Saturday, December 31, 2011

Top twelve-ish of 2011

Gosh, have I really been at this blogging thing for a year? Insane. My official blogiversary is in November, but I consider my official start of & dedication to style blogging as January 6th, when I wrote this post on my resolution to make this blog something I could be proud of. And wow have I ever accomplished this! I'm so happy to see how my style has grown and expanded over the last year, and I'm so ready for what 2012 brings. It's going to be wild--grad school, the summer Olympics (!!!!!!) and more responsibility at work--but I'm nothing but excited to dress for everything that comes my way, and to share it all with you!

With that, here are my top picks for each month this year. I'm pretty sure I didn't pick everything everyone else liked, but hey, it is my blog, after all ;)

January: Happy Refrain

February: Tredecim

March: In love

April: What's that now (above)
April: Take the outfit and run (below)

May: Graphic inspiration

June: It's a ferry tail

July: Lessons in pointless literary technique

August: Think hard, think fast

September: A promise this way

October: On scarves (above)
October: Worktoberfest (below)

November: The return of the jedi (above)
November: Steak me home tonight (below)

December: Career shift (above)
December: On bodycon (below)

Do you have a favourite? Least favourite? I could show you a number of particularly bad ones but I'd rather leave them buried in the archives! I'm actually driving to a bonspiel right now--I love scheduled posting--but I've been contemplating this post since December began and I love seeing how far I've come, both as a self-stylist and a self-photographer. I hope you've enjoyed the ride too. I loved blogging this year and I can't wait to see what 2012 brings!

I'll see you on Sunday with a new year and a new outfit post. Have a wonderful celebration and end to your 2011!

Friday, December 30, 2011

From jeggings to Olympics

Necklace: handmade gift from T.
Sweater: gift from parents
Jeans: Old Navy
Boots: Target

I'm really excited to bring you guys my final outfit post of 2011. Yesterday was my last planned post, but my social calendar (aka my curling calendar) changed and I had time to run out of work and grab some shots of this outfit just as the sun was setting. I'm glad too, because this outfit is evidence of my first time wearing jeggings, my first time wearing coloured denim, and the elusive black turtleneck from my shopping diet. And my parents got it for me! I couldn't have picked a better one because this one is a sweater but it's not itchy or really thick, and it has a nice pattern but isn't cable knit. Perfect.

Tomorrow I'll be in Charlotte for a small bonspiel (my club's first time hosting one!) and I have a 2011 recap post sitting in the queue. I'll likely be back on January first with an outfit post, but if not then definitely Monday because T. and I are going to some fancy yarn store or somesuch. Perfect venue. Also probably buying nail polish, because we only have about 150 bottles between the two of us and that's definitely not enough. That's a good start to 2012, right? And then my official countdown to the London Olympics will officially BEGIN.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

On bodycon

Sweater: JCPenney
Belt: Old Navy
Ring: class ring
Skirt: JCPenney
Booties: Old Navy
Nails: butter London Bluey

In my internet travels over the past few months, I've come across the term bodycon, especially in reference to a certain style of dress, eg. the Herve Leger skin-tight curve-hugging band aid dresses that look so amazing on Kim K. For a long time (threeish months) my brain filled the blank for me and expanded bodycon into body confidence, and I operated on the assumption that this is what bodycon stood for. I recently realised that I didn't actually know the full meaning of the term, so I looked it up. Lo and behold, I was wrong--even according to the Oxford English Dictionary, bodycon actually stands for body-conscious.

In my mind, these two phrases have very different meanings. Conscious, sometimes misconstrued as conscientious, is a rather dubious term that is usually reserved for the easily influenced (or awake). Being self-conscious is rarely seen as a good thing, for example; especially when we compare ourselves to society, the self-conscious label is attached to those who battle low self esteem or with sociological struggles. To be conscious of a subject is colloquially to notice it in a critical light, rather than an optimally positive one. Confidence implies something entirely different, of course--we all want to feel, look and be confident, and we all want to be recognised as such. We strive, day in and day out, to be taken seriously by others, and at the root of successfully winning a client, helping a patron or passing a test is confidence. The confidence to say that I will pass that oral final, that I will find that book with the green cover and the dog (really, that happened once), that I will crack that glass ceiling. That I will wear this outfit--this outfit will not wear me.

So why is bodycon a placeholder for an ambiguous at best, insulting at worst, loaded term thrown around today at the outsiders of the crowd like it's a disease? The women with the chutzpah to wear bodycon dresses are, to me, anything but body-conscious. Instead, they are self aware and understanding of the power of confidence, which is what is instilled in them when they wear this style of clothing. Perhaps it is the strain that society places on perceived attractiveness that brings this terminology to the forefront--the insinuation that we aren't just noticing how another woman dresses, but we are noting it with a critical eye.

I, personally, refuse to give into the true terminology of bodycon; rather, I prefer to keep in mind that any woman willing to slide into a Herve Leger dress or a hip skimming pencil skirt--myself included--deserves the utmost respect for displaying her confidence first and her self-consciousness second. The idea that even as we praise a woman for embracing her body we compress her successful confidence by attaching a cleverly disguised backhanded compliment is gauche, and I refuse to fall victim to the ruse.

Outfit (and, ultimately, post) inspired by this pin.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Dressed for life

Necklace: Etsy
Dress: ASOS (gift)
Tights: Target
Flats: Banana Republic

This dress is the most ballin Christmas present ever. Look at this FAIRISLE. I have been spending weeks months years looking for the perfect fairisle apparel, and here it is, in the flesh, draped on my body. This is also the first thing I've ever owned from ASOS and I have to say I'm pretty pleased. The dress is really well made and so comfy (but you can tell from the photos). I'm really impressed with their Curve line--clothes for non-tiny women that aren't shaped like a bag? Ok, I'm in. The dress is a little big for me in the waist, but from what I've learned the hard way, my body isn't the average plus size (or straight size) body. But anyway...awesome. I want to be buried in this dress.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A smattering of random topics

Coat: JCPenney (gift)
Scarf: Eddie Bauer
Sweater: JCPenney (gift)
Pants: JCPenney (gift)
Socks: gift
Wedges: Shoe Carnival
Dog: Ellie

I am ever so carefully inching my way toward grad school. For someone who has never, ever handled an undertaking like matriculating at a major university, I have to say I'm doing pretty well. I have finally attained the American dream of being in major student loan debt and freaking out about the idea of my grandkids paying off my loans for me because I'll be a ball of dust by the time I make enough money to pay everything back.

Unrelated, I am now the proud owner of a fantasy football championship final team! Last week my team pulled out a monster week which blew me past the competition, and now I'm playing the other division winner in my league. (He's also a guy I curl with!) We're both excited, and we're both winning some money for this. And that is awesome. I'm just hoping that Aaron Rodgers doesn't play this weekend so my opponent has to put in his kind of crummy quarterback.

By the way...check out this dreadlock that randomly sprouted in my hair. It took a little while to undo, but really? Where did that even come from? How did that happen? I just washed my hair! I didn't try anything different, but bam. There it is. My hair channeled its inner Marley.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

So this is Christmas

Here are a few pictures of the last two days!

Scarf: Gap
Top: Target
Jeans: Gap
Slippers: parts unknown

I wore two outfits yesterday, and this is what I was in most of the day. I was baking, cleaning, wrapping, etc. all day Saturday, and for the most part I just needed to be dressed in some manner. The kitchen looks pretty good here but by the time I was done today it all looked like a bomb had gone off.

Cardigan: parts unknown
Dress: Target
Belt: Target
Tights: JCPenney
Wedges: Shoe Carnival
Cat: Lucky

This is what I wore to mass last night. Also, this is essentially this outfit with the dress backwards and belted instead of the cardigan buttoned at the waist. Why mess with success? Also, when did it become appropriate to wear a halter minidress to church? I make my annual appearance so I might be a little out of it, but I thought modesty was still a key in the church. Next year I'm breaking out the tube top for church. I hope it doesn't snow.

My dear nephew L. is 10 months old now--holy cow, the little sucker has teeth and nails and can pull himself upright. He's kind of a jerk in the way that he throws things on the floor and kicks you when you're holding him and if you get in his face he tries to hit you, but he'll be over that when he's old enough to remember what he's doing. I hope. I can't not love him though.

Here's what I was baking yesterday and today. I really wanted to try out this pin, but my mom wanted chocolate cake. So we compromised and I made a chocolate cake with white (green) chocolate trees. I'm really pleased with how it turned out--this is actually my first cake; I usually bake pies and cupcakes and small things like mints, things that don't have to be delicately pried out of a tin and hopefully not smashed into pieces. The cake turned out beautifully though! Aside from a mild crisis involving a bit of chocolate cooling too fast and not having some trouble spreading frosting, things went smoothly (haha frosting pun) and everyone loved it. I'm all caked out right now but I won't rule out making one in the future!

Sweater: JCPenney (gift from parents)
Top: Target
Jeans: Gap
Flats: Toms

Here is my awesome family. From left--me (of course!), my dad, my mom, my former supervisor/work sister M., my former supervisor's daughter S., and baby L. Ellie's the dog in the forefront :) We consider M., S. & L. part of the family, and I can't imagine life without them. They're so stinking awesome--S. has come to curling and we went to see Kesha together over the summer, and M. has been a source of constant hilarity and support. It's so great to have them because most of my biological family is in NJ and my stepfamily is spread all over, so after moving to SC we didn't have anyone to spend the holidays with. Now we do, and it's awesome! Even more awesome: they may have given me bacon band-aids for Christmas. Yep.

Merry merry, everyone! Enjoy the rest of your holiday and I'll see you all tomorrow!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry merry

To everyone who reads this blog and basically everyone on earth, I wish you the best Hanukkah (night #5 coming right up!), Christmas, Kwanzaa, Festivus, New Year, Saturnalia, ad nauseam that you could possibly have. I'll be back Monday with outfit posts (no, seriously, I will), but until then--have a wonderful holiday, whichever one yours may be!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Preening habits

Scarves: Target & Walmart
Shirt: work
Jeans: American Eagle
Flats: Toms

Last night, though the one and only Pinterest, I found a Tumblr called Curly Hair Problems. Now, by no means is my hair kinky or even curly (apparently I am a 2C according to this method), but I found myself actively relating to a lot of the entries, including "Your hair takes 3 or 4 hours to dry completely", "After trying to control it for years, you just give up", and the ever embarrassing but entirely true "Dreadlocks".

Tops: Target
Jeans: Walmart
Boots: Target

Yesterday, I washed my hair and popped a couple bobby pins in place, and I was fairly certain it looked exactly the same as it always does. Apparently I was wrong, though, because st least six people asked me how my hair looked different, that it looked good that way, etc. There's a lot of power behind complimenting my hair (as opposed to my style or my skin, how I walk, whatever) because I really feel like I have no control over it most of the time. Although I know I have amazing hair--and I've been stopped on the street and salons have been asked for the scraps from a haircut--I also know that it is extremely difficult to train, to adjust, or to force into a certain hairdo. My hair takes offense at what I ask it to do sometimes, so those few days where people say it looks amazing and I actually made a slight effort to fight it? Well, I consider those some really good days.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Any wrong you do

Cardigan: Anthropologie
Top: Target
Skirt: handmade
Tights: Walmart?
Wedges: Shoe Carnival

I'm about to get really intense here. Are you sitting down? Is your chair in a upright position? Is your tray locked? Okay, good. Here we go.

Remember Walker, Texas Ranger? Remember this?

You're welcome.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Jury's still out

Sweater: Anthropologie
Skirt: JCPenney
Socks: Target
Boots: Target

The photo above is how I feel about this outfit. I'm kind of blah about it, but in a way I'm glad because I rarely photograph outfits I don't like. Which is why there are sometimes long gaps between my posts! I have to admit, though, that this outfit looks better in the pictures than it does in the mirror. Which is strange because Allison and Katy have both discussed the opposite effect. I'll admit that better-on-the-body-than-in-the-photos effect has happened to me before, but I try to avoid mentioning it because what's the point? You guys don't see in real life! You have to go off the photographic evidence, just like on CSI: Miami. So call Horatio in and tell me what the evidence states: is this outfit good or bad?