Friday, August 31, 2012

Worn Together: Sponsor highlight on jessjamesjake

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Well, worn together theoretically at least! Right after my last post I was at the mall killing time and ended up with a tube of dark, plummy lipstick. Just like that I wanted fall. And after all that pontificating about holding on to summer and how much I wanted it to stick around! All it took was a little tube of color to change my fickle mind. 

So of course now all my outfits have a decidedly autumnal tilt to them. As nothing I'm looking at in my closet suits what I want right now (then again, when does it ever?) I thought making an imaginary outfit from my lovely sponsor jessjamesjake would help distract from all the summer dresses and shorts I'm still wearing.

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Right now is the ultimate challenge for getting dressed, since we've officially hit cool mornings and nights but the middle of the day is ridiculous, but I'm pretty sure I could wear this exact outfit right now with little difficulty or feeling out of season. 

Mostly I've just had my eye on that dress for a few weeks, I need new leather boots for the fall very much, and I'm really, really (more than usual) obsessed with bows lately. Particularly in jewelry (which is dangerous, because Jess also has this necklace and this hat, the latter which I waned to work into an outfit but I don't think I've got the brain for hats right now. But it's basically perfect and I'm going to be kicking myself in the winter when I've got a coat that would go perfectly with it--because isn't that how it always works out?).

Please hop on over to jessjamesjake on etsy for more vintage goodies!


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Summer Cling.

I'm still reveling in summer imagery, trolling pinterest and tumblr for outfit inspiration and images that recall the sort of feeling of the season. Like, if I could sum it up in pictures, I'd have it all sorted out and I could start looking forward to fall instead of dreading saying goodbye to summer.
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Suddenly everyone has got autumn on their breath. The idea of fall is planted; suddenly nights are cooler and the days aren't even that bad now that the heat is golden. But for once in my life I'm digging in my heels and trying my hardest to believe it's still full-fledged summer. How could it be the end of August already? I can't believe a month ago is already a month ago, because wasn't it only just June?

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I know I should be preparing for fall with sweaters on the brain, planning the first few outfits for the days when it's cool enough to wear tights, dreaming of apple orchards and leaves and tentatively sipping hot chocolate while wearing corduroy blazers but all I want now is soft serve and hamburgers, high-waisted denim, the burn of chlorine, sweaty necks, and the bliss of green leaves.


But then I've always been pretty sentimental about summer. 

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Eventually I'll get there, I'm just as much a sucker for a good crunchable leaf turned orange, not to mention cider donuts, as I am for driving with the windows down and eating popsicles. It's only right now that the trade doesn't seem even. Maybe if the last winter didn't seem so long, and if I didn't miss green growing things so much in winter, I'd feel a little less clingy about summer.

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There's just still too much to do at this point for summer to be over! And I mean, it isn't really. We're always fooled by September, trickster that it is, into thinking things are going to be crisp and neat, when really it's the one that will turn on you almost more than any other month.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Tote-ing the Line.

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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).

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

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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). 

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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.

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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.

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Seahorse pin from Reruns

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

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Favorites.

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This is the third time this week I've worn this dress, I think. It might be the fourth. I've mixed things up a little bit each time, but for the most part I haven't bothered with too much layering or adding of belts. These days I find I'm waffling between being really ridiculous with my accessories and outfits, all flower crowns and pink blush, high heels and floral bags, and being relatively simple and keeping the frills under wraps. I have to have a bow somewhere, but it's this little striped ribbon (it came on the sweetest little package from dearest Jen), and the polka-dots are pretty un-cloying even if they are a bit (relying on an over-used word here) whimsical. 

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Dress: Madewell, Bag: Vintage, Shoes: also Madewell, Earrings: Cube as can Be Earrings gift from  Modcloth

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Of course, I've never met a chambray dress I didn't like. Liz understands, especially when it comes to this particular one because we both bought the same version of the dress last winter, and tweeted about how much we both needed it when it popped up at Madewell.

The nice thing about this one is the waist, nice and nipped in, whereas my other denim dresses tend to be a bit more billowy and shapeless. I'm pretty good at rationalizing a purchase when I have to, which explains why a lot of my wardrobe looks the way it does. I suppose I've never been able to get out of dressing in a uniform, no matter how many years push my farther and farther away from the ones I wore in school. 

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This post is a bit all over the place--I just have a lot of thoughts on things I'm wearing right now, because they're sort of simple, and yet I actually feel pretty put-together without too much fussing. Despite my loyalty to hot pink and coral lipstick, my new favorite shade is this one, because it's kind of perfect for the airy, summery, dreamy kind of day I want to have.

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My low ponytail, with a little bit of a puff at the back, is pretty much my everyday hair. My crown braid might have finally, for the most part, worked last week, but in the early morning when I'm all bleary-eyed and trying to gather myself together when I'm already dangerously late to work, I really can only be bothered with a little bit of hair-teasing and a ribbon. 

I'm pretty minimal with jewelry these days, hardly ever do I sport both a necklace (even a tiny one, since I'm partial to those) and earrings. Most of the time I stick to the latter. For years I've been wearing a tiny pair of floral studs, but I've been on the lookout for something a little cooler. Since they came in the mail I've been throwing on these, courtsey of a gift certificate sent to me by Modcloth, and they're kind of perfect. I always think I want bigger jewelry, but hardly ever do much else with them besides start at it in my jewelry bowl, so these will probably be getting a lot of wear for a while. 

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And of course, my beloved leather tote, coming apart a bit at one of the handles, filled to the brim with books and pens and a lot of things I only think I need with me for the rest of the day. My feet are suffering, if you can spot it, after made an unwise shoe choice last week. It's the summer of blistered toes in a good way though, so I'll keep complaining to a minimum.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Those Days.

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Top: New Girl Courage Top c/o Modcloth, Jeans: J. Crew circa 2010, Shoes: Nine West circa 2008, Bag: Thunder in our Hearts Tote from fieldguided

Yesterday I did almost nothing, or, it felt like I did almost nothing. I didn't leave the house much, although I got a fair amount of chores done and even snuck in a bit of writing over a bagel into the day, and when I did I knew I didn't want to wear something fussy. All the same, my summer uniform of patterned shorts and some version of an eyelet or chambray blouse was just not feeling right. 

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To top it all off I'm feeling weird about my body again. I don't really touch on that much on here, because in general I'm pretty pleased with it, but recently I've gone on a really unhealthy eating spree (if you follow me on twitter you understand my deep love for pretzel crisps) and I'm really feeling it. I'm in that place where my jeans feel snug and I'm grump about it, even if it 's for no reason. It's hard not to feel like that sometimes.  

Nevertheless, I threw on something pretty simple but a little bit special. When Modcloth offered to send me a few items, I knew this top had to be in one of my picks, and I've already worn it a few times.This week I'm a little bit sick of accessories, normally I'd have tossed a belt on with the little peplum waist of this top, but everything I tried just felt too too, if that makes any sense. The weather was so uncooperative, rainy and spitting one minute and sunny and perfect the next! I had to play the do I want to risk getting the camera wet game, and ended up only getting a handful of shots before a downpour started and I skittered back to my car just in time to avoid a parking ticket.

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The upside of yesterday, besides the really delicious bagel, is that my hair is growing long enough for an almost-proper crown braid. I need a trim something awful, I keep pinching my crunchy ends and hiding them inside curls, but I'm so excited that I'm starting to have honest-to-goodness long hair again that the thought of losing even a quarter of an inch is tragic!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Instagram Round 2.

It's August. Somehow that happened, and now I have that feeling I get every year when summer is almost over, worrying that I need to squeeze every last drop of it out before autumn (even though I've started to get those pangs for cool weather). August is the annual hinge where my birthday happens, school supplies and sweaters start making their way into store windows, and towns start to clear out while everyone heads for the hills to slow down before gearing up.

The nice thing is the whole lot of summer so far is chronicled on instagram. I think for most of you this will be a repeat, but I like having them all together neatly lined up in a row!

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- Vintage finds from a day out with Jess.
- Our  peonies went crazy this summer, every day I snipped armfuls and threw them all over the house!
- I had a beautiful, wonderful, dreamy day with Courtney that I need to repeat!
- I vacuumed my car and then got some soft serve with sprinkles.
- Inspected creepy houses.
- Saw this fantastic sign with Jess while going on a run for some pizza.
- Hung out with some horses, got nostalgic heart-pangs and thought about taking up riding again.
- Found the label maker at work and decided to Potter-ify the espresso machine.
- Stayed out late and remembered that waking up is the worst thing ever.
- Took many, many pictures of my baby whale of a cat, Minnow.
- Spent most of my weeknights sitting on the porch being traumatized by book feelings.
- Made muffins and ate them all in one sitting.

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- Way overestimated the amount of 4th of July cake we needed!
- Spent the holiday in Kim's backyard, until the fireworks started and we all ran out into the street to watch.
- Met this beauty, Sabrina.
- Wore this outfit once and then repeated it about 47 times. 
- Started running at dusk again.
- Made Minnow grumpy so she sprawled out on my dress in retaliation.
- Bought my Lana shorts as a bit of a joke, quickly realized they are meant to be worn every waking moment.
- Sansa the Corgi learned how to go up and down stairs!
- Amy and I started weekly pink lemonade and tart dates!
- But we did switch up the kind of tart a few times.
- All the same, followed suit and went with hibiscus beer, because it's fuchsia (and delicious).
- Discovered that my hair is finally long enough for a respectable crown braid!

Once again if you'd like to follow me my user name is katerspie, although I do usually post these on tumblr/twitter as well!

Previously on instagram: Spring!