Monday, August 18, 2014


Blackboard, by Winslow Homer
Watercolor on paper, 1877

Remember this commercial? This is exactly how I feel. Every year. And today--back to school day across Cardiganland--is my Christmas.

It's kind of the opposite for Salazar, who is instead heading back in for another year of shaping young minds and grooming our future generations for greatness. Or something like that. She picked this week's SIA inspiration, so hop to it! You have homework this week. Send her your outfits by Monday, August 25th to be included!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

What to wear to a Nickel Creek concert

Nickel Creek, with Josh Ritter
August 14th @ 7:30pm
Koka Booth Amphitheatre, Cary, NC

E. wore:

I wore:

There are some musicians that you should just feel honoured to watch perform. Like Bob Seger, or Reba McEntire. Or Dolly Parton, or Queen (while Freddie was still alive, of course). There are artists who just take music and performing to a whole different level. It's a surreal experience--an unforgettable one.

Nickel Creek, to me, is like that. The honour that I felt sitting in my folding chair ten rows from the front as Nickel Creek came out onto the stage nearly swelled out of my body and into the air around me. I've been a fan of Nickel Creek since I was a middle school and I have wanted to see them for nearly as long, and when they broke up in 2007, I was crushed. I thought I had lost my opportunity to experience something great.

And then, this year, they got the band back together. And I about had a meltdown and bought tickets and then asked one of my all-time favourite people, E., to come with me, since she lives about 45 minutes from Cary. And she said yes, so we went! I was thrilled; I haven't seen E. since last August, and we haven't had time to chat much in the last few months. My mom loves E. and has noted once or twice that whenever I'm around E. she brings out something better in me. Stronger, wiser, nicer. She's one of three people with whom I can tolerate a long road trip. She never makes fun of my weird eating habits. Everyone should be so lucky to have a friend like E.

So between spending my evening with E. and seeing some of the most exceptional musicians on the planet, I feel very honoured indeed.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

What to wear to a Miley Cyrus concert

Bangerz Tour
Miley Cyrus with Lily Allen
August 6 @ 7pm
Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte, NC

L. wore:

I wore:


After eight long months of waiting, one cancelled concert and rescheduling drama, which meant S. couldn't come with me (devastating!), L. and I rested our vocals and jammed the hell out in Charlotte with Miley Cyrus. I've gotten a lot of shit for liking Miley--possibly even more than I got for liking Justin Bieber--but I can say with complete honesty that Miley's singing voice is there. She has excellent vocal talent, and she even sang Jolene for her super Southern crowd.

It was a great night. Particularly because an ice cream sandwich was involved. Yessss.

Back down

Necklaces: JCPenney | Cardigan: Target | Dress: Dorothy Perkins via Dani at DIYFATSHION | Belt: Target | Boots: Off Broadway

I can officially check "have a bone directly injected with a needle" of my bucket list! CONGRATULATIONS, SELF.

I've been having some pretty serious tailbone pain over the last couple of months, which originally stems from a fall off a horse in 2007. After sitting on a stupid donut pillow with a plaid cover (but god bless that thing for existing and making my life livable) that clashes with every single thing I have ever worn, I finally broke down and called my orthopedist, who I hold in high regard because he performed the back surgery that took me from mildly crippled to fully operational human being. So I went in this morning without being able to bend over, and after some x-rays to make sure my coccyx is still in one piece (it is! at least there's that), my doctor said he could "cure" me and stepped out to grab a big honking needle, which he and a nurse the proceeded to inject. Directly into my butt. Directly into the bone in my butt.

If you heard screaming around 9:45am EST today, it was me in Cardiganland being injected in the damn bone with an anti-inflammatory. I have a lot of faith that the injection will eventually work (it's going to take a couple of day for the medicine to fully seep in) but I feel now like the epidurals that I've had are a cake walk. It's fascinating how something so tiny--one syringe filled with 60cc of white liquid--can cause so much pain. And hopefully so much relief. At the very least, I have a great bar story.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Style Imitating Art: Gather Ye Rosebuds While Ye May

It's Style Imitating Art time already! As a reminder, the inspiration was Gather Ye Rosebuds While Ye May by John William Waterhouse. Beautiful. Let's take a look at the submissions!

First is Stephanie (who has no blog--everyone's welcome to join in on SIA!), who has a guest post appearing on Jen's blog soon! I kinda hope the scarf is a part of it, because it's adorable. I think I've been inspired to try tying a scarf around my neck the way she did!

Erin at Loop Looks always looks super classy. I wish I looked that classy. The blazer/pencil skirt combo is epic. She makes me wish I had a blazer/weather where wearing a blazer wouldn't immediately give me heat stroke!

Kezzie at KezzieAG looks amazing. She nailed the colour of the subject's dress on the head! And I love the flower crown--Kezzie's mom suggested wearing it on her head. More proof that moms know what's up. Also, Kezzie got married a year ago! Congrats, K!

I want to print this photo of Isabella (at Adventures in HEL) and hang it on my wall. Isn't it beautiful?

Grace at Living with Aholts surprised me, because I was scrolling through her blog post like "nice, nice" and then I got to the shoes and I was like "DAAAAAYYYYUUUUUMMMM". I'm not joking.

Jen of Librarian for Life and Style looks like a freakin' Gap model (and I mean that in a good way!). I love the tunic she's wearing, and combined with her hair, she looks brilliant.

My SIA co-creator Salazar of 14 Shades of Grey is a little disappointed with her outfit: the proportions are off. And I can see it--maybe if the shorts were a few inches shorter--but she still looks totally adorbs.

Aaaaand here's me. I'm really happy with this outfit!

Thank you all for taking part! I'm glad everyone embraced the inspiration--I was a little nervous about it, but clearly I had nothing to worry about, because y'all look splendid!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Dear Abigail

Necklace: Kate Spade | Top: Target | Skirt: Target | Heels: Urban Outfitters

We need to talk. Or more importantly, Abigail van Buren and I need to talk.

Today's article for Dear Abby included a letter writer who wanted advice on how to deal with her mother, who is uncomfortable with how the author, who is overweight, dresses around the house. Abby's response, to say the least, was devastating. I'm not quoting the letter or the response here because of possible copyright issues, but I urge anyone who reads this blog and respects me as a human (instead of a fatty fat who won't stop eating god get over it and eat some lettuce, etc.) should read the letter, and then read this:

The only word that can truly describe Abby's response is "presumptuous", and the only word that can truly describe my response is "disappointed". I agree with the first half of Abby's response--when you're in someone else's home, you have to respect their wishes. If someone wants you to take your shoes off, you take your shoes off, right? Even if it's your mom (hell, ESPECIALLY if it's your mom) you do what she says.


Abby's additional paragraph noting that the writer's mom would be prouder if she basically got off her ass and did something about losing some weight is what is called "fat shaming". This was noted by many in the comments, which mostly call Abby out on her sanctimoniousness and the lack of necessity to discuss the writer's weight. Dealing with your mom does not equal dealing with your weight. I've had my fair share of arguments with my mom over my weight and what I wear, though mostly this was when I was younger and struggling to dress myself; my mom wanted me to wear colours and dresses. All I wanted to wear was baggy jeans and hoodies that made me look even larger than I already was, or clothing that was way too small because I didn't know there were other options. (I think we're both happier now that I've accepted colours and dresses as my general dress code!) However, those were arguments that danced around much deeper situations, which is how a lot of daughters fight with their moms. And as a side note, my mom was disgusted by Abby's response.

Abby has no knowledge of the writer's personal health, whether or not she has medical issues, or perhaps even is overweight but it's ALL muscle. (Most NFL linebackers are considered obese, but most of them are also in excellent shape.) Some diseases and disorders make it nigh impossible to lose weight. Perhaps the writer has already lost 100 pounds and is really proud of her accomplishment, and Abby's cutting her down is going to give her a complex. We have no idea. What disturbs me most, though, is that as a longtime Dear Abby reader, I know Abby has always supported and advocating for being oneself and fuck the rest. Especially when it comes to LGBTQ rights and women's rights, Abby has been firmly in the corner of supporting everyone equally and treating all people with respect. However, this comes as an extreme slap in the face: for those of us who read Dear Abby and are not normally sized, this comes across as "you're fat so you're subhuman and you deserve to only make other people happy instead of yourself". And that is deeply disturbing.

Fat shaming--which involves making a person feel bad about his or her weight, either directly or indirectly--is wrong. ANY body shaming ("You're too thin! You need a burger!") is wrong. Flat out. We are all human. We all have emotions. We all have bodies, which are absolutely fascinating things and the fact that they work day in and day out to keep us alive should be celebrated, regardless of how said body looks. At the end of the day, our bodies should not be fodder for anyone else. We should be concerned with only ourselves and our happiness, and however it comes. Relying on someone else's happiness, as Abby suggests the letter writer should do with her mother, is crude, disturbing, and completely off the mark. And at the end of the day, the only business anyone should be into is his or her own. I'm not going to ask a stranger about his or her finances or sex life, right? So why the fuck is it cool do do that with weight? Being overweight, or underweight, or black, or white, or having tattoos, or having blue hair, or being pregnant, does not mean that one's body has become open season for discussion. It should never be that way.

I can only hope that Abby takes the time to read the comments on her response (and the letter I wrote her) and reconsiders her response and what she actually said. No one wants to read Dear Abby if Abby's going to be harsh. If you want that, you need to go read Carolyn Hax instead.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Life lately

Cardigan: Target | Top: J.Crew Factory | Skirt: Talbots | Heels: Urban Outfitters

Summer has been hectic, to say the least; this was my first year at work kind of having control of our adult summer reading program, which was an encompassing program that covered all ten of our branches and involved a lot of work to put together--not that I'm complaining, because I love summer reading and I'm VERY proud of the program & how it came together. But it's kept me very busy! There are days where my boss and I will go home and she'll text me and say "are you as tired as I am?" and the answer is almost always yes. And although summer reading is over, there are still statistics to compile, reports to write, debriefing to do...and then my boss is going on sabbatical for a month. And my coworker (and my very good friend) C. has moved to Atlanta to pursue her Ph.D. in English literature. I cried when she told me she was leaving, and I'm crushed to see her go, but the amount of pride that I have for her makes my heart glow like a neon sign in the desert.

This is also my first summer in a very long time with a boyfriend. (I know you're all chomping at the bit to hear more about him, and I promise I'll do a post about him soon!) It's made things harder--we are technically long distance, although he lives a two hour drive away instead of a two hour flight away, like my last boyfriend did. We see each other most weekends, and sometimes even during the week. Having him to rely on for support when I need it has been amazing, but I've felt a bit of a struggle between the life I've had for the last three years of hanging out with my friends and doing whatever I want & the life I have now--the one where I actually have to consider what someone else wants. I've been on the road a lot since February, when we first started dating, replacing curling for the most part with visiting my boyfriend. We will, hopefully, not be so far apart for TOO much longer, but my time has been taken away from other spending half an hour taking pictures of myself in an abandoned parking lot.

But oh, when I get the chance to take those photos of myself, how I cherish it. Right now, it's about the only time that I'm truly alone. A lot of my friends now will probably tell you I'm extroverted, but it's not exactly true--I like to be social and active, but I need a lot of time to unwind and separate from the world, and I don't get to do that very often. I miss the chance to document what I wear, and to be honest, I'm going to be repeating some outfits in the future so I can photograph them for the blog. I miss manipulating my camera, experimenting with framing, and being the only model I'll never have full control over. And most of all, I miss all of you. Having people who understand what it's like to do this silly thing where we take pictures of what we wear and put them online for other people to look at is essential to having the motivation to keep coming back, and I always get that from y'all. And you have no idea how much I appreciate it.

And also I'm really lazy, but I can get over that. The point of all of this is to explain myself, I guess, but also to just verify that I'm going nowhere. My priorities in life have shifted some, from school and curling to work and boyfriend, but none of it matters if I'm not wearing clothing. I'll keep wearing clothing, and I'll keep documenting it whenever I can. Like this outfit...for which I got the daylights bitten out of me by noseeums, but it was worth it.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

What to wear to a Fall Out Boy concert

Fall Out Boy & Paramore with New Politics
July 24 @ 7pm
PNC Bank Pavilion, Charlotte, NC

A. wore:

I wore:

Part of me is getting too old for some concerts. I know that. For example, I'm probably not going to go to another Against Me! show, or another big music festival in a large city. I have a bad back. I sunburn easily. My ears are getting sensitive to high volumes. I need a seat, or at least a towel and a swatch of land where I can rest my weary bones. (#flairforthedramatic) So when coworker A. and I made the trek to the other side of Charlotte for the Fall Out Boy concert, I was prepared to be one of the old people there.

As it turns out, I was not. There was a vast swath of teenagers there, of course, because those emo kids still love some Fall Out Boy. But as I found with Say Anything, a lot of their fans--and even Paramore's fans--are growing up, which means there are a bunch of actual adults there now. The people I used to see at Warped Tour (I officially retired from Warped Tour after 2008) are now the people sitting on towels on the lawn at concerts like that. We're part of an aging group, but that's okay. We're still here. And as long as the bands that we love continue to tour at places where there are places to sit after we've been running ragged at our mid-level jobs all day, we'll still show up.

Monday, August 4, 2014


Gather Ye Rosebuds While Ye May, by John William Waterhouse
Oil on canvas, 1905

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a'flying,
And this same flower that smiles today
Tomorrow will be dying.

This is the first stanza of the poem from which this beautiful painting takes its name. Reading that stanza certainly changes what the young woman's face expresses, doesn't it? Make sure you click the painting to view all the detail, because it's pretty gorgeous. Send your inspiration to me at animatedcardigan@gmail by Monday, August 11th. Enjoy the beauty of this one!