to be on the other end of something I always do.

So, the outfit. I bought a pair of Oxfords a few weeks ago, partially because I needed flat-yet-formal shoes to run around in while reporting but mostly just because I wanted a pair. Unfortunately, I did what I always do: I bought a “trendy” item, then got home and realized I had no idea how to wear it. I turned to the internet for help and came up with the outfit below.

Most of the “How to wear Oxfords” articles I read said to wear them with “feminine clothing,” to balance the menswear feel of the shoes. Doesn’t get any more feminine than a dress, right? I added a floral necklace, too, and tights for warmth. I really liked the end result β€” it was super comfortable, and I didn’t think it strayed too far from my usual look. I test-drove the outfit while I was home on winter break, hence the “in-my-backyard” photo, and wore it on campus for the first time last week. I’ll definitely wear this again.

Last night, I broke out the Oxfords again for a party. I was really tired of wearing jeans and boots everywhere, but it was too cold and raining for a skirt and bare legs, so I went a little crazy and tried to put together a shorts-and-tights outfit for the first time.

I had to send a picture to my sister before I actually wore this out in public (“Is this an outfit?”),Β  but she approved, and I was decently happy with it as well. I’d go with a fitted t-shirt in the future β€” this one was essential to the party’s theme β€” but the concept works. It was great to wear, too β€” I felt like I was dressed up enough to be at a party, but it was super comfortable, too.

Do you wear Oxfords? I put these outfits together, but I still mostly have no idea what to do. Let me know how you wear yours! Cheers.

By the Book

Hi everyone! Sorry it’s been a while. I’ve been preoccupied with events including foot injury, friends visiting from out of town and, most importantly, this: a new book by my favorite author.

Look, I even left half my face un-blurred so you can see my joy.

The Fault in Our Stars,” by John Green, came out Tuesday, after much anticipation. I read it in about six hours, and in the final hour I cried no fewer than five times. It’s a sad but beautiful book; a book about teens facing cancer, but also a love story between teens facing cancer, and a book about family, and heroism and courage, and so much more. John’s been my favorite author for about four years now, and he has never disappointed. I strongly encourage you to read this book, or any of his other ones.

I grew up dressing up for Harry Potter release parties, Gryffindor robe and all, so I felt like I needed to dress up for “The Fault in Our Stars.” Lame, right? But there you go. Blue and black and white. If I had planned better, I would have accessorized yellow or gold, too, but this is as far as I went.

Also, I’ve totally dressed to match a John Green book before. His first book, “Looking for Alaska,” is my favorite book, hands down. When I spotted a shirt on American Eagle’s website that reminded me of its cover, I bought it without a moment’s hesitation.

Oh, and if you’ve ever noticed that my toenails are nearly always painted blue? That’s a nod to “Looking for Alaska,” too. The “Alaska” in the title is a character, not the state, and one of the few physical descriptors of her included in the book is of her electric blue toenails. Yes, I’m a nerd, but I’m a proud one. Cheers, and, as John often says, thanks for being awesome.

Keeping things simple (and weird!)

I had another skirt-and-boots combo and a trip to the mall planned for Thursday, but after ice skating and walking 9 miles Wednesday, I woke up with a beyond-sore ankle and both plans went out the window. I’m not a doctor, and I’m not an injury-prone athlete, so I could think of only three potential “cures” for my ankle: 1. Ibuprofen. 2. An afternoon of rest. 3. Comfy shoes.

Because I’ve never mastered the art of dressing up your Converse, I ended up keeping my outfit simple: just jeans and a t-shirt, plus a cardigan for warmth. I reached for my favorite school t-shirts first, then thought I’d step it up to a solid color, before finally settling on something more fun: my Keep Austin Weird shirt.

I picked this shirt up last summer, when I was in Austin, Texas for a workshop. I had seen the slogan all over town, but I wasn’t sure what it meant. Turns out, Wikipedia says, “Keep Austin Weird is the slogan adopted by the Austin Independent Business AllianceΒ  to promote small business in Austin, Texas,” and it’s become an idea the people of the city embrace, too β€” they like the city’s “weird” culture (and I did, too!). The small print on the shirt reads, “Support your local businesses.” I’m not a huge “message T” person, but I like this one. It supports small businesses and makes a great conversation starter. Plus, you know, everyone needs a good tie-dye t-shirt in his/her arsenal.

Also, I did end up getting to two stores, and I managed to pick up some pieces I’m looking forward to turning into outfits. Stay tuned! Cheers.

T-shirt: Outhouse Designs Original Keep Austin Weird Tie Dye Shirt, sz Youth L (adult version here). Cardigan: Target Merona Womens Essential Cardigan Sweater in black, sz XS. Jeans: Levi’s 524 Boot Cut, sz 1 short (shortened).

In support of T-shirts

I’ve been reading fashion blogs for nearly a year now, and I think I can safely say that I have never seen a T-shirt. I’m not talking about $30 Banana Republic “T-shirts,” or even $8 Old Navy “T-shirts” β€” those, to me, are just shirts, and they’re worn all the time. The basic T-shirt, however, gets no love. People wear them to sleep or to the gym, but never in real-life situations. I realize most bloggers I read are adults with jobs, and you can’t wear T-shirts to work, but really?Β  You guys never just get up and throw on a T-shirt and jeans to go to the store?

I’m a college student, so I’m surrounded by T-shirts every day. There’s always some group handing them out on campus, sorority members seem to get new ones every week, and the bookstore sells them so inexpensively that anyone with some measure of school spirit has one in at least four colors. Admittedly, most people do wear them lazily, with athletic shorts and baseball caps and things that I don’t think belong in classrooms. I know we read and like fashion blogs because we like fashion, and T-shirts aren’t fashionable. But I don’t think it’s necessary to stigmatize T-shirts as sloppy, lazy wear, either. I think it’s perfectly acceptable to make one your outfit for the day, as long as you put some effort into it.

The easy thing is to put the shirt on with sweats or jeans, grab your nearest flip flops, do whatever is necessary to kind of tame your hair and run off to class.

But it’s so easy to make a few small, easy changes and make the look a ton neater! Check out what I did today:


Roll up the sleeves and pull up the hem so the shirt actually looks like it fits right. Add a tank top underneath to pick up one of the colors in the shirt. Wear flats instead of your flip flops. BRUSH YOUR HAIR.

I know it’s still not fashionable, and I know it’s not something most of you would put on your blog for a day. But it’s something I can still pull off in college, and I think it’s fine. I honestly welcome your thoughts on this topic. Let me know where you stand on T-shirts.

(Unrelated, but the shirt is a concert T-shirt from Train’s summer tour. I had the pleasure of seeing them (and Maroon 5!) at two different tour stops, and they were wonderful both times. It’s kind of a weird shirt, but Train has been my favorite band since junior high, and it was exciting to find a non-black concert T, so I’m rolling with it. Cheers.)

Going green for Earth Day (sort of)

Earth Day isn’t technically until the 22nd, I think, but my town apparently decided today was a good day to celebrate. We had a beautifully sunny day, and a great festival. A few blocks were closed off for vendors to set up with food, pamphlets, crafts and the like.

I kept an eye on the jewelry tables in search of something turquoise, because I’ve been looking for a turquoise necklace for a while (Okay, since Nina Garcia recommended it. I’m slowly but surely chipping away at that Hundred.). It’s been difficult finding something I like β€” most of the turquoise at Forever 21 is part of “hippie”-looking jewelry with feathers and such, and more simple-looking pieces at other stores have been expensive. But! I found the perfect necklace today.

The detail in this picture is not fantastic, but you can kind of tell that it’s pretty and kind of delicate, but also intricate β€” lots of curls and twists and nice accents. The turquoise is pretty and gives a pop of color, but it isn’t “in your face,” either. Perfect for me. And only $10, supporting a local craftswoman! Love it.

Outfit for the day? I needed something that was cute and put-together in case I ended up doing work stuff, but I also had to look casual enough to fit in at an Earth Day celebration (very, very laid back atmosphere). I kept it simple β€” denim skirt and sandals, and a green shirt to fit the theme.

Sorry for the awful pic β€” people walked in on my retake, so I had to stick with this.

I love that the majority of this outfit is old. I’m fairly sure I wore this top/cami combo for picture day Sophomore year of high school (okay, that’s four years, which isn’t a long time in real-world time, but it’s an awkward time frame). I’ve had the skirt since eighth grade, but I just started wearing it last year β€” I think during high school the only acceptable kind of denim skirt is a mini skirt, not something knee-length and flouncy. Now I wear it all the time.

The shoes are the only recent purchase. A “tiny find,” I got them from the kids’ aisle at Target last spring. Twice last summer, I saw small children wearing them at my job. Always a fun time. The stones are not quite turquoise β€” more green than blue β€” but when my feet and neck are so far apart, and there are plenty of clothes between, it works.

Shirt β€” Carson’s. Cami β€” Aeropostale. Skirt β€” Gap. Sandals β€” Target. Necklace β€” Handmade locally.

A pirate’s life for me

Well, no, the nautical look is more sailors than pirates, isn’t it? But I think pirates are cooler. So, pirates. Yes.

I am hugely in love with the nautical look, so I love that it’s so “in” right now. Today was the first time I tried to pull it off myself.

 

"Staring nonchalently into the distance" is my favorite pose.

Not the greatest shot, but I had to get water in there somehow, right? Sorry for the lame face, I was kind of falling over as the photo took.

I tend to stay on the subtle end of trends, so I wasn’t going to go full-out with the nautical look β€” I thought the stripes and colors were sufficient. But, I couldn’t help adding the earrings, because they’re precious. I threw on the necklace because I thought the outfit needed it, and even though it doesn’t totally match, I thought it worked well. You can’t tell from the photo, but it’s a long gold necklace made up of a series of chains with differently-sized links.

I just discovered "super macro" mode on my camera, and I love it.

Proof that I managed to rock nautical? A girl in my Spanish class looked and me and said, “Well, you’re all boats and ho’s today, aren’t you?” I am not entirely positive that this is a compliment, but I’m going to take it as one. πŸ˜‰ Cheers!

PS, today’s outfitβ€” Skirt and shirt: Old Navy. Shoes: Wal-Mart. Earrings: Forever 21. Necklace: Target.

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