Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Style Inspiration: Annie Clark

For this edition of Style Inspiration (not that this feature has been happening with any kind of regularity) I decided to turn to Annie Clark, also known as her stage name, St. Vincent. This was a no-brainer for me - in fact, I've had this post waiting in the queue, titled and empty, for months. 

So what's so special about Annie Clark? Let me put it this way: she might just be the only person in the world who looks like a porcelain doll (see below) but could shred on the guitar just as well as any of the greats. And that is just one reason why she is so fascinating; she has an incredible ability to subvert expectations.

painting by Chris - this is sitting on my desk at work!

Though my own personal style often differs from hers - I lean more towards the girly, not-always-practical clothes - I always find myself admiring her outfits. She's feminine, but with a definite edge. Both in shows and photoshoots, she often sticks to basic black:

But this, I have to say, is my all-time favorite Annie outfit:

I may never have her perfectly messy dark curls (or her ability to both croon and shred) but I can at least try to emulate her edgy-with-pops-of-color style. Here are some cute pieces I put together that evoke Annie's style and persona:

1: Vintage sunglasses (VintageSilo @ Etsy)
2. Lacy black button-up (Forever 21)
3. Red pencil skirt (okiejo @ Etsy)
4. The One for V tights (ModCloth)
5. Turquoise cutout tank (Forever 21)
6. Black high-waist jean shorts (rosegoldaline @ Etsy)
7. Walk Star bootie (ModCloth)
8. Blue sleeveless blouse (thelovedone @ Etsy)

I don't know about you, but I think that last blue blouse is awfully tempting...

What about you? Is there anyone whose style you admire, even if it's not all that close to your own?

Annie Clark photos: Joe Saturday, Amanda M Hatfield

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The woodlands national anthem

dress: ModCloth | belt, shoes: thrifted | tights: Target

I have spoken before about my disdain for getting dressed in summer and late spring. (Seriously - what's the fun in getting dressed and not being able to use layers?) However, this is one instance where the simplicity was a welcome change. I adore this dress, but I've long felt that it couldn't really shine when covered up with coats and cardigans and scarves. The beautiful sleeves get completely lost. In these warm final days of May, though, they are free and breezy and perfect.

This dress somehow manages to evoke a multitude of different feelings in me. I all at once feel professional and put-together and a bit like a Monet painting and very 1970's and very much like a woodland fairy. On this particular day, my feelings were definitely skewed towards the latter. In front of the woods by my house, the dress looks nice...but inside the woods, it came to life.

My shoes were, as they so often are, wildly impractical for traipsing around in the woods. But I didn't care. It's nice to see the woods come to life in the spring. I used to poke around here often when I was 11 or 12, but then they knocked down a big section so they could put in a cell phone tower and I stopped coming as often. It was nice to see that they haven't lost their magic!

I hope you all are having a wonderful week! Work has been a bit frustrating this week, so I'm looking forward to the long weekend...I don't have any plans, but I'm excited anyway. I'll have to come up with something fun to do - even if that's just lying down in my hammock with a good book and some fresh-squeezed juice, or being a nerd and doing my new Alphonse Mucha puzzle (impulse buy at Target - what can I say), or going on some sort of adventure with Chris. Can't go wrong with that!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Ne me quitte pas

cardigan: H&M | blouse: Goodwill | dress & belt: vintage | tights: Forever 21 | shoes: Charlotte Russe

The morning of our trip to Chicago dawned cool and rainy. Though I had envisioned a picturesque sunny day (like the day before the trip - of course...) I think there are definitely worse ways to see a city. It turned out that the next day was sunny but blazing hot, and neither Chris nor I do well with miserably hot days. So it all worked out in the end.

Anyway, I think there's something magical about cities in the rain. You get to see a whole different side of things. It seemed that many Chicago-dwellers opted to stay inside due to the weather, so we got to experience a quieter, cozier version of the city. Since it wasn't pouring, and there were some breaks in the clouds, it was actually quite pleasant for walking. And everything had a slight glimmer to it, as if it was a special treat for those of us who braved the elements.

I didn't get to do absolutely everything I had hoped, but when is that ever the case on a trip? I think the only time when I did get to do everything I wanted to on a trip was when I was 10 and my family took a 6-week vacation out to the West Coast, driving out through the U.S. and back through Canada. It's not as though that trip was perfect, mind you - our car broke down on the second day and my dad got sick and I got lice - but out of that trip was born a wealth of family stories...

But I digress. It's hard to even scratch the surface of what any city has to offer, especially if you only have part of one day. I was able to pick up some wonderful vintage (including a red velvet dress, which I have coveted for so long!) and some new things, too. However, the suspenders I bought will need some work - I don't think suspenders were intended for short-waisted people like me!

I couldn't help but snap this picture of the Avengers mural that was going up across the street from Knee Deep Vintage. What a fun introduction to the city...I hope to be back soon!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The girl who was on fire

dress, wedges, hairpins: ModCloth | cardigan: thrifted | belt: vintage

Thank you for all the book recommendations, everyone! I just finished the last bit of Mockingjay yesterday, and I've got that post-wonderful-book-series emptiness. Do you know what I mean? Like after the seventh Harry Potter book came out...it took a while to get over that one, since it had encompassed so much of my childhood. But it's similar after any good book. You spend so much time with the characters, it's like you need a mourning period afterwards. Or you just dive into the next...

Anyway, these photos are from last week. I wanted to get some photos with this book since I thought it was funny that it matched my outfit so well. Chris thought I was just posing with the book for the photos, but then he saw me turning the pages - "Wait, are you actually reading?" "Of course I am! I was at a cliffhanger!"

I'm hopeless when it comes to a good book. I suppose that's why I majored in creative writing.

Does anyone else find that, after reading a good book, you start to narrate your thoughts in the voice of the main character? I certainly do. It gives me the itch to write, even though I'm not sure I see myself writing a novel such as the Hunger Games. I think that would be a good writing exercise: write out the narrative of your day, but do it in the voice of the main character of the book you read most recently. It might not turn into anything - but you never know...

Considering that I stayed up until nearly 2 am to finish reading, plus the fact that my weekend was packed, I'm feeling pretty good! Chris and I spent most of Saturday in Chicago, checking out the shops (vintage and otherwise), dodging the rain, and reveling in the musical wonder that is Andrew Bird. 

I felt kind of horrible because the tickets were my birthday present to Chris, but our seats were in the nosebleed section of the nosebleed section - and that balcony was terrifying. It was really rickety and steep, and I didn't realize that Chris does just as well with heights as I do (which is to say - not well at all!) We both felt like we were going to pass out when we first got to our seats, but once Andrew Bird started playing, we forgot all about it. And we had a really good laugh about it later.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Seeing spots

dress & cardigan: Forever 21 | sunglasses: Urban Boundaries | belt: vintage | tights: Target | shoes: Charlotte Russe

See what happens when I get engrossed in a book - or in this case, a series? I take an accidental blogging break. Once I read the premise of the Hunger Games, and heard the opinions of people I trust, I knew I was going to love it. So I picked it up, and you know the rest: I finished it quickly and went to go see the movie! I'm actually not done with the series yet, but the books are pretty quick reads - so even with my busy schedule, it's only going to be a matter of days.

I have so enjoyed devouring books lately. Reading is something I have loved dearly since I was very young, due in part to the fact that my parents did a month-long experiment in my formative years in which we watched absolutely no TV/movies and were forbidden from using the computer. But somewhere along the way, reading became associated with school, assignments, and exams. I wanted to read for enjoyment, but there were always other things I had to be doing. Now that I've graduated (almost a year ago - eek!) it's so wonderful to be able to pick up the reading habit again. I think I'm going to end up with quite a sizeable reading list - handy, because the library is a two-minute walk from my house!

Does anyone have any book recommendations?

I'm starting to grow antsy with my wardrobe again. It's not that I feel that I need new things...actually, in a way, it's the opposite. When I start buying too many new things from places like Forever 21, I feel like I have to balance it out by getting some "new" vintage pieces. As if my wardrobe had some sort of equilibrium that must be maintained...when what I really need to do, before anything else, is get rid of the pieces I don't wear!

But knowing me, I probably won't let that stop me from scouring for some new vintage when I head to Chicago for the day on Saturday. Chris and I are going to see Andrew Bird and I can't wait! I feel like this trip kind of snuck up on me...it's not a long trip by any stretch, so there shouldn't be a lot of planning to do, but I'd still like to make a list of places to be sure to visit.

Well, I do hope everyone's week has gotten off to a great start! It's a bit rainy and slow up here, but I have memories of a great weekend to look back on, at least - a weekend full of birthday celebrations (my mom's and my friend Meghan's), cherry wheat beer, babysitting (and intense games of "dinosaurs!"), old friends, new resolutions (I'm working out again!) and, of course, reading. I couldn't possibly complain.