Friday, December 31, 2010

A Year in Happiness

I've been inhabiting this little corner of the internet since sometime in 2007 (I missed my blog-birthday this year, but ahh, there is always next!), but I've never gone back and looked at the year at the end of it. I don't really care much about New Year's. I don't make resolutions, stay up late, or get really trashed, so it's a holiday I generally feel apathetic about. But this was one of my favorite years thus far. Despite all my frustrations, there were a few times this year where I was wearing exactly what I wanted to wear, out of all the clothes in all the world.

In January, I started wearing red lipstick on a regular schedule, and have pretty much stuck to it ever since!

My lipstick choices are a bit different now though--I've kind of (for the moment) left my MAC by the wayside in favor of my Revlon shades, although I have ventured into Nars territory this week, but we'll get to that later.

I was really over it in February

There were almost no outfit posts in the cold months, which is a trend I'm partaking in again this year (not on purpose). Those winter doldrums, they're a killer.

We had a really strange warm day in March, where I wore a dress I have since sold, that I remember so clearly I can hardly believe it was a year ago.

I'm linking the whole month of April, because I was and am really pleased with how things went down outfit-wise.

I solicited my boyfriend to start taking my pictures:

And he took some of my favorites, probably of ever:

And went places in outfits that make me miss spring really, really awfully:

By May it was pretty much full-fledged summer, all humidity and flea market dresses to beat the heat.

I was bowled over by that vintage find, until I found my little patterned friend in June.

In July I began the long campaign that was the Mad Men Casting Call. I didn't win, but with all the help in the world, I came close!

August is my birth month, and in celebration my parents and boyfriend took me to New York, to spend the entire day in the museum (heaven!). I became a devoted member of the scarf-on-your-head-gang.

I was ecstatic in September to be featured in a real life magazine! Still kind of giddy about that.

In October I shared some of my favorite pictures of my Grandmother, and was so overwhelmed and touched by all of your kind words and comments. I'm so happy that you enjoyed the pictures <3

And in November, I geeked way out and dressed up as Remus Lupin.

And then I was kind of lame in December. But there is always tomorrow, and, you know, the whole next year looming ahead (though not in a bad way)!

Thanks to everyone for reading, for commenting, for everything! You are all wonderful <3

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Dressing Like: Calculette

Ages and ages ago, when we were all free to move our arms about without being hindered by winter coats and other cold weather accoutrement, Kim and I went to see Micmacs (I actually can just barely see my ticket stub on the board above my computer--July 8th, it says!). I really loved it, and have been waiting for way to long for the DVD to come out so I can be sad that I do not have friendly dancing sort-of-robots to hang out with all day.

I was thinking about Micmacs when I was lamenting my ability to find the correct shade of blue Bensimon sneakers. I am a lucky enough gal to have received the DVD for Christmas (and have proceeded to watch it four or five times in one or two days). Consequently, it happens that the blue sneakers were a disgusting mistake—so says the director—but of course I still want them.

But just look at this girl! She is adorable, with her strange glasses and bangs and severe braids! Calculette, as she is named, is my newest inspiration for dressing with her little cotton vintage dresses and cardigans, legs poking out of skirts with giant socks swathed around her ankles. I supposed it's sort of the spring-ier version of the sad-clones-in-sweaters I've been citing as my winter wardrobe, but it makes me feel all antsy for warmer weather already, even though today is the day we are being threatened with mountains of snow.

I'm afraid my caps aren't terribly good, and as someone mostly in the background it's hard to get decent shots of her outfits, but it will just be an excuse for everyone to see the movie rather than looking at my grainy little stills.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Oh gosh!

I can't believe I haven't updated in almost a month! It hasn't seemed that long, honest!

I've nothing to offer at the moment but this tree, which we realized is missing some lights, and promises of posts-to-come!

I guess the excuse is that it's been cold and miserable, and working in retail and end-of-semester times mean things get a bit hectic, but I feel guilty since this is not the first of my oops! it's been to long posts! Ahh well, soon!

Thank you everyone for reading, and for all your comments always! I really appreciate them, and it's so lovely to meet so many nice people!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Red Alternative.

I spend a lot of time these days thinking about lipstick. I've really become quite a fan of the stuff, but it complicates several aspects of life. I have to be very aware not to injest 90% of it, to mind that I don't smudge it. It curbs some of my snacking tendencies, which is quite helpful, but it does complicate things a bit. I've gotten a bit sick of the standard red, and after seeing some of the autumnal J. Crew models in their fuchsia (I think that's the color) lipstick I picked up a tube for myself during my weekly trip to Target.

It's my new favorite thing. I like red, but it can get a bit shocking, and sometimes it's a bit too classic for a given day. I'm really awful at giving lipstick advice since my usual mode of choosing on is to hang out in the aisle and grab the brightest version of whatever color I want to wear, but so far I've had lots of luck with this one. It's Revlon, fuchsia, and it's the same kind as the lipstick I wore in my Mad Men casting call photos (except that one was 'Coral'). As much as I swear by my MAC, these colors and tubes are probably my new favorite. The texture is smooth without being shiny, and it doesn't bleed all over my face. It also doesn't do that really horrible thing where you are left with just the rings of lipstick around the edges and without color in the middle. Also, it's six bucks. I can deal with that.

I'm entering into awkward territory outfit-wise. It's chilly outside, and the last thing I want to do is put on anything besides leggings and gigantic socks, but I also don't want to look like your average bear who ought to be hibernating. Such is winter. The shirt was an impulse buy, even though I swore to myself I would not let my grubby little hands get hold of another striped shirt.

The other reason I get bummed for winter is that suddenly outfit shots become much more complicated. I am loathe to take my coat off outside, but it covers the whole purpose of the post, and inside it's hard to find spots that aren't 1.) covered in laundry 2.) have flattering or halfway decent lighting. We will see how I will survive this winter.

Outfit details (I figure I ought to start adding this):
Shirt: J. Crew
Skirt: Anthropologie
Belt: No idea

And for those who asked, my coat in the previous post is from J. Crew as well.

Pictures taken by John M.

Dressing the Part: Remus J. Lupin

I really love Harry Potter. I'm one of those people. I go to the book and movie debuts at midnight, usually in some kind of costume, and run around as though I am still in high school hanging out and being incredibly dorky with my best friends. Seeing as we are on the cusp of the last movies, I decide that it would not do to stay in my little city and do the midnight release. I always wanted to go to a big city, to a big theater, and do it with some of the friends I have made on the internet because of Harry Potter. So this year, I did. We went to Boston and I met up with some wonderful friends who I know mostly because of Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. I still think I haven't recovered, I'm totally exhausted, but it was worth every second.

Every year, thus far, I've dressed up as Hermione for these kinds of events. I have brown hair, and I went to Catholic school so I've already got a uniform (even if it is a bit small these days), that gets properly bushy fairly easily. But Hermione, lovely as she is, is not my favorite. I am a die-hard, deeply-in-love-with, literary-crushing on, Remus Lupin fan.

I dressed the part once for no reason, although it was a less-literal interpretation than a costume. This would not do. I am a bit of a competitive snob and always want to have the best version of a costume I can.

I might have bought several items of clothing over the years based entirely on the fact that it seemed like something Remus would wear. Maybe.

It's not the best ever, and apologies for the quality of the pictures--there are much more important things to do at an event like this than worry about photos--and my yellowish color, but it works in a pinch.

I'm also wearing a pair of grey corduroys and some grey converse sneakers (I needed comfort, and wear a LOT of grey in general). But it's going to be really hard to keep myself from dressing like a fusty, possibly dirt-poor, lycanthropic, wizard/professor. My usual.

And I adored the movie.

Outfit/Costume Details:
Everything is from J. Crew, except for the tie, which is my dad's. Thanks dad!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Jackets, Boots, and a Hair-Do.

To be totally honest, I've probably worn this dress six times since I bought it. It's so warm and easy, but I do promise that I don't wear it all the time. Somehow it just happened that outfit posts seem to have mirrored each other.

I have worn my wellies almost twenty-four-seven since getting them. I even wore them around work the other day when my flats were just too painful (in my defense, I was also doing some dishes and have a tendency to splash all over the floor and then slip in my puddles). The coat is new, a bit of an impulse buy, but necessary. I have a handful of ridiculous-ly colorful winter coats, and almost nothing in neutrals save for a black one who is missing several buttons. This green one, I justified to myself, is not only a nice color, but has something akin to toggles and a hood. I promptly discovered that the hood is large enough to pull down over my eyes to facilitate secret naps--not that I partake in such an activity regularly.

Today was one of those days where I can't be bothered with much, and yet I end up pleased with myself as a whole. I spotted this tutorial last night (along with loads of other bloggers it seems!) and thought, I will try that tomorrow! It's a bit different, but ended up quite nice. I slapped on some lipstick--ever since that Mad Men thing I feel sort of weird without it--and a trusty old flannel dress and somehow felt just right with the whole thing.

I'm sure as things get colder and there aren't even any colorful leaves left on the ground my general happiness with myself and the world at large will get a bit more sour, but for now I'm content with my boots and jackets and red lipstick.

Photos courtesy of John's cell phone.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


I have to say, this was not the outfit I had hoped to debut my new beloved wellies in, but the bits and pieces of the desired look were languishing away in the washing machine, so I had to make do with some gingham and flannel. I also forgot to upload the up-close picture of my new boots, so we will consider this an impromptu meeting, and save the actual day for when it's raining or muddy.

I ended up ordering them in navy blue--my mother has a pair of green ones, that are a big too snug for me, and I rather liked something about the navy instead. They look almost like a soft black, which is ideal, and I love them to little rubbery bits. I had tried them on at Nordstrom, and I suspect they were a slightly different boot, since the ones I tried on were slightly more mailable and light. These heavier versions are probably better though, if the state of my every-day footwear is any indication of how hard I wear my shoes.

I also opted to wear them despite the fact that it was not doing anything even remotely related to rain yesterday. I don't care, I will probably wear them whenever the feeling strikes, weather appropriate or not.

It was less awkward to wear them to the orchard though, to pick up little pumpkins and eat a donut or two. I have a real problem with things like pumpkins, especially the teeny ones. I want to bring them all home! I was really taken with the little ghost pumpkins, but only ended up with two. I have grand plans for these little dudes, so let's hope my procrastination doesn't get in the way of my ambition.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Never Let Me Go

I'm all tucked up in bed, meaning to be asleep a good half-hour ago, but my sleepytime doesn't seem to be doing to trick. Lately, my inspiration for dressing myself comes from a curious place. Not that movies are a strange place to look at for that sort of thing, but I always feel a little bit silly taking inspiration from sad movies. Nevertheless, life is now about thick tights, little dresses, too-big cardigans and some variant of wellington rain boot.

The movie is Never Let Me Go, and after seeing the trailer, my interest was piqued, and so I trotted myself off to the bookstore for my own copy of the novel. When the movie came out, I went to see it with Kim and then again today (with Kim again, as she is a lovely friend and also awesome). I've been obsessively re-reading the book since then, and honestly thinking about little else (if you haven't seen it, I urge you to both do so and read the book first).

I'm not entirely sure how to describe it. It's one of probably two movies that, for me, almost surpasses the book (an unfair statement--comparing books and movies is one of the most useless endeavors of all time, since how on earth are they ever comparable to begin with?). It fills me up until I feel I might be obliterated, and I can't bear it as the days go by and the spell of it starts to ebb away.

But besides all of that, I love the careful assemblage of outfits that happen in the movie. It's somewhere between utilitarian, throwing on what makes you warm or easy to walk in, and the heartbreaking care taken when there are only a handful of things to wear. It also makes me want that thick bang across the forehead, but alas, there is nothing that looks quite so terrible on me as a blunt bang.

My boots are in the mail and I think I have a few acceptable sweaters to toss on in the remaining weeks of fall.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


Anne Ruskan Dowd, my maternal grandmother, 1945.

Today is the one-year anniversary of my grandmother's passing. I've been saving this post for a while, and yet I find I can't quite hit the nail on the head for what I'd like to say. Somehow, my sentiments don't seem to fit just right, or come up short, or feel contrived. I suppose the best way is to let the pictures speak for themselves! It has been a very difficult year, but I'm really excited to share these with all of you, since I know so many love to look at and take inspiration from vintage photographs. These are a few of my favorites of my grandmother, who besides her completely perfect sense of style, was lovely and full of kindness and grace. I hope you all enjoy them :)

At Point Pleasant, NJ, 1948

Anne and Tom, 1964, in a photobooth in NYC.

At Tom's Rive, NY 1948(ish).

At 48 E. 16th St., in Bayonne NJ 1946/7

My grandparents with my mother and my two aunts.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Too Much of a Thing.

I'm in one of those funks where nothing feels quite right. Knowing what to wear suddenly seems daunting and my old striped shirt trick isn't quite settling my spirits the way it usually does. I need a haircut, but I don't know what to do with it, and I haven't much nerve to change it too much anyway.

It might be the rain, or the curse of favorite pants that don't fit because of Nutella croissants, or a general malaise brought on by years of too many prim little dresses. In any case, I'm have this weird feeling of uncertainty about my style. I'm a little sick of things that are twee and overly girly, and I find myself gravitating towards things that are a bit more cool, effortless, dilapidated. I'm starting to really enjoy pants. My goal these days seems to be to try and dress by just throwing things on, adding layers, all that.

In the end though, I end up in something like this. It's a little, to use a word more than once in a post, prim and precious. I suspect I've gotten used to dressing this way, so now it's the kind of thing that comes eaisly--but of course, as soon as I think I've got the hang of one thing, I feel strange and want another!

For the moment though, I'll just go along with everything and figure out what to wear somehow.

Rose Colored

A few weeks ago I got a lovely little note from Kelly of Kellyssima on Etsy. She offered to send me something from her shop, and after looking around I couldn't resist! All of her little treasures fit in so well with jewelry I already had!

I was tempted to go with something like my rose earrings and necklace I already had but that's the thing--I already had something similar! Everything there has a really delicate, lovely, vintage feel that fits in nicely with what I think I'm going for style-wise. I've been wearing earrings with much more regularity lately, and so I chose the Rose Colored Glasses style.

I've enjoyed wearing them to work so much latley, I'm sure you'll see them popping up here and there! Thanks so much, Kelly!

Please have a visit over at the Kellyssima Etsy Shop to check out all the other little goodies :)