Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Cop-Out #5: Buttons & Collars

Let me tell you about my morning. I woke up in the middle of the worst dream I have ever had. It wasn't just bad. It was awful.

In my dream, I had plans to go to the beach with my friend Bryn. Unfortunately, a girl that I used to be friends with during part of high school was keeping me from going to the beach, forcing me to run errands with her. At one point, we left her apartment, drove around for a while, drove back to what looked like her apartment complex building, and she left me in the car while she ran upstairs to grab something. It was dark and the parking lot looked really shady, so I decided to stay in the car. For some reason, this girl (Abby), had left some of the windows cracked a bit. A creepy black guy came up to my window. I told him to back off or else I'd be forced to use pepper spray on him. He didn't, so I warned him again, and then sprayed him in the face. Another guy tried to come up to the driver's side backseat window, which was actually opened almost 1/4 of the way, and before he had a chance to do anything, I sprayed him, too. They left me alone, but it was enough to make me upset that I was forced to resort to using the pepper spray. I thought that Jared would be proud of me for having it, though.

Well, then Abby comes back and decides to take me to a mutual friend's house (Emily - who in real life was only really a classmate). There were a bunch of other girls there, but I didn't care to be with them. They were up to some antics, and I was just really upset that I was missing out on being at the beach with Bryn. I almost lost it, so I decided to get up and leave so I could call Bryn. As I was heading towards the door, my cousin and Emily stopped me. All of a sudden I was in my bedroom with them. My cousin said to me, "Kate, there's something we have to tell you." She walked to my closet door, where my purse was hanging, and grabbed Jared's Bible from it. "This is for you." I looked at her puzzled, and told her I needed to call Bryn so I could go to the beach with her. "Kate, Jared died this morning."

All of a sudden, I started wailing. "What!?!?!" My cousin said, "His heart just stopped." I heard Emily's voice, "He was in a car accident. He was on his way to New York to..." I kept wailing, and tried to ask what he was doing going to New York, but all I could think of was that at least I had his Bible. I wondered why no one told me sooner. I found momentary comfort in knowing that I had Jared's mom to go to. But then I started freaking out, thinking that I was a widow at 24, and that I would be alone, and have to find love again. I wailed more. (By wail, I mean a mix of a cry, a scream, and a panic.)

I was woken up to Jared shaking me and saying, "Kate, wake up. Kate, wake up. Kate wake up." I opened my eyes but kept wailing. Wailing subsided to crying, but I couldn't stop crying.

Eventually I calmed down. The scene has been pasted in my mind, and I can't get it out. Hearing the words "Jared died" are probably the two worst words I have ever heard (even if it was just a dream) in my entire life. Never have I ever had a dream as terrible as this (and yes, I have had dreams where I woke myself up out of them crying-- but never wailing). The worst part was that the entire day felt so surreal, and I found myself almost bursting into tears periodically throughout the course of it.

So I hope you understand the lack of enthusiasm in this outfit. I was tempted to go to class in my sweats, but I knew that would call attention to myself. Instead, I put on a button-up, a statement necklace, and a big belt. I think it worked.
Shirt: Banana Republic
Belt: The Limited
Necklace: Forever 21
Jeans: Charlotte Russe


The shirt is a soft pink/lavendar. The look of the picture admittedly has a Karate Kid feel to it... I probably should have worn black leggings/pants or skinny jeans instead. Whatever. I really didn't care.

Tell me, have you ever had such an awful dream? How do you bounce back from these things? It's ridiculous that I've let it affect me this much, it's a dream after all. Jared is fine, he's still here, so what's the big deal? Yeah.

Feigning Fashion Tip of the Day: Wear a button up and/or a collared shirt. For some reason, a shirt with buttons and/or a collar takes sophistication up a notch. It doesn't even matter how you wear it, what you wear with it, but there's just something about it buttons and collars. And if you wear a shirt that has both-- you are set.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Spring-Time in January

It's the second to last day in January, and so far, we have had one snowfall. Today they predicted that the weather would reach a high of 60-some degrees. Wow. Since I wasn't in the mood to wear a skirt, I decided to wear something .... spring-y. It's just too bad that my students are slackers and killed my spring mood. On the other hand, looking at The Limited's website makes me so happy because it's so freakin' colorful!! I'm so glad that designers have finally opened their eyes and realized that this is what people want to fill their closets with. Yes, we love pasty washed out colors some days... but sometimes we just want to pretend like we're playing dress up. I almost considered putting a challenge out there to pick out a top and bottom from your closet-- with your eyes closed. Since I only own a few colorful skirts, I'm not sure it would be lead to anything cool for me, but maybe if the challenge required a top and a cardigan, we could come up with something fun. 

Necklace: Forever 21
Everything else: The Limited
You know what's not fun? Talking to customer service representatives who can't speak English. Seriously. I am very happy not to be dealing with an automated service, but it's so unhelpful to speak to someone who can't understand my question. Recently I made a purchase online, and had to exchange it because it arrived with a stain on it. Lame, I know. Anyway, when the new one arrived, the receipt had marked it at full price (originally I bought it on sale + coupons for $10). I called to find out whether they made a mistake, and the representative asked me to hold on, and about a minute later said "in your package, you should find a sticker - that sticker will let you exchange your order". ... WTF?!?! Seriously?! I repeated my question, trying to be clearer, asking why I didn't get it for $10, and she asked to put me on hold. I waited for three minutes or so, hung up, and called again. Then I got a representative - fluent English speaker - and the issue was resolved within a few minutes. (Although she was being difficult, only telling me exactly what I could see for myself online.)


Double sigh because I would normally give this outfit an A- but right now I'm feeling it deserves more of a B. It seems like a great outfit, and like the only thing it is missing is something special... But for an everyday work outfit, it works. (ha). The more I look at it, however, the more critical I am of it. It's plain. It's boring. Etc. Do you ever have those feelings? Is it just my bad day/tiring weekend that's kicking in right now, or do you admit that my outfits lately are just lacking... [something]...?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Djokovic Wins Again

Hey, remember back in September when I got really excited about Novak Djokovic winning the US Open? (Click here if you want a refresher.) Anyway, he was scheduled to play the final of the Australian Open at 3am EST Sunday morning. Jared decided we should make a date out of it, and stay up to watch it. Even though I knew we'd be watching it on the XBox (since we don't have cable), and that it would probably make more sense not to watch it live, I agreed, thinking it could be cool to be watching it live. Well, around 4:30am or so I passed out, so we just watched the rest of it when we woke up. And... it was... A-MA-ZING.

Since a picture is worth 1,000 words, here are four...
oh my

Magenta Tiers

Have you ever raided your closet only to realize that you have an item that you love, but haven't worn in a long time? My mom bought me a skirt long ago, and I only wore it for the first time this summer when my parents, the hubs, and I went out to dinner with my grandparents to celebrate their anniversary. It's not the kind of skirt I can really get away with wearing when I teach, and it's definitely not a skirt I'd wear to run errands. I decided that hanging out with the girls presented itself as a perfect opportunity for wearing it. 
Top & Belt: The Limited
Skirt: Kohl's - gift
tights - ? Target ?
Excuse the awkward pose. I was fixing my hair when the shutter went, and I didn't feel like taking another ten seconds to get a better shot. I am trying to get better about wearing things in my closet and repeating as infrequently as possible.. at least until I've worn a majority of the items in my closet.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Brown & Purple

It's the simplest outfit I've taught in yet this semester, but I think it's perfectly acceptable for a Friday. This was actually the first time I had worn these pants, and I'm quite pleased with them. I was really worried last night about whether I could wear anything with them other than white. Wearing them with green would seem to tree-ish, and wearing them with yellow would look like pee and poo. Would you agree, or am I being ridiculous? Clearly these pants are too dark to pair with black, and any dark color for that matter. I might try them with pink next time, or some really intense color to offset the brownness. What would you wear with brown pants? Do you even wear brown pants? I personally found them to be a breath of fresh air, compared to black pants.

How I wore it
Necklace: Forever 21
Everything else: The Limited
Not pictured: Purple flats: Old Navy
How I could have worn it?

Again, I wasn't sure whether I should put the belt around the cardigan or around the pants. I chose the former... but I think if I were to wear this outfit (or a similar one), I would try the latter. I suppose I should have buttoned the bottom buttons of my cardigan if I'm not going to wear it with a belt? Arg. I've been really frustrated with skinny belts lately. Honestly, I've had a love/hate relationship with them since the first time I saw them. I initially did not understand why someone would put a belt around her sweater! Belts are to hold pants up! Are you worried your sweater is going to fall off without the belt? ... Then the more I saw them, the more I loved them. Their only function is to accentuate a smaller waist line, but they are great for adding color and pulling an outfit together. This raises the question... was today's outfit in need of being pulled together?

In other news, TWO chains have closed down! Old Navy and American Eagle have packed their bags! Seriously! What's next? I really hope that they replace those buildings with something awesome... but if those businesses can't survive, what can? The building where Old Navy was is so huge. It clearly can't be used for a smaller business. Jared thinks that they should put a sporting goods store there since there aren't any in the city. I actually had the same thought when I first started considering what might go there.

When we moved, there was a burger place that had obviously been closed for some time. Just this week, a Mexican restaurant opened in its place. I'm not sure for how long it had been decided that the Mexican restaurant would go there, but it went up really quickly. (But in my eyes, it took five months for the burger stand to be replaced.) I'm guessing it will be the same with the old Old Navy and American Eagle?

Well, this week's goal/challenge has finally come to an end. I think I did a better job of being more conscious of including color in my outfits, although the colors weren't as bright as I had hoped they would be. At least I ended up incorporating some color rather than just wearing jeans and a neutral top or black pants, black cardigan, and some bland top. I haven't decided yet what next week's goal will be. The problem is that I'm not sure if it is entirely appropriate to experiment with fashion on days I teach (which make up three days of the week). I might change my mind in a few weeks, however, after I feel comfortable in my role as this particular semester's instructor. Only time will tell. Enough with my ramblings. Anything you want to ramble about? I've got two great ears :-)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Cop-Out #4: Imitate

When all else fails, imitate! I don't think I would have ever put today's outfit together on my own, but I'm really glad that someone else did for me!

Inspiration: J's Everyday Fashion
(who was inspired by the Loft)
My turn!
Cardigan: Target (2010)
Shirt: Gap - really old
Skinny Jeans: The Limited
Boots: Madden Girl (gift)
robot/doll impression -
note the awkward arm
left: what it looked like
right: how I wish it looked

I have a few frustrations with my outfit. First, the shirt is too big. I think my mom got it for me when I was in middle school? You can see in the left picture I have no shape... unless boxes are considered shapes. I included the far right picture to illustrate how much better the outfit looks when the cardigan can actually come together. (The other problem is that this cardigan wasn't made to have shirts underneath it.) I chose to leave the shirt untucked because I wanted volume on top, less on bottom look. Do you think it would have looked better tucked in? Or should I have added a skinny belt? Something feels off.. or is it all in my head? [On the bright side of things - no pun intended - I think the blue is a shade that is worthy of earning me an accomplishment of my goal? 3 for 3!]

Feigning Fashion Tip of the Day: Imitation goes a long way. One of the best ways to be stylish is look at what others have done before you. Sometimes it works best to keep it similar, and other times, the sky is the limit. Really it's entirely up to you (or your mood). I dare you to flip a magazine open and imitate a look. Ready, go!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Pinstripe and Pink

Payless Shoes is having another BOGO sale and I decided to take advantage of the deal. I ordered two pairs of shoes, added an online coupon code I found, and shipped it to the store to waive shipping costs. All in all, I got a pair of red peep toes and nude patent flats for $20. Score!

I went to pick them up today, and decided to do a drive by of some stores just in case. Well, I was in for quite a surprise! I walked into Old Navy, and it was EMPTY. Seriously, they had the front two walls of cabinets half filled, and nothing else. I asked a sales associate if they were doing a floor set, since I saw another associate hanging some shirts, and she said that they were going out of business. What?!?! I walked around the store only to find that what was left was either too big for me, or stained/ruined. Everything was 30% off, but that still wasn't enough to warrant purchasing anything.

In other news, I'm 2 for 2 on my weekly goal! Maybe this isn't what we had in mind when I said "bright", but it sure isn't a neutral. I feel like a broken record, but really, the shirt is brighter in person. (The skirt is also black with subtle grey pinstripes.) I discovered that I prefer to pair a solid color with a subtle print. I'm not sure whether I would wear this skirt with a printed shirt. Would you?
Occasion: Teaching
Everything: The Limited
Tights: Target
This isn't the outfit I had planned for today. I was going to either wear a red or cobalt skirt, but I just didn't feel like it. I guess that teaches me a lesson to have a back-up outfit planned? I had this one in mind (since I wore it last semester), but when I put it on, I felt really self conscious. I really felt like I was busting out of this shirt. Oh, and when I got home, I found a rip in the back of my skirt. (I think it was the motion of getting in and out of the car that did it.) I'm not sure yet whether it's repairable or not. If it is, it's probably the sort of thing that a seamstress would overcharge for. What's your method for fixing clothing malfunctions? (The rip is noticeable, and I'm afraid if I wear it again before I fix it, it will only rip more.) I guess I should just be thankful that it didn't happen at school!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Cop-Out #3: Add a Scarf

I could have also titled this post "Hooray! I achieved my goal!: Day 1". I noticed that bright colors were severely lacking from my outfits lately, and so I set a goal for myself to incorporate at least one bright color into my outfit every day this week. (I think my wording may have been different, but it's the same idea.) I achieved my goal today!
Sweater, Belt, & Jeans: The Limited
Pashmina: Greece (the country)
The color of the sweater is brighter in person, but even so, it's much brighter than what I've been wearing lately. And to top it off (no pun intended), I added more color with my scarf! This provides me with a great transition to the next feigning fashion tip of the day: add a scarf! 

The beauty about scarves is that they are an accessory that is large enough to not have all attention directed towards your clothes, but is not so bold that it distracts from the clothes. It draws attention to some sort of middle ground - the attention isn't on the shirt/sweater, it's not on the scarf, it's on the entire top. I really love how these two colors work together. My advice for scarves goes as follows: if you're wearing a solid color top, either choose a solid scarf that matches, or wear a scarf that adds some pizazz. I tend to prefer to keep it simple, so you won't catch me wearing a pattern scarf with a pattern shirt. The best part about scarves is that they work year-round. Granted there are some climates where a scarf is the last thing you want on in the summer (even if it's super light weight), but there are also some climates where the scarf is functional, so might as well look good while you wear it. Click the labels link 'scarf' to see more ways I've worn scarves in outfits. My favorite is the traditional European way (picture above) and the wrap around once. Watch the video to see 25 different ways to wear a scarf. Which way is your favorite? Do you wear scarves? 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Ruffles & Cream

It sounds like it should be a yummy treat... but it doesn't quite end up that way. I was stressing out about what to wear for today (last night), and settled on this (emphasis on the 'settled'). I was fine wearing it in class, but also felt silly and disappointed. I guess we realistically can't expect to have phenomenal fashion every day. Oh well. You win some, you lose some. (And maybe in some cases, you tie some?)
Occasion: Teaching
Everything: The Limited
not pictured: purple flats, Old Navy
I couldn't decide whether to wear a skinny belt with it or not. I decided since I was teaching, I didn't want to bust out the fashionable philosopher just yet. First, establish seriousness. Then, add a touch of fun. But what do you think? Does it look better with the belt?

I'm not sure a belt works with this particular top given just how ruffle-y it is. This cardigan looks grey in the picture, but it's really more of an oatmeal. Or cream. Isn't it funny how often we use foods to describe our colors? Mustard yellow. Eggplant. Tomato red. ... Okay, so maybe there aren't too many examples (at least that I can think of for now), but it still makes me wonder... what are the best names for colors? Is it for the purpose of creating a mental picture that we use flowers and foods to describe a color? Or is it just for the sake of the sound of the name? Whenever I would happen to be in the Home Depot or Lowe's, I would wonder who came up with the names of particular paints. What is it about one shade of brown that merits the name "gentle fawn" while another similar shade deserves the name "cup of tea" (no joke).

I apologize that I have no witty fashion advice for you today. I suppose I can offer a piece of advice when it comes to life. Be patient, be calm, be nice! Recently, I made an order online, and when it arrived, the clothes were so wrinkly and crumpled up. It was so irritating! I wrote an email to customer service, simply to inform them that this had occurred, that I was not pleased with service, and then I essentially brought forth an empty threat that I would be forced to boycott the store if I was not shown the respect I deserve as a "loyal, paying customer". I was proud of myself up until the end of the email. I wasn't sure how to get my point across that I was displeased without lowering myself to empty threats of boycotting. Long story short, the store is sending me a $50 gift certificate. Woot!! I really just wanted an apology. But hey, I'll take a gift certificate! Have you ever had a negative or unpleasant experience with a company that took an unexpected turn for the better?

On a final (side) note, I think it is important to set goals. One of my goals has been to establish my blog this year. I understand that I have been throwing a lot of changes at you recently with my blog this year, but be patient! It's for the best! I want to experiment with my set-up to see what I like, what I don't, what works, what doesn't. As of now, I'm keen on the "feigning fashion" tips - although I'm not sure how long I will be able to keep up with it. I think the "cop-outs" make for a funny segment. Maybe I will do something new each month? January is the month of copping out (I could provide a slew of reasons for why this is). February will be the month of trying hard? Color? Trying to achieve some particular look every day or week? (I do want to attempt to do a tribute to the rainbow somewhere down the line.)

But what about just reflecting on what I've been wearing, and then setting up some goal based on that? For instance, I've been wearing a lot of neutrals recently. Thus, my goal: plan your outfit around a bright color every day for the rest of the week.

Challenge accepted.

(I hate myself for typing that.)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Cop-Out #2: Just Add Jewelry

One of my New Years' (unofficial) Resolutions includes trying to look nice for all occasions, which essentially boils down to reducing the frequency of wearing hoodies. Albeit I was tempted to today, until Jared called it a "semi-date", I decided to wear something I have not worn yet this year. After all, I do believe there is nothing wrong with repeating outfits, so long as it isn't done too often, and that it's not done twice in a row. Doing it twice in a row increases the likelihood of wearing an already been worn outfit three times in a row, and we all know, once you do something three times in a row, it becomes a habit. Also, I consider a repeat outfit something similar to "scrubbing it". By no means do I consider a repeat outfit the equivalent of wearing sweatpants. All I'm saying is that doing something you've already done is mentally lazy. Wearing sweatpants, on the other hand, is physically lazy.

Even though I was really tempted to just throw on my cowlneck from last night, I wanted to stick with my challenge. I think it worked out just fine.
Black T: Kohl's - old
V-neck Sweater: Target - Christmas gift
Necklace: The Limited
Jeans: Charlotte Russe
When I originally put on the tee, I was going to pair it with a crewneck sweater, but then decided to wear the purple v-neck since Jared got it for me as a stocking stuffer, and I had actually not worn it yet. (PS: He got it for $4! What an awesome deal!) Anyway, I knew immediately that something was missing. My first thought: statement necklace. I looked at my wall of necklaces and was debating between a few of them, but grabbed this one and liked the look. My statement necklaces are severely lacking, but I think it's one of those things that you have to wait on -- there are plenty out there, but it's not something that you go out and find. I believe that the right statement necklace will come to you.

Feigning Fashion Tip of the Day: Just add jewelry. Now, I don't recommend just throwing something on and adding jewelry. I think this tip works when you have a "plain" outfit. There is nothing special about a black tshirt and a vneck. I'm sorry tee, I'm sorry v-neck, you're just ... common. However, when you're paired with some jewelry, you become a great lunch-date outfit.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Cop-Out #1: Repeat

It's been a long week, and my inspiration for outfits was at a low point. I had tried on a lot of combinations last night, but nothing was working for me. Part of the problem is that I'm convinced I've gained like 15 pounds since the wedding and I just feel fat. Everything is tight on me. We've all been there. There's no need to say any more.

So let's talk about outfits instead. 

Everything: The Limited
I wore this one because it was easy. I had a regular collared shirt on Wednesday, so I didn't want to do that again. I didn't want to bust out the skinny belt and cardigan combo just yet. And it is way too cold for me to be wearing a skirt. So my options were limited to this, a cowl neck, or a sweater. I opted for this, obviously. I know it's a repeat, but I haven't worn it yet this semester, so I'd argue that I'm off the hook. The creative and more fun outfits will come when warmer weather comes.

Maybe what will set me apart from other bloggers will be (besides my philosophical genius mind) my keen sense on copping-out. I will give advice on ways to feign fashionability. So here's my feigning fashion tip for the day: Repeat outfits. Don't feel pressure to do something new and bold every day. Just make sure enough time has passed by before you repeat again. And if enough time hasn't gone by, make one alteration. For example, I could have worn a green skinny belt with this. Totally crazy, I know!

I hung out with some department colleagues for dinner. Since it was being held at a house (rather than real-life public restaurant), and the theme of the day is copping-out, I figured it was only proper to do as little as possible, while doing enough to achieve effortlessly stylish status. (I changed out of my outfit before I took the picture, so this isn't entirely accurate. It's enough to get the point across.)

Cowlneck & Belt: The Limited
Skinny jeans (not pictured): The Limited

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Imitation Gone Bad

This look was inspired by blogger J's violet and mustard yellow look, although she pulled it off so much better than I did.
Cardigan & Belt: The Limited
Top: The Limited - old - gift
Necklace: Forever 21
Jeans: Charlotte Russe
Maybe that's because violet and mustard yellow look so much better together than dark purple and gold? Also, I'm annoyed because this shirt makes me look fat. And I'm really not digging on these jeans for anything more than a casual look. J's colors are just so much more vivid and bright than my look. Hm.

So why does imitation not work? Is it because it's not the real thing? I have this problem with runway fashion. A designer will create something, and then a retail store will "create the look for less" -- except that it looks nothing like the original! Maybe it has a color from the same side of the wheel, or it will have lines. Essentially it ends up looking like a third grader was shown a picture from runway fashion and asked to describe that picture. "Orange. Stripes. Dress." Then, a designer from a mid-level retail company will use those prompts to create something, which is supposed to be its imitation. Hey, news flash! It doesn't work. 

I'm well aware that what blogger J, for example, does is not imitation. It's inspiration. She's not trying to replicate the look. She's trying to make it her own. (Or so it seems to me.) Does that mean that I should admit that although I was inspired by her look, I was honestly just trying to replicate it the best I could? Perhaps. Let's stew on it. What do you think? Is there a difference between inspiration and imitation? Should we fashionistas be aiming for one and not the other?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Black & White & Grey All Over

Today was my first day of teaching (not ever, just his particular course and at this particular school). All I did was go over the syllabus, take attendance, and talk about a little of what they could expect. Nevertheless, I believe it went well. We'll just see how the next few classes go. I have this feeling that I will bomb over the course of the next few days just because it's going to be real lecture. I had a girl in my 10am class close her eyes and open her mouth. I really wish I had some M&Ms or some peanuts - I would have definitely been trying to land them in her mouth. I was pleasantly surprised to see how much energy I had for the 9am section. Especially considering that there were only 8 students. Usually low numbers aren't my thing (then again, big numbers aren't either?). I had a little bit less energy for the second class. I suppose it's because I felt like I was on repeat. I couldn't remember if what I was saying I had already said or not, or whether I said it only for the first class. I suppose that problem will take care of itself when I have notes and am not just winging it. 

I think I chose my outfit for the first day of class quite well (although taking the photo is an entirely different matter).
Shirt: Eddie Bauer - gift/old
Pants & Belt: The Limited
Shoes: Target - old

I am making my students keep a "reflections journal" and I told them I don't care what outlet they use - word document, bluebook, journal, whatever, heck, they could even start a blog if they really wanted to. I wonder whether I'm going to get any blog links. I'm really exhausted today so I'm gonna end this now. Bye.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

First Day of School

I have to wake up at 7am since I'm teaching at 9 (and 10) am. I'm drained, both mentally and physically. But I still have to bring you my OOTD. (Look at how devoted I am!) 

This outfit is brought to you by the letter P. P is for prepared, preppy, pretty, and philosophical. I'll explain why I chose those letters later.

Scarf: The Limited - gift
Cardigan: The Limited
Skinny Jeans: The Limited
Boots: Kohl's
I tried imitating a couple of looks today. First, I found this outfit idea on Pinterest (no, I don't have an account). It looked better there because the model was wearing a big purple scarf but my only options left me with one that was too light and the other that was too outdoorsy. So, I took this pink/purple scarf, folded it so that only the purple would show, and then tied it up to transform it into an infinity scarf. I think I was able to get away with it because my hair was covering the knot in the back. I probably could have added some pizazz to this outfit, but I wasn't feeling it today. And I would've worn my purple flats but I just couldn't bring myself to do it since it was 30 degrees today. (Apparently it's 8 degrees right now. Joy.) 

As I look at it, I'm not very pleased with it. Thank goodness I just had one class today. I feel like it's missing something. Maybe a skinny belt? I feel like I've said "skinny belt" more time this past week than anybody should. Well, maybe people in retail trying to sell them should say that term as often as I have. Anyway. I planned my teaching outfit tomorrow, and was calm and satisfied with my decision until I went to iron it and realized how filthy it looks. It probably hasn't been washed in a while, and it seems really obvious. I'm just hoping nobody will notice. Or that nobody will care. I don't know if I'm more nervous to teach 7 people or 35. I really hope that I have some fun people in my class. I had a few students in one of my classes last semester that really made teaching joyful. I'm not holding my breath for this semester, however. Sigh. Nerves. 

Last night I had really bizarre dreams. I dreamed that I was teaching my 9am section, and things were going really well, but with fifteen minutes left until the end of the period, they started packing up their things and getting up to leave. I tried to corral them to get them to stay, but didn't have any luck. I let them going, feeling happy that it went well for the first 35 minutes. (I think in the dream I came to class well dressed but then changed into scrubs for some reason- maybe because I came dressed up, so they saw the professional look, and then I decided to ditch it for something more comfortable?) Then I arranged the chairs in a slightly larger circle, knowing that I would have more students coming. But all of a sudden the class was filled with students, and I kept having to push the desks back to allow more in the circle. While doing this, I realized I was in my underwear! Seriously! Pantless! I was super embarrassed, so I quickly sat down, and when I did, I was wearing gym shorts. (Better than nothing, eh?) I waited for the clock to hit 10:00, and when it did, I took a breath to begin speaking, and as I did, I heard a voice say "welcome to ---" (some other class). I looked over, and it was a girl I had known since 4th grade. I checked my schedule only to realize that I was in the wrong room! I quickly ran across campus (and it was raining), ran into some people, had to keep moving, and then finally found myself in my room. I said "hello, welcome to PHIL 180, my name is Kate. Today we will be introducing ourselves to one another and going over the syllabus." Then a student asked, "so where's the syllabus?" I realized I didn't have any on me so I said "there were printer issues in the office, so I'll just read mine and you can follow along". Well this kid was throwing a tantrum so I told him I was taking away his participation points for the day, and he said if I was doing that, he had no reason to stay, so he left. Then I looked down and noticed my shoes/boots were on the wrong feet. I was trying to fix it without drawing attention to myself and without touching them, but a girl near me called me out for having Jay-Z boots (or some other black hip hop artist). It was so bizarre.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

New Favorite Color: Red-Orange

I've never been a fan of wearing red. I'm not sure why exactly, but it probably has something to do with the fact that it's just a bold color. It draws attention to yourself, although arguably positive attention. I had an English professor in undergrad that advised to wear red any time you have a presentation or an important occasion where you will be in front of people because it gives you the appearance of being confident. Okay. That makes sense. What was funny about that comment was that we had presentations in class and after he made the comment, everyone would wear red for their presentation. Even people from other classes started to, as well.

For Christmas, my sister-in-law gave me a sweater from The Limited. When I went there a few weeks later, they were having a phenomenal sale, and the same sweater (in many, many colors) was on sale (along with its matching cami. I got both for $10 after promotions and student discount!!). Unfortunately there weren't many colors in my size - but there was red-orange (or is it orange-red). I tried it on, and loved it. It's such a great shade. It's bold, without being in-your-face red. Truth be told, I've never liked orange either (I like peach and pastel oranges). This top reminds me nothing of orange, and thus my hesitation to call it orange-red. 

outside look
Jacket + Scarf: The Limited
Jeans: Charlotte Russe - old
Flats: Target
indoor look (Church)
Sweater + Cami: The Limited
Belt: Kohl's - gift - old

It seems lately that I come up with one problem with every outfit. The problem with this one is the shoes. The jacket prompts me to wear dark shoes, but I think the sweater looks better with a brown belt. So: to wear dark brown belt and black flats, and just deal with it, or to wear a different pair of shoes altogether? What would you recommend? I was inclined to go with purple flats, but I was afraid that was too much. Although "Fashion experts" deem that red-orange goes with violet because of the "T" (or "90 degree angle" rule) - click this link for more , I still wanted all the attention to go to the top. What would be superb here for me would be a pair of tan flats. Something like my moccasins, but obviously far less casual. Something like:

Michael Kors, MK Plate Driver
Okay, so let's start the hunt to find a pair of these bad boys. Blogger J found herself a pair at TJMaxx or some store like that in the summer. It's frustrating because they're so way out of my budget! But then I try to think about how much I actually spend on shoes. I discussed this in my New Year, New Shoes post. It's the age-old question: to save up and splurge on an expensive pair of shoes, or to constantly buy cheap shoes? It seems intuitive that the former is a better plan, but I would argue that it is better to spend less on shoes that may not be in style down the road. Case and point: about five years ago, I bought a pair of imitation Steve Madden flats from Target for 10 or 15 bucks (see below-- I can't believe how easily I could find a picture online!!)


I rarely wear them these days, but can you imagine just how pissed I'd be had I bought the Steve Madden version? Yeah. But then again, I get equally pissed at myself for spending $15 on a pair of flats from Target that I could've spent $30 on and would have lasted more than three times as long.. or so I suspect. I regret not letting my mom buy me a pair of Coach ballet flats years ago. Those babies would still be in great shape, I bet. I did see a pair in TJ Maxx a few months ago, but they were $90. The other reason why I wish I would have let my mom purchase those flats is because I can't get her to do those kinds of things these days. Unless she comes to visit. And even then, it's not a guarantee.

I did see some flats online that might be up for consideration. The funny thing is what I realized I'm looking for is exactly what I would tease my mom about for years. She was constantly ordering shoes of this sort while I lived in my parents' house, and now, that's what I'm searching for. The one difference is that I don't want the weird tiny bubbles on the back. I suppose that's enough to separate us. And I'm looking for suede, in pebble/charcoal or tan. Something like:
Do not suggest to me TOMs. I will not go there. Enough said. I once nearly went over to the dark side. Yes, a pair of Ugg moccasins were super cute and calling my name. But I didn't have $150 to spend on moccasins so I spent a tenth of the cost.

The other thing I'm considering is pitching the idea of having a go-to shoe that goes with everything, but having a solid black, a solid tan, and a solid grey shoe (I'm using "solid" in the sense of stellar) so that I need not stress about getting one shoe to go with everything, but can settle on a few. But that opens up a whole new can of worms.

Anyway, school starts back up on Tuesday. I hope that I'll be able to offer my loyal readers something as enlightening as I have been doing time and time again this winter break. Cheers!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Sometimes Less is More

 Tonight I went out with the girls! I knew I wanted to wear my new top, but I couldn't decide how to wear it. I narrowed it down to two ways:

by itself
Shirt: The Limited
Jeans: The Limited
Boots: Madden Girl (gift)
with cardigan and skinny belt
(I forgot to take off my pants belt for the picture)
Cardigan: Banana Republic (gift)
Green skinny belt: The Limited

In the end, I decided that I preferred look #2 for an every day look, but not for the bar. I ended up choosing #1, although I tucked it in. What do you wear for girls' night out? Does it depend on anything, like the place you're going?

It amazes me how useful it is to look at pictures. There were so many pieces I've considered buying online in the past, but upon looking at them in my virtual closet, I've been able to give them away before I even got them! Ha. Regarding these outfits, I realize there is something missing from #1. What that is exactly.. I do not know. But I have a feeling that whatever it is, it's something simple. Because after all... less is more. (What would you add to #1?)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

New Year, New Shoes

One of my not really a New Year's Resolution but sorta hope to accomplish this year involves shoes. My collection is disappointing, to say the least. Other than gym shoes (which Lord knows I have enough of), I can't remember the last time I spent more than $20 on a pair of shoes. Okay, wait, no, I splurged on a pair of Steve Madden cognac flats. We see what happened there. I wore them tons, they wore out on the heel. I also bought a pair of $15 flats at Target in the spring, and they wore out, too. It really is embarrassing to walk into work looking great from head to ankle, but wearing awfully beat down shoes. Imagine going to the Oscars wearing a beautiful dress, but having just rolled out of bed. Or having your wedding at the Plaza Hotel, wearing a dress that has been torn away by moths. It's just... not right. The point is, I'm in the market for shoes. The more versatile, the better. Ideally, I'd have a pair of black flats that could be worn with anything, a pair of heels to teach in that can match with more than just black pants (thus nixing black heels - I actually have a few pairs that are still in decent shape -- but then again, they came from the age when Target made quality shoes that don't fall apart after a few months). #1 on my agenda is finding a pair of shoes I can wear with jeans and whatever else I've thrown on. 

I read a blog a few weeks ago of some girl who will actually buy multiples of the same product! Her train of thought is that it will eventually wear out, and she'll be left wishing that she still had it. I have felt that way about a few things in life. Right now, it's my purple flats that I got from Old Navy in the summer. They had a few other colors, and I considered getting some more, but was being a cheap ass and already felt jipped having to pay $14 for one pair. Sigh. Anyway, flats only really work as a go-to in the spring-fall months. I really can't wear flats in the winter time when my feet get so cold so quickly. I need something I can (preferably) wear with socks, or that at least cover up most of the foot. J's aunt gave me a pair of Coach shoes a few years ago - so awesome, let me tell you! But they're brown, so I have a hard time bringing myself to wear them when I want to wear black. (If you hit the link, my pair has thinner straps, and they're white, but you get the point.)

I went perusing through some stores tonight, and have to think about which of these I should get:

Monday, January 9, 2012

Seeing Double?

Now, I know that fads come out, and companies will produce relatively similar pieces. (Recall my post on duplicates) I haven't seen the same shirt produced by two different companies, however. I'm not just talking about a plain white tee shirt. And I don't mean when one store comes out with a striped skirt and another one has a skirt just like it but with wider stripes, or the colors inverted. No, I mean near duplicates.

Let's play a game. Spot 10 differences between these two tops. (Hint: I couldn't find ten. I found four.)

Top #1
Top #2

Time's up! What are the differences?  (Do excuse my sweatpants, please.)

1. Size/placement of dots - #1's are all the same size, evenly spaced from each other
2. Cuff - #2 has elastic around the cuff
3. Ruffle - #2's goes down a bit further
4. Neck - seems #1's is rounder

I believe any other differences can be attributed to the fact that I couldn't find any XS or S in Top #1 so I went with a medium (for the price, how could you not?).

Game #2: Which one belongs to the higher-end chain?

Friday, January 6, 2012

Happy New Year!

Okay, so it's a few days into the new year. Oh well. Today felt like a celebration. It was a fantastic day. The sun was out, it was a beautiful day. J. and I went to the "big city" again today to run an errand for his school, and we made a fun little pseudo-date out of it. We grabbed some Dunkin Donuts on our way, we walked around the mall, did our usual Star Wars run (sorta), and ... went to The Limited! It was so awesome!! I got to touch and feel and try on all the things I had been wanting to, and be chatty with the girls working there! (It was only after I left that I realized they were probably pulling a Sammy on me, and if I actually did work there, they would say "it's nice to meet you" on our first shift together.) It was slow so I chatted with the one employee in there, and she kept pushing for me to come work. I did mention that I had previous experience with the company, but that the drive was too much for me. My favorite part was when she said it took her 45 minutes to get to work, too. "Well, I live 20 miles away, but some days when the traffic is bad it takes me 35 minutes." ... um, not quite the same thing, dear, but okay :) 

Even when I spoke with another associate, she pushed for me to apply as well. "You could work weekends only, or work floor sets." It really made me want to work there, even though it is a smaller store, and would drive me crazy (it's so not clear where you stand in line because there are jewelry towers where the lines should be)  .. but it would be work. But then again, it would be $7-8/hour, which nearly defeats the purpose since that's gas money right there. I surely can't do anything this semester, but maybe in the summer time? Oh, who knows. We'll see. Anyway, the point is, I had a great time there.

On my way out the door to get to the meeting point with J., I decided to jump into Banana Republic real quick. Of course their sale prices were still defeating, and I didn't want to kill my mood (I got a cami and matching sweater for $15 - and I didn't even have a coupon!), so I left. But skimming online, I found this beauty:
polka perfection
Can we talk about this beauty? I would get this... if only it weren't $90. The trouble with Banana is that its online sales are weak, if not lame, and I don't have a BR near me. Poo. I have tried the line with my mom "if you see anything you think I would like..." but that hasn't worked very well. Actually, I take that back. I said once I was looking for sweaters, and she came back with ten sweaters from three or four different stores. Unfortunately most of them didn't fit me and I ended up returning them. Oh well. 

I have a few New Years' Resolutions. I typically don't make them, and I don't think I've ever stuck with them, but here they are:
1. Exercise. More. At all. Goal: do something active 5 times/week. I'm so idle these days, that I'm allowing a two mile leisurely walk with dogs to constitute as 'exercise'. So far, I've biked (on the stationary) 20 miles this week (10 miles x 2 days), and taken the dogs on one long walk. The dog walk was on the same day I biked, but I'm counting that as 2 different activities. If I lift weights tonight and do something tomorrow, I'm golden. And only have to repeat this 51 more times. Huzzah!

2. Be a better person. This is self-explanatory, but it's specifically aimed at an attempt to argue less with the husband, get angry less, study more, etc. 

3. Read the Bible. Yes, I want to read it this year. The entirety. From cover to cover (but not necessarily in that order). The Bible I received as a gift years ago has a plan to read it over two years. I am doing that, but just doing two days' reading in one. I am up to speed right now, so yay! 

There are other things I hope to accomplish, but I am pleased with this list because it covers the three important aspects: the mental, the physical, and the spiritual. I would also like to resolve to be less zealous about things this year, but I'm not sure what kind of resolution that is, let alone how to narrow it down to something meaningful. It's obvious that I get in certain phases sometimes. (Earlier this year I was obsessed with outfits - I would spend hours looking at blogs, trying to get ideas. It got out of hand.) We're going to try to do less of that. 

Oh, and thanks to my new camera, an outfit from today's outing with the hubs:
(awkward angle c/o shooting at an upward angle... hopefully I'll get the kinks out by next week)
Skinny Jeans: The Limited
Shirt: American Eagle - gift
Sweater: American Eagle - old

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