Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Tote-ing the Line.


When Anabela posted about the endless bummer tote I wanted it. I had to have it, because there are parts of this summer that really are an endless bummer (not big ones, just little, strange happenings that aren't really all that great) and I also had to wait till payday to buy it, but finally it's in my hands and we've been pretty inseparable ever since. 

The only downside is I keep adding things to it, because it fits everything, including an empty cupcake carrier, and I'm the kind of girl who overpacks to a spectacular degree, but other than that I'm in love. Again. Because I already have this one (gifted to me by Anabela last summer, it was my go-to tote this year when the weather got warm), this one, this, and the mini meow. And that's only the fieldguided portion of my tote collection (although honestly, the reason I have all these is because I love a good tote, and I always feel a little bit special when I'm carrying all my grubby posessions around in these bags).

Skirt: Love All Skirt c/o Modcloth, Shirt: J. Crew, Shoes: J. Crew


Lately I've been thinking a lot about how I get dressed. I suppose it's a preoccupation on this blog, since it's in part what it's about, and it's a bit obvious but, you know. Most of getting dressed is, and this is going to sound both silly and pretentious, about feeling. Maybe it's why I usually identify my dressing process as something akin to costuming, because it has to go along with the mood of the day (the best costume of the day, to borrow from someone infinity more in tune with wardrobing a costume than I). 


I picked this skirt out when Modcloth offered to send me a few things because it seemed pretty much perfect--and it is--but then suddenly I couldn't quite get the sweater I thought would be perfect with it to work (maybe I shouldn't try wearing sweaters in August). Eventually I just let it sit, because even though I loved it and a bunch of things looked good with it, nothing was really exuding the mood I wanted, especially not for a first wear and I get that thing where I want the first time I wear something  I love to live up to the greatness of the garment.

And then I remember, Kater, you're talking about clothes. It's supposed to be fun and make you feel good. And phrases like 'greatness of the garment' are pretty obnoxious.

In the end the answer was obvious: chambray, especially since I've got so much of it. The rest just falls into place somehow, like some weird part of my brain says yes, wear the red wedges even though the skirt is a bit on the short side, and you need a little friend so wear the seahorse since you won't wear him in the cooler weather.

Creepy hands to show off my weird shades-of-red-and-pink nail polish and hair, which I styled off this tutorial.

In the end there is little logic to it. I wear what I wear because it feels right, because even when I try to make an outfit look like something before hand, if it feels off in the confines of my silly costume-obsessed being, it doesn't matter. It's not really about physical comfort, although sometimes that's a part of it, mostly it's feeling like yes, but that I can sit inside myself and not actually think about what I'm wearing because it's exactly how I feel like dressing that day.

Seahorse pin from Reruns

So that's my two cents, today, about getting dressed, tote bags, and what I wore today!


  1. i have done the same thing with planning outfits so far in advance and not having them working. i blame online shopping! like, i buy these things and wait for weeks for them to get here and spend that time thinking about all the ways i'm gonna wear them only to have them not work out the way i wanted to when they actually get here. overthinking things, for sure.

    also this post just inspired me to actually pull the trigger on the fieldguided tote i wanted, so thanks, haha.

  2. I absolutely adore this post. I know what you mean; I always feel a lot of (very self imposed) pressure to have my outfit be outstanding the first time I wear a particular piece. And you're right - it's silly to feel all that pressure. Just dress how you feel!

    The chambray was an inspired choice, by the way. I love this outfit from tip to toe :)

  3. I love your shoes and your seahorse pin!
    I'm ready for summer to be over, too.


  4. first of all: brilliant bag. i want one.
    second of all: brilliant thoughts on getting dressed. you are a fashion philosopher.

  5. i would really like this tote. fieldguided is rad!

  6. I completely get what you mean when you say you dress according to feeling. I do too, a lot. My dressing is pretty relaxed in real life, but I tend to overthink things when I plan an outfit photo shoot. And sometimes I buy something that I get very enthused about but don't end up wearing it for a long time. A month ago I got gifted a heart top that went perfect with Hunter Boots I'd been struggling to style (My fashion OCD prefers to match things by color). I'm sorry if I rambled too much.

    I adore this entire outfit, I think it shaped up beautifully. I love the wedges. Oh & you're so stunning. :)


  7. Can I just say I totally and completely understand everything you just said about getting dressed?

    This is why I love reading your blog.

    That, and I like the way you dress. : )



  8. Best part of this post? The phrase "greatness of the garment." I can imagine myself earning eye rolls from some of my co-workers with a phrase like that, then trying to act like I was totally kidding, but really meaning every word and resenting my friends for not "getting it." Yep. I'm prone to overblown language and making clothes way too complicated. (If this was tumblr, I'd probably throw in some sort of *fist raised in solidarity* type gif.)

    Anyway, one of the things I like best about your outfit posts is that you always look like a character. In a good way! I spent way too many hours poring over Judith Butler in college, so I'm really into the idea of performing identity. A costume to face work, a costume to become a moody wanderer of the moors a la Jane Eyre, a costume to be a smartypants lit geek, a costume to be the artsy choreographer/performer, etc. I like that clothes can enhance how you feel or even transform you into someone new. It's like when I put on a vintage dress and suddenly find myself caught up in those happy ghosts. If clothes were just about looking stylish or impressing people with my fashion sense, I'd probably just walk around in yoga pants. It may be ridiculous to call clothes transformative, but I don't mind being ridiculous.

  9. I've been eying those totes, especially the one with the Kate Bush lyric! And I feel the same way about getting dressed! Mostly I just want to wear something that I'm excited about every day!


  10. the skirt is adorable. especially with the chambray and the red shoes! i am a chronic overstuffer of totes as well. it's hard for me not to bring everything to work, especially when i'm shoving it all in a locker that i share with someone else.
    that tote is the next one for me. might be perfect for school daze.

  11. Adorable - all of it! I often think about getting dressed - I dream about some perfect magic formula that makes for an efficient dressing experience with less angst and fewer changes that I seem to make. So far I have not found it. Although, having two minutes to choose clothes in the morning on those rush days has definitely made for some snappy decisive moments!

  12. beautiful! I want your entire outfit, and your shoes!!

    Aimée xx

  13. I hear you about instinct and costumey-ness and living up to the clothes and stuff. I feel like I'm putting on a costume in the morning, I like that about clothes. Funnily enough when you mention overthinking clothes, sometimes I feel like that about food- I think about it so much, but really, people just need to eat. To sum up: love the tote, adore the skirt, sorry to hear about the endless bummer...

  14. So beautiful,love how the dressier skirt looks with the chambray shirt, and the shoes... ah, gorgeous, as always!!

    On the getting dressed thing... I want to dress pretty and fancy and not like a teenager who plays the bass in a band, and in the end I pick a pair of jeans, a t-shirt and Converse because that´s the most comfy outfit in the world XD But I´m working on it.


  15. I love your train of thought, and everything you wear pretty much. I'd seen this tote and love it, but finances aren't so good right now so I have no excuses! I think these shoes are perfect - I try to think of sixties micro minis when I wear skirts that are a little on the short size, and if they could get away with it five decades ago - why can't we!

  16. Love her totes, they are my favorites for summer!

  17. I love tote bags, especially giant ones that fit everything in.

    That skirt is an awesome choice, I really like the pleating.

  18. That skirt is beautiful! It really looks like amazing quality. I like the juxtaposition of the structure and dressiness of the skirt against the casual look of the shirt. :) xoxo


  19. I totally relate. I keep new clothing items in my closet for weeks...ok, a month even...sometimes because I just have to get that first wear perfect. I've just gotta have that feeling of "rightness" when I break the garment in. But yeah, that probs takes things too seriously :D So in the end I try to just make it work, and usually end up being quite happy.

    Love your red heels SO MUCH!!!

    <3 Cambria

  20. AH! So good. So so good. Love this outfit.

  21. is this cute or is this cute? :D very lovely tote! and your cute little red shoes, perfect!

  22. Lovely skirt! A great timeless staple for the wardrobe :)


  23. wow I love your skirt, it looks so pretty paired with those red shoes :)

    Drawing Dreaming

  24. oh, this skirt is absolutly adorable ...

  25. OOOH I love this tote! Also your wedges. And how effortless you always look in chambray. <3

  26. i love this outfit so very much! it's vintage and rodeo all at a go. nice!